Category: General Interest

3 Interesting Facts about Xavier Cugat! – Celebrating Hispanic / Latino Heritage Month

By , October 2, 2018 12:44 pm
Photo of Xavier Cugat. This work is from the William P. Gottlieb collection at the Library of Congress.

Photo of Xavier Cugat. This work is from the William P. Gottlieb collection at the Library of Congress.

As part of Hispanic / Latino Heritage month, we’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to some important artists who shaped the world of Latin music into what it is today. Today we would like to highlight Xavier Cugat. Born January 1, 1900 in Catalonia, Spain, his family had bigger plans venturing first to Cuba when he was five. In Cuba, this is where Xavier picked up the violin training as a classical violinist he went on to play with the Orchestra of the Teatro Nacional in Havana. Xavier trained further in Paris and Berlin and in 1915, his family boarded the SS Havana en route to New York City where Cugat went on to train before serving five years as a violinist appearing in recitals with Erinco Caruso. Cugat went on to lead the resident orchestra at the Waldorf-Astoria before and after World War II before venturing out west to Los Angeles.

Here are 3 interesting facts about Xavier Cugat, you may or may not know about him.

 

Three interesting facts about Xavier Cugat!

1. He was a classically trained violinist who conducted with his bow, and can be seen in quite a few films waving his violin bow. Below is an animated gif showcasing Xavier Cugat in Stage Door Canteen waving his bow as he conducts his orchestra. You can watch the clip below from Stage Door Canteen, 1943 where Xavier Cugat can be seen conducting with his bow at 1:16.

via GIPHY

2. Xavier was known as the Rhumba King and is credited with pushing Latino music and dance into popularity and best-known for having popularized the rumba in the United States during the 1930s.

He and his band, the Gigolos, were featured in several popular Hollywood movies in the 1940s and 1950s. They introduced many popular Latin American rhythms to North American audiences and toured extensively every year, playing tangos, rumbas and congas.

“Under the influence of tropical skies and a couple of daiquiris, people developed a taste for my Latin American style of music,” he once said.

3. Xavier went on to work for the Los Angeles Times as a cartoonist. Not a huge stretch, considering art seemed to run in the family. His older brother Francis Cugat worked as a portrait, poster, book jacket artist and set designer.  He is known for his 1925 cover of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Cugat himself can be seen in a few films drawing his caricatures prior to or during a performance.

via GIPHY

Here at the Recorded Sound Archives, we have over 30 recordings by Cugat and several of this bands. To listen to more music by Cugat, click here.

In celebration of Hispanic / Latino Heritage month, we have digitized over 180 Latin American recordings for you to listen to. Click here to view collection.

Please note, due to copyright some items may only be available as a 45 second snippet.

If you are a Researcher or Educator in need of full access to these recordings, click here.

Recently Added to Research Station (Summer 2018)

By , August 10, 2018 1:30 pm

recentlyaddedmusic Did you know the Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries has over 49,000 albums along with over 150,000 songs in its databases, which is growing everyday with the help of volunteers? With so many recordings to choose from, we have given Research Station users the ability to request items be digitized.

Below you’ll find a list of recordings that were recently added to the Research Station this Summer 2018 from requests made by Research Station Users.

Please note, due to copyright some of these recordings may only play for 45 second snippet to give the user a taste of what this music sounded like back in the day, if you are interested in full access considering applying for Research Station Access. Access to Research Station is limited to educators, students and serious researchers.

Recently Added Music

Hadesh Yameinu (New Music at Park Avenue Synagogue) by Azi Schwartz

Dort Vie Libe Dort Is Glik by Aaron Lebedeff

The Shicker Ticker by Seymour Rechtzeit & Miriam Kressyn

Famous Chassidic and Shabath Songs by Various Artists

El Estilo by Leibele Schwartz

Minke Beim Telefon by Bessie Thomashefsky

Let’s Dance by Yaffa Yarkoni

Song Celebration 1976 by Various Artists

Favorite Songs for Children by Yaffa Yarkoni

Lehitim Leyiladim by Eelaneet

Gila Almagor by Gila Almagor

Bab el Wad: The Gate to Jerusalem by Yaffa Yarkoni

Yaffa Yarkoni Greatest Hits by Yaffa Yarkoni

Ronni Ve’simchi by Shmuel Lerer

30 Years with Yaffa Yarkoni by Choir of Tel Aviv & Yaffa Yarkoni

Ilanit Sings Children Songs by Ilanit and Aviva Had

Shiru Shir – Volume 3 by Hadassa Sigalov

In Praise of Kalya by Yaffa Yarkoni and Aric Einstein

Songs of Edith Piaf by Various Artists

Hanukka Songs, Vol. 2 by Miriam Avigal

Yaffa Yarkoni by Yaffa Yarkoni & Anee Tslil Haagadot

Liebe by Seymour Rechtzeit

Tiher Rabbi Yismoel by David Amsel

Weal Yedei by Sawel Kwartin

The Happy People by Danny Rubenstein

The Time of Singing – The Fourth NFTY Album by Various Artists

NCSY-LIVE by Various Artists

Pirchei Holyland by Pirchei Holyland

Dear Mom / Sweet by Yaffa Yarkoni

Der Galicianer Cavallero by Peisachke Burstein

6 Sipurei Yiladim by Ester Sofer

Yaffa Yarkoni Sings International by Yaffa Yarkoni and Bob Adams Orchestra

Bo-oo Lesachek Come, Let’s Play by Ester Sofer Hadassah Sigolov

 

