From Avenue A to the Great White Way

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
In one fell swoop, Sony's Legacy archives have corrected a grave injustice, making available a treasure trove of turn-of-the-century Jewish music heretofore enjoyed only by those endowed with 78 rpm phonographs. The bustling activity in New York's Yiddish theater district, the Lower East Side, birthed some of the finest voices, actors, and writers of the early 20th century, from cantor Yossele Rosenblatt to singer Eddie Cantor and songwriters Sholom Secunda and Irving Berlin. Two discs and 50 tracks capture the music's breadth, from the sublime -- Rosenblatt's heavenly hit "V'Hakohanim" -- to the ridiculous -- David Medoff's answer-song "Gevald! Di Bananas" -- with ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
In one fell swoop, Sony's Legacy archives have corrected a grave injustice, making available a treasure trove of turn-of-the-century Jewish music heretofore enjoyed only by those endowed with 78 rpm phonographs. The bustling activity in New York's Yiddish theater district, the Lower East Side, birthed some of the finest voices, actors, and writers of the early 20th century, from cantor Yossele Rosenblatt to singer Eddie Cantor and songwriters Sholom Secunda and Irving Berlin. Two discs and 50 tracks capture the music's breadth, from the sublime -- Rosenblatt's heavenly hit "V'Hakohanim" -- to the ridiculous -- David Medoff's answer-song "Gevald! Di Bananas" -- with wonders and novelties in between. To novices, this may have all the makings of a trip to Grandma's house minus the ruggelach, but the range of musical expression here is revelatory, as the busy songsmiths dashed off Yiddish rejoinders to popular American songs and catchphrases such as "Yes, Sir, She's My Baby" and "The Sheik of Araby" which became "The Sheik of Avenue B". There was also a vogue for troubling anthems of self-deprecation in the "Hebe songs," a particularly Jewish kind of minstrelsy, documented here as well. But Jewish success in America was mirrored in the music, too, as crossover songs and performers contributed to the Yiddishizing of American entertainment. The second disc revels in such flush material, including the megahit "Bie Mir Bist Du Schon" and the raft of Yiddish-inspired jazz and Broadway hits, from Benny Goodman's "And the Angels Sing" after an Abe Schwartz klezmer number to Cab Calloway's Jewish-jiving "Utt-Da-Zay That's the Way" to Xavier Cugat's "The Wedding Samba." Those who haven't heard this music in decades will be thrilled by the selection and fidelity, while those who grew up hearing about Eddie Cantor, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson, and Belle Baker will be able to at last appreciate this chapter in American Jewish experience. Yiddish translations would have been nice, but whaddya want -- everything?
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
This carefully selected and sequenced compilation of music from the Sony Music vaults traces the influence of Jewish theater music on American popular music. Over half of it consists of songs sung in Yiddish; the rest display the impact of such songs on the mainstream in the first half of the 20th century. Yiddish stars like David Medoff, Molly Picon, Peisachke Burstein, and Abe Moskowitz have several selections early on, and some of them show that the intermingling of the Yiddish theater and Tin Pan Alley was not a one-way street. Burstein's "Whoopee" comments on the popular 1920s song "Makin' Whoopee," which had been introduced by Eddie Cantor in the Broadway musical Whoopee, while Medoff's "Gevald! Di Bananas