PEARA SAHEB – A Bio-Discography


By Michael Kinnear

Peara Saheb - A Bio-Discography

Peara Saheb
The Gramophone Company’s First Indian Recordings, 1899-1907, Page 296

There is very little precise or factual information about the life of Peara Saheb. No documentation has been sited to confirm his date of birth or death, but it is generally believed to be c.1870’s to 1940’s.  

Peara Saheb accepted service under H.H. Maharaja  Bahadur Sir Jotendro Mohan Tagore K.C.S.I (Order of the Star) 1831-1908 at Calcutta. He was also one of the influential art patrons of the day.  From the Personal Staff of H.H. Maharajah Prodycat Coomar Tagore (1873-1942), the Maharaj’s adopted son and heir.

Peara Saheb is known to have belonged to the family of late Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the ex-king of Oudh who was a state prisoner at Fort William in Calcutta, built during the early years of the Bengal Presidency of British India. Wajid Ali Shah was exiled from Lucknow to Calcutta and reaching Calcutta on the 12th May 1856 settled at Garden Reach, Matiaburz, to the south of Calcutta.  He returned to Garden Reach following his internment and renamed the area as Matia Burj.  In 1864 he built the Sibtainabad Imambara.

Peara Saheb had his permanent residence at Garden Reach. His postal address being Garden Reach, Matiaburz, Calcutta.

Peara Saheb’s early training in music was from his father, a musician at the court of Wajid Ali Shah and mastered the lighter forms of Hindustani classical music, gazal, thumri and dadra and sang with a high pitched voice. Peara Saheb was one of the most popular male vocalists of his time and a prolific gramophone recording artist, recording on several record labels from 1905 to the mid 1930’s.

Peara Saheb whose very high-pitched voice is reported to have been recorded on cylinders for Dwarkin and Son and H. Bose,as early as 1901.  He remained one of the best selling recording artists for a further twenty-five odd years.

WAJID ALI SHAH  – Last King of Awadh (Oudh State)Wajid Ali Shah, last King of Oudh

Wajid Ali Shah – King of Oudh: Born 1822, died at Matia Burj, Calcutta, 21 September 1887.  His father was Amjad Ali Shah the fourth King of Oudh and his mother, Taj Ara Begum.

Wajid Ali Shah was the second son of Amjad Ali Shah (Ruled 1842-1847) and succeeded his father in 1847 and ruled as Nawab of Awadh (Oudh State) the princely state in the region of Northern India until he was deposed by the annexation of Awadh on the 7th February 1856.

A large number of composers thrived under the lavish patronage of the Nawab rulers. Wajid Ali Shah was not only a munificent patron of music, dance, drama, and poetry, but was himself a gifted composer. He had received vocal training under great Ustads like Basit Khan, Pyar Khan (d.1915), and Jafar Khan. He is widely credited with the revival of Kathak as a major form of classical Indian dance.


Peara Saheb, Biography, The Musicians of India, 1929


Peara Saheb with MedalsPeara Saheb received several gold medals from Mysore, Kashmere, Hyderabad, Bhupal and numerous other Raises (rich) of India – 1926 Catalogue

10″ Gramophone Concert Record – Taken By William Sinkler Darby, 1905
Matrix: 2797h   Catalogue: 2-12920
PEARA SAHEB   Chhabi Dikhla Ja Banke Sawariya
DESH KAWALI    HINDUSTANI  (Courtesy:sunny78rpmmusic)

Peara Saheb - Catalogue, 1926

Peara Saheb – Catalogue, 1926

Program Booklet Peara Saheb Concert, Ripan Theatre, Bombay, 31-1-1926

Program Booklet Peara Saheb Concert, Ripan Theatre, Bombay, 31-1-1926

The Gramophone Company Ltd., Nagri, 1921 Catalogue

The Gramophone Company Ltd., Nagri, 1921 Catalogue
10-inch Double-Sided Hindustani – Peara Saheb
Record Release No. P-Series
P 115 (1905) to P 5017 (1919)

