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Top ten reasons to volunteer at the RSA

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:20
Looking for local volunteers

RSA’s sound technician, Ben Roth, set up a table and tried to entice passersby to sign up at Boca Pointe’s Volunteer Fair on Tuesday, January 20, 2015. Not much luck.

People are often amazed at the number of recordings that the RSA has been able to digitize and put online. “How do you do it?” That’s a question we often hear.

The answer? VOLUNTEERS!!!!

But why should you volunteer when you have so many other things to do? What’s in it for you? So here is my top ten reasons to volunteer at the Recorded Sound Archives in FAU Libraries, Boca Raton.

10. You can reminisce about some of the world’s greatest Jazz musicians as you enter information from LPs into the database.

9. You can learn more about Jazz history, songs and musicians by reading the backs of album covers.

8. You can improve your mind and improve your memory by exercising your brain muscles.

7. You can improve your manual dexterity and keyboard skills.

6. You can feel good about spending your time doing something useful and worthwhile.

5. You can volunteer whenever you have time to kill as long as it is on Mon through Thurs between 9am and 4pm.

4. You can enjoy the ambiance of FAU’s beautiful Boca Raton campus and the Wimberly Library.

3. You might make new friends.

2. You can see and hear demonstrations of the RSA’s antique equipment, including an original Edison cylinder player and two console Victrolas from the 1920s.

And the number 1 reason to volunteer at the RSA…..

We need you!

Contact Alethea Perez at 561-297-0080 for more information.

Gone but not forgotten – the Barry Sisters

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 15:50

Bagelman Sisters/Barry Sisters early photo with Claire Barry on the right.

Yiddish music icons, Merna and Claire Barry, entertained generations of Jewish Americans with their jazzy versions of Yiddish songs.

For over 40 years the Bagelman Sisters, later known as the Barry Sisters, were the darlings of Jewish entertainment. Their recordings could be found in almost every Jewish household in the 1950s and 60s. The younger of the two sisters, Merna, passed away in 1976. The older sister, Claire Barry, died on November 22, 2014 in Hollywood, FL at 94. Click here for full NY Times obituary.

Who were the Barry Sisters?

Two beautiful girls, dressed in the latest fashion, hair  perfectly coiffed, singing with sultry voices that could make your heart leap.

New Yorkers. Clara and Minnie Bagelman. started as the Bagelman Sisters. Many saw them as the Yiddish answer to the popular Andrews Sisters in the 1940s. They combined old Jewish folk songs and Yiddish Theater ditties with swing arrangements and perfect harmony. When Clara and Minnie changed their names to Claire and Merna The Bagelman Sisters became The Barry Sisters. They have often been credited with creating Yiddish Swing, a music genre which did not exist previously.

The glamorous Barry Sisters were regular guests at Yiddish radio programs like Yiddish Melodies in Swing. They toured with the Ed Sullivan Show to the Soviet Union and performed in Israel in October 1962.

The popularity of their catchy and jazzy tunes may have paved the way for the Broadway hit, Fiddler on the Roof, and the klezmer revival of the late 70s.

Listed below are some of their most popular tunes. The Judaica Sound Archives has 41 recordings by this dynamic duo of Yiddish music.

Abi Gezunt (Stay healthy)

In Meine Oigen Bistie Shain (To me you are beautiful)

Channah from Havannah (A Gala Concert with Moishe Oysher album, no. 3).

Bublitchki (About the last bagel)

Dem Neyem Sher (At Home With album, no. 2).

Roumania

Click here for more Barry Sisters recordings. Due to copyright concerns only snippets can be heard on our public website.  Full versions are available to users of the RSA Research Station.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Hanukkah music for grown-ups

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 10:13
Everyone loves the traditional Hanukkah songs we all learned in childhood.  We teach these songs to our children and our grandchildren. L’dor v’dor.

Today we highlight an album that encourages us to experience Hanukkah as an adult. Embracing the mood and sounds of Swing and Jazz era music, Kenny Ellis has created a truly one-of-a-kind album.

The album includes many old favorites and two wonderful medleys that evoke an upbeat Post WW2 vibe. This is Hanukkah music as you have never heard it before.

Hanu-calypso is so funny that it just might  replace Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song as my go-to Hanukkah ditty.

For more information about Kenny Ellis or to purchase this CD, click here.