Help! The Bananas" is a comic gloss on "Yes! We Have No Bananas." The 1930s hit "Bei Mir Bist Du Schon To Me You Are So Beautiful" was famously adapted from a Yiddish theater song; it is presented here in a cover version by Belle Baker that competed with the most popular one by the Andrews Sisters. The second disc tends more toward English lyrics and performers who looked beyond Jewish audiences. Particularly notable are two previously unreleased recordings by Al Jolson that seem only barely relevant. Jolson was Jewish, but more removed than such peers as Cantor and Fanny Brice from the influence of Yiddish music. By the end of the disc, there are examples of Yiddish-styled songs from swing bands like those led by Benny Goodman whose clarinet, in this context, is highly reminiscent of klezmer music and Gene Krupa. Still, the influence is clear, for instance, as "Der Shtiller Bulgar The Quiet Bulgar" can be recognized as the source for the swing era hit "And the Angels Sing." The album is a historical document that is also highly listenable.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/30/2002
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998632325
  • Catalog Number: 86323

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Voyl Iz Der Mammen - Alexander Olshanetsky & His Orchestra (2:55)
  2. 2 In Shtedtele Nikolayev - David Medoff (3:22)
  3. 3 Ihr Megt Gleybn Oder Neyn - Molly Picon (3:44)
  4. 4 V'hakohanim - Yoselle Rosenblatt (4:01)
  5. 5 Huliet, Huliet Kinderlach - Abe Moskowitz (3:13)
  6. 6 Whoopee - Peisachke Burstein (3:12)
  7. 7 Inzer Rebin' Vunder - Dora Bowshower (3:09)
  8. 8 A Brief Finem Chosid Tsum Rebin (3:29)
  9. 9 Sha, Sha Der Rebi Geht - Morris Goldstein (3:09)
  10. 10 Vu Zenen Meine Zieben Gute Yohr? (3:16)
  11. 11 Gevald! Di Bananas - David Medoff (2:42)
  12. 12 Hot Dogs - Molly Picon (2:53)
  13. 13 Dos Yiddel Fun Der South - Irv Grossman (2:56)
  14. 14 Dem Pastuchel's Chulem (2:51)
  15. 15 Gevalt! Di Nerven - Jacob Zanger (2:55)
  16. 16 Mayer! - Annie Lubin (3:03)
  17. 17 Mit 40 Yohr Tzurick - Menasha Skulnik (3:05)
  18. 18 Yes Sir, Zi Iz May Kale - Peisachke Burstein (2:55)
  19. 19 Vie Iz Dos Gessele (Where Is the Little Street?) - Abe Moskowitz (3:22)
  20. 20 Vos Gevehn Iz Nishtu (3:23)
  21. 21 Beigelach - Peisachke Burstein (3:16)
  22. 22 Who'll Buy My Bublitchki? (2:39)
  23. 23 Zaynin Mir Chasidimlach - Jewish Art Quartet (2:11)
  24. 24 Bei Mir Bist Du Schon (2:25)
  25. 25 Roumania, Roumania (3:09)
Disc 2
  1. 1 What Am I Gonna Do? (3:26)
  2. 2 I Don't Know Whether to Do It or Not - Fanny Brice (3:05)
  3. 3 Palesteena (2:35)
  4. 4 Rose of the Volga (3:04)
  5. 5 Tomorow Is Another Day (3:15)
  6. 6 Hooray for Baby and Me (2:52)
  7. 7 That's Yiddisha Jazz - Julian Rose (3:48)
  8. 8 The Sheik of Avenue B (2:41)
  9. 9 When Nathan Was Married to Rose of Washington Square (2:59)
  10. 10 Since Henry Ford Apologized to Me - The Happiness Boys (3:09)
  11. 11 Yiddisha Charleston (2:52)
  12. 12 Yosel (3:09)
  13. 13 Joseph, Joseph - Russ Morgan & His Orchestra (2:24)
  14. 14 Der Shtiller Bulgar (3:06)
  15. 15 And the Angels Sing - Mildred Bailey & Her Orchestra (2:53)
  16. 16 Den Nayem Sher - Seymour Rechtzeit (0:33)
  17. 17 The Wedding Samba (2:58)
  18. 18 The Super-Special Picture of the Year (2:57)
  19. 19 Mischa-Yascha-Toscha-Sascha - The Funnyboners (3:18)
  20. 20 Egyptian Ella - Ted Lewis & His Band (3:23)
  21. 21 Matzoh Balls - Slim Gaillard & His Flat Foot Floogee Boys (2:36)
  22. 22 Utt-Da-Zay (2:55)
  23. 23 A Bee Gezindt (2:58)
  24. 24 My Little Cousin (3:18)
