Kaliphon

Kaliphon (U.S.A. ethnic) / c. 1945

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Design: The blocky slab-serif type style used in the upper segment became very popular in the 1940s for display purposes.

History: It is not known whether the word 'caliph,' derived from the Arabic word meaning 'successor' (as relating to the supreme leader of the Muslim world), is referenced within the label name. According to the web site Historical Music of Folk Dance, "There is very little information on the origins of Kaliphon Phonograph Records; it has been identified as one of several post-war labels founded by and for Greek, Turkish, Armenian, and Sephardic immigrants. [Nick] Doneff, a Bulgarian violinist, created the label after leaving a performance group comprising other immigrants from Asia Minor. Like many other musicians, Doneff released Greek, Turkish, Arabic, and Bulgarian records on their respective labels, while continuing to appear on other labels as violinist."

According to the Armenian Music Preservation web site, Armenian-born oud player Marko Melkon (1895-1963), another of the artists listed above, gained wide popularity among the Armenian segment of the immigrant population while residing and performing in the U.S.A. Label scan courtesy of musicologist and collector Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K.




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