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Theodore Bikel and Traditions

Related threads:
Theo Bikel - discography & CD reissues (34)
Obit: Theodore Bikel (1924-2015) (22)
Bikel's An Actor's Holiday album (10)
Theodore Bikel's 90th birthday party (6)
Happy birthday, Theodore Bikel! (12)


Bill H //\\ 13 May 09 - 08:08 PM
artbrooks 13 May 09 - 08:46 PM
bubblyrat 14 May 09 - 04:48 AM
Jim Carroll 14 May 09 - 05:12 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 May 09 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,bigJ 14 May 09 - 06:16 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 May 09 - 06:20 AM
Acme 14 May 09 - 10:55 AM
M.Ted 14 May 09 - 11:05 AM
artbrooks 14 May 09 - 11:15 AM
pdq 14 May 09 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,guest: Michele Callaghan 14 May 09 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 14 May 09 - 11:41 AM
Bill H //\\ 14 May 09 - 04:11 PM
artbrooks 14 May 09 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Tinker in Chicago 14 May 09 - 05:24 PM
Don Firth 14 May 09 - 05:41 PM
JedMarum 14 May 09 - 05:55 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 14 May 09 - 07:18 PM
Bill H //\\ 14 May 09 - 07:39 PM
Acme 14 May 09 - 08:46 PM
Deckman 15 May 09 - 03:51 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 15 May 09 - 04:12 PM
Bill H //\\ 15 May 09 - 06:57 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 15 May 09 - 08:23 PM
Bill H //\\ 15 May 09 - 10:51 PM
Acme 15 May 09 - 11:02 PM
Ron Davies 15 May 09 - 11:08 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 16 May 09 - 12:16 AM
Stringsinger 16 May 09 - 02:03 PM
Stringsinger 16 May 09 - 02:04 PM
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Subject: THEODORE BIKEL and TRADITIONS
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 13 May 09 - 08:08 PM

I hope you will be able to tune in on Sunday May 17 at 3 PM Eastern Time for a fascinating interview (with music) with this icon who is celebrating his 85th birthday with a gala event on June 17 (his bday is 5/2)at Carnegie Hall. A benefit for the Juvenile Law Center but, as he says, it is a birthday party with some great friends---sort of like Pete Seeger's 90th. This one features Arlo Guthrie, David Amram, Peter, Paul---no Mary, Alan Alda, David AMram---and, you know, the famous many others. It should be a blast in a great venue. After all--what is more prestigious than Carnegie Hall and what is more prestigious than celebrating the 85th birthday of a great icon in drama, music, and politics.

You can also hear a more "Yiddishkeit" version of this interview on Sunday May 24 on Sunday Simcha on WFDU at 10 AM ET. Check my blogspot for more info on this

You can also tune in on the internet at www.wfdu.fm

Bill Hahn

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Subject: RE: THEODORE BIKEL and TRADITIONS
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 May 09 - 08:46 PM

Bill, we'd love to hear it, but are otherwise engaged then. Can it be archived?


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Subject: RE: THEODORE BIKEL and TRADITIONS
From: bubblyrat
Date: 14 May 09 - 04:48 AM

As a matter of interest,since I know nothing of his musical abilities or connections,would this be the same Theodore Bikel who played the Second-in-Command of a Nazi submarine in my favourite Robert Mitchum film, " The Enemy Below " ? And isn't he Dutch (originally ) ?


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Subject: RE: THEODORE BIKEL and TRADITIONS
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 May 09 - 05:12 AM

'Twould be the same one.
It was also the man who paid for Bob Dylan, whose agent claimed he couldn't afford the fare, to put in an appearance on the Civil Rights Marches in the sixties.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: THEODORE BIKEL and TRADITIONS
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 May 09 - 05:26 AM

He also played Rance Muhammitz (the Devil) in Zappa's 200 Motels:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pogYsekE-IQ


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Subject: RE: THEODORE BIKEL and TRADITIONS
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 14 May 09 - 06:16 AM

I seem to remember him in a film playing a trapper, I think, and singing to his own guitar accompaniment while manipulating a dancing doll with his foot.


