The Frontier Trading Company, Peshawar
History from ‘The 78 rpm Record Labels of India’
by Michael Kinnear, 2nd Edition Published 2016
by Michael Kinnear
“Banga-Phone” Record – Blue Label Series – Pushto and Gurmukhi
“Banga-Phone” Record – Green Label Series, Kashmiri
In 1932, The Gramophone Co., Ltd., in India introduced a scheme known as ‘Private Recorders’ whereby local talking machine and record traders could have discs produced by the company, on their own labels.
Amongst the ‘Private Recorders’ were Janki Nath Kumar & Bros., of Lahore (“Jien-o-phone Record”); The Frontier Trading Co., of Peshawar (“Banga-phone Record”); Bajaj & Co., of Peshawar (“Gulshan”) the West End Phono, of Lahore (“New Excelsior Record”) and a couple of smaller traders.
One of the traders to participate in this scheme were Gurdit Singh and Jiwan Singh Banga, trading as The Frontier Trading Co., of Peshawar. The label introduced by the Banga brothers, in 1934, was the “Banga-Phone Record” which included Kashmiri, Pushto, Gurmukhi and Persian repertoires.
From 1932 through to 1946, recording sessions of performers from the North-West Frontier Provinces, of Persian, Pushto, Kashmiri, Multani and Afghani repertoires, were essentially organised by The Frontier Trading Co., of Peshawar. The recording sessions were usually held at Delhi or Lahore and issued on the “Banga-Phone” label, with additional releases being made through to 1945.
In 1936, Messrs. Bajaj and Co., of Peshawar, joined the ‘Private Recorders’ scheme and introduced Persian and Pushto recordings on their ‘Gulshan’ label.
In 1942, The Gramophone Co., Ltd., acquired a record factory at Chehharta, near Amritsar, which supplemented the supply of discs from the Dum Dum factory intended for the North-west region. By 1947, the Chehharta factory had been abandoned.
With the partition of India in 1947 into the separate countries of India and Pakistan, the catalogues of both The Frontier Trading Co., “Banga-Phone Record” and Bajaj & Co., ‘Gulshan’ label rights to the recordings were acquired by The Gramophone Co., Ltd., with the most popular selections being reissued on the “His Master’s Voice” label in 1949.
From: ‘The 78 rpm Record Labels of India’, Pages 19, 20
by Michael Kinnear
**There are several unidentified recording artists included in this discography as the recording registers and published catalogues and supplements, with details of the performers names, had not been kept or have long since been destroyed or lost. Another “Private Recorder” ledger was used for this period but only detailed the matrix numbers and coupling numbers. **
“HIS MASTER’S VOICE” Record Catalogue, July 1949.
The complete list of Punjabi, Gurmukkhi, Multani, Sindhi, Bagri, Pushto, Persian (Afghani) and Kashmeri Records of July 1949.
Includes the fifty reissues from: ‘Banga-Phone’ N-30501 to N-30550 series and some reissues from ‘Gulshan’ N-30601- to N-30665 series
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