The three Divas of light classical music, Badi Motibai, Siddheshwari Devi and Rasoolan Bai were once the undisputed queens of the Poorab Ang or the Benares gayaki of Thumri, Dadra, Chaiti and Hori. Begum Akhtar, of course, was also in the fray but she was better known for her rendition of the Ghazals. Here are a few very rare and precious songs from the empresses of the Poorab Ang.
Badi Motibai – Thumri – Bahiyan Na Maroro :
Rasoolan Bai – Dadra – Eri Paniya Jo Bharan Gayi :
Even granted that these recordings were made in their old age, the range of their voices is simply astounding. It is clear that the present singers have become the slaves of the microphones! All of them even Siddheshwari Devi, youngest of the lot sound real, Like Kesarbai who hated the microphones! This is real music, with natural accoustics.