Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tribute! Angur Bala Devi

Angur Bala was born in the village of Indas of Burdwan district of undivided Bengal but her date of birth is uncertain. She was the daughter of Bijoli Bhushan Bannerjee who was an army officer and Angurbala received primary education in her village with scholarship showing that apart from singing and acting talents, she was also a good student. Nevertheless she had to quit formal education and had to join the stage and films at an early age for reasons of poverty. Her first training in music was from Mr. Amulya Majumder, who was a friend of her father. Later on she was given music lessons by Ustad Jeet Prasad. Khayal and Thumri lessons were provided by Ustad Ram Prasad Mishra. Ustad Jamiruddin Khan also taught her Thumris. At the age of eight she entered the stage under the guidance of dramatist Nripendra Chandra Basu in dancing and singing roles. Soon the Gramophone Company of India invited her to record songs. Kaala Tor Tarey Kadamtolay Cheye Thaki and Bandho Na Torikhani Amar E Nadikuley were her first two songs to be published as records. The record number was P 4721. Thereafter she became a regular with HMV cutting innumerable discs. 1923 was the year when her first film, a silent one Indrasabha was released. Her first talkie was Jamuna Puliney (1933)in which she played the role of Brindey. Soon she made her presence felt in singing roles in films like Radha Krishna (1933), Char Darvesh (1933), Naseeb Ka Chakkar (1936), Maa Ki Mamta (1936), Abartan (1936), Indira (1937)_, Devjani (1939)_ and several other films in many different Indian languages like Urdu, Tamil and Telugu.  

Angur Bala sings amar jiban nadir opare

As a record artiste also her popularity hit the sky and she was specially invited by The Nizam of Hyderabad to sing in court. In one of the discs during this period, her photo was printed on one side of a record with the photo of Hyderabad's Nizam on the other. That was the extent she impressed the Nizam with her songs and earned his respect. Her stage performances continued at the same time and her songs were a source of major attraction for all those who queued up for tickets of the plays. For the radio she started to sing from the very first day broadcasting was started. Her first song over the radio was Nithura Nagara Shyam. Her association with Najrul Islam broadened her field and she recorded several songs of Nazrul gradually achieving the status of a major exponent of such songs. She quit acting long back but never lost touch with music which was her first love.

Angur Bala Devi sing Ganguli (78 rpm) - Nazrul Geeti

Apart from a Gold disc from HMV, she was given the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award from Delhi and honorary D.Litt from Kalyani University. Angurbala was popularly known as Sangeet Samragyee or empress of the Music World along with contemporary artiste Miss Indubala,who was also her close personal friend. A documentary film, titled Teen Kanya featuring her along with two other artistes namely Indubala and _Kamala Jharia_ was made in 1972. She was appointed Nazrul music trainer by HMV. Even in advanced age she participated in music functions and gave public performances. About eighteen months before her death she suffered from a stroke that caused loss of memory. The end came on the seventh day of January, 1984. Her foster son Mr Amal Banerjee and his wife were present when she breathed her last.

Source: IMDb Mini Biography By: Dr. Jyoti Prakash Guha


  1. Angur bala devi ekon o beche achen . uni ekti old age home e achen .

  2. Old age home e achen last 25 years . Kindly sabai onar pase ese daran.