Yiddish Radio Project

  • by Scott Simon
  • Narrated by Scott Simon, Carl Reiner, Jerry Stiller
  • 2 hrs and 16 mins
  • Radio/TV Program

Publisher's Summary

From the 1930s to '50s, Yiddish radio was popular from coast to coast. By 1985, it was all but forgotten. Then musician and historian Henry Sapoznik discovered a few dozen acetate-coated aluminum discs at a rummage sale. He tracked down a special turntable, put on the first disc and heard:"From atop the Loews State Theater Building, the B. Manischewitz Company, world's largest matzo bakers, happily presents Yiddish Melodies in Swing..."Sapoznik spent the next seventeen years searching for more surviving discs. Most had been melted down during WWII scrap-metal drives, others had disintegrated, but he found over a thousand, in attics, storerooms, even dumpsters. Each fragile artifact was a one-of-a-kind window into Jewish immigrant culture during the first half of the 20th century. Searing dramas, swinging music, news programs, advice and game shows, man-on-the-street interviews, commercials, and shtick leaped to life after decades of silence.Lovingly restored, with translations performed by a cast including Carl Reiner, Eli Wallach, and Yiddish stars, the Yiddish Radio Project is a journey through time to a lost world that is intimate, passionate, raucous and utterly fascinating.


What the Critics Say

Peabody Award Winner, 2002
"Remarkable...like recovering a few blocks from the pyramids." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"It's matzo ball soup for the soul!" (Entertainment Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

You haven't heard this kind of talk in 20 years

Do you remember the hit song Joe & Paul's?
The Barry Sisters?
The Yiddish Philosopher?
Charles A. Levine, the 1st airline passenger to cross the Atlantic?
If you do you'll love this collection, if not you'll probally like it anyway.
Guest voices Jerry Stiller, Christopher Lloyd, & Eli Wallack, just to name a few.

Stories of people who won fortune and fame and those who's lives were ruined because of there fame.

What do you have to lose?
I should sit here in the dark until you change the light bulb?
Try it you'll like it!
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- Mark


This is a very touching and relevant show. It gives a glimpse into the immigrant life that is truly captivating. i enjoyed the connection with times long gone. maybe it could have been a half hour less. but its a great recording.
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- michael gort

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-17-2003
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books