Filed under: Egypt
♬ Umm Kulthum • Amber of the Nile
♬ Saïd Darwish • Arabesque
There’s been more than a few records that I have posted on this site that have made me question who the intended audience was when it was released. This one is right up front about it. It’s says it right there on the cover: “a holiday souvenir”.
But one of the most annoying things about this record is that there are no artists listed. I have seen another version of this release that did list who did what songs, and I happened to have written down that Saïd Darwish was credited for the version or Arabesque… But the other track – which did not write down – required a bit more research
Eventually, I had Hany Zaki play name that tune for me. On the record, the track is listed as Amber of the Nile, but it is actually an excerpt from a much longer piece by Umm Kulthum called Lelit Hob, or Night of Love. Kulthum – who has almost as many variations on her name as Muammar al-Gaddafi – was know as the Star of the East (kawkab el-sharq). More than three decades after her death, she is still recognized as one of the Arab world‘s most famous and distinguished singers of the 20th century. But also of note was that the legendary Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid – who I believe is the guitarist on this track – got his start playing in her orchestra.