Yiddish recordings a big hit at international conference

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 15:52

RSA Director, Maxine Schackman, at the IAYC conference on Nov. 15 in Boca Raton, FL.

RSA director, Maxine Schackman, told the audience at the International Association of Yiddish Clubs  conference in Boca Raton that FAU Libraries has been collecting Judaic recordings since 2002.

“We take these antique recordings and digitize them so that a new generation can learn and enjoy what came before them,” she said.

The Recorded Sound Archives website has the largest searchable online collection of Jewish music in the world with recordings by 7,344 Jewish performers, 13,776 albums and 72, 577 song titles.

Among the musical pieces Schackman presented that had the audience laughing and singing along were “Roumania, Roumania,” written and performed by Yiddish theater star Aaron Lebedeff; “Good Night ‘Oy Vey’ Irene”, a Yiddish parody of “Good Night Irene” sung by Seymour Rechtzeit and written by his wife, Miraim Kressyn; and “Bei Mir Bistu Shein,” a Yiddish swing song that became a number-one single in America in 1938 as recorded by the Andrews Sisters.

CLICK HERE to listen to a selection of Yiddish recordings.

CLICK HERE for full story written by Randall Lieberman and published in Jewish Journal.

 

 

 

 

Cantor Todros Greenberg: a family pays homage to their roots

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 13:17
Cantor Todros Greenberg’s great-granddaughter wanted her son to hear his great-great- grandfather sing, but all she had was a tangle of tapes from dozens of reel-to-reel recordings. What could she do?

After locating a box full of tapes belonging to her great-grandfather, Cheryl Silver reached out to the JSA. With her son Noah’s Bar Mitzvah only a few months away she wanted to preserve the music on the tapes as part of Noah’s Mitzvah Project.

Although most of the tapes seemed to be in fairly good condition they were in total disarray. The home-made tapes were not clearly identified. We had no idea who was singing what on which tape.

A bit of good luck: As it happened, Cantor Joseph Gross, friend of the JSA, remembered Cantor Greenberg and could identify his voice. Hour after hour after hour, Cantor Gross sat with ear phones listening to tapes and making notes.  JSA sound technician, Ben Roth-Aroni meticulously digitized the tapes, created separate tracks and organized the songs on CDs for the family.

Well-known among Cantors for his talents as an educator and composer,  Cantor Greenberg’s 40 year collaboration with  Cantor Sholom Kalib resulted in the critically acclaimed book, Heichal Han’gina V’hatfila. Vol.1, published in 1961 by the Cantor’s Assembly.

His compositions have been included in the Milken Archive’s CD: The First S’lihot by Benzion Miller and  in The Milken Archive’s 50 CD boxed set.  They were also featured as part of the 8-program WFMT (Chicago) radio series, The Art of the Cantor, hosted by Cantor Alberto Mizrahi. But, recordings of this great Cantor’s voice have been rare …..until now.

The Judaica Sound Archives is proud of its role in preserving the recorded music legacy of Cantor Todros Greenberg.The digitized music in this collection was lovingly and painstakingly created from Cantor Greenberg’s personal reel-to-reel tapes which were donated to the Judaica Sound Archives by Cantor Greenberg’s family in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of his great-great-grandson, Noah Johnson.

 Click here to read more about Cantor Greenberg and to hear his recordings.

Leo Fuld: A forgotten man?

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 09:42
Do you know this person? Clue: He is a Dutch man who was once called the King of Yiddish Music.

Leo Fuld was one of the premier Yiddish performers in America during the 1950′s and 1960′s. Audiences loved to hear him sing Yiddish favorites in a combination of Yiddish and English. They loved his music which evoked the emotions and hardships of the Jewish people. Simply put, audiences loved the truth in his music.

One of his most famous compositions “Vi Ahin Zol lch Geyn? (Where Can I Go?), can still wrench the heart. It sold over one and a half million copies worldwide. Leo Fuld not only composed Yiddish songs, he also performed them with great success.  His list of recorded hits include: Ich Hab Dich Zu Viel Lieb (I Love You Much Too Much), Wus Geween Ist Geween, My Yiddishe Mama, Zigany Melody. The lyrics to his song, Mazzel, tells us something that we all know….a little luck can make a big difference!

Lyrics:

You gotta have a little mazzel,
Mazzel means good luck,
‘Cause with a little mazzel,
You always make a buck.
And if you have no mazzel,
Although you’re on the ball,
You try and try and can’t get by,
You beat your head against the wall.
Don’t ever try to figure, why you seem to be to blame,
That some folks have a million, and can’t even write their name!

