2021-09-16T10:41:18+02:00September 16th, 2021|

The production of Kayaphon (in Arabic: Kāyā fūn) had no proven commercial purpose: it only existed for the purpose of publishing the recordings of the Club of Aden (al-Nadwa al- ʿAdaniyya), a free association of artists and writers chaired by Ḫalīl Muḥammad Ḫalīl (a singer), Muḥammad ʿAbdu Ġānim (a poet and scholar) and Sālim Bā Madhaf (scholar and historian).

Founded in 1948, this club, which continued its activities for ten years, had chosen to produce music on a voluntary basis and to distribute it free of charge, in particular on the radio from 1954.

This association was supported by a cultural and political, patriotic awakening of the intellectual and artistic elites of Aden, which explains this militant spirit. The record numbers follow the abbreviation RKA, probably for Record Kayaphon Aden. The labels are royal blue. Still according to the militant spirit of the Club, its founders refused to include the musician’s name on every record.

Source: journals.openedition.org



2021-09-15T17:15:04+02:00September 15th, 2021|

Tahaphon was founded by Ṭaha Muḥammad Ḥamūd, the brother of Ǧaʿfar Muḥammad Ḥamūd, after the JAFFERPHON company ceased in 1953.

Ṭaha Muḥammad Ḥamūd also owned several cinemas (like his father and grandfather) and had founded several local radio stations that existed before Radio Aden. The covers and labels of this company, especially their graphics, indicate a later period than the previous ones, certainly after the war: for the first time, a Yemeni company has a figurative logo, a roaring lion, and it was a photo.

The numbers listed in the CPMY catalog range from 0 to 270 (one number for each side), resulting in a production of around 135 records.

The label ceased approx. in 1956.

Source: journals.openedition.org




2021-09-15T16:58:49+02:00September 15th, 2021|

JAFFERPHON was a record label from Yemen starting in the 1930s until 1953.

The Jafferphon company which was created in the name of a Sayyid Ǧaʿfar and sons, is the result of the industrial and commercial adventure of a remarkable family who had played a great role in the introduction of modern forms of entertainment to Aden: the grandfather, the sayyid Ḥamūd Ḥasan al ‑ Hāšimī, who came from Muḫa and settled in Aden in the ʿAydarūs district, introduced silent cinema there in 1911. In 1925, he and his son Muḥammad had marketed the first gramophones in Aden and the first imported Arab and foreign records, that is to say the very year of the arrival of electricity.

Through his son Muḥammad, Ḥamūd had, among many others, two grandsons, one named Ǧaʿfar, and the other Ṭaha. The first family-controlled record company therefore took the name Ǧaʿfar, one of the elders, as Ǧaʿfar fūn (English: JAFFERPHON).

The imprint of the founder, the grandfather, nicknamed “Master Ḥamūd” persisted for a very long time, as shown by the numerous vocal announcements at the beginning of the recording, mentioning him in this somewhat enigmatic form: “Master Ḥamūd”.

Unlike Aden Crown, JAFFERPHON managed to continue his activities beyond the war, despite the transport difficulties caused by the war, and even after the war. In the series of numbers there is clearly a gap between 526 and 1024. This break in the digital series therefore seems to mark a stop between two temporal periods of production: one clearly linked , it seems, before the war and the other rather after the war (resumption of the publication of records in 1950 pubishing about 200 records (Nr. 1024 – 1236)). This cut would therefore have been caused by World War II, which is very plausible. 

Source: journals.openedition.org




2021-09-15T17:15:23+02:00September 15th, 2021|

ADEN CROWN was a local company created by Ali al ‑ Ṣāfī and his brothers, between around 1937 and 1938. It was the first purely Yemeni company.

The overall production of this company was quite large: around 1,220 records. But obviously she did not continue the activities during the war. As the masters had to be sent to England by boat, and the pressed disks had to be sent back to Aden as well, this was made very difficult by the dangers of navigation from 1940. It can therefore be assumed that ADEN CROWN ceased her activities at this time.

