Category: Popular entertainment

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.

Recently Added to Research Station (Spring 2017)

By , May 11, 2017 3:23 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 Spring Semester 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

Simcha L’artzecha by Dov Levine & Sherwood Goffin

The Fifth Chasidic Song Festival 1973 by Various Artists

Chabad – Songs of the Lubovitcher Chassidim volume 2 by Various Artists

Hold On Just a Little Bit Longer by Mordechai Ben David

613 Torah Avenue – Songs for Chumash B’reishis by Elie Goldberg

18 Years, Due Re’im by Various Artists

The Reim by Various Artists

Toronto Pirchei Choir by Various Artists

Shomoh Vatismach Zion by Gershon Sirota

Sh’ma Yisroel by David Kusevitsky

Concerto in E Minor – Finale by Jascha Heifetz

Autopsy on Schubert by Larry Wagner and his Rhythmasters

Get Out Those Old Records by Guy Lombardo

One Night Stand with Ziggy Elman – Hollywood Palladium August 1948 by Ziggy Elman

Echo’s of Cantorial Concert in Honour of Cantor Shmudel Vigoda by Ben-Zion Miller

Kalanit Israeli Folk Dances by Josef Milo and David Edery

Na’ Arah, Folk Dances of Israel by Shlomo Shai

Kibbutz Festival by Various Artists

Songs of David and Cantorial Prayers by Ray Roberts

Chasidance by Shmuel Goldman and Yaron Gershovsky

The Flames – Chasidic Pop Songs by Various Artists

Achdus by Various Artists

Shim Sholom by Shloimele Rothstein

Tutzi Mutzi by Aaron Lebedeff

Or Chodosh by Yossi Toiv

Samuel Sterner Choir by Samuel Sterner Concert Choir

The Songs of Rabbi Shalom Mirkin by Various Artists

Israeli Chassidic Song Festival 1982 – No. 14 by Various Artists

Mordechai Ben David Sings [V’kol Maaminim] And All Believe by Mordechai Ben David

 

 

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.

Timeless Love Songs of the 1920s

By , February 3, 2016 3:19 pm

Timeless Love Songs from the 1920sIf there’s one type of song that we will never grow tired of, it is the ever popular love song. Mellow or upbeat, mushy or filled with angst; whatever the tempo or the lyrical content…Enjoy these nine timeless love songs from the 1920s found in the Recorded Sound Archives Vintage, Judaic and Jazz collections just in time for Valentines day.

 

 

 

 

Nine Timeless Love Songs of the 1920s

  1.  Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Fats Waller written in 1929 by Thomas “Fats” Waller himself, Harry Brooks and Andy Razaf.
  2. All Alone by Al Jolson, written by Irving Berlin and published in 1924.
  3. April Showers by Al Jolson, written by B.G. DeSylva music composed by Louis Silvers originally published in 1921.
  4. Blue Skies by The Hour of Charm Girl Orchestra and Choir, written and composed by Irving Berlin in 1926.
  5. I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me by Artie Shaw, written by Jimmy McHugh and Clarence Gaskill in 1926.
  6. With a Song in My Heart by Dennis Day, originally written for the musical Spring is Here by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers in 1929.
  7. What’ll I Do? by Henry Burr and Marcia Freer, written by Irving Berlin in 1923.
  8. Who’s Sorry Now? by Ernest Stevens, written by Bert Kalmer and Harry Ruby composed by Ted Snyder this song was published in 1923 and featured in the 1950 film, Three Little Words.
  9. Everybody Loves My Baby (But My Baby Don’t Love Nobody but Me) by Aileen Stanley, composed by Jack Palmer and Spencer Williams in 1924.

 

Some songs may only be available as snippets due to US Copyright laws.

These items are noted in the player with the words (Research Station) and only allow for 45 seconds snippets to be played to give you a sense of what that recording originally sounded like. Full access is available through the RSA’s Research Station access is limited to educators, students and serious researchers.

Theodore Bikel, A Versatile Man

By , August 24, 2015 6:53 pm
Theodore Bikel on stage as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.

Theodore Bikel on stage as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.

With his grey beard, clear voice, and room filling performance, Theodore Bikel had so much in common with Tevye the Milkman. He was the fiddler on the roof, a versatile man.

Theodore Bikel, actor, activist and folk singer, passed away at the age of 91 last month on July 21, 2015 in Los Angeles. He played Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof onstage in thousands of performances, created the role of Baron von Trapp in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, recorded as a singer and guitarist for many albums in different languages, and was involved in civil rights causes.

Bikel was born into a Jewish family in Vienna, and named after Zionist Theodore Herzl. They fled to Palestine in 1938. and according to his mother in his autobiography, he sang before he could talk. Theodore started acting at a young age and performed in the Habimah Theatre in Tel Aviv in 1943. Bikel moved to London in 1945 and next to the United States in 1954, where he started his acting career on Broadway.