The Gramophone Company Ltd., Nagri, 1921, Page 52

The Gramophone Company Ltd., Nagri, 1921, Page 53 The Gramophone Company Ltd., Nagri, 1921, Page 54 The Gramophone Company Ltd., Nagri, 1921, Page 55 The Gramophone Company Ltd., Nagri, 1921, Page 56 The Gramophone Company Ltd., Nagri, 1921, Page 57


RECORD LABELS issuing recordings by Peara Saheb
Nicole Record, 10-inch – Celluloid Coated Cardboard Discs, 1905
H. Bose’s Record – Cylinders, c.1905-1906
Re-issued as H. Bose’s Record – Pathe, 11-inch, Vertical cut centre start disc 1907, 1908
Gramophone Record, 7-inch, 1905
Gramophone Concert Record, 10-inch 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908 to 1916
Gramophone Monarch Record, 12-inch, 1906, 1907
His Master’s Voice, 10-inch, 1920 to 1923
Zonophone Record, 10-inch, 1924
Ramagraph, 10-inch, 1927
His Master’s Voice (The Twin), 10-inch, 1928 to 1933
Broadcast, 10-inch, 1935
His Master’s Voice, 10-inch, Remastered – 1942

RECORDING EXPERTS for the recording sessions of Peara Saheb
Stephen Carl Porter, The Nicole Record Company Limited, at Calcutta, 1904
Hemendra Mohan Bose, H. Bose’s Records, at Calcutta, c.1904-1906
William Sinkler Darby, The Gramophone & Typewriter, Ltd., at Calcutta, December 1904
William Conrad Gaisberg, The Gramophone & Typewriter, Ltd., at Calcutta, March-April 1906, December, 1906
Frederick William Gaisberg, The Gramophone Co., Ltd., at Calcutta, April 1908
George Walter Dillnutt, The Gramophone Co., Ltd., at Calcutta, 2 Sept-25 Sept 1909, 20 Oct–12 Nov 1910,  25 Jan–21 Feb 1916, 1 Oct-13 Oct 1917 at Beadon Square,  Jan 1921
Max Hampe, The Gramophone Co., Ltd., at Calcutta,  July 1911, Sept-Oct 1911, Dec 1912
Arthur Spottiswood Clarke, The Gramophone Co., Ltd., at Calcutta, late 1913, 1914
The Gramophone Co., Ltd., at Calcutta, Re-Issues, Zonophone – 1924
T.S. Ramchunder & Bros. Bombay, Ramagraph, at Bombay, 1927
Arthur James Twine, The Gramophone Co., Ltd., Calcutta, at Bombay, Feb–Mar 1928
Jesinglal K Metha, The Musical Products Limited, Broadcast, at Bombay, 1935


Peara Saheb, Catalogue

Peara Saheb of Mateabruz, Calcutta
The Gramophone Company’s Indian Recordings,1908-1910, Page 232

Nicole Record, Peara Saheb C. 188C-319  C-188, Nicole Record, Pearay Shaheb, 1905
Naina Se Naina Malao – ZINZOTI – DADRA

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Gramophone Concert Record, Peara Saheb, G.C. 2-12916

2793h  G.C. 2-12916  Gramophone Concert Record, Peara Saheb
Aaj Main Larungi Piya Ko Jane Na – SINDHU BHAIRABI KA WALI

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Gramophone Concert Record, Peara Saheb, 19088669o  G.C. 5-12761, Gramophone Concert Record, Peara Saheb
Tum Bin Kaun Hamari Sudhle – MALKOS TITALA

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His Master's Voice, Peara Saheb, 3471ak, January, 1922

11709r  12-12526, “His Master’s Voice”, Peara Saheb, January 1922

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Ramagraph, Peara Saheb, R. 1020, 1927
5039-ind  R. 1020, Ramagraph, Peara Saheb, 1927
Karle Singar – ASAVARI

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