Producers began looking for better options and started experimenting with materials that were lighter, flexible and less fragile.
One of these experiments, Hit of the Week records, were actually made of resin coated brown paper! This lightweight, flexible, “unbreakable” composition was unique and provided a 78 rpm recording with sound equal to or better than ordinary shellac.
Beginning in February 1930 a new recording featuring a current “hit” song was released each week. They were sold at newsstands, likemagazines, with past issues being available by mail order. They were recorded on one side only and sold for 15 to 20 cents per recording. The unrecorded side was often printed with advertising or the performer’s portrait. They had a tendency to curl up over time and came in flimsy rice paper sleeves.
These recordings were a big hit with the public in the early days of the Great Depression and provided easy, cheap entertainment to the masses. However, as the depression wore on sales slumped. the last Hit of the Week issue was released in June 1932.
The Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries is pleased to share 39 of these original recordings with our website users. Due to US Copyright laws only 45-second snippets are available on our public website. Full recordings are available to RSA Research Station users.
Click here to see and hear the Hit of the Week collection.
Portraits of two beloved icons–Sholom Aleichem and Theodore Bikel–are woven together in this enchanting new documentary. The two men have much in common: wit, wisdom and talent, all shot through with deep humanity and Yiddishkeit.
Theodore Bikel, the unstoppable performer whose career spans more than 150 screen roles (including an Oscar-nominated turn in “The Defiant Ones”) and countless stage and musical productions, is also the foremost interpreter of Sholom Aleichem’s work. Now 90, Bikel has played Tevye the Milkman on stage more than 2,000 times, and he has animated Aleichem’s work through his creation of two celebrated musical plays about the great Russian author.
The new film Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem combines Bikel’s charismatic storytelling and masterful performances with a broader exploration of Aleichem’s remarkable life and work.
A pioneer of modern Jewish literature who championed and luxuriated in the Yiddish language, Sholom Aleichem created dozens of indelible characters. His Tevye the Milkman, Motl the Cantor’s Son, and Menachem Mendl–“shtetl Jews” for whom humor and pathos were two sides of the same Yiddish coin–remain invaluable windows into pre-war Eastern European Jewish life, real and imagined.
Watch the Trailer!
The National Center for Jewish Film is a unique, independent nonprofit motion picture archive and distributor. This month several screenings of Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem will be presented across Florida.
Below you will find information on these screenings and where tickets can be purchased.Sarasota, FL - March 8 & 10 2015
Leonard Nimoy passed away February 27, 2015 in Los Angeles at the age of 83.
The son of Yiddish speaking Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Soviet Union, Nimoy began acting at the age of 8.
He starred in minor movie roles through the 1950s, but he is probably best remembered for his role as Spock. Nimoy captivated audiences in his role as the half Vulcan, half human Spock in the original Star Trek TV series (1966-1969), and earned himself three Emmy nominations. He later appeared in numerous Star Trek and other films and directed Nimoy directed Star Trek III: The Search for Spock in 1984 and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in 1986.
The Vulcan salute, which became identified with him was created by Nimoy from his childhood memories of the way kohanim (Jewish priests) hold their hand when giving blessings.
In the clip below Leonard Nimoy explains the origin of the Vulcan hand signal.
Video by Yiddish Book Center on Publish Date February 27, 2015.
Beyond acting and directing Nimoy was a recording artist and released five albums.
Florida Atlantic University LibrariesFestival Highlights Klezmer Company Orchestra
FAU – Carole & Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium, Boca Raton, FL
Sun, Mar 1, 2015 03:00 PM
Aaron Kula leads KCO in vintage Klezmer melodies re-mixed …moreGreat Jewish Composers of the 20th Century
FAU – Wimberly Library, Boca Raton, FL
Tue, Mar 3, 2015 02:00 PMDiscover musical treasures featuring iconic Jewish composers …more Moroccan Soul with Aaron Bensoussan
Thu, Mar 5, 2015 07:30 PM
Listen to a unique soulful mix of genres including Judao Moro …moreJewish Melodies in Jazztime – Brian Potts Vibraphone Quartet
Sat, Mar 7, 2015 07:30 PM
Vibraphonist Brian Potts brings his accomplished jazz quartet …more
The impact of WWII on the daily lives of Americans and Europeans cannot be overstated. As the atrocities of the Nazis raged in Europe, American men were drafted and called to war. American music of the WWII era spoke to the soldiers far from home and also to those they left behind.
The Second World War changed the course of history in many ways. One of the things that changed was music…what it sounded like, how we listened to it and how intimately it touched our lives.
During WWII music became personal as well as entertaining. Major technological advances such as radio and phonograph recordings took music out of the theater and into middle-class homes. Big Bands, Jazz and Swing created a new vibe that defined a generation.
The Recorded Sound Archives has digitized two very special collections from the Second World War era. V-discs were produced between October 1943 and May 1949 by the US Armed Forces for military personnel overseas. Vogue Picture Records were produced between May 1946 and April 1947 by Sav-Way Industries using a special process engineered by Tom Saffady.
Enjoy the music that defined a generation – the best loved songs from the World War II era. Many thanks to all those who sent in the titles of their favorite songs from the 1940s and 1950s.
Click here to listen to Songs of the Second World War. Due to copyright concerns, some recordings may be limited to 45-second snippets. Full versions are available to users of the RSA Research Station.
Click here for Youtube videos.FAU events that may interest you.
2/17/15 (Tuesday) @ 5pm – FAU Wimberly Library: The Most Controversial Decision - Lecture by Wilson Miscamble. Mr. Miscamble is a prize-winning author and historian.
2/18/15 (Wednesday) @ 3:30pm – FAU Barry Kaye Auditorium: Truman’s Presidency and WWII - Lecture by David McCullough. David McCullough is is an American author, narrator, and historian. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
3/18/15 (Wednesday) @ 3:30 pm – FAU Wimberly Library: Nazi War Criminals, US Intelligence and the Cold War – Lecture by Dr. Norman Goda. Norman Goda received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He studies modern European history and specializes in the history of the Holocaust, war crimes trials, and twentieth century diplomacy.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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:
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.