Posts tagged: Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red-Hot Mamas

By , September 16, 2013 10:00 am


Known as the Last of the Red Hot Mamas, Sophie Tucker had a career that began in vaudeville, embraced the new jazz age of the 1920’s and lasted well into the 1960s.

Widely known for her bawdy humor (which may seem tame by today’s standards) and her big personality, she never lost touch with her Jewish roots.

Sophie Tucker ‘s original Decca rendition of My Yiddishe Momme, recorded in 1928, featured an English version on Side A and a Yiddish version on Side B.  Among the recordings she made on the Mercury label beginning in the 1950s was this rendition of My Mother’s Sabbath Candles, also in both English and Yiddish versions.

Sophie Tucker quotes

I couldn’t make [Momme] understand that it wasn’t a career that I was after. It was just that I wanted a life that didn’t mean spending most of it at the cookstove and the kitchen sink. (Some of the Days, 1945)

Everyone knew the theater was to be closed down, and a landmark in show business would be gone. That feeling got into the acts. The whole place, even the performers, stank of decay. I seemed to smell it. It challenged me. I was determined to give the audience the idea: why brood over yesterday? We have tomorrow. As I sang I could feel the atmosphere change. The gloom began to lift, the spirit which formerly filled the Palace and which made it famous among vaudeville houses the world over came back. That’s what an entertainer can do. (Concerning the November 19, 1932 closing of the Palace theater in NYC, i.e. the end of vaudeville.)

Selected items from our collection of Sophie Tucker recordings.

Sophie Tucker’s performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Autographed inside flap from copy of Tucker’s autobiography

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My favorite videos on YouTube

By , June 13, 2011 2:50 pm

Although the Judaica Sound Archives does not collect or preserve video materials we LOVE watching some of the wonderful clips on YouTube. Supporters and friends of the JSA often send us links to film clips that they think we will enjoy.  Here are some of our favorites. What are yours?

The following YouTube videos indicate that you don’t have to be Jewish to love Jewish music…..

Connie Francis released this album of Jewish songs in 1960. She talks about how much Jewish music has meant to her in this video. Click here. (3 min.)

If you haven’t heard Tom Jones singing My Yiddishe Momma you are in for a treat.  Click here. (2 min, 33 sec.)

Charles Aznavour also sings My Yiddishe Momma. He not onlymakes this rendition totally his own he also makes it powerful and totally unique.  I love this recording.  Click here. (6 min, 32 sec.)

We all love Julie Andrews.  Did you ever wonder what it would be like if she sang at a Jewish wedding?  Well, now you know! Click here. (4 min., 24 sec.)

Prof. Josh Kun discusses the meaning and importance of Hava Negila. Leonard Nimoy, Irving Fields, Harry Bellafonte and many others add their talents. Click here. (9 min.)

Sophie Tucker sings her iconic rendition of My Yiddishe Momma in this clip. Click here. (7 min., 9 sec.)

Think you’ve heard it all?  Here is a new perspectives on some old Jewish music.

Meshugga Beach Party performs Sholem Aleichem like you have never heard it before. Click here.  (2 min., 12 sec.)

Unique Judaica recordings found among thousands

By , October 21, 2009 1:36 pm

Golden-SlumbersHave you ever opened a surprise box not knowing what you might find? That is what has been going on at the JSA since the truckload of recordings from Jack Saul’s collection arrived on September 11, 2009. So you might be wondering, “Did you find anything interesting or unusual?” Of course we did!

JSA volunteers and staff have been busy for the past three weeks unpacking recordings, sorting them, and entering information into the JSA database. After three weeks this is what has been accomplished.

(1)  Total progress: About 20 % of the Jack Saul donation of recordings to the JSA has been processed so far.

(2)  Processing of 78rpm recordings: 926 recordings were completely processed.  This means they have been unpacked and checked against the database. Of these, 213 recordings were found to be new to the collection. Information about each of these recordings has been entered into the JSA database.

(3)  Processing of albums: 2096 recordings (LPs, CDs, and tapes) were completely processed (unpacked and checked against the database). Of these, 366 recordings were found to be new to the collection. Information about each of these recordings has been entered into the JSA database.

(4)  Unusual or interesting items of note:



Click here to play a non-downloading snippet from this album.

Golden Slumbers is a book of lullabies from around the world published in 1956 by Book-Records. This “Soundbook” contains 16 lullabies, 8 on each side of a 10 inch LP phonograph record , including the beautiful Yiddish song Rojinkes mit Mandlen. The book describes the history of lullabies and provides sheet music and lyrics as well as a High Fidelity sound recordings of all the songs. The book’s editor, Sidney Reisberg writes, “Although “Raisins and Almonds” was originally composed for an opera, it appears to be based on some older folk-tunes.  In any event, it has since become absorbed into the folk tradition and idiom.”


The JSA has many recordings by the amazing Sophie Tucker.  But this one is special indeed! This Decca album, recorded in 1945, contains three 78 rpm recordings (six songs) and was personally autographed by Sophie Tucker in November 1948 at the Latin Quarter in New York City.






PLEASE NOTE: In accordance with US Copyright Laws these recordings are NOT featured on the JSA website ( For further information about these or other recordings in the Jack Saul Collection, please contact the Judaica Sound Archives at Florida Atlantic University Libraries (561-297-0080).


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