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Folk Music

Adrienne Cooper, 1946 - 2011

I first met Adrienne on erev Nitl, Christmas Eve, 1987, and saw her for the last time on khamishi shel khanike, the night of December 24 of the calendar year just ended. Jeffrey Shandler has written in an obituary that he published last week that “Adrienne taught us all to sing.” I was one of her less successful experiments. I don’t sing, I could speak Yiddish long before I met her.

Henrietta Yurchenco, 1916 - 2007

Cold but sunny New York mornings, in a high-ceilinged Chelsea apartment filled with books, instruments, and folk art. Coffee and freshly-baked muffins. And Henrietta Yurchenco, diminutive and volatile, white-haired, dressed in deep purples or blues, with Mexican jewellery – now presiding over the breakfast table, now at the piano, now pulling out a rare book from her collection, now at the computer … always talking about new projects, ideas, politics, music …

Community Organizing I: Freedom Summer

Explore the role of community organizing, Jewish values, and moral conviction in the lives of young civil rights activists as you imagine yourself a participant in Mississippi Freedom Summer.

Roberta Peters debuts at the Met

November 17, 1950

Soprano Roberta Peters debuted at the Metropolitan Opera when she replaced a colleague on six hours notice; she achieved the longest tenure of any Met soprano.

Award for Yiddish actress, Molly Picon

June 28, 1980

Yiddish superstar comedienne Molly Picon received the Creative Achievement Award of the Performing Arts Unit of B'nai B'rith.

Ruth Rubin

Ruth Rubin devoted a lifetime to the collection and preservation of Yiddish folklore in poetics and songs. Her writings include books, articles and music collections. As a popular performer-folklorist, she would describe the background of her selections and then sing them in a simple, unaccompanied style.

Brachah Zefira

Brachah Zefira was a seminal figure in the world of Israeli song and among its most colorful and influential personalities in the pre-State period.

Teresa Sterne

While Teresa Sterne was vastly respected for her far-reaching service to music as a record company executive, few who knew her in that role were aware of her earlier career as a pianist, which was short-lived but stunning.

Martha Schlamme

Once described as a “Viennese Mary Martin,” Martha Schlamme began her American career singing Yiddish and Hebrew songs in the resort hotels of the Catskills in the late 1940s. She earned a national reputation in the 1950s as a performer of “Songs of Many Lands”, and later won acclaim for her interpretations of Kurt Weill songs.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Folk Music." (Viewed on December 14, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/folk-music>.

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