Abd Al-Aziz (Abu-Daoud) Daoud: The Howlin' Wolf from Sudan? An Ode to LolaRadio. - عبدالعزيز محمد داؤود.

Howlo, babe-os!

My all-time favourite blues singer and howler is none other than Mr. Chester Burnett better known by his ephemeral nickname "The Howlin' Wolf". This huge 350-lbs. weighing giant was a really sweet man. I used to pun on him to people who knew nothing about 'His Howliness' statin' that, "Y'know, my God's a black man who weighs 350 pounds!". People didn't get it. They still don't. Eh *sighs*.
His Hawlin' Hawliness Mr. Howlin' Wolf. Arwhoo!
Anyways, we're in for a 'huge' (pun not intended this time) surprise today, because we're to get a very special chance to listen to one of Sudan's best-hidden secrets: a good-hearted singer known shortly as 'Abu Daoud' by admiring Sudanese fans: Mr. Abd Al-Aziz Mohammed Daoud. The two black singers shared many things other than the existence of a short nickname: they sounded and looked like each other to a sinning point. Wah!

This post's dedicated specially to LolaRadio; a Dutch blogger whose blog is abrim with music from the great land of Sudan (السودان). This post (and before it this one here), has maybe just one small MP3 featuring only one song made by this giant singer, but it was a sure-fire sign for me to get goin' and write that 'Ode-To' post I once promised him for which time was high and ripe to show in writing some thankfulness for such a dedicated blogger right here at my own blog.

Instead of one MP3, Gerrit you're going to get most (if not all...) of his songs, some rare radio cuts (I thought as long as your last posts were all named after radios from different parts of the world why not give ya some of the same taste here), the live acts, or qa'dahs (قـعدة) featuring oud-only rare cuts (I call it Abu-Da'Oud'yat if ya like), plus bonuses by the ickyload.

This is going to be the last word on Abu-Daoud (rhymes?). So, let's begin where the story starts and 'njoy as you read.  

Abd Al-Aziz Daoud - (alternative spellings, Abdelaziz Dawood/ Abd Al-3aziz Daod) - عـبـد العـزيـز أبو داؤود:

Abd Al-Aziz Daoud (a.k.a. Abu-Daoud).
Born Abd Al-Aziz Mohammed Daoud in 1922 (not 1930 as most references point mistakenly. Some say he was born in 1916 which is taking it a bit too far again), in Berber: a village in the Bahri town of Sudan that sits on the eastern shore of the river Nile (Juwwani: Inner/Deep Nile), in a small neighbourhood called Hallat Addanaklah. His Sudanese family worked in a small shop where he helped his father (Mohammed Efendi) working in it between school classes until the family relocated in the 40's to Al-Khartoum the capital where Daoud found a job in a printing house then worked at the railroad station there as a collector just like his father did.
Singer Karoumah.
Back in Berber, Abu Daoud was placed at one of those old kuttab schools in Al-Ahmadya sufi zauoia. His father took him when he was four to one of those small schools that used to teach kids Quranic verses, religious chants, math and some Arabic poetry way before the advent of the modern schooling system. Called 'khulwa' (seclusion, Khulwat A-Shiek Sadiq; a shiek who'd studied at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo), his was so close to the marketplace where he used to hear through its windows the sounds of old phonograph records wafting inside the sanctuary with one old Sudanese singer after the other, like Karoumah and Zinqar who later became his idols.
Old kuttab school in Sudan, 30's.
In his school, Abu Daoud was known as a good Quran reciter, reading and memorizing its verses much to his shiek's admiration in his raspy young voice. He appointed him as a wakeel: a talib who replaces the shiek when he's away, and then rose to shiek Hieran reciting the ramiyah (oral memorisation of Quranic verses) to his fellow schoolmates. At one of his friend's circumcision haflas (celebrating a young man's purity and venture into manhood), he started to sing an old song by Khalil Farah (Fi A'Ddawahi), which made the headmaster happy, only for his shiek to expel him from second-grade school after ten flagellation hits with his stick because singing was considered anti-Islamic at that time (still is).
Old steam-powered train Sudan 30's.
Daoud's early picture.
This broke his tiny heart as he was forced to leave the khulwa and join his father at the railroad station, working in it for long time after his father passed away during which his genius came to the fore. He took the retirement money of his father and tried to open a canteen, but things didn't work out quite well for him, so he went back to the railroad station to work again. He was loved by all the workers singing to them as they worked, and as soon as they saw him coming, everyone cheered and rejoiced as they knew there would be some good sounds to enjoy in an otherwise dull, damp and tiresome working day at their railroad station in Adjareen (north-east of the town of Attbarah). 