Fuld was born into a large family (the third of ten) in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He served as a cantor in the synagogue when only 16 years old. Like other young men of the time, however, he was also attracted to popular music. Just before the outbreak of World War II, he left for America, established himself as a singer of Yiddish songs and became a well-known and successful performer.

Returning home after the war, Fuld was devastated to find his beloved Rotterdam bombed beyond recognition and his entire family murdered.  With his red-hair and European accent he became a very recognizable Jewish performer when he returned to the USA. Combining Yiddish songs with swing music, and using both Yiddish and English lyrics he achieved stardom among Jewish audiences in the 1950s and 1960s. Performing with super-stars like Frank Sinatra and Edith Piaf his admirers ran the gamut and included such luminaries as Frankie Laine, Billie Holiday, Al Jolson, Danny Kaye and even Albert Einstein.

Click here for more songs by Leo Fuld.

This blog was written by RSA guest blogger, Niels Falch. An independent researcher, Mr. Falch is especially interested in the influence of Jewish music on American popular songs. He lives near Amsterdam in Holland. Additional material supplied by Maxine Schackman, Director of the Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries in Boca Raton, FL.

Vinyl record give-away a big hit with FAU students

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 14:52

 

FAU students Allyson and Alexander browse through vinyl LPs.

Over 300 FAU students and invited guests participated in the Recorded Sound Archives Vinyl Record Give-away event on October 20 and 21, 2014 at the Wimberly Library’s fifth floor on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

More than 1,500 vinyl LP records were distributed as well as cassette tapes, and 45 rpm records (singles).

Established in 2002 to collect, organize and protect vintage audio recordings, the RSA houses more than 250,000 classical, jazz, Judaic and other vintage recordings, making FAU Libraries one of the top academic libraries in the nation for sound recordings.

All the recordings in the archives were donated to the university by collectors and institutions. Recent efforts to organize and inventory the back-log of thousands of donated recordings resulted in the identification of duplicate and excess records that were not needed for the RSA collection. The RSA regularly receives about 10,000 donated recordings each year.

Happy students,Kelly and Sydney, are looking forward to sharing their vinyl finds with their families.

Some students expressed disappointment when they learned that classic rock icons such as the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and Alice Cooper were not among the recordings being offered. One student commented, “Man, these are really, really old records.”

Yet, they were scooping up albums by Frank Sinatra, Petula Clark, Jack Benny and Robert Goulet. “Why did you choose this record I asked?” Very often the answer was something like, “I’m not sure but I think I remember my grandmother mentioning that she liked this singer.” For many adults of my age these recordings represented a “walk down memory lane”, but for these students it was a treasure trove of discovery. They asked for historical information about shows like “My Fair Lady” and “Oklahoma.” They showed me recordings of operas and wanted to know if Leontyne Price or Robert Merrill were good singers.

Marianna never heard of Jack Benny but she was interested to find out.

A group of young men scooped up a bunch of 45 rpm records and were surprised when I mentioned to them that they would need a special insert to fit in the large hole in order to play them on a standard phonograph. Many students said they had phonograph players and some said that they would go out and buy one just so they could listen to the music they had collected. A few lucky students were able to find used turntables at the give-away which also included several pieces of used equipment.

William was happy to find this classic Simon and Garfunkel album.

Austrian museum explores history of Jewish music

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 12:23
Jukebox. Jewkbox! An exhibition of the Jewish Museum Hohenems in collaboration with the Jewish Museum Munich will run from October 19, 2014 until March 8, 2015.

According to the website  of the Hohenems Jewish Museum in Austria the exhibit presents the history of Jewish recordings “from the first gramophones and shellac records to the dissolution of this medium in World Wide Web.”

This sounds like a wonderful project. Looking at sound recordings as cultural mirrors of the 20th century experience, the exhibitors write that “the omnipresent sound of the 20th century, its best known songs, musicals and soundtracks was not always Jewish music – but always also a product of Jewish history and experience.”

We do not know which recorded gems are included in this European exhibit but the Judaic Collection/Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries in Boca Raton FL hopes you will enjoy the following authentic recordings from the early 20th century.

