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

5 Responses to “A. Kevorkian – Gigo”

  1. sroden said

    great great stuff….!

  2. harry said

    thanks for posting this song! i’m armenian and i have heard part of this song before – this style of music (though slightly watered down and with better sound quality!) has been passed down in the armenian american community but this song “Gigo” is very rare. I think there is only one cd format album in the world which has this song recorded, “kef time” by richard hagopian where he sings only one of the verses of this song at the end of an extended medley “hussengin sazera” (track 10 of the cd). ive always liked that track of the album and the first two songs of the medley are relatively common but the third song, which is this “gigo” i’ve never seen anywhere else, maybe once or twice its been played as an instrumental at an armenian wedding ive been at, thats all. Thanks again for posting this very rare song!

  3. harry said

    nm, i figured out how to download the track.

    you can find more music by m. takakjian at a library of congress website if you google “california gold folk music” and look under the armenian section (of course theres lots of great stuff from other ethnic groups including anglo american there too)…apparently this library of congress collection was made as part of the new deal work projects. m. takakjian was a part of jack aslanian’s armenian orchestra active in fresno california (large armenian colony) in the 1930s. like most armenian immigrants to the u.s. in that era they played turkish as well as armenian songs. there are several tracks in the library of congress collection, some featuring takakjian on solo clarinet, and several of the musicologist talking about various things she has observed about the armenian musicians. it even includes technical blueprint style drawings of their folk instruments and a lot of photos! very cool..

  4. I love your homepage! It’s really a gift to be able to hear such precious music through internet. I appreciate also your articles were you explain the context where the songs come from. Thank you for sharing!

    This brings me to my 2nd point. I’m artists and I working for a project called houshamadyan, a project to reconstruct ottoman armenian town and village life: www. houshamadyan.org

    I was trying to send you a private email, but I don’t find a emailadress, so, here my request as replay to this song. I would like to know more about the context you speak (1920- Armenian musicians) and if you could shre with me articles or more information older recordings from that time. My interest is armenian music coming from the ottoman empire, before the genocide, but of course such early music in the 20’s is interesting too because it reflects life at that time.

    I have a recording from my grand -father Avedis Topdjian recorded in 59′ in Buenos Aires (Tatoul Altounian group) that I could share if you like.

    Best regards
    Silvina Der-Meguerditchian

    • Chris said

      Hi Silvina, can you please share us your recording of Tatoul Altounian from BsAs, I would be really pleased… When I was a child I loved to hear them in a cassette. Thanks in advance.

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