levon.jpgNow, we move from Azerbaijan to Armenia. Well, not exactly Armenia per se, but Istanbul/Constantinople, where this Odeon recording was made probably in the late teens-early 1920s.

While I could not locate any information on the singer, Levon Hampartzoumian (not to be confused
with the present-day banker in Bulgaria of the same name) or the accompanying two violinists, the song is a stirring, Armenian classic. It’s true title is transliterated as “Menk Angeghdz Zinvor Enk” and is an example of an Armenian patriotic, revolutionary song. A song sung by many in the past to unite Armenians across the world and give recognition to their struggle, it is still sung today (see here).

The English translation is roughly “Honest Soldiers Are We” (thanks, Tina!), and is associated with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. I was able to find the lyrics translated into Western Armenian, so you can follow along here.

Levon Hampartzoumian – Menk Arghez Zinvor

Technical Notes
Label: Odeon
Issue Number: 46266
Matrix Number: x.c. 2085

A. Kevorkian – Gigo

July 2, 2007

columbia-kevorkian.jpgAnother one of my personal favorites, thanks to the folks with foresight working for Columbia Records in the late 1920s, who managed to capture some of the greatest folk music by American immigrants (Ukrainian, Polish, Albanian, Armenian, Irish, etc.).

Mr. Kevorkian sang this track in January of 1929 in Los Angeles, and is accompanied by violin, oud, and Mesrob Takakjian on clarinet. Takakjian must have been well-known in the 1920s, as I’ve found his presence on several Armenian, New York City-based labels around that time. (Pharos records, in particular. Sohag was another short-lived label associated with Pharos.) Other recordings from this session were released by Columbia.

For more by A. Kevorkian and Mesrob Takakjian, again try The Secret Museum of Mankind, Vol. 5.

A. Kevorkian – Gigo

Technical Notes
Label: Columbia
Issue Number: 28009-F
Matrix Number: 110266

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