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Subject: RE: THEODORE BIKEL and TRADITIONS
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 May 09 - 06:20 AM

Here's the website:

http://www.bikel.com/


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Subject: RE: THEODORE BIKEL and TRADITIONS
From: Acme
Date: 14 May 09 - 10:55 AM

bubblyrat said since I know nothing of his musical abilities or connections,would this be the same Theodore Bikel . . .

You owe it to yourself to check out this multi-talented performer. He has a stunning voice, great wit, and he is a marvelous actor. He also speaks five languages fluently. I have a tape of an album that my father sent me and I probably about wore it out listening to it over the years. He often played heavies in film and television, but you might remember him best because he played the officious Zoltan Karpathy in My Fair Lady (1964 film version).

SRS


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Subject: RE: THEODORE BIKEL and TRADITIONS
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 May 09 - 11:05 AM

Forget Zoltan Karpathy--he was the original Captain Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" on Broadway.


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Subject: RE: THEODORE BIKEL and TRADITIONS
From: artbrooks
Date: 14 May 09 - 11:15 AM

He made a great many vinyl recordings in the 60s and 70s, singing everything from English-language folk songs (don't start!) to Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, and various Balkan-language material. Many have been remastered onto CDs and are available from, among other places, Amazon.com.

And he played the Soviet sub captain in "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming".


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Subject: RE: THEODORE BIKEL and TRADITIONS
From: pdq
Date: 14 May 09 - 11:28 AM

He also played a German naval officer in the movie African Queen, 1951.


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: GUEST,guest: Michele Callaghan
Date: 14 May 09 - 11:34 AM

And the original Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof!


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 14 May 09 - 11:41 AM

One of the great raconteurs, folk singers, actors, activits - what the heck; he's as close to a true renaissance man as we are likely to see. One of the earlier books of folk songs I purchased was a compilation authored by Bikel, "Folk Songs and Footnotes," or something close to that. I still have it somewhere. He seems to have been around for so long, 85 seems young.


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 14 May 09 - 04:11 PM

Art---Sorry to say we cannot archive but it is on twice as you see in the note--a week apart.

Bubblyrat---your questions were answered but not his birthplace---which was Vienna, Austria. Something we willtouch upon in our conversation. ALso his thoughts on the Pope's visit to the Middle East given Theodore Bikel's role (which he felt strongly about) in a play---The Gathering. That was an amazing bit of work which I saw about 7 or so years ago.


Actually the original Tevya was Zero Mostel---Theodore Bikel did play the part many times. As noted he did create Capt. Von Trapp on the Bway Stage (co-star Mary Martin).

Frankly--given all his talents and interests ---a shorter list would be what did he NOT do. Hopefully you all can tune in since he will talk of his various lecture tours (and the topics), the upcoming gala birthday bash at Carnegie Hall with an amazing line-up, and music from his career in many languages, genres, etc;

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: artbrooks
Date: 14 May 09 - 04:19 PM

Bill, to my great sorrow, I have the Albuquerque Celtic Festival this Sunday and the opening of the New Mexico Museum of History next Sunday. Chaval!!


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: GUEST,Tinker in Chicago
Date: 14 May 09 - 05:24 PM

And, lest we forget, the great Bikel was also Worf's father on "Star Trek -- The Next Generation." But he was a Russian earthling, not a Klingon (Worf was adopted).


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 May 09 - 05:41 PM

And the retired chief engineer of a starship. As I recall, he and Geordie were having a lot of fun talking about warp engines.

I had the great privilege of meeting Theodore Bikel in summer of 1962. He sang a concert to a capacity audience (3,100) in the brand new Seattle Center Opera House during the Seattle World's Fair. A most enjoyable and entertaining concert. Just he and his guitar. Like his records, particular his live concert record, "Bravo Bikel," he sang songs in many languages, often humorously introduced, and with brief sub-titles when needed. He mentioned that it was nice to be out doing concerts again, having recently escaped from a long run of nightly performances of "The Sound of Music," as he put it, "surrounded by twenty nuns and seven children."

