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Popular Music

Odetta Holmes, Singing for the Voiceless

Through her blues music, Holmes inspired people all over America to take a stand for black equality. She performed at numerous rallies, advocating for civil rights for all; in fact, her music is often called the “soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement.” 

Chava Alberstein

In her fifty-years as one of Israel’s most celebrated singer/songwriters, Chava Alberstein has run the gamut from recording pop hits to reviving Yiddish classics.

Death of Lillian Fuchs, "one of the best string players in America"

October 5, 1995
Lillian Fuchs was "one of the best string players in America."

Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” Climbs Billboard Charts

February 1, 1964
"I don’t care what age you are—whether you’re 16 or 116—there’s nothing more wonderful than standing on the stage and shaking your finger and singing, ‘Don’t tell me what to do.’” - Singer Lesley Gore

Yasmin Levy

As a world music singer, Yasmin Levy ignited interest in the Ladino music traditions of her family, weaving Greek, Turkish, and Persian elements into her soulful performances.

Regina Spektor

With her surreal lyrics and experimental vocalizations, Regina Spektor carved a place for herself in the anti-folk music scene and went on to conquer the pop charts.

Erica Morini

Violinist Erica Morini stunned audiences from her first performance at age five to her death, when the Strad newspaper mourned her as “the most bewitching woman violinist of this century.”

Birth of “Mama” Cass Elliot

September 19, 1941
"If you truly dig what you are doing, if you lay it out that way, nobody can not respond." - "Mama" Cass Elliot

Estelle Liebling

Estelle Liebling’s gifts as an opera singer were put to the test in 1902 when she sang the role of Marguerite in Les Huguenots at the Metropolitan Opera House with only a few hours’ warning.

Libby Holman

Torch singer Libby Holman was known as much for her scandalous personal life and revolutionary activism as for her lush voice.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Popular Music." (Viewed on December 7, 2016) <https://jwa.org/topics/popular-music>.

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