Sudani Blues legend Abu-Daoud.
Being at the Railroad Authority made him travel so much: He moved to Aroma, Kassala in east Sudan from Kaboushia station in 1939, leaving his job as a train counter, ultimately when the Italians came to Kassala city and tried to invade it during WW-II. This enabled him to travel around and see different places and people in this large country full of poets, troubadours, singers, and mystic men unreachable back at that time. After quitting his job, he joined a printing house (Mac O'Codell's Printing House, later became The National Printing House), and devoted himself to singing at weddings and special qa'adat (private singing settings), when he finally decided to only sing and never to work again.

Bara'ai Dafa'a Allah.
One of the first songs that he used to sing at the station was 'Zamanak Wal Hawa Awanak' in 1939 written by Ali Al-Massah: a poet that Abu-Daoud was so enamoured with throughout the 50's and 60's. There were as many Sudanese singers at that time and an overload of songs sung by everyone who could play the oud, or sing. But, the most prominent of all of these singers was Bara'ai 'Ibn-Mdalal' Mohammed Dafa'a Allah (برعي دفع الله), who popularized the Sudani loun, or style of playing the oud to a band of back singers, violinists, bongos, electric guitar, and saxophone ushering in modern Sudanese music.

Osman Hussien, Abd Al-Aziz Daoud,
Hassan Attiyah, Ahmad Mustapha.
The old-style became known as the 'Bag' style, or ağhany al-hakhibah (أغاني الحقيبة - old songs seen generally as one art bag or hakibat al-fan which included religious chants, sufist hymns, gazal poetry, political riot songs). Before that, most popular Sudanese songs were styled after slavery songs, and ağhany ar-īqh(أغاني الرق played with tambourine). Daoud sang earlier on in al-kabritah style, or 'matchbox' music (أغاني الكبريتة: the singer gets out a matchbox and sings shaking it the same way old blues masters did in the south), and he excelled at this rare, ur-blues style.
Abd Al-Aziz Abu-Daoud:
The howlin' wolf of Sudan.
Ever since the new music (hadis) was born and instrumental music in Sudan became the most popular genre. It was called simply the 'Orchestra' music because it heralded in the age of the band in Sudanese popular music. Abdu-Daoud was there to take the lead as well as Bara'ai (who wrote for him more than 170 songs). They both were a tight unit playing together tunes infused with brass, military march-music which then took a more 'wooden' form when drums were introduced in the late 50's and radio began paying the popular singers better salaries after some artists boycotted the radio because the payment was very low (known as Singers of The Boycott in late 40's, or Mutribeen Al-Muqata'ah - مطربين المقاطعة).

Abd Al-Aziz on theatre (far left) honoured with other Sudanese musicians,
and (R) Abd Al-Kareem Al-Kably playing his oud in a hafla, mid-60's.

His first tune he sang in 1947 for Radio Sudan was 'Ahlam Al-Houb' (Love Dreams) which Bara'ai gave to Abdel Aziz to sing, followed by so many of his most popular songs like Venus, Lahn Il-A'azara ('Virgin's Tune'), A'azara Al-Hay ('The Neighborhood's Virgins'), Ajrass Al-Ma'abad ('The Temple's Bells'), ... etc. Other composers who wrote music for him were Mohammed Ali Ahmad, Awwad Hassan Ahmad, Abd Al-Moun'em Abd Al-Hai, Hussein Osman Mansour, Ismael Hassan, Abdelkareem Al-Kably, and endless others.
Wad Arradi - 1924.
Hussein Osman Mansour.
Among the many, uncountable poets and writers that Abu-Daoud sang their words were Mohammed Ali Abd-Allah Al-Ammi, Hussien Osman Mansour, Mohammed Al-Bachir Atikh, Nou'man Ali Allah, Sayed Abd Al-Aziz, Saleh 'Abu Salah' Abd Al-Sayed, Mohammed Azzubier Rachid, Mohammed Yousef Moussa, Moussa Hassan, Oubied Abdderahmane, Makki Al-Sayed, Azzien Abbas A'amarah, Mohammed Ahmad Srour, Ibrahim Al-Abadi, Hussien Mohammed Ismael, Ahmad Mohammed Ismael, Khaliel Farah, Awwad Ahmad Khalifah, Al-Sadeq Elias, Hassan Al-Tani, Ahmad Abd Al-Moutalib 'Hadbai', Ba'Zara'a, Abdel-Qader Taloudi, Omar Al-Banna, Karoumah, Zinqar, Wad Arradi, Mubarak Al-Mughrabi.
Zinqar (R), with unknown singer.
The themes varied, too as much as the writers did (Note: there are so many rich musical styles and genres in Sudan that still need a proper documentation to be done by Sudanese ethnomusicologists), but some of his styles were resurrected from old 30's and 40's songs (turas/ turath), and his popular ones were improvised 'ramyat' (رميات: sufist chants sung at speed through readings of certain Quranic verses), seerah (سيرة), daloukah (دالوكة), tim-tim (التم تم), dakkakini or al-nabinah style (دكاكيني-نبينة), oughniyat al-banat (أغنيات البنات - which he specialised in), singing for God, love, women, fun, and normal everyday people.

