Legends : Shamshad Begum

Shamshad Begum is one of the first singers of Indian film industry. She was born on 14th April, 1919 in Amritsar, Punjab. According to music director O P Nayyar, her voice was crisp and crystal clear like a temple bell. She was a premier singer in 1950s and 1960s. Shamshad Begum was one of the two female singers who survived strongly after the entry of the Mangeshkar sisters. Geeta Dutt was the other one.

Shamshad Begum started her singing career by singing for Peshawar Radio. Later she also started working for Lahore Radio in 1937. She was part of a musical group ‘The Crown Imperial Theatrical Company of Performing Arts’, which was formed in Delhi. Along with this group she performed in stage shows and also for All India Radio (AIR). Her radio work helped her to enter into the film industry. AIR Lahore used to broadcast her songs repeatedly, which caught music directors’ attention and lured them to use her voice in films.

In 1944, she moved to Bombay along with composer Ghulam Haider as a part of his team. Shamshad Begum lent her voice for Ghulam Haider in director Mehboob Khan’s historical venture Humayun in 1944. At that time another singer Amirbai Karnataki was the topmost female singer in Industry. But with the entry of Shamshad Begum the scenario changed. Many music directors were rushing to sign her for their films. She soon became the lead singer for music directors like O P Nayyar, C Ramchandra and S D Burman.

Shamshad Begum – Na Bol Pee Pee More Angana (Dulari 1949) :  Download

Shamshad Begum – Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re (Bahar 1951) :  Download

Shamshad Begum – Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar (Aar Paar 1954) :  Download

Shamshad Begum – Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon (Patanga 1949) :  Download

Shamshad Begum – Kajra Mohabbat Wala (Kismet 1968) :  Download

Shamshad Begum was graciously beautiful woman in her youth. Her crystal toned, nasal voice created history from 1940s to mid 1960s. In 1998 there came a rumor that India’s famous singer Shamshad Begum had died (only this Shamshad Begum happened to be actress Naseem Banu’s mother and Saira Banu’s grandmother, and a classical music singer). The legendary singer of Hindi film industry, Shamshad Begum is still with us today living at Hiranandani Gardens, Powai in Bombay. She was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2009.

P.S : The male voice in Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon is of Chitalkar and in Kajra Mohabbat Wala the other female voice is that of Asha Bhonsle.

.. more Legends »

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Lost melodies part 3

During the 1940s, the two faces which dominated the Indian film world with their music and acting were Noor Jehan and Suraiya. In fact, Suraiya was ranked after Noor Jehan who had created a sensation with her lively acting, tuneful singing and glamorous personality. Both appeared in Mehboob’s musical Anmol Ghadi (1946), and enraptured the audiences. Though overshadowed by Noor Jehan, it goes to Suraiya’s credit that though in a supportive role, she was able to hold her own and make her presence felt with her evergreen melodies. Suraiya decided to stay back in India after partition, while Noor Jehan left for Pakistan.

Noor Jehan – Chandni Raaten (Dupatta 1955) :  Download

Noor Jehan – Hamen To Sham-E-Gham Mein (Jugnu 1947) :  Download

Suraiya – Raaton Ki Neend Chhin Li (Shokhiyan 1952) :  Download

Suraiya – Mere Mundere Na Bol (Parwana 1947) :  Download

.. more Lost Melodies »

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A glimpse into the old world

Partial list of the legends of yesteryears and some blockbusters of that period. Do not feel disheartened if your favourite singer or movie is not in the list. This is not the complete list. These are old screenshots. My vintage songs collection has multiplied manifold since then. The list is first arranged decade-wise and then in alphabetic order. Scroll each column vertically to get the right glimpse.






You may refer to this list if you want me to post specific songs. Feel free to point out the errors in the list if you find any. Thanks.

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