Arabphon (U.S.A. ethnic) / c. 1948

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Design: Several basic elements of Arab culture are shown here: the mounted warrior, dressed in a flowing robe (perhaps representing the Muslim hero Saladin) on his prancing steed; the domed mosque in the distance, with its minarets from which the faithful are called to prayer; and the strong rays of the desert sun as it rises from the east. The label name lettering has been drawn to reflect the curving, scimitar-like lines of Arabic script. The imprinting shows the names of the artists in English as well as Arabic, perhaps for the benefit of those immigrants who lost the ability to read their native script.

History: Probably produced in the U.S.A. to cater to an ethnic market. Several Middle Eastern-culture labels such as this had their beginnings in the 1920s. Label scan courtesy of collector and discographer Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K. Alternate colour scan (below) courtesy of collector Ken Hagelthorn of the U.S.A.

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