Vintage Voice of Achhan Bai

Gauhar Jan

Gauhar Jan will always remember as the Gramophone Girl as she was the very first Indian female singer who was recorded on Gramophone in 1902. It is believed that recording and public singing was prohibited for reputed females and she was the First lady who break the taboo. She became the icon to the Gramophone company and In records she was described as Gramophone Girl and the Dancing Girl of Culcutta. Her first record was the best seller. During the period of 1902 to 1910, about 500 singers were recorded by Gramophone company. A little girl Achhan Bai was one of them. Here are some of the songs recorded by Achhan Bai. It is believed that these are the only left preserved. You can here the name of Achhan Bai that was called in the beginning.

Chaiti (1908)- Achhan Bai : Download

Raga Desh (1908) - Achhan Bai: Download

Piloo Thumri (1908) - Achhan Bai : Download

There was monopoly of Gramophone Company over recording for a long time. The 78rpm gramophone records were made of high quality, purified lac and during the world war the import of Lac or Shellac was banned. At that time the price of one record was 4 Annas (then 16 paisa now 25 paisa). Some of the greedy businessmen took the advantage and purchased the gramophone records form market and private
collectors. All the records were melted to make money. Thus the precious music
records were lost forever.

Holi (1910) - Achhan Bai : Download

Raga Kafi Holi (1910) - Achhan Bai : Download

Raga Khamaj (1910) - Achhan Bai  : Download

Thumri (1910) - Achhan Bai : Download

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