Hi everybody! Here is this week’s blog. Hope you enjoy it!



With the opening of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial this week in Washington, it brings to my mind the decades-long phenomenon of African-American artists making Jewish records. This existed from the infancy of recording well into the 1970’s. Songs about Jewish topics in English and Jewish songs in both Hebrew and Yiddish. Most are today rare collector’s items and its always fun to play them from time to time. Some of the more famous are Johnny Mathis (1935–)  singing “Eili Eili” and “Kol Nidre” from his 1960 album “Good Night Dear Lord”.  Or how about the great bandleader Cab Calloway (1907-1994)  singing at least partially in Yiddish, “Utt Azoy, Sings The Tailor” based on an old Yiddish folk song.  The great Eartha Kitt (1927-2008) sang in Hebrew from the liturgy(!!) “Ki Mitzion Taytze Torah” (From Zion shall go forth Torah) in a 1958 recording,  and there were earlier ones by Ethel Waters, Lionel Hampton and the one on this week’s show, the great Harry Belafonte, calypso singer extraordinaire, singing “Hava Nagila” which became a million seller for him when he recorded it for RCA Victor in 1957!  It is one of the many instances of closeness and shared experience that has existed, in one form or the other between the Jewish and African-American communities for many decades. An interesting sidelight to be sure!


JERRY LEIBER (1935-2011) RIP

The world of music lost one of its great songwriters this week with the passing of Jerry Leiber one half of the great songwriting team of Leiber and (Mike) Stoller. They wrote many of the early hits of the rock era such as “Kansas City”, “Yakety Yak” and the famous “Hound Dog”, made famous by Elvis Presley. On this week’s show a parody of it called “You Ain’t Nuthin But A Doity Dog” by Mickey Katz (1909-1985) released at the same time as Presley’s original (1956)!



This week’s show has in addition to what I already mentioned: Nice Chassidic music by Martin Davidson and Yossi Fordsham of the famous Gateshead Yeshiva in England. Yaffa Yarkoni, Israeli star, singing in Yiddish! Comedy with Mickey Katz and Shlock Rock and a Russian Chabad song by Avrohom Fried. On the Cantorial feature we have two great Cantorials by Sol Zim from his 1982 album “The Joy Of Cantorial Prayer”.

Ben this week will have the group 613 with “Vezakayni”, the Idan Rachel Project with their monster hit, “Mi Ma’akim”. Also the new Amudai Shaish choir with “Im Eshkokeich Yerushalayim”, a nice new “Simcha Medley” from Pey Dalid which is great and more from Hatikva Sheish and our buddies Hello Sid with “Its About You’.

Matt’s song of the week is a great concert recording by Cantor Meir Finkelstein and Cantor Udi Spielman and his wife Varda from a 2009 concert in Boca Raton, Florida for “Ko Ribon Olam”


So that’s it for this week. Lots and lots of Jewish music to enjoy! Thanks for all the nice compliments about the blog and please write and let me know what you think!!