Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Your Homeland And The Phonograph" (old advertisement)

The following advertisement was found on the back cover of the Pharos Records songbook of 1928. Pharos Records was an Armenian-owned record company in New York City in the 1920s. Their catalogue contained numerous Armenian and Turkish songs by mostly Armenian artists, with Greek and a few other ethnicities represented. The songbook is a valuable document with lyrics to the songs that are on many of their records, whether in Armenian or Turkish, printed in Armenian letters.

Pharos was not a producer of phonograph equipment and the advertisement below was not selling any particular brand of phonograph. But of course, Pharos wanted you to have a phonograph, so that you could buy their records to play on it. The ad is interesting and touching because it probably gives some of the real reasons that early Armenian immigrants did buy phonographs, and what listening to Armenian and Turkish songs meant to them, especially considering the events of 1915.

Your Homeland And The Phonograph

                The phonograph is that instrument of music, through the grace of which it has become possible to make alive the songs of the homeland and the sweet memories of them. The picture of your ancestral country, the faces of its folk singers, and each syllable of all those songs which lullabied your childhood to sleep and enflamed your youth, will always remain burning and alive in your memory through the grace of the phonograph.

                Let the phonograph be an indispensable object in your house, a beautiful ornament in your parlor, and enjoy it a bit, in order to draw inspiration from the pleasures of an unmatched branch of the fine arts, Music.

                The phonograph is the live communicator of music, through the grace of which you can at all times, in your home, have near you all the singers, not only those who are your compatriots, but also those belonging to other nations and who have fame and talent. Through the grace of the phonograph, even the dead artists will speak with you in the sweet-sounding language of their songs.


  1. Great post. It was a focal point of Armenian music when I was growing up.

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