Molly Picon – Abi Gesind     Simon Paskal – Aheim Aheim     Al Jolson – Angel Child    Arthur Pryors Band – At a Hebrew Wedding

M Kanewsky – Auf’n Pripetchok

Andrews Sisters – Bei Mir Bist du Shon  (snippet)

Benny Bell – Celebration Freylach

Your favorite place for lstening to Jewish music just got better!

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 04:00

Take Jewish music with you wherever you go!

Now you can listen to your favorite Jewish songs on your i-phone, i-pad, smart phone or other mobile device!

New online registration for the JSA Research Station makes it quicker and easier than ever to research and study Jewish music and performers.

The current JSA website is merging with the Recorded Sound Archives at FAU website (rsa.fau.edu).

All the music, images and information on the JSA site that you are familiar with will also be available on the new RSA website. . . plus a lot more!

Click here to visit the new RSA website
  • Be among the first to see the newly updated, expanded and totally redesigned website.
  • Browse among Jewish recordings for the songs and performers you like or expand your search to include our Vintage and Jazz collections.
  • Access the music you want with your mobile device.
  • Any user of the Research Station can log in directly from our website. No additional downloads or special procedures are required.
The current JSA website will only be available until January 1, 2015. After 1/1/15 you will automatically be re-directed to the new RSA website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romance is in the Air: Efrem Zimbalist & Alma Gluck

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 05:26

Alma Gluck and Efrem Zimbalist

Before there was Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt…before there was Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall…before there was Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton…There was Efrem Zimbalist and Alma Gluck.

A little over100 years ago, a nice Jewish boy who happened to be a violin genius  met a lovely Jewish young woman who was making a name for herself as a singer. I guess you could say that when these two Jewish superstars of classical music fell in love they were destined to make beautiful music together.

The Zimbalist-Gluck romance provided lots of material for the gossips of their day. While the idea of such a wonderful pairing of talents was thrilling, there were those who pointed out that Gluck was six years older, as well as a divorcee with a daughter. Scandalous!

 

Read more about Alma Gluck’s relationship with Efrem Zimbalist.

Read more about Efrem Zimbalist.

Browse 40 recordings the talented couple made together.

Cantor Elias Rosemberg

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 11:56
Growing up in a family of Hazzans and Klezmer musicians, Cantor Elias Rosemberg may have been born to perform.

From his early days as a wedding singer in Buenos Aires to his present position as the Cantor for Temple Emanuel in Newton, MA. (the largest Conservative synagogue in New England)  his talent and energy have made him a stand-out performer. No stranger to radio, television, and the recording industry, he won the “Argentina Sings for Israel” vocal contest in 1998.

Since coming to the United States in 2000, he has continued to receive honors and recognition for his talent as a great singer and as a gifted Hazzan. His repertoire includes Cantorial, Israeli, Yiddish, and Ladino, as well as opera and Broadway selections. True to his Argentinean roots, he also enjoys singing Tango. At the Cantors Assembly Convention in 2002 he was asked to sing the memorial prayer at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.

You can visit his YouTube channel to see live performances.

The Judaica Sound Archives is proud to include these four  wonderful recordings by Cantor Rosemberg. Click album cover to play.

Israel’s history is playing. Are you listening?

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 13:40
Israel is 66 years old! Celebrate by revisiting the early years. Listen to the authentic recordings from the Vistas of Israel radio series.

Historic radio broadcast of the Israel Broadcasting Company celebrating the millionth immigrant to Israel (8/29/61). Click on label to play.

From the  late 1950s, through the 1960s, and into the early 1970s the State of Israel sought to inform Americans and others about their young country’s culture and accomplishments through a series of radio broadcasts in English.

These programs featured popular Israeli performers, topical discussions, and interviews with prominent Israelis and others. These original radio broadcasts were aired on local stations throughout the USA.

The Judaica Sound Archives has an extensive collection of these  historic “Vistas of Israel” radio programs. There are over 400 recorded broadcasts in the collection and about 250 of them have been digitized so far.

Click here for more about Vistas of Israel radio broadcasts.

You may also be interested in:

JSA celebrates Israel’s Statehood (5/5/2011)

JoAmar: A pioneer of Israeli Music

Israeli Performer: Shosaha Damari

Selected Israeli Songs

 

 

Prestigious award goes to Dean of FAU Libraries

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:49

Dr. William Miller, winner of the 2014 Gilbert Mudge Award, stands in the atrium of the Wimberly Library on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

Most of us have never heard of the Gilbert Mudge Award, but in the world of reference librarians it is the equivalent of winning an Oscar.

