Presented here is yet another early- to mid-1950s release by the Moroccan independent label Olympia. As becomes clear through the act of gathering records, their catalog was vast––numbering more than eighty releases, among which included Hebrew liturgy (piyyut) and popular music (shaʿbi). Providing some of their output at the time was Sam Fhima (al-Bidawi), one of a handful of rising stars within the Jewish community during the years surrounding Moroccan independence. The exact number of records he made with Olympia is not yet clear but “Hobini ya bneia” (Love me, girl), featured below, was typical of his playful, up-tempo sound. That he was popular is perhaps evidenced by the fact that his 78s traveled beyond Morocco and were re-pressed in Israel as 45 rpm records by the Ron-Ly label, one of the many imprints of the Azoulay family out of Jaffa.
At present, a fuller biography for Fhima is still being pieced together. As more information comes to light, this post will be expanded.
Title: Hobini ya bneia [Sides 1-2]
Artist: Sam Fhimat
Issue Number: 1011/1012
Matrix Number: LSP 5339/5340
Date of Pressing: c. mid-1950s