Radiodiffusion Internasionaal Annexe

احمد ظاهر
September 11, 2021, 4:20 am
Filed under: Afghanistan



Ahmad Zahir was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. Among the people of Afghanistan, he is considered an icon of Afghani music and is widely regarded as the “Greatest Afghan Singer of all time” or the “Elvis of Afghanistan”.

He learned to play various musical instruments including the harmonium, guitar and accordion – his favorite instrument – by the time he was 16 years old. His privileged and affluent background (his father, Abdul Zahir, was an ambassador, a minister, and later the Prime Minister of Afghanistan) gave him the opportunity to travel and become exposed to the burgeoning musical revolution of the 60s and 70s occurring in the United States, Europe and India – where he studies for two years. He was an avid listener of all genres of music and he incorporated elements of Western (pop, rock, jazz), Indian, Middle Eastern (Arabic, Iranian), European (French and Italian belle chanson, Spanish Flamenco) and Afghan Folk in his songs.

After his death, Zahir was considered a national hero. His tomb was destroyed by the Taliban in the late 1990s, but was reconstructed as recently as 2018 by fans who have established a foundation in his name in hopes of continuing his legacy.[Source]

If you wish to learn more about Ahmad Zahir, be sure to check out his website – – where you can find an extensive biography as well as  23 albums of music that you can stream for free.

The Spanish label Guerssen has released two compilations of Ahmad Zahir’s music, and that label’s subsidiary Pharaway Sounds released the third volume.

PLEASE NOTE: Whereas the song titles were translated from the cassette cover posted above, the legitimacy of the titles is somewhat questionable. As you can see in the artwork, the last song on side one and the last song on side two have the same title – which translates to “Song” in English. I have another cassette from this label, and the last song on side one is also “Song”.

Many thanks to Mark Gergis for translating the song titles.

Catalog number M-624 on MMC of Peshawar, Pakistan. No release date listed.

Orchestre Centrafrican Jazz
September 4, 2021, 4:37 am
Filed under: Central African Republic

Zia Ti Toto

Unlike the last record I posted from there – which no one seems to agree on where it actually is from – this record is definitely from the Central African Republic.

Orchestre Centrafrican Jazz was founded by Prosper Mayélé in 1963. The band would go on to record almost two dozen singles – most of which were for the Disques France Afrique label.

Matthew Lavoie wrote an extensive history of the band for the Voice of America website that you can find HERE.

Catalog number L.G.V.D. 1054 on Disques France Afrique of Bangui, Central African Republic. No release date listed.

Kor Keokampha / ກ. ແກ້ວກ່ຳພ້າ / ก. แก้วกำพร้า
August 28, 2021, 7:35 pm
Filed under: Laos

Pleng Mak Ka Rok / ເກາະເງິນຂ້ອຍຈົນໝົດ / เพลงหมากกะหรอก

Every once in a while, there’s a record that connects the dots. 

I knew there had to be rock ‘n’ roll in Laos, being that it is located between Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. But that was only a theory until I stumbled upon the Chanthara Outhensackda single purely by accident. I thought it was Thai, and it wasn’t until I tried to get it translated that I found out it was Lao. I’ve found two other songs by Chanthara Outhensackda since then, but that was it. It seemed like a dead end. Then, I picked up the K. Viseth single. While not really a rock ‘n’ roll record, it was interesting due to the fact that it was recorded in Thai instead of Lao – but the title on the record was listed in Lao.

And now we have this record by Kor Keokampha. The song is sung in Thai and listed on the record in Thai. But the record label – which is the same as the K. Viseth record – is Lao. The label is ວົງດົນຕຣີຣາບອາກາສວັງວຽງ which translates to: Vang Vieng Paratroopers Band.

The Vang Vieng Paratroopers Band was founded in 1966 by bandleader Col. Phengkiaw Suvath, along with songwriter Lt. Sanong Ounvong (a.k.a. ‘Mi Dam’). Vang Vieng was a center  of defense for the right-wing Royal Lao Government against the communist Lao People’s Liberation Army during the country’s civil war, and the Vang Vieng Paratroopers were part of the CIA-backed operation to that effect. They recorded at the studios of Lao National Radio and played a major role in the popularization of Lao Ban-na music – which was largely inspired by Thai Luk Thung. K. Viseth had a massive hit with “Thai Dam Lam Phan” in neighboring Thailand – where it was covered by Buppha Saichon – and by 1970 had defected there. The group was most active between 1968 and 1972, and had been performing across the border in Thailand as early as 1969, following K. Viseth’s success. Kor Keokampha was apparently the band’s successor after K. Viseth’s defection. [Source]

This single was most likely recorded after K. Viseth’s 1969 hit, with the band’s / label’s hopes of continuing their success in the Thai market. The song title “Pleng Mak Ka Rok” / “ເກາະເງິນຂ້ອຍຈົນໝົດ” / “เพลงหมากกะหรอก” translates to “Gambling by Shaking the Dice”, which would explain that bit at the beginning of the song. It was written by Udomsak Khampon (a.k.a. ‘Sak Udomphon’), under the name ‘Sgt. Khamkhom Mueangnakhon’. He was from Lampang in Northern Thailand but apparently crossed the border to enlist with the Vang Vieng Paratroopers and wrote several songs in Lao while stationed with them. [Source]

If you would like to listen to more music by Kor Keokampha there is a playlist on YouTube that you can find HERE.

Many thanks to the amazing Peter Doolan of Monrakplenthai for translation and detective work / research about this record.

