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