The Judaica Sound Archives and the entire staff of the Recorded Sound Archives is pleased to congratulate Dr. Miller on this well-deserved award.  Excellence in reference librarianship with a strong commitment to instruction has been the hallmark of his long and distinguished career.

Since his arrival at FAU in 1987 the Wimberly Library has undergone amazing changes. Modern technologies have dramatically changed the way that students and faculty use library spaces. Stacks once filled with scientific journals have been replaced by rows of computers where students can access a myriad of electronic journals and proprietary databases in addition to the ever-popular Google.

Dr. Miller has also been committed to strengthening the library’s relationship with its surrounding community. Wanting to make  the library relevant and distinctive has been the driving force behind the creation of projects and programs which are truly unique in the world of academic libraries.

Thanks to the vision of Dr. William Miller, the last two decades have been a time of innovative change at FAU Libraries’ special collections. Below is a list of his most notable accomplishments in this area.

Established in 1997, the Klezmer Company Orchestra,is the only professional ensemble-in-residence at any academic library. Using the library’s sheet music collection to create new and exciting programs, the KCO concert is the cornerstone of the annual Kultur Festival, a week-long celebration of Jewish culture.

 

The library acquired the Marvin and Sybil Weiner Spirit of America Collection of rare Americana in 2006. These authentic artifacts are often on display in a newly constructed suite on the Wimberly Library’s 5th floor.

 

 

The Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts is unique for viewing “books as art.” It features handmade, one-of-a-kind books created by artists.  It opened in 2007 in a newly constructed suite on the Library’s 3rd floor.

 

 

Beginning with only a few hundred Cantorial recordings in 2002, the Judaica Sound Archives has grown into the world’s largest online collection of recorded Jewish music. Today, more than 150,000 donated sound recordings constitute the rapidly growing Recorded Sound Archives, which continues the JSA mission and website (www.fau.edu/jsa) and also contains an impressive collection of early vintage phonograph records and more than 21,000 Jazz albums.

Passover 2014

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 08:57
Why is this holiday different from all others?

On this holiday, we celebrate the gift of freedom, we remember Jewish history through special Seder foods and  we teach the lessons of the haggadah to the next generation. The Judaica Sound Archives invites you to  add music and song to  your family’s Passover traditions.

The Judaica Sound Archives has compiled a mix of Passover songs that the whole family can enjoy.  From Cantorial splendor to children’s play-songs, music expresses the heart of the Jewish people. Give Jewish music a special place in your home for the  holidays. All the songs  in this compilation can be heard all year long on the JSA website.

You may also enjoy the following albums:

 

 

 

Cantor Joseph Gross

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 11:41
Cantor Joseph Gross is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about Jewish liturgy, Cantorial music, Cantorial voices and the history of the Cantorate in North America.

A delightful gentleman who has stored  a lifetime of learning into his diminutive frame, Cantor Joseph Gross showed up at the Judaica Sound Archives a little over three years ago wondering if he could be of any help. His warmth and his big smile took us in immediately.  But what captivated us was his encyclopedic knowledge of all things Cantorial and liturgical.

As he spoke I could not help but think that he has probably forgotten more than most of us will ever know on the topic. But as he continued, I realized that he is blessed with almost perfect recall.  Not much seems to have been forgotten at all. You may have heard of people with photographic memories, but Cantor Gross is the only person I have ever met with “phonographic  memory,” i.e. he can recall voice and music impeccably.

A master cantor and composer, Joseph Gross has been a regular volunteer at the JSA for over three years now. Several of our Cantorial music restoration projects have been possible only with his guidance and help.

The JSA has created three albums from the original tape recordings of Cantor Gross.  These recordings are not available anywhere else and have never been commercially released.  They were restored under the vigilant supervision of the Cantor himself.

 

 

Kultur 2014

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 09:46
 March 1 – 8, 2014 6th Annual Kultur Celebration

Click here for full schedule and more information

                                                      

                    Florida Atlantic University Libraries

 

Festival Highlights Saturday, March 1, 2014 @ 7:00 p.m Film: “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness”

Chock full of  humor, this documentary film explores the rebellious life of Sholem Aleichem as he experiences the tug of war between nostalgia and a modern Jewish identity.

