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Popular Music

Nora Bayes

Nora Bayes was an international singing star in vaudeville and musical comedy during the first twenty-five years of the twentieth century. Known as a willful and temperamental star, Bayes relied on her own charisma and popularity as she resisted managerial control and ignored the details of legal contracts.

Belle Barth

Singing her way through popular standards and performing imitations of Sophie Tucker, Al Jolson, Harry Richman, and Gypsy Rose Lee kept Barth employed on the vaudeville circuit through the 1930s and 1940s. The character of her act changed in the 1950s, when she began to mix her two talents—music and comedy—and added a splash of “red hot mama” for good measure.

Barbara (Monique Andree Serf)

Under her simple stage name “Barbara,” Monique Andrée Serf (b. Paris June 19, 1930, d. Neuilly-sur-Seine November 24–25, 1997) was an immensely popular French singer and composer in the cabaret style.

Belle Baker

Belle Baker has been described as a famed torch singer and vaudeville star, as well as a Yiddish, Broadway, and motion picture actor.

Chava Alberstein

Chava Alberstein is a singer-songwriter (both lyricist and composer) who by the end of 2004 had recorded over fifty albums, not including singles and song collections.

"Hava Nagila"... for a Teeny Bopper Christmas?

Who knew that "Hava Nagila" could be "sexy" ... or "racy"...?  Lauren Rose (formerly Lauren Goldberg), a Jewess from the UK, has given this familiar (and perhaps tiresome) traditional Hebrew folk song a somewhat dirty, teeny-bopper twist. 

Klezmer, Ladino, and New Music Fusion

I always have an ear out for new music, especially music that brings together sounds and styles from different parts of the world. Two of my favorites include the music of the Afro-Celt Sound System and Rebbe Soul, both of which are quite innovative and energizing.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Popular Music." (Viewed on January 29, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/popular-music>.

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