Gauhar Jaan

Archive of Indian Music1873/1930

Archive of Indian Music

Archive of Indian Music
Bangalore, India

The first artist of the sub-continent to record on the gramophone commercially in November 1902, Gauhar Jaan was a diva and a super-star of her times. Born an Armenian Christian and baptized as Eileen Angelina Yeoward, she converted to Islam and established herself as a leading vocalist of Calcutta. She devised the wondrous formula of compressing Hindustani music to the 3 minute capsule, which is all that a single-side of a record could hold. She ended all her recordings with the loud announcement ‘My name is Gauhar Jaan!’ Feisty and hedonistic, she threw lavish parties and drove around Calcutta in horse driven buggies for which she even paid a hefty fine to the British Government as commoners were not allowed to ride horse buggies! Gauhar’s photographs appeared on picture post-cards of the time and also on match-boxes made in Austria. In her illustrious career she cut close to 600 records in over 12 languages that included Hindustani, Bengali, Urdu, Arabic, Sanskrit, Katchi and even English and French! Later in life, she sought refuge in the Mysore court under the patronage of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and died there as a state guest in January 1930. Gauhar Jaan sings the evergreen Dadra ‘Aan Baan Jiya Mein Laagi’ set in Raag Gara and in Hindustani language. Don’t miss her announcing loudly at the end of the recording: her characteristic signature ‘My name is Gauhar Jaan!’


  • Title: Gauhar Jaan
  • Creator: Archive of Indian Music
  • Date: 1873/1930
  • Location: Kolkata

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