Welcome to Songs of Yore. Songs of Yore is about songs that are part of our precious heritage, songs of 50s and 60s, of Lata, Rafi, Mukesh, Talat, of Naushad, SD Burman, Shankar Jaikishan, C Ramchandra, OP Nayyar, Madan Mohan, Roshan and Chitragupta; further back, songs of 30s and 40s, of KL Saigal, Pankaj Mallik, KC Dey, Surendra, Khursheed, Kanan Devi, Zohra Ambalewali, Amirbai Karnataki, of RC Boral, Anil Biswas, Shyam Sundar, Mir Sahib, Khemchand Prakash and Husnlal Bhagatram. Songs that left you mesmerised when you first heard them from a relative at a family wedding gathering or from an itinerant singer seeking alms in a moving train or from a friend at the NCC camp bonfire on a moonlit night in a forest, that set you off on your personal journey into the beautiful world of songs of yore; and each discovery of a new gem brought you an indescribable joy.

Relive with me the magical music of the golden era of Indian cinema. I hope you enjoy your stay here. Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed to keep track of all updates, or sign-up to receive email updates directly in your inbox. You can also follow Songs of Yore on Facebook and twitter.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Manjunatha November 28, 2014 at 1:57 pm

nice website for music lovers

2 Shirish Waghmode January 5, 2015 at 11:19 pm

Loved your introduction to the site.

3 AK January 6, 2015 at 12:16 am

Shirish Waghmode,
Welcome to SoY, and thanks a lot for your appreciation.

4 Shalan Lal January 28, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Actor Singer Honey O Brien

Dear Mr AKji
I am new participant reader to your Songs of Yore blog. My full praise for creating this vast ocean of knowledge and scenic site, where numerous experts in all kinds of areas of the Hindi Film Songology add on the information and interesting points. It is just breathtaking, not just to read the articles but to enjoy the reading of the reactions from the readers. Both the writes and the readers have created an ever increasing of Niagara into an ocean of joy forever. My full praise to all the big and small people who are part of this blog.
Now sir I want to stipulate a doubt about the following point in your article about the Composer Vinod:
. Dilli se aya bhai Pingu from Ek Thi Ladki (1949), lyrics Aziz Kashmiri, music Vinod
Interestingly, the music conductor seen in the video is Vinod himself. Actor Singer is Honey O Brien, the lady who also danced to Ek bewafa se pyar kiya in Awara.
My understanding of Ms Honey O Brien is this: She was in the troupe of Udaya Shankar who first created a show of dance drama that based on the Indian classical Indian dance. The work of Udaya Shankar was pioneering in the revival of the Indian classical dance. Rumini Devi joined Udaya Shankar in her young age and then parted and created her own school of South Indian dance called Dasi Attam. She renamed it as Bharat Natyam. Rest is the history.
Back to Ms Honey O Brien: When Raj Kapoor was preparing to make the film Awara he approached Udaya Shankar for directing the three part song and dance dream sequence of Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi. Udaya Shankar refused as he did not want to associate his name to the Hindi films of that period which did not have artistic high standard hallow. Udaya Shankar had achieved the state of God of the Indian Classical dance in India as well as all over the world. He was the pupil of famous Russian Ballet dancer Anna Pavalova. But he asked anyone who could handle that area of the film Āwārā. Honey O Brien agreed to do that. The dream sequence in the Āwārā is her R.K.’s joint artistic design. Yes it is correct Honey O Brien, the lady who also danced to Ek bewafa se pyar kiya in Awara.
However it is difficult to envisage that she was the singer of the song “Dilli se aya bhai Pingu from Ek Thi Ladki (1949),”
She married to a Bengali artist from the Udaya Shankar Troupe and later on left the Troupe. She was not known as the singer of the songs of the Hindi films. As she was trained ballet dancer in Paris before she joined the Shankar Troupe she might have some European classical singing background.
Mr Har mandir Singh his highly authentic and monumental work Hindi Geet Kosh under the film entry “Ek Thi Ladki” has left the empty space after the song “Dilli se aya bhai..” for the singer’s space.
My assumption is that the voice of the song comes near to the voice of Geeta Roy who was already established as playback singer for the Hindi films.
But question is why Geeta’s name is not on the original record.
I am sure that Ms Honey O Brien could not have sung that song as it has Hindi language and melodic complications plus humour in it.
Shalan Lal

5 Shalan Lal January 28, 2015 at 10:31 pm

It will be interesting to see if more information comes out about Honey O Brien.

