Filed under: Lebanon
Prior to the Civil War in 1975, Lebanon enjoyed a period of relative calm and prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture, and banking. At that time, it was considered one of the banking capitals of Western Asia, which some even referred to as the “Switzerland of the East“. The country also attracted large numbers of tourists, so much to the point that the capital city of Beirut became known as the “self-proclaimed Paris of the East.”
From the late Sixties up until the Civil War, Lebanon was the center of music for most of the region. Musicians from Egypt, Syria and even Armenia came to Lebanon to record and perform there. A handful of record labels sprung up, and even for a short while the country had it’s own pressing plant – Société Libanaise du Disque. During this time, there were concerts and festivals featuring artists from all over the world, including Charles Aznavour, Joan Baez, Gilbert Bécaud, Dalida, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Julio Iglesias, Mireille Mathieu and many more
I do know that this record is from Lebanon. But as for Jacques Kodjian, I am not so sure. I do know he was of Armenian descent, but whether or not he was born in Armenia or Lebanon is unclear. Besides being a pianist, composer and conductor, he also ran his own record label “JK” and worked with other Armenians in Lebanon. When the Lebanese Civil War started, he left for America. There, he worked with Adiss Harmandyan. In 1996, Jacques Kodjian performed in New York City accompanying the Shushi Armenian Dance Ensemble.
Many thanks to Hany Zaki for the information.