Early Persian: 78rpm-era Iranian Music on the Web


Among the most elusive recordings in the realm of non-English language 78 rpm discs for Westerners are those of Iranian and/or Persian origin. But there are two websites with particularly amazing information and sounds. Pooyan Nassehpoor’s Iranian Library of Recorded Sounds includes a trove of nearly a dozen jewel-like performances of Persian music of the the first half of the twentieth century.

And Amir Mansour’s breathtaking Persian Discography gives an authoritative history of the early history of the recording of Persian music as well as the history of recordings of regional ethnic minorities and key later recordings.

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.

4 thoughts on “Early Persian: 78rpm-era Iranian Music on the Web

  1. Thanks for these links. I came upon a small collection of Persian and Kurdish classical music at a side walk sale last summer and though I knew very little about it, felt that I had come upon a real treasure trove

  2. These were all CDs. The owner was moving to Amsterdam and was converting his music to .mp3. The collection (about ten CDs worth, I don’t keep good count) is mostly Shahram Nazeri and Mohammad-Rezâ Lotfi, whom I understand are prominent enough that they don’t really count as rare to the people who know this stuff better than I do!

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