See a recording that hasn’t been digitized?

As a research station user you can request it using the Music on Demand forms on the website.

Please note, due to copyright some of these recordings may only play for 45 second snippet to give the user a taste of what this music sounded like back in the day, if you are interested in full access considering applying for Research Station Access. Access to Research Station is limited to educators, students and serious researchers.

Lucrezia Bori Saved the Metropolitan Opera during the Great Depression

By , March 7, 2018 7:20 pm

opera saved-1933-brooklyn-ny-daily-eagleDid you know that in 1933, Lucrezia Bori began a career as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Opera during the Great Depression on top of performing?

Retiring, later that she wanted at age 48, Lucrezia Bori helped save the Metropolitan Opera. While the Metropolitan continued to sell tickets to performances with no difficulty despite the Great Depression. The contributions of its stockholders fell off dramatically and by the end of 1932 the board of directors found that a great deal of money would be needed if the next season were to be held.

Bori agreed to work with the Opera’s managers to obtain the funds and in 1933, she headed an organization called the Committee to Save the Metropolitan Opera House. Where Lucrezia made appeals by flyer, letter, and in personal contacts with potential benefactors to help save the Met. She traveled widely and participated in numerous benefits, at which she performed.

During this period of fundraising, Lucrezia also continued to carry out an exhausting schedule of performance at the Met.

To help raise the final funds needed,  a masquerade ball was held to raise financial support for the opera house.  Over 3,000 of the city’s aristocracy attended paying $10 each admission, contributing the final $30,000 towards the $300,000 fund needed to save the opera along with $10,000 to cover the cost of the ball.

Here at the Recorded Sound Archives we are celebrating Women’s History month through music by highlighting the voice of Lucrezia Bori and her accomplishment of saving the Metropolitan Opera.

To listen to recordings by Lucrezia Bori, click here.

 

 

 

Celebrate Purim with Music from the Jewish Education Committee of New York

By , March 1, 2018 6:19 pm

Songs for Tu Bishvat and PurimLooking for music to enjoy with family and friends this Purim? Here at the Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries, we would like to highlight the voices of William Wolff and Joan Mey one of several artists available in the Purim Collection off the album, Songs for Tu Bishvat and Purim.

This album was produced by the Jewish Education Committee of New York, in 1965 and was compiled by Harry Coopersmith to help engage youngsters in the customs and traditions of the Jewish religion. These recordings reflect a time in American history when Conservative Jewish educators sought to spirtually bind Jews together through song.

To listen to this album, click here.

To view other recordings by the Jewish Education Committee of New York, click here.

 

Discover over 20 other recordings for you to enjoy with family and friends in the Purim Collection.

Enjoy!

 

Interested in past posts related to Purim, click here.

Ethel Waters – First African American to be Nominated for an Emmy in 1962

By , February 2, 2018 6:24 pm

Did you know that Ethel Waters was the first African American to be nominated for an Emmy Award? In 1962, the legendary jazz and blues singer received the nomination for her performance in a “Route 66” episode, “Good Night, Sweet Blues.”

Ethel Waters in "Route 66", episode “Good Night, Sweet Blues.”

Ethel Waters in “Route 66”, episode “Good Night, Sweet Blues.”

In the episode, “Good Night, Swee Blues”, Ethel Waters plays Jenny Henderson, a retired singer in failing health who commissions Tod and Buzz to find and bring her the members of the Memphis Naturals, the band she performed and recorded with thirty years earlier.

Waters’ nomination for this role paved the way for women like Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, Alfre Woodard, Halle Berry, Kerry Washington, Regina King, and Viola Davis, now the first Black woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Beyond acting, Waters’ also performed jazz, big band, and pop music on the Broadway stage and in concerts, although she began her career in the 1920s singing blues.

Her best-known recordings include Dinah,”Stormy Weather,” “Taking a Chance on Love,” “Heat Wave,” “Supper Time,” Am I Blue?and “Cabin in the Sky,” as well as her version of the spiritual “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”

Here at the Recorded Sound Archives we are celebrating Black History month through music by highlighting the voices of the past and their accomplishments.

To listen to recordings by Ethel Waters, click here.

