Surinder Kaur (Punjabi: ਸੁਰਿੰਦਰ ਕੌਰ) was a Punjabi singer-songwriter. She sang mainly Punjabi folk songs, where she is credited for pioneering and popularising the genre and later was known as the ‘Nightingale of Punjab’. She also sang songs in some Hindi movies as playback singer, between 1948 and 1952.
In an illustrious career spanning nearly six decades, her repertoire included Punjabi Sufi Kafis of Bulleh Shah and verses by contemporary poets like Nand Lal Noorpuri, Amrita Pritam, Mohan Singh and Shiv Kumar Batalvi giving memorable songs like, maavan ‘te dheean, jutti kasuri paireen na poori, madhaniyan, ehna akhiyan ‘ch pavan kiven kalra and ghaman di raat lammi hai jan mere geet lamme ne. In time her wedding songs, most notably lathe di chadar, suhe ve cheere waleya and kaala doria, became an indelible part of Punjabi culture.
Surinder Kaur made her professional debut with a live performance on Lahore Radio in August 1943, and the following year on 31 August 1943, she and her elder sister, Parkash Kaur cut their first duet, “maavan ‘te dheean ral baithian”, for the HMV label, emerging as superstars across the Indian subcontinent.
Following Punjab’s 1947 owing to partition of India, Kaur and her parents relocated to Ghaziabad, Delhi, next she married Prof. Joginder Singh Sodhi, a lecturer in Punjabi literature at Delhi University. Recognising her talent, her husband became her support system, and soon she started a career as a playback singer in Hindi film industry in Bombay, introduced by music director, Ghulam Haider. Under him she sang three songs in the 1948 film Shaheed, including Badnam Na Ho Jaye Mohabbat Ka Fasaana, Aanaa hai tho aajaao and Taqdeer ki aandhi…hum kahaan aur thum kahaan. Her true interest however lay in stage performances and reviving Punjabi folk songs, and she eventually moved back to Delhi in 1952
Surinder Kaur Biography
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