Abu Daoud (L) with some friend musicians, singing at Waouw village (R).

Abu-Daoud (with the imma head dress)
sitting with Sudan's best singers.
His songs were put to other forms of documentations where film-maker Hussein Mamoun Cherif made one of his songs the opening intro to his documentary film 'Dislocation of Amber' that tells the story of early slave-trade and every-day people's lives in Sawákin harbour in north-eastern Sudan. Soon, Abu Daoud was appointed in early July, 1959 as a secretary for Radio Sudan Orchestra taking his oud along with him right through the early 60's supervising a new generation of Sudanese singers much influenced by his bluesy singing style. His oud playing harked back to maybe a hundred if not more years of master players now, lost names that never have been recorded, or documented properly true, and a sad loss.
Bachir Abbas, Aisha Al-Falatyah live.
Singer Al-Atbarawi.
Bachir Abbas led this newer generation of Sudanese pop musicians at the beginning of the 60's (he discovered Al-Balabil), while Abu Daoud stayed singing the mawrous (inherited style) keeping his songs pure and innately 100% Sudanese. They both traveled to Cairo in 1961 along with the Radio Orchestra and met with some Egyptian writers and musicians. He went to Nigeria once with female singer Aisha Al-Falatyah (عايشة الفلاتية), and Ibrahim Al-Kashif to sing at a couple of parties there, only for few audiences to come to his live act because of his unfamiliar name. So, he asked the manager to change it into Abd Al-Aziz Al-Takrouni (Takrounis are a well-known tribe in Nigeria), and this simple name-change caused his concert to sell-out Aisha's two days before his second concert was due.

Singing with other musicians.
Dafa'a Allah
and Daoud, 70's.
He played with other female singers as a duo for a long time (A'abeda Al-Shiek), and numerous other male ones like Knar Al-Jazeerah, Hassan Attieh Al-Atbarawi (they worked at the same railroad station), Al-Kably (who gave him his first song to sing before becoming Sudan's best singer), and many others. Egyptian master and the soul of the Arabic classical music Mohammed Abdel-Wahab once said that, "a golden singer's throat cannot be found except within Wadeh Asafi in Lebanon, and Abd Al-Aziz Daoud in Sudan." Abu Daoud played with Arab singers like Wadeh Asafi, Fahd Ballan, and African ones like the South African Meriam Makimba.

Abu Daoud with friends playing for their mentor and master singer, 70's.

He played in many Arab countries (Egypt, Kuwait most notably), and traveled outside of Sudan to Germany and America where he played some concerts around L.A. in 1974 with famous Sudanese singers of that time.
One of his early songs has won the first prize at Transvaal Radio singing competition (Multaqa Al-Nileen) which declared him as an African legend placing him at the very top with the legends of African music. He is much revered in and outside of Sudan and deeply loved and cherished by his folk, Sudanese people till this very present day.
Abdel Aziz Daoud in America, 1974.
In an dusty, August day of the year 1984 (04|08|1984), the golden throat left this world for good. Sudanese people call his now 'the diamantine' throat. The town of Bahri has a street that still bears his name as a token of gratitude for his art and music. May his soul rest in beautiful peace this giant artist of good music and beauty. A true legend, indeed.
Daoud Howlin' with an orchestra
(feat. Bara'ai on oud).