 

 

 

 

Just In Time for Chanukah – Google’s Celebrating too!

By , December 7, 2017 1:49 pm

Animation from Google Search Engine Celebrating Chanukah

Have you recently typed “Chanukah” into Google? No….please go and try now and discover the beautiful animated image Google’s put together to celebrate Chanukah.

Here at the Recorded Sound Archives we celebrate with music, sharing over 50 Chanukah albums for you to enjoy with family and friends. The Songs of Chanukah Collection consists of what is considered traditional, children’s songs that teach about the holiday and a few old favorites with a new twist.

There is a little bit of something for everyone in this collection, so please share it with friends and family. In years prior we’ve highlighted the voice of Gladys Gewirtz and Kenny Ellis.

This year on the Recorded Sound Archives website we are highlighting the voice of Margie Rosenthal and Ilene Safyan, who were brought together by a mutual love of Jewish music in 1979 and are both featured performers on the Recorded Sound Archives website. The music on their album Just In Time for Chanukah is a blend of old and new melodies and words, and we think you’ll enjoy them this holiday season.

Click here to view this collection.

Click here to learn more about Margie Rosenthal and Ilene Safyan and their music.

Please note, due to copyright some of these recordings may only play for 45 second snippet to give the user a taste of what this music sounded like back in the day, if you are interested in full access considering applying for Research Station Access. Access to Research Station is limited to educators, students and serious researchers.

FAU Libraries Celebrates Jewish Culture 2018

By , December 6, 2017 4:18 pm

kultur-festival-2018Join FAU Libraries March 4-8 in celebrating Jewish Culture through Kultur Festival highlighting music from Florida Atlantic University Libraries’  Special Collections performed by distinguished artists and internationally acclaimed musicians and actors including the Klezmer Company Jazz Orchestra, Beyond The Pale, klezmer band from Toronto, Brian Potts Vibraphone Quartet and Yiddish Tango LIVE!

Links to all events listed below with date, time and links to purchase tickets.

funny-girl-concert

Funny Girl in Concert

FAU  – Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium

Click here to buy tickets

 

 

 

beyond-the-pale-kultur-festival

Beyond The Pale

FAU – Wimberly Library 5th Floor

Click here to buy tickets.

 

 

 

jewish-melodies-in-jazztimeJewish Melodies in Jazztime

FAU – Wimberly Library 5th Floor

Click here to buy tickets.

 

 

 

yiddish-tango-live-kultur-festivalYiddish Tango LIVE!

FAU – Wimberly Library 5th Floor

Click here to buy tickets.

Celebrate the High Holy Days 5778 With Music

By , September 19, 2017 1:57 pm

2016-slideshow-high-holy-days-subpageLooking for music to celebrate the High Holy Days this year? Look no further, the Recorded Sound Archives has a collection of over 40 recordings for you to choose from and share and enjoy with your family.

 

Here are a few favorite albums, which can be listened to in full on the Recorded Sound Archives website.

 

Selichot Service by Cantor Joseph Schwartzman

Selichot Service by Cantor Joseph Gross

Complete Selichot Service by Cantor Zvee Aroni

 

High Holiday Chants by Cantor Salomon Pinkasovitch

High Holiday Chants by Cantor Samuel Taube

High Holiday Moods by Cantor Leib Glantz

High Holiday Prayers (Volume 1) by Cantor Moshe Koussevitzky

High Holiday Selections by Malavsky Family

High Holy Day Prayers Live for the First Time by Cantor Leibele Waldman

High Holy Days in a Conservative Synagogue by Moishe Schwimmer

 

Rosh Hashana – Day 1 by Cantor Zvee Aroni

Rosh Hashana – Day 2 by Cantor Zvee Aroni

Rosh Hashanah by Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner

Rosh Hashanah New Years Service Abraham Birnbaum – Rosh Hashanah New Year Service by Cantor Israel Goldstein

Rosh Hashanah by Cantor Yosef Rosenblatt

 

Yom Kippur Chants, Volume 3 by Cantor Zawel Kwartin

Yom Kippur  Day (Parts 1 & 2) by Cantor Zvee Aroni

Yom Kippur Day (Part 3 – Conclusion) by Cantor Zvee Aroni

Yom Kippur; Excerpts From the Traditional Liturgy by Cantor Moshe Ganchoff

Midnight Selichot Service by Cantor Leib Glantz

 

Pianist Irving Fields Mixed Bagels and Bongos

By , August 2, 2017 9:52 am

Irving Fields-playing piano

Two weeks after his 101th birthday, pianist and composer Irving Fields passed away August 20, 2016 in Manhattan. He was perhaps the longest working musician in the world. At the age of hundred, he used to play the piano several nights a week at Nino’s Tuscany restaurant in Manhattan. Irving Fields became known by fusing Jewish tunes, jazz, and popular songs with Latin music.

