Khaiyyam – Shamshad Begum Collaboration
Back to Legends – Shamshad Begum
“I didn’t do much work with her though I did record some songs which didn’t see the light of day for various reasons. But I knew her. Her voice was one of its kind and her enunciation was wonderfully clear. She commanded a lot of respect both at the personal and professional level.
We used to have small and big budget films even then. Shamshad was ever willing to oblige, even if we approached her for a small film and pay her less than the fee she commanded. She will always be remembered as the singer who never made excuses to cancel recordings, as one who did her work wonderfully well. She had quite a personality, yet she shied away from publicity — you’d never see her getting photographed or written about.
She had worked with all the popular composers of her day and was quite the ruling queen for three decades. It is the sign of her good upbringing that despite tremendous success, she was never arrogant. She had everything that life could offer, yet she was always down-to-earth. She was also extremely cooperative, a quality she shared with Mohammad Rafi.
What can I say about her songs — each number she touched became a hit. She was very popular in Punjabi films too. Till today, people speak of her with awe and respect. She never indulged in politics or troubled anyone. One never heard her criticize anybody and she was very jovial too.
She sang quite a lot with Ghulam Haider whom we consider the prophet of film music. Shamshad and Haider’s wife, Amrozia Begum were very good friends. They even sang together and gave performances on All India Radio and Lahore Radio.”