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2007 - week 38 - from 22 Sept - Women of the World

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:21 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Sezen Aksu - O Sensin - Wedding & Funeral - Turkey - Emarcy - 558 647-2

2 - Mercedes Sosa - Milonga por El - escondido en mi pais - Argentina - Polydor - 533031-2

3 - Mari Boine - Mu Ustit, Engelid Sogals - Idjagiedas - Norway - Emarcy - 6024 9655 4869

4 - Bi Kidude - Ya Laiti - Zanzibara 4 - Tanzania (Zanzibar) - BUDA - 806141

5 - Miriam Makeba - Pata Pata - The Best of Miriam Makeba - The Early Years - South Africa - Wrasse - WRASS 088

6 - Asha Bhosle - Chura Liya Hai Tumne - The Best of Asha Bhosle - India - Manteca - MANTCD020


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.

Sezen Aksu

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. Sezen plays the Albert Hall in London on Sunday October 7.

Mercedes Sosa

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; Womud Boots

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.

Bi Kidude

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, addressing the United Nations, 1976

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!

Asha Bhosle

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.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:12 pm
by will vine
Chanteuse is my best effort as an alternative to Diva....or Superchanteuse.....or perhaps......Chanteuse-elite.

Re: divas

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:47 pm
by Dominic
will vine wrote:Chanteuse is my best effort as an alternative to Diva....

Chanteuse feels a fey, but I can't thing of anything better. The closest English word is probably "Songstress", which sounds a bit starchy.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:02 am
by will vine
A friend's mum and dad brought back Pata Pata on a 45 from a spanish holiday in, I guess, about 1967. It had been the holiday hit of the year on the costas. My mates thought it was "stupid" but I immediately loved it then as I love it now....fabulous record.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that there's some kind of remixed, sampled, or extended versions of it out there somewhere.......never heard one, but I wouldn't neccessarily condemn any dj who interefered with the purity of the original since, as a dance track, you just want it to go on forever.

I find it hard to believe I don't own a copy in any form !

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:23 am
by NormanD
Ivor Cutler & Linda Hirst (1983):

Women of the world take over
Because if you don't the world will come to an end
And we haven't got long.......

Men have had their shot
And look at where we've got.


PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:40 pm
by Dayna
I liked Miriam Makeba & Bi Kidude was good too. I wish I could have heard of them a long time ago.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:54 am
by uiwangmike
Dominic wrote:
Chanteuse feels a fey, but I can't thing of anything better.

I can't see the word without thinking of Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop saying "I'm a shantooze."


PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:39 am
by Charlie
emails from:

1. Vincent Kabagambe, Tororo, Uganda

Ever since i was 16, Miram Makeba remains my idol, even at 45 iIve not found her equal. Sadly her music is so rare in Uganda.


2. Guy McCullough, Birmingham, USA

this one made me weep! Fabulous! Amazing! Wondrous!


3. Tony Butcher, Northampton, UK

I was travelling back home after crossing the Euro Tunnel and really enjoyed your programme. I only knew of Miriam Makeba and enjoyed listening to the other five especially Sezen Aksu. Thank you.