Shalan Lal

6 AK January 28, 2015 at 11:23 pm

Dear Shalan Lal,
First, thanks a lot for your very kind words. I hope you participate more actively on SoY. The site owes a great deal to knowledgeable and passionate readers like you.

About identifying the singer of this song, this site has dug up some more information. Now it appears the singer was one Vinita Almadi, who married Krishna Chakravarty, the pianist from the orchestra and moved to Calcutta, where she changed her name to Binota Chakravarty. Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh, who has updated this information, is a very respected person in the field of old film music. I would pass on your comments to him to see if he has something more to say on this and Honey O’Brien.

7 Dr Dhanwantari G. Pancholi February 1, 2015 at 6:52 am

Does any body think, we who are alive and read these lines have any right rather logic to expect the future generations to remember us until we ourselves do not give heed to stalwart (mind we are not) of the yore.
And that is not to pay tribute to’old’ music but to have little (not a little) sense of what a real music is(was) or ought to be.
I again thank God who gave me / us an opportunit while we live here on this earth to enjoy the nectar (of golden era) thru this gentleman called AK.
God may bless you Sir for your good deed. Amen.

8 AK February 1, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Dr Pancholi,
Thanks a lot for your very generous words.

9 Avinash Scrapwala April 24, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Great day for me that I am here today …
As I start through this page of the blog, and the layout and design and presentation, I am filled with ‘nostalgia’ and thinking myself fortunate enough that I got to ‘live’ with this ‘musical journey’ …
Thanks, Regards, and all the Best Wishes !!!

10 AK April 24, 2015 at 5:44 pm

Thanks a lot for your generous words.

11 Animesh Singh April 30, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Dear Mr AK

I am ardent Indian film history enthusiast. I just discovered your blog while searching for music director Sajjad Hussain.
I have a small request here. I always wanted to know what Naushad Sahab had to say about Lagaan’s music as I think A R Rehman paid a fantastic tribute to the great master through this effort of his.
Lagaan’s music can be described as an ode to Ganga Jumna.
Naushad Sahab was very much around in 2001 when Lagaan released and I have always wondered why nobody took his views on the film’s music.
Also I would like to know whether there is any information on what Naushad Sahab thought of Ismail Durbar’s efforts in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas?

Please do let me know if you have any information regarding this.

Animesh Singh.

PS: The blog is really a treasure trove for all Hindi film music lovers.

12 AK April 30, 2015 at 10:32 pm

Animesh Singh,
Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your very kind words.

I don’t know if anyone can answer your questions. My impression is Naushad didn’t much care for the music in current films, nor it would have occurred to anyone to ask him these questions.

13 Pushpendra Kumar June 25, 2015 at 11:06 am

Hi AK ji

I was not sure how to reach you so posting it as a comment here. I am one of your big fans and follow the blog keenly. I am also doing my part to preserve the music of golden age in wahtever ways possible through my website. Since you are one of the most qualified and passionate person around about the golden age music, so I wanted to share with you something that I wrote on Madan Mohan’s bday today. Hope you like it


14 AK June 27, 2015 at 11:41 pm

Pushpendra Kumar,
Welcome to SoY and thanks for your nice words. I read your article on Madan Mohan. It is excellent. It gives a very good overview of his career, especially his diversity in giving outstanding music with different singers. I have sent you a mail.

15 palak September 14, 2015 at 2:43 pm

can you gave me your mail id…. so i can ask you about songs …

16 AK September 14, 2015 at 5:00 pm
17 Malyada September 22, 2015 at 6:24 am

What a veritable treasure trove! Happened to chance on it while searching for a bhajan album of Jhutika Roy, Hemant Kumar, Punkaj Mallick called Meera, Sur, Kabir.
Thanks to the tremendous effort of people like you, we are able to enjoy all these treasures. Truly commendable!!

18 AK September 22, 2015 at 10:11 am

Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your appreciation. I hope you are able to browse it more often and benefit us with your comments.

