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Behind "Chagaga" by the Tichel Cuties

Shira Engel

My friend Becca, along with some of her Orthodox Jewish Day School friends/co-tichel cuties created a pretty intense fusion of Lady Gaga and traditional Orthodox concepts (the wearing of the tichel – garb for married women, preparing for Shabbat, and the waiting for the Messiah). This is not a likely combination so that’s probably why it has been getting so much attention in the blogosphere, both positive and negative.

Taking the "Rihanna" approach to Jewish Orthodox sexuality

From the Rib

I was a little surprised to see how much frank talk about sex was featured in The Sisterhood this week. As a teenager, I am used to people around me talking about sex a lot--in real life, in movies, in songs, in basically every medium except in Jewish blogs. But that is no longer!

"Some of These Days"

Leah Berkenwald

Ninety-nine years ago today, Sophie Tucker, the "last of the red hot mamas," recorded "Some of These Days," which would become one of her signature songs. Sophie Tucker, the iconic Jewish American vaudeville and cinema star, is one of the women featured in Making Trouble, JWA's film about funny Jewish women. 

Topics: Music

Kol Ishah: Jewish Chicks Rock

Renee Ghert-Zand

Kol ishah is the singing voice of a woman, and something observant Jewish men are forbidden to hear. Too bad for them, because they are missing out. They are not listening to the voices of today’s Jewish women rock musicians, something that even those of us who do not observe kol ishah did not have the privilege of hearing until recently.

Topics: Music

"Girls in Trouble": Indie rock as midrash

Leah Berkenwald

I tend to be wary of educational musical acts, especially those that sound like they were written by teachers trying to be "cool."  But after a quick listen, it is obvious that "Girls in Trouble" is far, far more than a simple "101" on biblical women. 

Topics: Music

The "fury of the kooky, odd-looking girl"

Leah Berkenwald

On Saturday, 67 year-old Barbra Streisand will return to the Vanguard - the venue that made her a star. According to this piece in the New York Times Magazine, the concert will feature 13 songs (whose "average year of composition is 1963") to promote her album Love Is the Answer.

Topics: Music

The Hip Hop Violinist

Judith Rosenbaum

Reading about the Washington Jewish Music Festival (which, incidentally, sounds fabulous), I learned about Miri Ben-Ari, aka the Hip Hop Violinist. Classically trained on the violin, at age 18 she decided to explore a different way to use her music. She moved to New York City, added some bling to her instrument, and began collaborating with artists including Kanye West (with whom she earned a Grammy), Alicia Keys, Wyclef Jean, Jay-Z, and others.

Topics: Music

Lyricist Betty Comden's first hit, "On the Town," opens on Broadway

December 28, 1944

On the Town, which was lyricist Betty Comden's first hit when it opened on December 28, 1944, was also the first big success for her three

Premiere of the musical "Show Boat," based on a novel by Edna Ferber

December 27, 1927

When Edna Ferber published Show Boat in 1926, she was already an established writer, with eleven books, two stage plays, and a Pulitzer Priz

The Klezmatics' performance of Aliza Greenblatt's work, set to music by Woody Guthrie

December 20, 2003

Jewish contributions to American music have long been recognized, with the list of well-known songwriters featuring Broadway composers and lyricists like Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerstein, and Steph

Release of "Free To Be You and Me"

November 27, 1972

Free To Be You and Me, the album of non-sexist stories and songs that helped shape the self-understanding and world view of a generation of children, was released on November 27, 1972.

Roberta Peters debuts at the Met

November 17, 1950

Roberta Peters has achieved international fame for her soprano voice and performing success.

Debut of singer Alma Gluck

November 16, 1909

Alma Gluck first appeared on stage with the Metropolitan Opera on November 19, 1909 in the role of Sophie in Massenet's Werther.

Birth of musician, writer, journalist, Eugenia Zukerman

September 25, 1944

The multi-talented performer and writer Eugenia Zukerman was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on September 25, 1944.

Birth of entertainer Kitty Carlisle Hart

September 3, 1910

Born on September 3, 1910 [some sources say 1911, 1914], Kitty Carlisle Hart began a musical career at a young age and kept performing into her nineties.

Death of early music pioneer Wanda Landowska

August 16, 1959

Born in Warsaw in 1879, Wanda Landowska studied piano at the Warsaw Conservatory, from which she graduated at age 14. In 1900, she moved to Paris, where she taught piano and performed.

Jennie Tourel sings on Mt. Scopus

July 9, 1967

On July 9, 1967, mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel joined Leonard Bernstein for a concert on Jerusalem's Mount Scopus to celebrate the end of the Six-Day

Birth of Broadway lyricist Dorothy Fields

July 15, 1904

Dorothy Fields, who wrote lyrics to over 400 songs over half a century, was born on July 15, 1904.

Award for Yiddish actress, Molly Picon

June 28, 1980

Born in New York in 1898, Molly Picon moved with her family to Philadelphia before she was three.

Carole King Releases "Tapestry"

February 10, 1971

Singer-songwriter Carole King achieved stardom with the release of her album Tapestry on February 10, 1971.

Birth of opera star Beverly Sills

May 25, 1929

Born on May 25, 1929 as Belle Miriam Silverman, Beverly Sills began singing in public at the age of four, when she appeared on the Uncle Bob's Rain

Singer Sylvia Blagman Syms dies during standing ovation

May 10, 1992
Jazz singer Sylvia Syms dies of a heart attack at age 74 while receiving a standing ovation after a performance.

Opera singer Roberta Peters is born

May 4, 1930
Soprano Roberta Peters had the longest tenure of any Metropolitan Opera soprano and has worked throughout her career to popularize opera.

Singer Alma Gluck is born

May 11, 1884
Born in Romania, opera and concert singer Alma Gluck went on to become a major performing and recording star in the United States

Debut of Beverly Sills at the Metropolitan Opera

April 7, 1975

The New York Times reported that although the Metropolitan Opera's staging of The Siege of Corinth was impressive, "everything ...


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