78 rpm Records of Indian Music: Mahomad Yacub and Fidai Premragi

Here are some early Quawwali performances, again part of the same collection of 78 rpm discs purchased in Udaipur in 2000.

Searching for “Mahomad Yacub and Fidai Premragi” yields only these videos; their names have faded into oblivion, at least until today.

Enjoy listening to two forgotten voices from an all-but-vanished world.

The handclaps on “Udhar the sab khudiwale” remind me of Philly Joe Jones’ famous on-the-fourth-beat rimshots, an association that in turn reminds me of just how narrow a demographic I actually occupy.

The singer is Mahomed Yakub Fidai Premragi, also known simply as Yakub Qawwal. He was the chief disciple of the legendary Azim Premragi Qawwal, hence the title Fidai Premragi. Yakub Qawwal was famous in the years just before and after Independence. Later he was more into organising Qawwali recitals, during which he helped many aspiring Qawwals to come into the limelight, among them, Jani Babu who became very well known. Yakub Qawwal also introduced to Bombay the famous Pakistani Qawwals Mubarak Ali And Fateh Ali (Nusrat’s father), who he had met in Ajmer during the annual Urus. They arranged the very popular Qawwalis of the film ‘Barsaat ki Raat’ for Music Director Roshan.

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