78 RPM Sephardic Recordings – Notes

(1) Salomon Algazi, also known as Bülbüli Salomon or "the Nightingale", (d. 1930) was from a distinguished rabbinical family in Izmir. He was also the father of the famed hazan Isaac Algazi (1889-1950) Dorn, 1991; Seroussi, 1989

In fact, there is occasional confusion about which recordings should be credited to Isaac Algazi and which to his father. Isaac Algazi's name in Hebrew was Isaac ben Salomon (Algazi.) Further, a Gramophone recording session log sheet from 1909 lists the artist "Isaac Salomon Efendi" for a recording credited in the catalog to Salomon Algazi. This question will take further research to untangle.

(2) Vernon, 1994.

(3) Vernon, 1997b and private communication.

(4) Kalyviotis, 1994; Strötbaum.

(5) Gronow, 1981.

(6) With respect to Smyrna, "From 1909 onwards, sales of phonographs and records seem to have become widespread in the city. The famous shop of Paul Blumberg, with its clock suspended above the pavement of Francomahala Street was among the establishments where phonographs and records could be purchased by the wealthier citizens of the city. Kalyviotis concludes that the sale of musical instruments, gramophones, and records was conducted, for the most part, not by Turks but by Armenians, Greeks, Italians, Jews, and Germans."

Accessed October 3, 2008.

(7) Strötbaum.

(8) Turkey's Musical Life During the Past Century: History, Genres, Voice Recordings, Sectoral Structure (by  Melih Duygulu and Cemal Ünlü.)
Accessed September 28, 2008.

(9) Seroussi, 2008.

(10) Strötbaum.

(11) "In Greece, 1,000 copies of each new title seems to be the average..." Vernon, 1994.

"…on minor markets, record companies were quite satisfied with the sale of a few thousand copies of each record issued. Many certainly sold less."; Gronow, 1981.

(12) After years of research, only two cases have come to my attention of Sephardic 78s collected by non-Sephardic families during the 78 era itself. One was the collector Benedict Stambler, see here for his details. In the other, the late collector Dino Pappas told me his family once owned a Haim Effendi 78, which he tossed onto a shellac drive pile during World War II! (The confined circulation of the 78 rpm recordings was also confirmed by Dorn, in a private communication.) By contrast, Sephardic family collections intersperse Hebrew and Judeo-Spanish 78s with numerous Turkish, Greek and other recordings.

(13) The exception were two recordings by Alberto della Pergola. See here and here for more information.

(14) As one example, in 1926 a Mr. Sheard from the Gramophone Company was touring Constantinople as part of a larger commercial tour. He proposed a handsome budget for new Turkish recordings, to meet stiff competitive activities in the local market (Vernon, 1997a.)

(15) Marco, 1993; Gronow, private communication.

(16) Sutton, 1998.

(17) Gronow, 1981.

(18) Gronow, 1981.

(19) Albert Pincas recorded Leha Eli and Koaneha and other Sephardic liturgical pieces for the Ultraphon label in Berlin in mid-1930. We have no indications whether these song titles were ever commercially released (Dr. Rainer E. Lotz, private communication.)

(20) Hirshberg, 1995; Zefira.

(21) In the notes for a 2-LP set of re-releases and later material, she wrote, "Every song featured on these records, though faithful to the original, is in the nature of a new piece of work. After undergoing arrangement, it is no longer a folk-tune in the generally accepted sense, but an art-song."

(22) Seroussi, 1993.

(23) Spottswood, 1990.

(24) Harold Hagopian; Joel Ackerman, private communications.

(25) M. Jack Mayesh, personal communication. However, the 1948 timing does not fit with the Me-Re label history as reported in other accounts. Perhaps it is possible the trip came earlier.

(26) Dorn, 1991.

(27) Rosa Eskenazi engages in an uncredited dialog in Judeo-Spanish with Greek recording artist Giorgos Vidalis before his version of the song Evreopoula (Jewish Girl) on Odeon (the late Dino Pappas, private correspondence.)

(28) Boehm.

Copyright 2008 - 2012, Joel Bresler

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