A'azah Abu-Daoud singing, 2011.
Abu Daoud's son (his name is Atef, or sometimes referred to as Daoud Jr.), has seen fame in Denmark and in one variety show at a Danish T.V. station... the number of viewers watching his show (he's a poet, a singer, and a lecturer), reached a climaxing 70 million viewers! Daoud Jr. look the spit-image same as his father whose soul, music, and funny remarks are still endearingly remembered by Sudani people. Another daughter he had (Umrieyah Abd Al-Aziz), became a radio presenter working in the same radio station her father rose up to fame from, and another (A'azah Abu-Daoud, for whom he made the album 'Ya A'azah' because she took care of the details of his stage acts and apparel), saw stardom of her own and is now a well-known Sudanese female singer who sings with other contemporary Sudanese female singers like Hanan BoloBolo. Daoud's legacy stays alive within his sons and daughters.
Daoud Jr. the son of Abd Al-Aziz.

 His Legacy:
Singing Giant:
Abu-Daoud took the Sudanese song into international levels, and from the old-style to a new one. He fought many setbacks throughout his life and music career that spanned nearly 40 years. The very jokester, he was beloved by every Sudani. Daoud was known for his quick sense of humour, improv stand-up comedy, sweet tongue, and huge appetite. His daughter says that his best drink was grapefruit: he drank gallons of that sour juice daily before going to concert. He was also known for his geniality and absolute love for ordinary people who paid this love back by gathering at his concerts to listen with care and attentiveness to his songs. From Qaderiyah madayeh (audiolatry old chants of the Qadri Sufist sect) religious songs, to mundane orchestral band music... each song that he sang bore his style and definite bluesy attitude. His days at Radio Sudan (Izza'at A'Soudan - Umm Durman) were his most formative ever: he influenced many singers even when he joined a bit too late in 1948 (it was established in 1940), after being introduced there by Ustad Mubarak Zarrough who worked with Abu-Daoud at the Railroad Authority, singing there his first audition playing a matchbox only.
Al-Kably (R stnd) Bara'ai (2nd L)
Abd Al-Aziz Abu-Daoud (L seated).
He also enlivened back the old Zinqar songs for the Radio after the old records got burned in a fire. The Radio commissioned Abu-Daoud to re-sing these with his own voice: Sameer A-Rouh, Ba'aeid A-Dar, Sana Al-Barq... all composed by Wad Arrih for Zinqar between 1939-40, were given to Abu-Daoud to sing again breathing life back in these old songs with his mojo and magic.
Abu-Daoud: A Legend, Singer, Jokester, and Oud-Player.

Well, his songs are said by some to scratch the 200 limit, but he has more unrecorded songs and radio cuts than this measly number states. Some of his rarest songs are to be found here for the first time ever in any English-language venue so take heed. You are about to get yersevles almost all of his known songs (his Orchestra Compilation), some of his best radio interviews, oud qa'adat of Abu-Daoud (Abu Da'Oud'yat, singing either solo with his oud or with a simple chorus), and yes as a bonus a small album of his famous madayeh, plus the usual Best of album for the enjoyment of all, and last but not least... a single album 'Ya A'azah'. Ready?

Start diggin'!


أبـو داؤوديــات

-Abu-Daoud/ Orchestra:

أوركــسترا أبـو داؤود

 -Vol. 1.   
-Vol. 2.
-Vol. 3.
-Vol. 4.

-Vol. 5.
-Vol. 6.

-Madayeh Nabaweyah:
 مـدايح نـبويـة 


Radio Interviews:
مـقـابلات الـراديـو

Radio Interviews.

Bonus Albums:

This 'HUGE' cache (a staggering 15 audio-file albums), of Abd Al-Aziz Daoud's music is not enough: it's not befitting such a huge artist like Abu-Daoud who was known as 'Al-Qama': The Legend ('the Tall one', in Sudanese). This was an enjoyable post one where I wanted to upload every song (with extra-good audio-quality) that Abd Al-Aziz Daoud has ever made in thanks to Gerrit's efforts and love of Sudanese music that I also happen to share.


[Bio-Pic: Live Concert Footage]
To watch something while you're DL-in' these multiple files (2.5 gigs. Whoa Nelly!), click the link above: I've uploaded a T.V. Bio-Pic (Audiocumentary) which I hope would be enjoyable by his truest fans; especially those who know Arabic, or are Sudanese. It's available in Arabic commentary only. Enjoy even if you can't decipher Arabic. More? Some vidz to watch hereunda.

Get gawin' naw.

Video Linx:
-Various Videos of Abu-Daoud.