Released by ວົງດົນຕຣີຣາບອາກາສວັງວຽງ of Vang Vieng, Laos. No catalog number or release date listed.

Abdou El Omari
August 22, 2021, 5:34 am
Filed under: Morocco

عبده العماري

For the 300th post, I wanted something special.

I have posted records by Morocco’s Abdou El Omari twice before – once for his first single and once with Naïma Samih. Since those postings, Radio Martiko has reissued his first two solo albums as well as an album of material he recorded with Naïma Samih – all three of which were originally recorded for the legendary Disques GAM label. But there is another album of material that has not been reissued: This cassette only release. 

Cassettes are the last frontier for archivists / bloggers / collectors. Unlike vinyl – which had to be pressed – cassettes could be produced anywhere by pretty much anyone. And in many places they were more popular than vinyl since cassette players are more portable than turntables. But there is a lot less information of what’s out there.

Catalog number SH 1008 on Sawt El Hassania of Casablanca, Morocco. No release date listed.

Ghirmai Kidane with Orchestra “I Cobra”
August 14, 2021, 12:55 pm
Filed under: Eritrea

Kit – Telmini – Diki

Compared to the other records that I have posted from Eritrea, this one is more Western sounding.

Ghirmai Kidane (AKA Wedi Filipo) and his Orchestra “I Cobra” only released two singles. This one is the only known recording released by an Italian film company, while the other being an entry in Esso‘s world-wide campaign of musicians promoting their petroleum products.

Catalog number CL1 / 2G0KW 16642 on Cinelux of Italy. Released 1970.

20th Century Deterioration
August 8, 2021, 7:17 am
Filed under: Pakistan

Sindhi Move

When I was working on the Pakistan: Instrumental Folk & Pop Sounds 1966-1976 compilation, I remember seeing the name of this band listed on a website  somewhere. At that point, I had not seen a record by them and just assumed that there was no way that EMI Pakistan would have released anything by a band with a name like that. I was dead wrong. They released three.

The band was led by Mohammed Yousuf who also played organ in The Mods as well as being the principle composer and arranger for The Abstracts.

Catalog number EKDE-20008 on His Master’s Voice of Pakistan. Released 1972.

Les Pépitos et Leur Ensemble
August 1, 2021, 5:36 am
Filed under: Réunion

Bada Badounnba Oh ! Ya

This is one of those records where you have to wonder, did the guitarist show up for the wrong recording session? Or did the guy they were going to have play guitar not show up, and they grabbed someone else at the last minute. Who knows? But records like this is what I live for.

Les Pépitos – also seen listed as Pépitos Sound – recorded a total of nine singles. With the exception on one recorded for Disques Capricorne of Mauritius – the rest were for Disques Issa. Another song off this single – “B. B. Gasy” – was featured on Strut‘s compilation entitled Alefa Madagascar.

Catalog number 15014 on Disques Issa of Saint-Denis, Réunion. No release date listed.

Vilma Valera
July 25, 2021, 3:55 am
Filed under: Philippines

I Got You (I Feel Good)

Vilma Valera‘s career started off with being the second runner-up winner in the 1961 Miss Press Photography of the Philippines pageant. The following year, she was discovered by Alfonso Carvajal and had a role in the film Bakit Ka Nagtampo? Her biggest role was in 1964 in the movie, Salambao with Eddie Rodriguez, Sylvia Gumabao and Van de León. Besides acting, she recorded a handful of singles – all of which were covers of American songs. This James Brown cover was included in the soundtrack to the film Boogaloo.

Catalog number JRS-2051 on Jonal Records of the Philippines. Released 1968.

هاني مهنى
July 18, 2021, 5:37 am
Filed under: Egypt

Rawaeaa El Mossika 15

Ala Waraq Solefan

Hany Mehanna – also seen spelled: Hani Mahani, Hani Mehanna, Hani Mhana, Hani Mhanna, Hanni Mehanna and Hani Muhanna – is an Egyptian composer, organist and a player of the accordion. He is also a producer and in 1977 he established his own record company, – Golden Cassette for Art Production. In 1988 he established his own studio, Golden Sound Studios in Cairo.

These two songs are from the soundtrack to the 1973 film titled الدوامه / Al Dawama – which translates to The Whirlpool. The song titles are not listed on the single, but these songs appeared on other releases by Hany Mehana. “Rawaeaa El Mossika 15”  was on his cassette entitled Rawaeaa El Mossika Part One and “Ala Waraq Solefan” was on Rawaeaa El Mossika Part Two. The B side is “بدوية” / “Badaouiah” and can also be found on the recently reissued The Miracles Of The Seven Dances.

Catalog number 31-74146 / ٧٤١٤٦-٣١ on Sout El Hob of Cairo, Egypt, released 1974

Nalino Nel
July 11, 2021, 6:21 am
Filed under: Sri Lanka

Girls in Ladies Bus

The pop music of Sri Lanka is unlike anything heard on Earth. Whereas you can hear influences from neighboring India, there are many other cultures that have left their mark.

Probably the best – if not only – compilation of the music of that country would be Akuphone‘s “Sri Lanka : The Golden Era of Sinhalese & Tamil Folk-pop Music“. That compilation contains the title track from the lone single recorded by Nalino Nel: “Gavaskar The Century Maker“.

I have not been able to find any further information about Nalino Nel. If you have any information, please leave it in the comments below.

Catalog number 2296 – 0399 on Inreco of Kolkata, India. Released 1979.