Funny, it doesn’t sound Jewish : how Yiddish songs and synagogue melodies influenced Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood

An attempt to demonstrate the deep layers of "JM" embedded in the popular American song by analyzing a plethora of examples showing the presence of innuendos, motives, paraphrases or flat quotations of music deriving from "authentic" Jewish repertoires (mostly liturgucal).

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Jennie Goldstein

Yiddish theater actress & singer

Yiddish theater star Jennie Goldstein was born in New York in 1896. She began acting at the age of six, playing child roles opposite actor greats Bertha Kalish, Keni Liptzin, and David Kessler. Goldstein’s childhood and early adulthood revolved around the Yiddish theater; by the age of sixteen she was already running her own theater with her husband, Max Gabel.  


Paul Muni (Weisenfreund)

Yiddish theater, Broadway & Hollywood film actor

Paul Muni was born in Lemberg, Austria in 1895. Muni's parents, both actors in a traveling Yiddish repertory company, immigrated to America in 1899. As a young boy, Muni made several appearances on stage with his parents. His formal stage debut was in 1907, after which he was recruited to join Maurice Schwartz's Yiddish Art Theater Company. Muni often performed at the Second Avenue Theater and the Irving Place Theater during his 18 years on the Yiddish stage.


Theodor Bikel

Austrian-born American singer & actor

Born in Vienna, Austria and immigrated to Palestine with his parents at age 13. Studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in London (1946-1948), and immigrated to the United States in the 1950's. As a singer and as an actor, Bikel performed in many Broadway Theater productions, as well as in television shows and in movies. As a folk singer he sang songs that spanned over 20 languages, and he accompanied himself on a wide variety of instruments. Bikel recorded many albums, and performed all over the world.