  25. 25 Jungle Madness (2:51)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Irving Berlin Vocals
Dave Tarras Clarinet
Buster Bailey Clarinet
Mildred Bailey Vocals
Danny Barker Guitar
Cab Calloway Leader, Vocals
Xavier Cugat Violin
Roy Eldridge Trumpet
Benny Goodman Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Al Jolson Vocals
John Kirby String Bass
Gene Krupa Drums, Leader
Russ Morgan Trombone, Leader
Mel Powell Piano
Muggsy Spanier Cornet
Joe Venuti Violin
Teddy Wilson Piano
Charlie Shavers Trumpet
Cozy Cole Drums
Sam Donahue Tenor Saxophone
Ted Lewis Clarinet, Leader, Vocals
Lou McGarity Trombone
Vido Musso Tenor Saxophone
Frank Crumit Vocals
Sophie Tucker Vocals
Eddie Cantor Vocals
Mitch Miller French Horn, Oboe
Fanny Brice Vocals
Slim Gaillard Guitar, Vocals
Russell Procope Alto Saxophone
Robert Burns Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Aaron Lebedeff Vocals
Molly Picon Vocals
Menasha Skulnik Vocals
Mario Bauz√° Trumpet
Bill Beason Drums
George Berg Tenor Saxophone
George Brunies Trombone
Doc Cheatham Trumpet
Ralph Collier Drums
Cutty Cutshall Trombone
Abraham Ellstein Piano
Milt Hinton String Bass
Keg Johnson Trombone
Claude Jones Trombone
Nate Kazebier Trumpet
Billy Kyle Piano
John Lucas Drums
Jimmy Maxwell Trumpet
Loumell Morgan Piano
Sam Musiker Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Floyd O'Brien Trombone
Benny Payne Piano
Hubert Pettaway Drums
Bernie Privin Trumpet
Milt Raskin Piano
Bob Snyder Alto Saxophone
O'Neill Spencer Drums
Walter Thomas Tenor Saxophone
Tom Morgan Electric Guitar
Sid Weiss String Bass
De Priest Wheeler Trombone
Lammar Wright Sr. Trumpet
Alvin Davis Trumpet
Harry Barth String Bass
John Collis Guitar
Tony Gerhardi Guitar
Kenneth Hollon Tenor Saxophone
Hymie Wolfson Tenor Saxophone
Clint Neagley Alto Saxophone
Dalton Rizzotto Trombone
Mascagni Ruffo Alto Saxophone
Billy Jones Vocals
Carl Prager Bass Clarinet
Ray Biondi Guitar
Sol Kane Alto Saxophone
Louis Martin Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Reggie Merrill Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Art Ralston Baritone Saxophone
Sammy Shapiro Violin
Belle Baker Vocals
Emery Deutsch Violin, Leader
Nathan Glantz Leader, Alto Saxophone
Ernest Hare Vocals
Willie Howard Vocals
Irving Kaufman Vocals
Benny Goodman & His Orchestra Track Performer
Cab Calloway & His Orchestra Track Performer
Gene Krupa & His Orchestra Track Performer
Russ Morgan & His Orchestra Track Performer
Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra Track Performer
Emery Deutsch & His Orchestra Track Performer
Nathan Glantz & His Orchestra Track Performer
Gene Kardos & His Orchestra Accompaniment
Pete Peterson String Bass
Abe Schwartz Violin, Leader
Seymour Rechtzeit Track Performer
Phil Wall Piano
Nan Wynn Vocals
Dave Klein Trumpet
Ted Shapiro Piano
Eddie Powell Flute
Sholom Secunda Leader
Al Sherman Trombone
Horace Rollins String Bass
Peisachke Burstein Vocals
Nellie Casman Vocals
Jack Aaronson Piano
Abbe Lane Vocals
Ray Cameron Trumpet
Chauncey Houghton Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Yacht Club Boys Track Performer
William McLeish Smith String Bass
Jack Muntz Trumpet
Cyril Newman Trumpet
Joseph Moskowitz Cymbalom
Julian Rose Vocals
Annie Lubin Vocals
Technical Credits
Xavier Cugat Director
Mel Powell Arranger
Ziggy Elman Composer
Irving Mills Composer
Alec Wilder Arranger
Buck Ram Composer
Johnny Mercer Composer
Chappie Willett Arranger
Adler Contributor
Sam Blank Tom Overdubs
Michael Brooks Reissue Producer
Henry Sapoznik Reissue Producer
Arthur Levy Executive Producer
Abe Schwartz Director
Sholom Secunda Composer
Allan Small Composer
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