Born as Isidore Schwartz in 1915 New York City to Jewish immigrants, Irving Fields started working as a pianist in the thirties during the years of the Great Depression. In this time of high unemployment, he started playing piano in resort hotels in the Catskills Mountains, and then he found work as a pianist on cruise ships sailing from New York to Havana, capital city of Cuba. In Havana, Irving Fields listened to the great Cuban orchestras, and developed his love for Latin music. Attracted by pictures from palm trees and beaches in travel magazines, Irving decided to settle in Miami Beach and performed in hotels playing dinner music, and did sessions with local orchestras.

After joining the army, he began the Irving Fields Trio, with a bass and a drummer, and started composing his own songs. In 1947, his song Miami Beach Rhumba became a big success by versions of Kay Kyser, Freddy Martin, Carmen Miranda, and even by the popular band leader Xavier Cugat. During the Latin craze trend in the 40s, Irving Fields was at the right time and place, and soon Miami Beach Rhumba was followed by the number one hit song Managua, Nicaragua (1947) recorded by big band leader Guy Lombardo, and ten years later by Chantez-Chantez (1957) by singer Dinah Shore.

Bagels and Bongos - Irving Fields TrioIn 1959, the Irving Fields Trio recorded the album Bagels and Bongos blending popular Jewish tunes with Latin rhythms such as Bei Mir Bist Du Schön as a mambo, Havannah Negila a paso doble, and I Love You Much Too Much a rhumba. The album became a big hit all over the world, and was followed by the albums More Bagels and Bongos (1960), Pizzas and Bongos (Italian traditionals), Champagne and Bongos (with French standards), and Bikinis and Bongos (with Hawaiian music). Every song was mixed with a Latin beat, which turned out to be a story of success.

After the success with his trio in the sixties, Irving Fields went back working as a solo pianist on cruise ships again, where he sailed the whole world, and finally settled as a music entertainer in restaurants, from 2004 six nights a week in Nino’s Tuscany, Manhattan. This would become the place, where he started his second career.

In the last decade, several films appeared about Fields playing piano on YouTube. These films form a good impression of his talent, wisdom, and humor. Although Irving Fields was not a user of a computer or the Internet, he did compose the YouTube theme song.

 

Regarding my research about the influence of Jewish tunes in American popular song, I contacted Irving Fields, and then I received several handwritten letters from him. At my birthday March 2010, I met Irving Fields and his lovely wife Ruth in person in Nino’s Tuscany restaurant, where he entertained the guests with his music. From my letters, he knew that I should visit him this special evening. To my surprise, he welcomed me with a newly composed personal anniversary song. When listening to his music and talking to him, I knew that I was close to one of the last persons, already in his nineties, who could tell me first-hand about the history of popular music in the Tin Pan Alley period before the second World War.

 

Irving Fields and Niels Falch at Nino's

Irving Fields and Niels Falch at Nino’s

Of course, I also asked him about his secret for longevity, and he replied with more than ten rules. The first three rules for longevity are; (1) Have a sense of humor (you’ll never get ulcers), (2) Think of these three magic letters before you make a decision: L.T.D. Look, Think and Do, and (3) Be the first to say “hello” with a smile on your face and a friendly glow. Following these rules during his life, Irving Fields became ultimately 101 years young.

Even U.S. President Donald J. Trump admired Irving Fields, and shared one of his secrets for longevity: “Irving has said that work is a blessing, especially when you like your work. He loves his work, and that love is evident in his music. Irving is a great pro.”

Irving Fields will be remembered as the pianist who blended bagels and bongos, although he never had a way to play a bagel…

You can listen to over 30 recordings by Irving Fields on the Recorded Sound Archives website by clicking here.

 

RSA Guest Blogger, Niels Falch, is a PhD candidate at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and is currently writing a dissertation on the influence of Jewish music in American popular songs.

Please note, due to copyright some of these recordings may only play for 45 second snippet to give the user a taste of what this music sounded like back in the day, if you are interested in full access considering applying for Research Station Access. Access to Research Station is limited to educators, students and serious researchers.

Highlighting the Voice of Cantor Zvee Aroni

By , July 25, 2017 1:31 pm

2016-Slideshow-cantorial-songs-zvee-aroni

There was a “joke” in the cantorial world that “If you can’t get Koussevitzky, get Aroni!”  Personally, I think Aroni (my dad) had a better voice.

His voice instructor and many others told him that he could have been, or should be an opera singer, but he loved being a cantor too much.

His voice didn’t age noticeably from his first recordings, specifically The Grape Song recorded in 1950, to his last recording Kohanecha Yilb’shu Tzedek recorded in 1990.

Both recordings can be heard on the RSA website, along with 34 other recordings by Cantor Zvee Aroni, just one of over 260 cantorial voices to choose from in the Cantorial Voices Collection.

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