I’ve already told you about some of my SPECIAL LADIES in the past but here is one, who alongside BILLIE HOLIDAY and OFRA HAZA, tops them all.

Oum Koulsoum, Oum Kalthoum, Umm Kulthum …there are many different ways that her name can be and is spelt!

I was introduccd to this great lady’s music through my love for Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant.  Her voice and music has had one of the most powerful emotional impacts upon me that has helped to shape me in many different ways.

Her tracks are like arabic opera’s and a single track can sometimes last for over 1 hour.

Just google and you will find out tons of information on her that I could not possibly summarise on a post for you.

Here’s some info about her LEGACY from Wikki:

“Umm Kulthum has been a significant influence on a number of musicians, both in the Arab World and beyond. Among others, Jah Wobble has claimed her as a significant influence on his work. Bob Dylan has been quoted as saying, “She’s great. She really is. Really great.” Maria Callas, Jean-Paul Sartre, Marie Laforêt, Salvador Dalí, Nico, Bono and Led Zeppelin are also known to be admirers of Kulthum’s music. One of her best known songs, “Enta Omri,” has been the basis of many reinterpretations, including one 2005 collaborative project involving Israeli and Egyptian artists.

She was referred to as “The Lady” by Charles de Gaulle, and is regarded as “The Incomparable Voice” by Maria Callas. Umm Kulthum is remembered in Egypt, the Middle East, and the Arab world as one of the greatest singers and musicians to have ever lived. It is difficult to accurately measure her vocal range at its peak, as most of her songs were recorded live, and she was careful not to strain her voice due to the extended length of her songs. Even today, she has retained a near-mythical status among young Egyptians. She is also notably popular in Israel among Jews and Arabs alike, and her records continue to sell about a million copies a year. In 2001, the Egyptian government opened the Kawkab al-Sharq (Star of the East) Museum in the singer’s memory. Housed in a pavilion on the grounds of Cairo’s Manesterly Palace, the collection includes a range of Umm Kulthum’s personal possessions, including her trademark sunglasses and scarves, along with photographs, recordings, and other archival material”.

AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA have just paid hommage to my Special Lady!




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