There have been two types of labels. But these two series do not seem to be distinguished by a different chronology (although the second is rather located in the last issues), they rather seem to be parallel or partly overlap, at least one number has both a blue and a black version (# 1008).:

  • golden writing on a light blue background: Nr. 1003 – 1063
  • white writing on a black background: Nr. 1008 – 1213.

Like Odeon, ADEN CROWN therefore devoted himself mainly to solo vocals accompanied by the lute, sometimes also accompanied by a violin; there is little percussion (the recording technique is not yet suitable), and very little rural music.

Following the two important pioneer companies that were Odeon and Aden Crown, but also Parlophon whose activity was more limited, several local companies will follow, in particular Jafferphon and Tahaphon. Their names are evidently based on the model of the Parlophon company or on that of the Lebanese company Baidaphon (founded in 1905).

Source: journals.openedition.org






2019-11-27T14:43:01+01:00November 14th, 2019|

The Chakmakchi Company had offices and a showroom on the prestigious and bustling Rashid Street in Baghdad, along with a satellite office in Mosul.

If we are to take the name literally, “chakmakchi” in standard Turkish means “maker of lighters” or “flint stone maker.” However, this is simply the surname of the proprietors, one of whom we know was named Arif Chakmakchi.

At any rate, this small company got into the 78rpm business in the early 50s and only released at most about 200-300 recordings on their Chakmakchi Phon label.

Since the Persian Gulf region did not have a 78rpm pressing plant at the time, Chakmakchi outsourced their early pressings to Sweden of all places, and their later pressings to Greece.

Source: Excavated Shellac


Hed Arzi

2019-12-16T13:35:26+01:00November 14th, 2018|

The company was founded in Tel Aviv in 1946 as a partnership of Zvi Levin (also known as Hirsch Lewin) with Josef Grossman, Alexander Borowitz and Ephraim Ruttenberg. Mr. Levin was an emigrant from Berlin where he owned and operated a bookshop and recording label Semer (from the Hebrew “Zemer”, meaning song). The Semer label operated from approximately 1932 until the recording masters and inventory were smashed and burned during Kristallnacht.

Hed-Arzi started operating in September 1947, managed by Ephraim Felix Rzeczynski, making it the oldest recording company in Israel (followed by Makolit in Jaffa, Tslil in Tel-Aviv and others).

In 1951, company started building a plant in Ramat-Gan.

In 1980, 50% share was sold to Modi’in Publishing House, ltd. (the parent company of the newspaper Maariv), since 1993 owned by Israel Land Development Company, ltd.

Source: Wikipedia


2022-03-30T12:37:47+02:00Oktober 30th, 2018|

Baidaphon is one of the oldest locally owned record companies in the Middle East. It was established by the Baida Family in Beirut during the first decade of the 20th century, with the help of their brother Michel (who worked in Berlin as a doctor and was able to arrange a manufacturing deal from a Germany company) and their two cousins Butrus and Jibran. Farajallah was an early Lebanese recording artist, and was uncle to the singer ايليا بيضا (Eliyya Baida).

The company’s first recordings were made by transporting talent to Berlin, but the records were shipped back to Beirut for sale. The earliest evidence of sales in Beirut are documented to 1907 although the label may have been operating earlier. Recording in Lebanon, with the help of European engineers, began the same year. Its operating soon began to spread throughout the Arabic world, and by the mid 20s had offices as far west as Tunisia and as far east as Iran. There also had a mail order business located in Berlin which sold items to the European as well as North and South American markets.

With the outbreak of World War II, Baidaphon no longer was able to rely on most of their European pressing plants, however they were able to make a deal in neutral Switzerland, and many Baidaphon releases from the war period are noted as being manufactured by the Swiss.

Early labels from the company carried the phrase Baida Record until Baidaphon began to appear around 1911. The Baidaphon name was also accompanied by the new logo of the label which featured a prancing Gazelle.

ِAfter the death of Butrus Baida in the early 1930s, the remaining partners began to split apart and the company took on a new partner Mohamed Abdel Wahab who helped transform the Egyptian brach of the Company into Cairophon Records in the 1940s, while Baidaphon continued in the Levant and North Africa.

Source: Discogs