19 tandrima October 3, 2015 at 7:49 pm


I happened to stumble upon your website while researching on hindi retro music for one of the upcoming TV show that I am working upon and must say you have done a great job. Some great info there. Would like to connect with you regarding my TV show for a reputed national tv channel dedicated to the retro hindi films. Please drop in a mail at tandrima.chakraborty@esselvision.com if you wish to associate with us on our project which celebrates the music of the era from 1950-1975. Would love to hear back from you.


20 AK October 3, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your appreciation. I have sent you a mail.

21 Jonathan Hollander January 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm

Hello, I was astonished to find your passionate words about Raga Durga, which has likewise inspired me very deeply. I am an American dancer who became a choreographer and then artistic director of Battery Dance Company, a troupe which has performed in 17 cities of India. I am also a co-founder of the Indo-American Arts Council and founder/artistic director of the Battery Dance Festival. I have presented many Indian dancers and dance troupes in the U.S. including Mallika Sarabhai, C.V. Chandrasekhar, Jhaveri Sisters, Swapnasundari, Kerala Kalamandalam, and productions of Purush: Expressions of Man , Songs of Tagore and Layapriya. I have embarked on a new production that is inspired entirely and totally by Raga Durga. If we have a chance to bring it to India, after its world premiere in New York City in May, I will certainly let you know and provide complimentary VIP seats for you! All best wishes and thank you for sharing your sensitive thoughts on Raga Durga as well as youtube clips of many performances including the one that first inspired me: Rajan and Sajan Misra!

22 AK January 9, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your appreciation. I am delighted to know that you too share the same sentiments about Raga Durga. I do wish all the best for your new production, and hope that your troupe makes it to India.

23 gaddeswarup January 10, 2016 at 2:41 am

Regarding comment 4 by Skalan Lal. My understandin is that Awara choreography in the dream sequence was by Simkie. Minai has a few posts about Simkie including this http://cinemanrityagharana.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/simkies-choreography-in-awara-dream.html
According Mohan Khokar’s bioraphy of Uday Shankar, Simkie did marry a Bengali in Uday Shanar’s troupe for a few years:
And Weddings
March 15, 1941: Ravi Shankar with Annapurna Devi
March 8, 1942: Uday Shankar with Amala
August 4, 1942: Prabhat Kumar Ganguli with Simkie
and this heartbreaking passage on page 156:
“In a mere five years, beginning in 1942, the parting of ways was complete. Simkie gave up performing altogether and tried for a while to direct dance in Bombay films. This discouraged her further. She then joined the External services of All India Radio. This,too, was not for very long. Finally she left India, demoralized and hurt, never to return to this country. She has since preferred to keep religiously away from anything connected with the Shankar cult.” from http://gaddeswarup.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/excellent-book-about-uday-shankar.html

24 Shalan Lal January 10, 2016 at 6:18 pm

gaddeswarup @ 23

There was a lot of discussion on Simki and Honey-O Brien was done perhaps under the post Vinod.

There I put the above point. But the information Mr Arunkumar Dehsmukh gave was generally accepted at that point.

My statement was close to what you have put in your comment.
I still feel that it is Simki who danced the song Ek Bwafase Payar Kiya.

But others do not feel the same way.

I thnak you for your valuable information. I hope Mr Deshmukh will read it as well.


25 gaddeswarup January 11, 2016 at 5:11 am

Shaman Lal at #24, sorry; I probably misunderstood. I meant Simkie was the choreographer, may be there were others too, for that particular dance. Her photographs are available and she did not dance in Awara. Though she was the main dance partner of Uday Shankar in early years only a few of their dances are available on YouTube. Here is one http://youtu.be/H7GceqHJsUc

26 KB February 4, 2016 at 8:16 pm

I have got associated with Songs of yore (old hindi film songs ) because of hearing the Radio Ceylon programs such as Bhoole bisre geet, jab aap gaa uthe, ek aur anek and more prominently with Jaane pehchane geet. The last mentioned program also presented some of the very rare songs of the fifties and sixties which one never could come to hear anywhere else. Now this blog provides excellent scope for inspired discussion about them and also aid in bringing about very pleasant memories. Wish it all the best.

27 AK February 4, 2016 at 10:11 pm

Thanks a lot for your kind words. This blog is now flourishing because of the support of so many passionate lovers of old film music.

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