Bikel released thirteen albums between 1955 to 1965. The most popular recordings were: Theodore Bikel Sings Jewish Folk Songs (1958), Songs of a Russian Gypsy (1958), Theodore Bikel Sings More Jewish Folk Songs (1959), A Harvest of Israel Folk Songs (1961), and Theodore Bikel Sings Yiddish Theatre and Folk Songs (1965). With this repertoire, he paved the way for a renewed interest in Yiddish folk songs, and ultimately for the klezmer revival in the late seventies.

Along with folk singer Pete Seeger, Bikel became one of the founders of the Newport Folk Festival in 1959. This festival is known for the performances of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan in 1963 and played a crucial role in the American folk music revival of the sixties.

Just recently, a documentary film was released about the intertwining of Theodore Bikel’s life with writer Sholom Aleichem, the great storyteller of Jewish life in Eastern Europe: Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem. In March this year, Record Sound Archives’ Alethea Perez wrote a blog about this portrait. click here to read more.

Listed below are some of his popular tunes.

 Dona Dona

Di Mame Iz Gegangen

Az Der Rebbe Zingt

Dodi Li

 Click here for more Theodore Bikel recordings.

Due to copyright concerns only snippets can be heard on the RSA public website. Full versions are available to users of the RSA Research Station.

If you enjoyed this guest blog post you may enjoy Gone but not forgotten – the Barry Sisters.

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.

 

Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem

By , March 9, 2015 7:53 pm

theodore-bikel-in-the-shoes-of-sholom-aleichemPortraits 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!

Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem (Trailer) from National Center for Jewish Film on Vimeo.

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.

jewish-film-festival

Sarasota, FL – March 8 & 10 2015
Jewish Film Festival of Sarasota-Manatee OPENING NIGHT WITH THEODORE BIKEL RECEPTION FOLLOWING Sunday, March 8, 6:30 pm at Hyatt Regency Sarasota Encore Screening (film only) Tuesday, March 10, 3pm at Jewish Federation See Festival website for tickets
tampa-jewish-film-festival Tampa, FL – Friday, March 13, 2015
Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival  Friday, March 13, 1:15 pm at Villagio Cinemas North Tampa Buy Tickets! LIMITED SEATING
movies-delray Delray Beach, FL  – March 13-19
Week Theatrical Run March 13-19 Tickets and showtimes coming soon!
movies-lake-worth Lake Worth, FL  – March 13-19
Week Theatrical Run March 13-19 Tickets and showtimes coming soon!

Live long and prosper – Leonard Nimoy

By , March 9, 2015 2:26 pm

Leonard-Nimoy

Did you know Star Trek’s Mr. Spock was Jewish?

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.

The Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries is delighted to share the following recordings by Alberto Mizrahi and the Western Wind, featuring Leonard Nimoy as the narrator.

The Birth of the World, Part 1: Rosh Hashanah

The Birth of the World, Part 2: Yom Kippur

Taste of Eternity – A Musical Shabbat Part 1: Friday Night Service

Taste of Enternity – A Musical Shabbat, Part 2: Saturday Morning Service

Chanukah in Story and Song

FAU celebrates Jewish culture 2015

By , February 12, 2015 4:27 pm

kulturlogoFebruary 28 – March 7, 2014

7th Annual Kultur Celebration

Click here for full schedule and more information

                    Florida Atlantic University Libraries

Festival Highlights


KCO

Klezmer Company Orchestra

FAU – Carole & Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium, Boca Raton, FL

Sun, Mar 1, 2015 03:00 PM

Booksp00313

FAU – Wimberly Library, Boca Raton, FL

Discover musical treasures featuring iconic Jewish composers …more
bensoussan_aaron

Moroccan Soul with Aaron Bensoussan

FAU – Wimberly Library, Boca Raton, FL

Thu, Mar 5, 2015 07:30 PM

 vibraphone

Jewish Melodies in Jazztime – Brian Potts Vibraphone Quartet

FAU – Wimberly Library, Boca Raton, FL

Songs of the Second World War

By , February 2, 2015 2:39 pm

WW2The Second World War waged around the globe from 1939 to 1945.

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.V-disc

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.

wWWII exhibit2/2/15 through 2/25/15 – FAU Wimberly Library: World War II Highlights from Special Collections

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.

 

Gone but not forgotten – the Barry Sisters

By , January 5, 2015 8:50 pm
Bagelman Sisters/Barry Sisters

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.

Born in New York, the two sisters were originally known 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

By , December 5, 2014 3:13 pm

Kenny ellisEveryone 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.

For more Hanukkah songs,click here.

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