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2010 - week 20, from 15 May – Women of the World (rpt)

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 8:35 pm
by Alan
Listen again via this link from 15 May 2010 11.30pm for 7 days

This week Charlie Gillett's World of Music looks at "Queens of Music"; female performers who are revered with pride, admiration, and often loved in their own countries. Charlie's selection of the admired and adored takes in tunes from Turkey, Argentina, Norway, Zanzibar, South Africa and India's playback singer with 6 decades of music-making behind her. First broadcast Sept 2007.

Full details of playlist and Charlie's original bulletin here ... eptember07 and viewtopic.php?f=42&t=5254

World Service page link

Charlie’s bulletin

We need an alternative word to describe female singers who dominate the musical landscape of their countries. The commonly-used term Diva can imply an arrogant, disdainful and demanding person, which is not necessarily the case with the six women featured in this programme. It certainly didn’t seem to be applicable to the three I’ve met, namely Mari Boine, Miriam Makeba or Asha Bhosle, all of whom were humble, appreciative and ready to laugh.

Whenever I turned on daytime TV during a visit to Turkey in 1994, the screen invariably presented a remarkably good female singer in front of a big orchestra. Sezen Aksu is the most famous of all of them, not only an exceptional singer but a very good and successful song-writer too. ‘O Sensin’ is from her album with Goran Bregovic, in which they revisited the repertoire of Balkan songs that Goran had previously recorded with other singers – this was first recorded for a film soundtrack by Cesaria Evora.

Born in Argentina but revered throughout Spanish-speaking Latin America, Mercedes Sosa is one of those singers whose huge voice is better heard live than on record, but she holds it back very effectively on ‘Milonga por el’, from her album Escondido en mi pais (Hidden in my country).

Marie Boine, the Sami singer from the north of Norway, was reportedly one of the hits of this year’s WOMAD Festival at Charlton Park. Stuck in the mud, I didn’t manage to find her.

Directed by Andy Jones, the film As Old as My Tongue is a funny, touching and revealing documentary about Bi Kidude, the Taraab singer from Zanzibar who is still performing and recording at the age of 90-something years old. She doesn’t always sing in tune, but gets by through a combination of determination and inspiration. The fourth volume in the Zanzibari series brings together her recordings form the past fifteen years or so, including Globestyle’s recording of ‘Ya Laiti’ which works really well.

Miriam Makeba’s extraordinary recording career stretches across more than fifty years, and most of her best records were made in South Africa during the 1950s with the Skylarks vocal group. The Best of the Early Years collects many of them together, but although the sleeve note suggests that ‘Pata Pata’ is the original recording from that period, the album actually uses the 1967 version made in New York with producer Jerry Ragovoy. A top ten hit in America, it’s a rare case of a re-recording improving on the original. Incidentally, a new various artist compilation from Putumayo, World Hits, reverses the error, referring to her 1967 recording in the sleeve note but actually presenting the earlier version. Very confusing!

I have many compilations of recordings by the Indian playback singer Asha Bhosle, but whichever one I play, my ear is always caught by the same song, ‘Chura Liya Hai Tumne’. Asha revisited it very effectively on her recent album with the Kronos Quartet, but here’s the original one more time.

1. Sezen Aksu
Title: O Sensin
Album: The Wedding & The Funeral
Label: Emarcy
Catalogue No: 558 647-2 Country: Turkey
Email/Web Link:

2. Mercedes Sosa
Title: Milonga por El
Album: escondido en mi pais
Label: Polydor
Catalogue No: 533031-2 Country: Argentina
Email/Web Link:

3. Mari Boine
Title: Mu Ustit, Engelid Sogals
Album: Idjagiedas
Label: Emarcy
Catalogue No: 6024 9655 4869 Country: Norway
Email/Web Link:

4. Bi Kidude
Title: Ya Laiti
Album: Zanzibara 4
Label: BUDA
Catalogue No: 806141 Country: Tanzania (Zanzibar)
Email/Web Link:

5. Miriam Makeba
Title: Pata Pata
Album: The Best of Miriam Makeba - The Early Years
Label: Wrasse
Catalogue No: WRASS 088 Country: South Africa
Email/Web Link:

6. Asha Bhosle
Title: Chura Liya Hai Tumne
Album: The Best of Asha Bhosle
Label: Manteca
Catalogue No: MANTCD020 Country: India
Email/Web Link:

Listen again via this link from 15 May 2010 11.30pm for 7 days

Re: 2010 - week 20, from 15 May – Women of the World (rpt)

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 9:12 pm
by judith
Oh...I remember this show so well, and Charlie's comments. I had liked both so much.