78 rpm Records of Indian Music: The Insouciant Virtuosity of Master Vasant

Not a lot is known about Master Vasant of Surat. His full name was Vasant Amrut, and like many of the vocalists from those days, he was affiliated with the film industry:

In 1931, the Indian Art Production, Bombay, produced a film titled Farebi Jaal (Trapped) directed by M. Bhavnani.Though the name of the music director was not given but Master Vasant has been credited for the lyrics. Of the six songs in this film, Durga Khote and Master Vasant sang three each. [Ref: Hindi film geet kosh, vol.1, (1931-40), by Harminder Singh Hamraaz, 1988, page 15]. Around 1930, Master Vasant Amrut (of Surat) had cut two records: HMV P 13474 and P 13542. Gramophone Company released these records on black label in February 1931 and November 1931 respectively. Of these four songs, three are identical in the list of the songs of this film. It appears that these records were directly used in the film. It is not clear on whom the songs sung by Master Vasant Amrut were picturised. Thus, Master Vasant Amrut of Surat, could then be the first playback singer of Hindi film songs.


His singing is straightforward Gwalior gayaki — but done with nonchalance, aplomb and incredible virtuosity. What a delight.

Raga Nat Bihag – “Jhan jhan jhan paayal baaje”

Raga Patdeep – “Dhan dhan baaje”

Raga Purvi – “Bhaj mangal Shyaam”

Raga Durga – “Phul rahi belariyaa”

Ghazal – “Usne kahaa hasti hai teri”

Misra Ghazal – “Ham hai bande ishq ke”

31 Jan 2020, 7:53am
by Rajesh joshi

It was grt refreshing the memories of my Dad’s uncle ,Late master Vasant Amrut of surat, with whom I have spent my childhood days in surat which are cherishable memories.
Txs & regards for u r valuable information.
Rajesh joshi
Kalyan.maharashtra India.

feeling so much happy reading about our great “Master Vasant Amrut”. I lived with him in my very erly life in surat with my parents in surat. such a great man!

Please do…include a link if possible.

18 Aug 2013, 12:07pm
by Ashok Deshpande

Master Vasant is credited as one of the casts of Farebi Jaal (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0156527/), in which case he should be listed as an actor/singer, not sure as a playback singer.

please see page 26 of the issue here


for a very short obituary on master Vasant Amrut

This appeared in a Gujrathi newspaper. I have transliterated it into English.

suresh chandvankar


these records are well known and cut by Gramco in 1929 / 30 and were very popular. Unfortunately, reels of film “Farebi Jaal” are not available to trace whether the same songs from the discs were used in the film or not. Most probably Master Vasat (Amrut of Surat) played a role and sang his songs in the film. In that case, he can’t be a playback singer, but actor-singer in the film.

Dr. Suresh Chandvankar
Hon. Secretary, “Society of Indian Record Collectors”,Mumbai, India
cell – +91 9920813336

15 Aug 2013, 3:54am
by Limsell

Thanks for sharing this amazing collection! i myself am a music collector and every week share two pieces on


This week am going to share Master Vasant’s Bhairavi. As i couldn’t get any info about him from net, was pondering if i could copy his brief introduction from here.


19 Mar 2012, 3:31am
by Dadu Phoenix USA

What a great discovery !! May god bless you. Still I wish you may find more and more treasure from Chor Bazaar or Shahukar Bazaar !! Please and we get good old music..

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