See ya roun' soon with one more Sudanese music post that would show ya more music from this wonderful country's spectacular musicians and artists. You're gonna get another Al-Balabil post (chirping with other soloists plus many never-heard before songs), and one from guitarist extraordinaire Sharhabil Ahmad Hassan and his rockin' band (which featured a Sudanese female guitarist!).

Future post-subjects,:Sharhabil Hassan and the girl-group Al-Balabil.

Guess this is all fer tonight.

Enjoy, wholeheartedly.

Howl at me babes!



LolaRadio said...

Everything i wanted to know about Abu Daoud and didn't knew who to ask!! This surely is the final en definitive blog-version of a biography. You make me feel very modest. In 1985 en 1986 i spend 5 months in Sudan and was overwhelmed by the kindness of the people and the power of their music. Which was by the way the reason to go there in the first place. I brought home about 90 songs from different singers. Daoud is my favourite. Thank you some much for this one.

Hammer said...

Anytime, Gerrit. It's that love for Sudan and Sudanese music that beckons us to offer something to one another: a token given out not for our own selves, because that would be deemed selfish, and stupid... but, to show how somewhere in the world there is still music that has never changed, and stayed the same... beautiful music made by truly beautiful people of Sudan.

I grew up with them, and they were my childhood friends.

Super glad that you'd enjoyed this post. There are more to come, be sure of this.

F.n.: The remaining files are now being uploaded and instead of me putting this until 'moro... I am doing it now even when I came home tired from work.

Stay tuned, and keep on blogging at your wonderful blog that I so much like and enjoy.


LolaRadio said...

Ya Salaam, Hammer. All day i spend like a child in a candy store hopping from one song to another enjoying al this diamond sweets. I will put this post on my facebook page (i didn't even put my own blog there §: >} ) I really admire you all the things you know about this man and other arab musicians. You're house must be stuffed with records tapes cd's and other wonderfull things.

Some told me that blogs are past en twitter is hot. But all the stupid tweets in the world couldn't have give me the pleasure you gave me by this (and your other) posts. Allah karim!


Anonymous said...

You've given me the soundtrack to my life for the next three months, at least.

Thanks. Huge thanks.

tim abdellah said...

This is delightful! Thanks for sharing, HH!

David said...

Wow. What can I say? First - how did I miss this last year?!?!

I barely know where to begin listening, or to begin saying thank you! I am stunned by the biographical info, and by the hours & hours of music. I have a huge backlog of stuff to listen to, but I think most of it just got pushed back a couple more months! Really REALLY looking forward to immersing myself in all this. Thank you so much - a rare and wonderful treat!!!!

David said...

An interim report - half a month later and I've only listened to the 'Best of' collection - - but I've lost count how many times. What a voice, and what a singer: he has such a warm and inviting voice, he uses it with subtlety and variety... I'm hooked! Thanks again - - and W - O - W again!

Hammer said...

Glad you are enjoying it even in inch-meal, David.

By the way, the last Kamal Tarbas post had a song these two Sudanese singers shared and sang inside the Umm-Durmman Radio. I purposefully, placed it as the last track on Kamal's Oudio album: Vol. 1 (Zamank Wa Al-Hawa A'awanak (with Abd-Al-Aziz Abou Daoud, Live at Umm-Durmman Radio)).

Abu-Daoud shook a 'match-box' as he sang (called 'match-box' style singing, or el-kabreetah in Sudanese music). At the end, Abo-Daoud mocks everyone who works there at the radio (in Arabic, you can hear him speak with a jocular mood) saying:
"And here, after a 20-year absence I won't come back again to your durned radio, or the television station, or the singers' union! And, I will go to stage in a casual 'abayah!"

He was head of that radio in the 60's, by the way. So, go figure what he meant. He was a wonderful man and a great loss to Sudanese music. A true legend, indeed.

Enjoy the more to come from Sudan.


SoleiMusic said...

Thanks a lot for this wonderful post !
amazed i could find this music ..
by the way unfortunetly the links for S'Oudanese Music vol's 2 ,4 and 5 are not working anymore ...would be great if you re-upload

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the nice post.
one note: ağhany a-īqh أغاني الرق simply means tambourine-songs not slavery songs,

roberth said...

this is awesome. i am so enjoying this post this site. first time here. though i don't know why as i was often at lolaradio

RORI said...

What happened? The files are no longer available!!!

Anonymous said...

Just a bit of advice, that loco isn't a Sudanese one from the 1930s, it's a British steam loco built in the 1930s but the photo taken in the 1950s.

Right, carry on! :)