The king of Hadhrami’s melody
At the age of twelve, Raufa worked on children’s radio programs and then moved to the television industry at the beginning of its inauguration in Yemen back then. After that, she traveled to Cairo to continue her studies. Raufa came back later to work as the head of the investigations department in the official newspaper Al-Thawra in Yemen.
During his twenties, Abu Bakr worked for 3 years in education as a grammar teacher. He started writing poetry at seventeen when he wrote his first song, “Oh Rose, Your Beauty Among the Roses,” which he recorded on Radio Aden in 1956.
The city of Aden was the starting point of his artistic career in the 1950s. He was known among many poets and artists such as the poet Lotfi Jaafar Aman, the artist Ahmed bin Ahmed Qassem, Muhammad Saad Abdullah, Muhammad Murshid Naji, and others. Abu Bakr performed at an artistic level through various seasonal parties that were held in Aden. In 1958, he left for Beirut and almost settled there, where he recorded most of his music during that period, and through that, he was able to reach all parts of the Arab world.
His artistic collaboration with Al-Mihdhar formed a distinctive creative duality, in which he transposed between melodies, including religious hymns, Bedouin chants, and patriotic chants with deep messages that differed in their content, which varied between estrangement and nostalgia at times, and land and love at other times, from “Ser Hobi”, “Bashil Hobi”, and others.
Abu Bakr Salem achieved great success at a local and national level, and his works were sung by major artists. His songs were famous for wisdom and exhortation, and he is considered one of the few artists in the Arab world who succeeded in combining singing, poetry, composing, and musical distribution.
He passed away on the tenth of December 2017 in the city of Riyadh at the age of 78… May God’s mercy be upon you, Abu Aseel.