Finally it has been found…The Oldest Assyrian Record, Number One!

We had became aware of the existence of these very old music “Assyrian records” from an advertisement published in an issue of “The New Assyria” Magazine dated to 1917, and it took me few years before I was lucky enough to locate and purchase copies of the actual music records in 2012. And it immediately become apparent that the three records I purchased were numbered, and that I only had numbers 2, 3 and 4, So we knew obviously there must be a record numbered 1 out-there!

It wasn’t until now in 2024, almost 12 years later that I finally found the missing “number one”, making it the first and oldest Assyrian music record to be officially released to date. After getting contacted by an American record collector and musician who had seen my previous article on these records, and I would like to express my gratitude to Mr Paul Wilkinson for having saved these records for so long in his collection, and for agreeing to sell them to us, so that we could study and preserve them for future generations.


These “Assyrian Records” were produced and sang by an Assyrian married couple in America, the couple originally immigrated from Persia and settled in New Britain, Hartford. And one of their children is documented and his name was Norman Joseph Yonan, born 1920 and was a Lieutenant in the US Army and served in the Pacific during World War II, and passed away in 2013 in Florida.


The records are 78 rpm Shellac, 10″, released in US, each record has two songs, they are sang by Joseph Yonan (born abt 1893) and Anna Yonan (born abt 1897) both born in Persia. The melodies of the songs we believe to be probably Azeri from a famous opera (Arshin Mal Alan), originally produced in 1913, but the lyrics of these music records are in modern Assyrian dialect.




Assyrian Records Track-List:

Record No.1
Track A: Loupla Ah Pand
Track B: Chadrey Breshey Dariane

Record No.2
Track A: Soul’tan Back Shad Vele.
Track B: Moudey eina Dardough

Record No.3
Track A: Bqzeitagh gha Tahar Veley.
Track B: Ah Maraley Aziztey

Record No.4
Track A: Zahmat Grishly.
Track B: Ghoush Ganeymey Back Labela










By: Moneer Cherie.