Hi everybody! Welcome to my new weekly blog where we will have Jewish music news and views and a preview of next week’s show. I hope you enjoy it! I will post at least weekly and more if events dictate it. So here goes…


Lately there has been a trend in taking old 78 rpm recordings, mainly Cantorial ones and remastering them with added orchestra and/or choral effects. Having listened to the originals for many years and now hearing some of these new ones, I have to say that I don’t like them.  While they may be interesting to some, I feel that it takes way too much license with the originals. In many cases the pieces are elongated and changed way out of character. I’ll give you an example. In 1938, the legendary Chazzan Samuel Malavsky (1894-1984) recorded his famous composition of “Shomea Kol Bichyos” from the Neilah service of Yom Kippur. The prayer asks Hashem to conserve our tears and banish all evil decrees in the coming year. In the original, done only with organ accompaniment, the “zoger” style of Cantorial singing is gloriously rendered. In plain, simple style the piece is a magnificent rendition.  So several weeks ago I heard a re-working of it with added choir and orchestra. To me, it changed the character of the piece entirely. It was completely out of context with what was originally recorded!  So call me a purist, but I believe that a recording should be presented and preserved as originally set down.  That’s what we have always done. What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.



Although her music was well out of the scope of the program, we mourn the loss of Amy Winehouse, a great Jewish singer from England.  In the little bit I heard of her, she had a quite unusual voice. She sounded just like some of the great African-American R & B singers of yesteryear. She was an inspiration to many and her death is another sad reminder of the danger and disaster that always, sooner of later, comes with drug abuse. May her family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.



This Sunday, August 7, we present our special program in commemoration of Tisha B’Av. which will be observed on Monday, August 8 and Tuesday, August 9. Among the highlights of the show we will have:

“Aneinu” the addition to the Shmonei Esrei on a fast day, sung by the legendary Chazzan Moishe Oysher (1907-1958) and one of the only known recordings of that prayer from the soundtrack of the 1940 film “Overture to Glory”.

We will have other appropriate songs by Mordechai Ben David, Jan Peerce, Martin Davidson and others and of course, Ben’s selections and Matt’s song of the week.

During the second half of the show we will have a lengthy excerpt of the famous radio program “On A Note of Triumph” originally broadcast on the CBS network on May 8, 1945, written by the legendary Jewish radio writer Norman Corwin who is still with us at age 101!!  The show is still as powerful as it was when first broadcast and makes very appropriate listening for Tisha B’Av.

That’s it for now. I will post a complete playlist of the show later in the week. Feel free to comment. I look forward to hearing from you! Thanks again for listening!