 

Sunday, March 2, 2014 @ 3:00 p.m. Klezmer Company Orchestra — ¡Jubano Jazz!

Energetic arrangements of Klezmer melodies fused with Latin percussion, Argentinean Tango and Afro-Cuban dance beats and revitalized classic songs from the Yiddish theatre.

 

 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 @ 2:00 p.m.
Martin Bookspan Reminisces: My famous musical friends

Renowned PBS commentator of Live from Lincoln Center, Martin Bookspan is also a noted author,  and the well-known host for live radio broadcasts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. He shares personal stories and photographs about his friendships with legends such as Serge Koussevitzky, Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Jan Pierce, Richard Tucker and Michael Tilson Thomas. Presented in conjunction with the Judaica Sound Archives.

 

Thursday, March 6, 2014 @ 2:00 p.m.

Leonard Lehrman, pianist and Helene Williams, soprano, return to Kultur Festival with guest cantors from New York City: soprano Faith Steinsnyder and tenor David Perper performing a unique concert of “Jewish Opera” in various languages. Highlights include excerpts of Halévy’s famous La Juive, Spektor’s Lady of the Castle, Mandelbaum’s The Village, Blitzstein/Lehrman’s Tales of Malamud, and arias by Goldfaden.

FAU Sound Archives Rescues Vintage Kiddie Records Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 08:40

By Fire Ant, New Times Palm Beach

The entrance to the Recorded Sound Archives at FAU is guarded by the remnants of hi-fi history. Walnut-paneled gramophones from the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties line one wall. On shelves across the way, postwar portable sound systems and reel-to-reel tape decks compete for shelf space with 78 rpm and 45 rpm records from historic labels long gone – Decca (now owned by Vivendi), RCA Victor and Okeh (now owned by Sony).

Now in its third year, the archive is dedicated to the preservation and digitization of vintage audio — music as recorded on vinyl and, before that, shellac discs, which degrade over time as needles bounce through grooves. One of the few institutions of its kind — with more than 100,000 items in its collections of jazz, Judaica and the 78 rpm records that predated the long-playing album — the archive has become an invaluable resource for musicologists and historians from around the world.

The archive’s latest addition is a trove of 786 vintage kiddie records from the collection of “Kiddie Rekord King” Peter Muldavin, perhaps the world’s leading expert on early children’s recordings. A Manhattan resident, Muldavin had the records stored in his mother-in-law’s Long Island garage when Hurricane Sandy struck two years ago. The storm surge left many of the discs mud-stained and warped, while the waterlogged record sleeves and artwork became mildewed and moldy.

With very little commercial value left for Muldavin, he reached out to the RSA. “To collectors the quality of everything counts — the packaging, the labels,” RSA director Dr. Maxine Schackman told us. “We welcomed his donation with open arms. For us, the cultural value was still there.”

Still, in addition to audio digitization, the colorful packaging that was so much a part of the kiddie records’ appeal is also being repaired and restored (to the extent possible), then digitally scanned. About one-third of the Muldavin donation has been digitized so far, the sound cleaned of crackles and hisses in the process, distilled to the nostalgic essence of what seems (and sounds) like a more innocent time.

The kiddie records database should be complete early this year. Because of copyright issues, though, access to the sound files will be restricted. Academics and other researchers will be able to listen over the Internet through a password-protected website or, by appointment, at one of the archive’s listening stations.

Dr. Schackman hopes to make song samples from the kiddie records available to the general public, as has been done with earlier RSA donations. The idea, she says, is “to make the forgetten music unforgettable.”

By Fire Ant — an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes-fatal sting — covers Palm Beach County. Got feedback or a tip? Contact Fire.Ant@BrowardPalmBeach.com.

Original Source: http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/countygrind/2014/01/fau_sound_archives_rescues_vin.php

 

Exploring the world of Jewish recordings

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 14:35

Indiana Jones: “We do not follow maps to buried treasure and X never, ever marks the spot.” (Last Crusade)

Dr. Randall Goldberg, Asst. Prof of Music History at the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University in Ohio has been digging for “treasure” at the Judaica Sound Archives at the Wimberly Library on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

He has no map and so far has not discovered a spot marked with an “X.” But he has spent weeks tirelessly searching at FAU’s Judaica Sound Archives through thousands of 78 rpm recordings for information about how Jewish identity was expressed in 20th-century music. Like Indiana Jones, Randy Goldberg feels like he is on a quest. Allowing his intellectual curiosity to lead him on a fantastic journey back in time, he relishes finding little known tid-bits of information.

