Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs with Didjeridu Accompaniment
Arnhem Land Popular Classics was the first record to bring widespread attention to the didjeridu (didgeridoo or dijeridoo), also known as the yidaki in Yolgnu.
The recording features several senior Aboriginal men playing didjeridu and singing. It was recorded by USA linguist La Mont West Jr at Beswick Creek Welfare Branch Settlement, near Katherine, Northern Territory in 1961–62.
Pioneering folk music label Wattle Records released the recording, which includes musical genres from Arnhem Land, Wonga from the west, Gunborg from the north-central region and Bunggul from the north-east. The tracks were recorded in an improvised studio, with the didjeridu featuring prominently.
This excerpt comes from track 1, 'A Bungalin-Bungalin Gunborg', which features didjeridu by David Bylanadii (Blanasi) and songman Jolly Lajwonga (Djoli Laiwanga).
Blanasi (c.1930–c.2001), an Aboriginal man of the Mialili language group of west Arnhem Land, subsequently went on to promote the didjeridu internationally, performing on The Rolf Harris Show in England in 1967 and touring with a traditional dance troupe including songmaster Djoi Laiwanga and dancer-actor David Gulpilil. Blanasi later co-founded the White Cockatoo Performing Group.