One of my earliest recollections of Haydeh is from the early 70s. If indeed I remember correctly, she was on TV singing for a token contingent of Iranian military personnel who were apparently giving a hand to the American troops fighting in then South Vietnam (behind the front lines, presumably). Just as Bob Hope entertained the American GIs.
Am I hallucinating or... Oh well, it doesn't matter. Whatever the occasion or the place, her performance was so dramatic that I still have this faint memory. I was in my early teens back then and no fan of Iranian music. Googoosh, maybe. But mostly I had developed a taste for Western pop and rock music (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones...)which my older sisters constantly listened to at our home in Abadan.
So, Haydeh and the like weren't exactly my cuppatea. Although I was mesmerized whenever Emad-e Ram sang under a willow tree with a slight breeze in his face!
Fast-forward to 1989. I was at my grandmother's house in Shiraz. She had just come back from visiting relatives in California. One of the things she secretly brought back was a cassette of Haydeh's recent songs. I had not heard any kind of Western or Iranian music for almost ten years. There was fear in my heart when I pressed Play. I was committing a sin...
I played "Shanehayat" (Your Shoulders) again and again and again. How magnificently romantic and so tearfully sweet. I owe my present respect for (a selected range of) Iranian music to that song. Here are some of Haydeh's golden oldies (in RealAudio format):
Zendegi Qashangeh (1k)
Gol-e Sang (1k)
Harf-e Tazeh (1k)
Avaz-e Tanhaie (1k)