Prof. Goldberg crouches between the stacks to check the record numbers he is looking for.

“For me the passion is in the records.  There is a childish love that I have for it. I used to watch Indiana Jones films and that is the sense of adventure I have. I am always looking for some hidden treasure whether it is here at FAU’s Judaica Sound Archives or in an old record store in Pittsburgh.”

“Jewish musicians have a cool niche. I love to find weird mash-ups, like Chassidic disco albums or Jewish sacred music set to a Carribean beat.”

Prof. Goldberg  doesn’t find the enormity of the JSA collection to be overwhelming.  Quite the opposite.  “Just being being here and being immersed in the entirety of this whole thing. It fuels my enthusiasm and my passion for my research project.” he says.

Dr. Goldberg checks the information on the actual record label to ensure the correctness of his database.

Dr. Goldberg spends his time searching through the JSA’s database, locating the recordings that he is interested in and then entering information about those recordings into his laptop for use later in his research. It might seem like tedious work to some but Dr. Goldberg seems more like a “kid in a candy shop” than anything else.

JSA: “You seem to be having a good time visiting us and working here.”

GOLDBERG: “I love doing this. And the beautiful Florida weather isn’t bad either.  Back home in Ohio there are 12″ of snow on the ground!”

Dr. Goldberg achieved a BM in classical guitar performance at the University of Texas at Austin and a MM in musical performance at the New England Conservatory. He earned his doctorate at Indiana University. He is an Assistant Professor of Music History at Youngstown State University, College of Creative Arts and Communication, Dana School of Music. He  specializes in the music and music literature of early modern Europe.  In addition to teaching courses, Dr. Goldberg directs the Youngstown State University Early Music Ensemble and is the president of the Allegheny Chapter of the American Musicological Society.

RebbeSoul: Jewish roots, world music

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 09:04

Deeply emotional and rooted in the ancient songs of Judaism, the music of RebbeSoul brings a modern vibe that re-imagines the music of our ancestors. This is not your grandmother’s Jewish Music.  This is not some crazy mash-up of eclectic sounds.  This is spiritually-based music with modern sensibilities and a deep respect for the past.

After earning a degree in engineering, Bruce Burger (aka RebbeSoul)set off to explore L.A.’s music scene.

Leaving parental expectations and  upstate New York’s brilliant autumns and wintry snows behind him,  it was in L.A. that he finally found his sound….and his voice.

At the age of 22, after sharing a Shabbat dinner with an Orthodox family he was inspired to write “Sister Sarah.”  Despite having been a secular Jew for many years, this experience touched him so deeply that he was moved to take on the name RebbeSoul.

As he added the melodies of nigunim and prayers to his repertoire he made a decision. “Every time I play as RebbeSoul, I put something on my head….To the great Rebbes, a nigun, a melody, is something that comes from the heart and goes straight to heaven without anything getting in the way.  So when I do it, I want to make sure there is something on my head, out of respect.”

To strengthen his connection to the Jewish people even further, Burger made aliya in 2007. Now residing in Zichron Ya’acov, he is exploring his musical roots and enjoying where his musical journey is taking him.

The Judaica Sound Archives at FAU’s Wimberly Library is delighted to be able to add Bruce Burger as our newest JSA featured performer. Click on any album below.

 

SUN SENTINEL: FAU’s Vinyl Giveaway Starts Jan. 6

Mon, 12/23/2013 - 08:52

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Credit Matthias Rhomberg / Flickr CC

Florida Atlantic University’s Recorded Sound Archives at the Wimberly Library will be purged this January. Well, sort of.

The library’s sound archive is digitized, and duplicate records or those that don’t fit with the school’s collection will be given away Jan. 6-10, the Sun Sentinel reports. Possible finds include Glenn Miller, Barbra Streisand, Broadway, Christmas and Jewish albums.

The Nielsen Soundscan reported vinyl to be 2 percent of all albums sold. FAU archivist Ben Roth says the medium has a “warmer sound” than digitally reproduced music.

For more information on FAU’s vinyl giveaway, read the Sun Sentinel story.

Original Sourcehttp://wlrn.org/post/sun-sentinel-faus-vinyl-giveaway-starts-jan-6