Oldies but Goodies III 79 Comments

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Nolawi's post on "Fua Fua yilal Dodgu" reminded me that I had slacked off on the blog and need to get back to business!

For those unaware, "Dodgu" was first performed back in the early 60's if not earlier–I still have to find the original artist.  Netsanet Melesse re-recorded it in the mid 1980's with the Second Walias Band.The post also reminded me of a song that was recorded in the summer of 1971.  Imagine yourself in a cramped up recording studio in the middle of Addis with the legendary Haile Selassie I Theatre Orchestra.  On this particular day, two songs were recorded by Philips Ethiopia. 

Side A was 'Aderech Arada' by Menelik Wossenachew and Side B was 'Qelemewa' by Telela Kebede.  Both songs were written by the great Getachew Debalqe, actor and lyricist at the HIM I Theatre.  Both songs were arranged by Getachew Degefu (1944-2002).  Though known for his amazing skills on the keys, Getachew Degefu however was first recruited to the theatre as a vocalist.  In both songs you can hear Getachew Degefu's organ solo.

Simplicity at its best!

Telela Kebede was also known as an actress and vocalist.  Her famous song was 'Lomi Tera Tera' also written by Getachew Debalqe.  It was written and recorded and performed in the eve of the 1974 Revolution.  Though it criticized the Emperor and his policies, it was after the Dergue took over that both Telela and Getachew were imprisoned for the song.  Getachew Debalqe was imprisoned for eight long years for penning 'Lomi Tera Tera'.

Telela Kebede 1965

Telela Kebede 1965 (Picture taken from Absyssinie Swing by Francis Falceto)

If you listen carefully to 'Qelemewa', you will here 'Dodge' played in a different key (qignit). 

Podcasted is Telela Kebede's 'Qelemewa' and though this is not about Menelik Wossenachew, I'm also including 'Aderech Arada' to the podcast so you may feel what took place.

79 Responses to “Oldies but Goodies III”


  1. 1 Abebe

    I love both songs. Nice style Telela!!
    Thanks EJ.

  2. 2 MindWithoutC

    Thanks so much EJ.
    you were nice & cruel at the same time. :-) tortured me with A lash of memories.

    I dont know about y’all but the old songs & musicians were simply at a higher level. Their songs just don’t die out with time. Time appears to refine them over.

    Either it is us the Sidetegnochu who refuse to detach ourselves from this torturing memories or simply they were amazingly creative and original.

    The Radios constantly blasting Aderech Arada reminds me the EnquTatash season, when the spring Adey flowers across the meadows would make Addis so beautifully SHIQERQER with that fresh smell of September.

    Telela looks in deed classy on the picture. One thing is for sure, the way our folks (women both young + old) dress, no matter how conservative, had class & grace!

    I wonder what consumed that feel of pride and originality.

  3. 3 dinich

    EJ,

    Good work, man. Hats off to you.

    I don’t know of any other person who is good at keeping track of not just the songs but also the history, the pictures, the poeple etc… that go with it.

    You are a hero, bro, may be unsung, but definitely one.

  4. 4 meron

    yes big ups to EJ…

  5. 5 soj

    … Thanks again Ej…what can I say..your musical genious is invaluable…If I had it my way I would’ve opted for as many such posts as it is humanely possible..nonetheless..thank you brother..

    p.s. Do you have any of Bahta G/Hiwots songs?..I have the digitally remastered one but would love to listen to the older version…thanks again..
    p.p.s may be Merhawi can help me with this..?

  6. 6 Temelkach

    Jazziye! You’re just my favourite! I haven’t heard Aderech Arada in years…I love this song..thanks!
    Following in Soj’s footsteps…do you have any of the Yerga Dubale songs?

  7. 7 yonas

    thanks ej! love the songs, and the “behind the music” info is just fascinating.

    keep ‘em coming!

  8. 8 yonas

    ej, i’m very impressed that you spotted the theme and variation between Dodge and Qelemewa. you’re right, it’s the same melody on different scales. i can hear Fua Fua is on the pentatonic scale, but Qelemewa is on a more jazzy scale that i’m unable to name. or is it just on one of the more traditional (ambasel, bati, anchihoye, tizita) scales?

    musicians or music geeks, please enlighten us!

  9. 9 .mike

    as always, gracias, EJ!

    classic!

  10. 10 Nolawi

    Thanks EJ, I have also heard from muscians that Telela Kebede being very influential up and coming musicians

    I have already told you how much I like aderech arada

  11. 11 ahmed

    i am an artist , i wan’t to say telela is a best singer i appresit her

    thank you

  12. 12 Tewodros

    my name is tewodros. I am not an artist but i just felt imprerative to express my deepest feeling to our national heritage, Telela. I know that Telela is one of the contemproary artist who pionner in the modern Ethiopian Music History. I always think that we are lucky to have this wonderful artist among us and share her exploits.

    thank you

  13. 13 florNueva

    EJ this is so great. Your depth of knowledge is incredible. I truly enjoy listening to your rich selections and learning about the making and the message behind the song. I am not a fan of the direction our music is headed these days. :-(
    In any case, is Lomi Tera Tera available for listening ?
    After reading the blog you linked i really want hear it.

    thanks again,
    FN/NF

  14. 14 Wudnesh

    Jazziye,
    BeTaam interesting….thanks hon.

