North Africa was a busy hub of early recording, with nearly every major label conducting numerous sessions in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia throughout the late 1920s and 1930s. (Because of its independence in 1951, 78s recorded in Libya remain a little bit of a mystery, although some do exist.) Interestingly, most of HMV’s Moroccan sessions appeared on their amazing, catch-all “K” series, which featured material from locales as disparate as Algeria, Cuba, Madagascar, and Auvergne, just to name a few places of interest.
This fantastic and spirited jam was recorded between July 22nd and July 24th, 1929, by Gramophone engineer Harold Fleming on a trip to Casablanca. The title is more of a literal designation – the term “aita” referring to the song style (literally: “the cry”), and “baidaouiya” meaning “Casablanca” – so, aita from Casablanca. The female singers are accompanied by violin and percussion (bongos or a dumbek).
Chikha Aicha El Hertitia – Âaita Baidaouiya
(Thanks to Abdelali for the title translation.)
Coupling Number: K-4631
Face Number: 50-2114-G
Matrix Number: BS-4219
8 thoughts on “Chikha Aicha El Hertitia – Âaita Baidaouiya”
This (like all these posts) is totally great. Betcha it was THIS kinda stuff that was blowing Isabelle Eberhardt’s mind as she trekked across N. Africa at the turn of the century, egging her on to travel just a little further down those winding roads.
thanks mrowster – glad you enjoyed this one. i definitely hope to post more north african material as time goes on. your blog has most definitely been added, by the by…!
Outstanding Post! I will be grateful if you republish any song of her or kindly provide with more info on how to get that “Vinyl”. Neat 😉
It means “Bedouin Cry”, not “Are you from Casablanca”.
and Baidaouiya is the feminine adjective of Bedou, Bedouin.
The work you have on this site is amazing, but I’ve noticed lots of the Arabic translations are wrong.
Almanzali – Thank you! I’ve responded to you privately – it’s true, many translations could benefit from additional assistance (many have been improved). This is a really old post – I’ve amended the info here.
Wow – this is fantastic, and the sound quality is really good for such an old disc! Thanks so much for sharing this. The title of the track, “Âaita Baidaouiya”, is more of a genre designation than a song title. The Moroccan âita (literally, “cry”) genre is a sung poetic tradition that exists in a number of regional varieties. The present example is from the city of “Dar el-Baida” (literally, Casablanca, the White House). “Baidaouiya” designates this âita as coming from Casablanca.
Tim – I’m a fan of your site 🙂 – yes, thank you being so kind to a post that’s now 10 years old! I’ve many examples of “aita” sung by the cheikhates on 78, and it’s one of my favorite styles of Moroccan music. Thanks for the comment on the transfer – I’ve many more in stellar condition.
Almanzali and Tim – thank you for the clarification on the Arabic. So, we’ve got “Aita from Casablanca” here, in terms of a title. Fixed!