Ray Rashid

Ray Rashid

The Gilded Serpent presents...

Ray Rashid

About Rashid Music

Established in 1934 by Albert Rashid in Detroit, Michigan, Rashid Sales Company is the oldest and largest exclusive distributor of Arabic Music in North America.

After graduating from the University of Detroit. Albert purchased his first Arabic film entitled "The White Rose", one of the early musical melodramas produced in Egypt by the famous singer, composer, Mohammed Abdel Wahab. The first had over 12 songs and instrumental compositions by Abdel Wahab. Albert knew that there would be a demand for the songs of that film, and contacted the Baida brothers, owners of Baidaphone Record Company of Cairo and contacted to purchase all of the recordings of the film. The film met with unprecedented success throughout the U.S., and Canada. Albert would present the film in cities with a sizeable concentration of Syrian and Lebanese - the predominant Arabic speaking émigrés from the Middle East. More films followed the White Rose and more contracts with records companies . Record catalogs were printed, and to satisfy the demand, Rashid started to ship records to customers. The now defunct Railway Express was the main shipping company followed by the U.S. Post Office. Rashid was one of the pioneers of the Mail Order industry.

World War II erupted and contacts with the Middle East were interrupted. Since the only record plants producing Arabic records were in Germany, all production and importation of records stopped.

After the War, business resumed. better film, technology and production resulted in more successful films and the first retail store was opened on East 28th Street in New York City. The year 1947 saw the initial work on the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. The Arabic Market was located on Washington Street on the Manhattan side of the Tunnel. With the urban renewal in the area, the merchants were forced to move and settled on lower Atlantic Avenue which had a large Arabic community with three major churches and a mosque. Albert opened a second retail store at 191 Atlantic Ave. in 1947.

As the Arabic speaking community grew, so did the demand for the printed word. Rashid Sales Company was the first importer of Arabic publications, periodicals and books. Soon, ethnic retail dealers in urban centers were being supplied from Rashid's Brooklyn store

Arabic music has grown steadily in popularity throughout the world and has gained much attention in the US with the advent of Rai and World Music. As pioneers in the different fields of Arabic music, Albert Rashid's sons, Stanley and Raymond have carried on the business. Rashid Sales Company still maintains its retail store in Brooklyn. A landmark , known by musicians and artists, it attracts thousands of enthusiasts from around the world every year.

Rashid Sales company was a pioneer on the World Wide Web. It initiated the first Arabic music website in October 1995. It offers monthly news releases on the latest developments and important releases in Arabic music. It is developing a new friendly website which will offer easy access and fast soundbites of the newer releases for the website visitors. Rashid Sales Company's knowledgeable staff is on call seven days a week to answer any questions regarding Arabic music.

November 2001 Raymond Rashid opens Rashid Music sales CO, Inc. The first job was to restock the store adding new lines of Arabic, Near Eastern, and Rai compact discs , the second was to advertise the store. In December 2001 He started with the New York Village Voice followed by advertising in the Washington Reports, and Rhythm Magazine.

Having done that the next step was to enhance the web site which was launched in 1996, which was the first Arabic music web site on the Internet. He brought to his web site new additions of over 100 new titles. For the future Mr. Rashid hopes to start up his fathers record company Orient records and begin to make for the first time on CD the famous albums that were released in the Early seventies. Most of them were Belly Dance music and by the big orchestras of the day the musicians were from the Abdel Halim Hafiz and Om Kalsoum orchestras. His goal is to sell the best recordings available of Near Eastern music, Currently he is working with over twenty-five different distributors of near Eastern and North African music. All of them are located in the United States.

Ray is always searching for new labels or new recordings, that meet his criteria. We ask anyone who visits our web site to come and see our store in Brooklyn located in Downtown Brooklyn (Cobble Hill section) at 155 Court Street (between Pacific and Dean Street). We have a much larger selection but with the same prices of course. Our store hours are Monday thru Saturday from 10AM to 7:00 P.M. AHLAN WA SAHALAN!

Rashid Music Sales Company
155 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Web site: rashid.com

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