  15. 15 kiki

    Thanks, EJ, The post was worth the wait.

  16. 16 Mengedegna

    Great work EJ, as always!! I love the selection, and thanxx for the background info as well. always amazes me how knowledgable u’re in the history of Ethiopian music, especially when there aint many accessible written matterials availabe.
    Much respect!

  17. 17 Ethio Jazz

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments, and head exploding accolades. The experience I’m having at Bernos has truly humbled me and I have you all to thank.

    soj–here’s Bahta’s recent take on one of his classics. Recorded live in Addis Ababa from Ethiopiques 20–Either Orchestra featuring Bahta Gebre Hiwot-Anchim Endelela

    Temelakach–esti i’ll dig in the crates to find Yirga Dubale for you. Until then, if you haven’t seen this enjoy this.

    Yonas–pretty sure both are in the pentantonic scale…will try and find out which is which.

    FN/NF–unfortunately don’t have Lomi Tera Tera yet–will share it the moment I get it.

  18. 18 soj

    …Ej man, ur amazing…muchos gracias…I say his voice is still wonderful, after so many years. The music was also tight.
    thanks again,

  19. 19 Selom

    Jazz, you rule! …I’m in awe!

    I loved both tracks; I’m also reminded to raid the parents shekla collection the next time I’m in Addis now that I fully appreciate Yediro zefen.

    I know you’re busy and all but I’m still waiting for another entry to your “Bandochu…” series. You promised a write up about Ibex Band in Part III.

    Thank you so much for the tizita.

  20. 20 Timo

    EJ,
    Man, what a treat! Thank you! I always look forward to your postings.

  21. 21 shtoni

    i cant wait to get my hands on Absyssinie Swing. thanks for getting me smart to it EJ.

    gin, not to sound like an ingrate but why hasn’t Falceto featured Telela on any of the series?? please tell me im having a memory lapse.

    this is the first i ever heard of Getachew Debalqe. is there a source where i can read/hear/see more of his work? is he even featured in ethiopiques?

  22. 22 shtoni

    did Telela sing this old skool guragigna song, probably released in the 50s/60s that goes like this;

    Hebola lelale hebolale
    Hebola lelale hebolale
    Hebola lelale hebolale
    Hebola lelale hebolale
    Dimbelale

    I know for sure that Mulatu Astatqe has a version of it too, but before he did his, a female singer recorded the first version which i suspect is Telela.

    if any of you guys have this song? please PLEASE do share the wealth.

  23. 23 Ethio Jazz

    soj-thanks man!

    Selom-glad you liked it. Let us know what you bring back from Addis. The ‘Bandochu’ series is on hiatus for a little while–I hope to have the story completed by the middle of the summer. Thanks for your patience.

    shtoni-Telela, I think has only 2 songs on shekla and we will probably see her in a future release. As for Getachew Debalqe–I’m not sure apart from these two songs podcasted if any of his works were ever release on shekla. By the way both Getachew and Telela were know as actors first and their writing and vocalist skills respectively came in later. Francis Falceto by the way dedicated Abyssinie Swing to “Gash Getachew Debalqe” very endearing don’t you think? I’m sure we will hear about Getachew Debalqe in the future.

    As for the song you mentioned, not sure if Telela did it. As you mentioned Mulatu did it with Seyfu Yohannes on vocals. Esti, I’ll ask around.

  24. 24 muluken yirga

    be what it be!

  25. 25 Nolawi

    note from Telela, thanks EJ! apparently my family members are friends with her..

    small world aydel!

  26. 26 thomas

    Hi, a little message straight from the swiss alps, to tell you that I love ethio jazz and would like to thank you for sharing.
    I found some jewels in another website, Paris DJs, with a wonderful song by Menelik Wossenachew, the podcast is available here:
    http://parisdjs.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=42984
    See you
    Thomas

  27. 27 Wondimu Mekonnen

    Friends

    It is the time of the year – InquTaTash and The Millennium. I have been watching Telela Kebede on http://ouretn.com/video_.html. Then I came to this website and found her song. As a bonus, I also listend to Aderech Arada. Simply fantastic! Thank you.

    Now I have a request! I really, really, really want to listen to Telela Kebede’s “InquTaTashi! Inkwan MeTashi! ke-abeboch Mehal inimneshn!” I desperately need it for this millennium. Please? Thanks

  28. 28 Teddy

    Kelmewa by Telela higily polised&class.

  29. 29 Teshom

    I admire the author for documenting the works of these great actors. I remebmber Lomi-tera-tera was sang by a young boy dressed like shepherd on the eve of inqutatash in Biherawi Theater (Haileselasie Ist Theater). Does anybody remeber his name?

  30. 30 Teshom

    I admire the author for documenting the works of these great actors. I remebmber Lomi-tera-tera was first sang by a young boy dressed like shepherd on the eve of inqutatash in Biherawi Theater (Haileselasie Ist Theater). Does anybody remeber his name?

  31. 31 tarczyca

    Very pity that he had so little information.

  32. 32 Oliver Beltran

    i’ve seen this but i cant’t point where i did.

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