Munira al-Mahdiyya (1884-1965) is among the earliest female recording artists of Egypt. She was a celebrity during her day and appeared in films, much like Umm Kulthum who, shortly after she began recording, eclipsed nearly all artists in Egypt in terms of popularity. I believe this recording was made ca. 1914. On violin and kanun are two accompanists, one of whom (I assume) joins Munira in singing the last third of the song. The title of the piece translates literally to “adversities tore me apart.” I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to take a little more liberty and say that it could also be “hard times tore me apart,” which sounds a lot like countless blues songs.

The Baidaphon label was an early independent label out of Beirut, Lebanon. Started before 1912 by several members of the Bayda family (including singer Farjallah Bayda, also a Baidaphon talent), the label recorded throughout the Middle East and North Africa, sending their masters to Germany to be manufactured. I’ve been lucky to find Baidaphons from Morocco to Central Asia. The label pictured here is their 1920s design. However, I believe the song is from an early session of al-Mahdiyya’s, so in effect this very well may be a 1920s re-release. Baidaphon, like Odeon and a few other companies, seemed to like the 10.5? record, of which this is an example.

Read more HERE at the Free Music Archive

 

Comments are closed.

News

AP
July 1, 2015 | NPR · Hillary Clinton’s campaign says it raised more than $45 million in its opening quarter. She’s the first major candidate to announce fundraising numbers.
 

Getty Images
July 1, 2015 | WNYC · This week the Christie Tracker podcast headed to Livingston High School for analysis on Gov. Chris Christie’s announcement.
 

AP
July 1, 2015 | NPR · The two countries have agreed to reopen embassies in Washington and Havana. President Obama calls it a historic step forward after 50 years of hostilities.
 

Arts & Life

Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures/The Kobal Collection
July 1, 2015 | NPR · This oral history of the Back to the Future movies offers a wealth of fascinating historical trivia — but critic Genevieve Valentine says it’s carefully broad scope can mean a lack of sharp analysis.
 

HBO
July 1, 2015 | NPR · A flood of some 120 series, both new and returning, are coming to TV sets this summer. So, how to choose which ones to binge-watch by the pool? Our TV critic picks his four favorite new shows.
 

AFP/Getty Images
June 30, 2015 | NPR · Step up your summer grilling game by re-creating the ancient Peruvian way of cooking meat underground in your own backyard. It’s called pachamanca, and it yields incredibly moist and smoky morsels.
 

Music

Youtube
July 1, 2015 | NPR · The indie rock band sets “The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box” in an over-the-top Game of Thrones-inspired world.
 

Courtesy of the artist
July 1, 2015 | NPR · Before its tour with Modest Mouse, the band releases a mysterious, surprising, fatalistic new song.
 

Courtesy of the artist
June 30, 2015 | WBGO+JAZZ.org · The saxophonist’s latest album is dedicated to the memory of his 6-year-old daughter, killed in the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. His quartet performs the genre-spanning music in concert.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab