Oum Kalthoum, Om Kolthom, Om Kalsoum, Omm Kalsoum, Omme Kolsoum, Oom Koolsum, Oum Kalthoum, Oum Kalthum, Oum Kalsoum, Oum Kaltsoum, Oum Kolthoum, Oum Koulsoum, Oum Kulthum, Oum Kulthume, Um Kalthoum,

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Still the best.

_Rockist__Scientist_, Wednesday, 31 December 2008 20:24 (eleven years ago) link

I think there might be a tribute to her coming up as part of the February and March Arabic Music events coming to the Kennedy Center in DC

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 31 December 2008 20:36 (eleven years ago) link

Oum Kalthoum rehearsing a song she never formally recorded or publically performed:

_Rockist__Scientist_, Friday, 2 January 2009 19:05 (eleven years ago) link

rockist can you send something our way? post a link on yousendit perhaps? I'm very interested to hear some more of her if possible.

Moka, Saturday, 3 January 2009 09:14 (eleven years ago) link

My access to the internet is kind of limited at the moment (no dsl at home), so if I do it, it won't be real soon..

Also they are using a two year old version of Explorer in the library here making it hard for me to proof my posts, thanks to the way they display. I think I need to ask about updating that again.

_Rockist__Scientist_, Saturday, 3 January 2009 19:37 (eleven years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Moka check your e-mail (& continue checking).

_Rockist__Scientist_, Monday, 26 January 2009 21:30 (eleven years ago) link

Okay I'm already finished. I forgot just how easy everything has become. (Connection speeds here are usually really slow though, but that didn't seem to have an impact in this case.)

_Rockist__Scientist_, Monday, 26 January 2009 21:37 (eleven years ago) link

eight months pass...

There's some nice ol black & white footage of her with Youssou N'Dour talking about growing up listening to her, in the new Youssou N''Dour movie doc I recently saw that focussed on the making and promotion of his Egypt album.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 14:18 (ten years ago) link

this is prob my favorite thread title ever

mark cl, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 15:05 (ten years ago) link

How is it possible that there is footage of her talking to Youssou N'Dour? She died in 1975. But now on checking Youssou N'Dour's bio I see that he started singing when he was 12 and was already a big hit in the early 70s, so I suppose it's not impossible. I will have to look for this.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 22:47 (ten years ago) link

No, that's not what I meant-- I left out a comma and phrased that poorly. Youssou is shown in the documentary talking about Oum and the movie cuts away to a black and white film clip of Oum. Youssou talks about listening to Oum on the radio as a kid.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 04:07 (ten years ago) link

noone but rockist scientist is likely to care, but laure daccache died in 2005. i hadn't known.


amateurist, Saturday, 24 October 2009 07:17 (ten years ago) link

Actually, I put that on this thread:

Arabic music (not elsewhere classified)

You must have missed it.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 07:28 (ten years ago) link

And by the way, this guy has an amazing youtube channel:


_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 07:30 (ten years ago) link

holy shit. wish i could read arabic so i know what the different videos are!

amateurist, Saturday, 24 October 2009 07:44 (ten years ago) link

nine months pass...

I finally bought Ansak and it turns out that (1) it's great (so far) and (2) I already know the basic outline of the song from a George Wassouf Reader's Digest condensed version. It's got this one little hook that I have always loved. I think I need to rate Baligh Hamdi a little more highly than I have lately. (On the other hand, I think he probably ended up writing too much and maybe taking too many drugs. But with Oum Kalthoum, anyone doing compositions for her gets filtered through a serious quality control mechanism.)

The volume is a little low on this clip, but it's worth it for the crazy audience:


(Once again, I wish my mom had lived long enough for me to get her into Oum Kalthoum. I know she would have loved her.)

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 12:51 (nine years ago) link

five months pass...

Give me my freedom, set free my hands!

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 31 January 2011 05:33 (nine years ago) link

(errata: Al-Atlal)

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 31 January 2011 05:34 (nine years ago) link

You cannot get what you want in this world by wishing; you must take it by force
--"Salû Qalbî"

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 31 January 2011 05:39 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I think what comes across the most in this interview is simply her control, especially her control of her image. She definitely doesn't seem like the easiest interviewee:


_Rudipherous_, Monday, 14 February 2011 15:43 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

This slays:


I think an excerpt from this is included in the documentary A Voice Like Egypt.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 1 March 2011 04:15 (nine years ago) link

I think I don't have a recording of this song either.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 1 March 2011 04:15 (nine years ago) link

six months pass...

"I put on music: Little Miss Train, a collaboration, Van Morrison duetting with Coirsa Yakov, the Besz Umm Kalsoum as he was called, on his 1987 tour."--from The City & the City, by China Mieville.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:13 (eight years ago) link

nine months pass...

Spotify seems to have massively upgraded their Oum Kalthoum holdings, or at least the way they are presented. Hopefully they've caught some of the glitchy files as well. But at a glance it seems like there are more songs available now. If not, they are at least better organized.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 19 June 2012 00:05 (eight years ago) link

five months pass...

Here's the live recording of Hazihi Leylati, which is inexplicably difficult to find:


This is still probably my favorite Abdel Wahab songs sung by Oum Kalthoum.

redress control number (_Rudipherous_), Thursday, 6 December 2012 04:27 (seven years ago) link

Actually, this isn't even the same live version I have on cassette. Of course!

redress control number (_Rudipherous_), Thursday, 6 December 2012 04:36 (seven years ago) link

Less playful and inspired.

redress control number (_Rudipherous_), Thursday, 6 December 2012 04:37 (seven years ago) link

two months pass...

Let the fundamentalist Islamists, or whatever they should be called, attempt to ban Umm Kulthum's music in Egypt, and we'll see how far they got. That is laugh out loud funny.

(That brief article needs some fact checking. I'm pretty sure Umm Kulthum did not appear in dozens of movies. Closer to a total of a half dozen. I wouldn't say she did anything to integrate western singing approaches with Arab ones either. Asmahan did more of that, during her brief career. Of course, many of Umm Kulthum's composers did integrate some aspects of western music, and she performed that music. But in terms of vocal technique, I think she was pretty purely within Arab tradition.)

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 20 February 2013 20:44 (seven years ago) link

I'm starting to think that those who claim the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has been compromised and brought into power by the west are correct. Anyway, I'd be very surprised if there is a popular majority in Egypt in favor of this sort of extremism, even despite enormous frustration.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 20 February 2013 21:30 (seven years ago) link

FWIW: 'CIA favors Brotherhood as Egypt dictatorship benefits US'

I don't remember exactly what he says here, but I find Engdahl generally comes well armed with facts. Of course, that doesn't mean he's right. (And there are facts and then there are "facts.")

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 20 February 2013 21:37 (seven years ago) link

I almost hope they will ban Umm Kulthum's music, because that would be a really quick way for the takfiris to end up with their throats slit overnight.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 20 February 2013 21:39 (seven years ago) link

I really need to listen to more of this, enjoyed it greatly last time I checked her out.

Not really aware in enough depth to comment on the news article...

emil.y, Wednesday, 20 February 2013 21:48 (seven years ago) link

After the Revolution, they almost banned her for her close ties to the monarchy but Nasser said, "Are you crazy?! Do you want Egypt to turn against us?"

Canaille help you (Michael White), Wednesday, 20 February 2013 21:51 (seven years ago) link

nine months pass...


_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 26 November 2013 22:16 (six years ago) link

Okay, I'm taking a new approach to creating a semi-comprehensive Oum Kalthoum playlist on Spotify. This could take a couple months. It depends how quickly I can get through all these early recordings that still sound like the Ottoman Empire to me (because I want to listen to every track I include, if only for audio issues). Hopefully, more to come.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 27 November 2013 18:50 (six years ago) link

Thanks. I hadn't seen this, and she is an impressive singer, to me.

Baeed Anak:


And here she is singing an Asmahan song:


_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 27 November 2013 19:09 (six years ago) link

Just a footnote, but an interesting one.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 27 November 2013 19:10 (six years ago) link

Thanks for all of this-- the Jennifer Grout stuff via Michael and your Spotify work

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 27 November 2013 19:22 (six years ago) link

The Asmahan cover makes things more complicated since Asmahan herself borrowed from European classical vocal technique (at least partly self taught I think).

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 27 November 2013 19:26 (six years ago) link

And despite a career cut short by an early death, Asmahan is one singer who actually deservers to be mentioned in the same breath as Oum Kalthoum.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 27 November 2013 19:27 (six years ago) link

two months pass...


My wife is Nagat's granddaughter. We lived in Cairo all last year and it was really amazing how celebrated Oum socially. 1 of every 5 cars was blasting her music, or more current artists from the 60s and 70s period, like Nagat. Even on the TV all the celebrated black and white movies, where a lot of these singers also acted, is dominating a dozen channels. The public really loves that period in Egyptian culture. My photo above is an Oum stencil that could be found on every block of the street.

Neal Cassady, Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:44 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

There is now a crater on the planet Mercury named for her. https://carnegiescience.edu/news/mercury-crater-naming-contest-winners-announced

mick signals, Thursday, 30 April 2015 00:56 (five years ago) link


curmudgeon, Thursday, 30 April 2015 02:36 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Sorry I missed that message from the person with the Nagat connection. Definitely noteworthy.

Here is a late performance of Robaeyat el Khayam, at a much slower tempo than the more familiar earlier recording. At first I didn't care for that so much, but over time this realization goes to a lot of unique places:


_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 20 May 2015 13:23 (five years ago) link

It does take a little while to get to the first passage with an intense tarab feel (at least in my listening), but it's worth it.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 20 May 2015 13:35 (five years ago) link

I'd say it starts to get more intense a little before the 20 minute mark.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 20 May 2015 13:48 (five years ago) link

This is closer to the style of her 40s and 50s performances than maybe any of her live recording I've heard from the 60's.

The kanunist does really crazy runs like I don't think I've ever heard in an Oum Kalthoum song. Would be overkill on a regular basis, but the novelty of it is enjoyable here.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 20 May 2015 14:43 (five years ago) link

eleven months pass...

All Robaiyat el Khayam all the time:


Wish they would do a proper release of all of this live material, with English language information, but in the mean time this channel is amazing. I haven't even made my way through just the live variants for this one song.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 23 April 2016 16:18 (four years ago) link

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