From a series of posts I did the week of 13 July 2015-17 July 2015.
Kesarbai Kerkar was born on 13 July in 1892. These beautiful screencaps from a piece on Kesarbai Kerkar featuring her great grand niece, Shalaka Kerkar. Pic 1 includes a photograph of Kesarbai, probably taken in the 1910s (see also X). The song of pic 2 here.
Down South in the land of Tyagaraja, where the prevailing voices always had a chesty timbre, Lata clones sang shrieking into the night in every language. Even Bengali voices, which only a few years earlier reflected the honeyed textures of Kanan Bala, abandoned their inheritance and joined the Lata bandwagon. Raghava Menon (1989) quoted in Cassette Culture: Popular Music and Technology in North India, Peter Manuel.
A particular kind of female voice, best embodied by the Mangeshkar sisters, held sway in India for much of the latter half of the 20th century in so far as film music was concerned. The voices in the 30s and 40s are much more varied (and of course actresses often sang their own songs). In the latter half of the 20th century there are a few scattered singers who have distinctive voices but whose output was limited at least by way of film songs.
Some of the early singers are documented at womenonrecord.
In the photoset 1) The Karnataki sisters, Amirbai and Gauharbai 2) singer and flautist M. Saraswathi 3) Geeta Dutt (well known but not as prolific as the Mangeshkar sisters 4) Kamala Sista and Sharda 5) Chhaya Ganguli.
As always the clothes and styling embody the decade 1) 1930s 2) 1940s 3) 1950s 4) 1960s 5) late 1970s/early 1980s.