Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Nine years later

Many immigrants come to the United States with a boxful of records from the old country. The second or third generation then looses interest in the music and when their parents or grandparents die these records end up in thrift stores. This is where I come in: I'll buy the whole collection. I have, for example, a whole box of Estonian records, about 30 from the Philippines, and since a few weeks, 41 singles from Yugoslavia. All 41 have been well used, sounding like they've been played hundreds of times, both in the former Yugoslavia and in the US. Most sound terrible and the sleeves, if present, falling apart. The 41 singles, for sure, represent a nostalgia and memory of the old country. A country, btw, that exists no longer. While many singles are unapologetically patriotic, they seem not to favor any one cultural or ethnic group that once made up the country. Among the collection are recordings from Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, and other regions. Represented are Muslims, Rom people, and Slavs. I listened to most of the 45s and one stood out. This is a single by Esma Redzepova featuring four songs. The single was one without a sleeve so I quickly painted a small portrait and made my own. I had not picked an insignificant singer. Esma Redzepova was truly a legend. According to her English Wikipedia page she was nicknamed "Queen of the Gypsies" and was the first one in Yugoslavia to record in the Rom language. Her husband too, was not minor figure of Slavic music: Stevo Teodosievski was an artist, musician, and, like Esma, a noted humanist. He wrote and arranged most of the records by his wife. I selected the song Jalandi Coban to share with you here. It is the last of the four songs on the single.


I also like to share some of the sleeves from the collection.

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