He described how he decided to take up the guitar. At one time, he had a roommate who played the guitar. When the roommate went away, he left no forwarding address?but he did leave his guitar. "That's worse than leaving a woman behind," Bikel said. "A woman can follow. But a guitar can't. So I kept it!"

I got the word that for a couple of hours the following day he would be at Campus Music and Gallery, a record store in the University District (my stomping ground), to autograph record albums. Nancy Quensé and I both arrived before 2:00 p.m., the appointed time, along with a couple of other people, and there was Bikel, sitting in front of the counter by a big stack of his records waiting to start autographing them.

It seems, however, that someone goofed and the word hadn't got out. Jim Bates, the store owner, apologized profusely about the mix-up. But Bikel was cool. He actually seemed relieved to be able to just relax and sit and chat with us. So for about two hours, a half dozen of us sat around in front of the counter and gabbed with him. A few people wandered into the shop to browse, and looked curiously at this clump of people sitting and talking in front of the counter.

Asked about his prodigious skill with languages, Bikel said that he was born in Vienna into a Jewish family, and that by the age of three he was used to switching easily between three languages, Hebrew, Yiddish, and German. With this early start, he seemed to be able to pick up languages easily, and soon learned English and French. He could speak several other languages fluently and could get along in a number of others.

He commented that the new theaters, such as the Opera House and the Playhouse were going to be a real boon to Seattle. Because of its previous lack of really desirable venues, Seattle had a reputation for not been all that attractive to many performers, but the word had already got around about the new performance halls, so people would be far more eager to come here.

A very charming and friendly man.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: JedMarum
Date: 14 May 09 - 05:55 PM

Theodore Bikel and his playing on the TV show Hottenany, and elsewhere is one of the reasons I went into folk music.


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 14 May 09 - 07:18 PM

So good was Mr. Bikel with languages and dialect that he could play a southern (USA) sheriff in "The Defiant Ones" with a good ole' southun drawl.


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 14 May 09 - 07:39 PM

He does to dialects wonderfully. I have to add he was not just "born into a Jewish family"---he is Jewish and, as he will point out in the interview, that is his core influence. He is committed to justice (the benefit aka Theodore's Birthday Bash is for the Juvenile Justice Center ) and while he is involved with his Jewishness he believes in the rights of all people.

If you tune in to Sunday Simcha (10 AM ET--also on the web) you will hear another side of him---his---if you will--Yiddishkeit.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: Acme
Date: 14 May 09 - 08:46 PM

Don, I'm glad to see you got to spend so much time visiting with Bikel. I wonder if my parents went to that concert also? It sure sounds familiar, and is definitely something that would have done if they could. They didn't take us to all of those (we did get to go hear Richard Dyer-Bennett down at the Opera House around the same period).

SRS


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: Deckman
Date: 15 May 09 - 03:51 PM

SRS ... With Bikel ... you didn't have to sneak a listen while trying to hide at the top of the stairs in your West Seattle home ... eh? hugs, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 15 May 09 - 04:12 PM

Bill Hahn -
Memory is a tad (or more) fuzzy nearly 50 years on, but I seem to recall Bikel being interviewed by Mike Wallace on a show called PM East.
Wallace asked (and I'm paraphrasing the Q & A) him whether he was an
an Orthodox Jew (or perhaps Observant Jew); Bikel said he consider4ed himself observant, even though he did not alway follow what he was supposed to do, adding that when he did not follow rule or custom, he was aware he was not being observant, but that he did not try to rationalize or change the rules to suit himself.
I found that to be a satisfying answer. Even as a member of a Reform Congregation, today, I feel that way. It often results in some good debate at the monthly, Lunch and Learn with our Rabbi.

JotSC


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 15 May 09 - 06:57 PM

I cannot say that I recall the Mike Wallace interview but the response you paraphrase seems quite accurate since he makes mention of his interest in religion(s) as they pertain to mankind being just to one another (a paraphrase). We also talk of the Pope's visit to the Middle East---a brief but fascinating part of our conversation.

A bit of thread drift now---Mike Wallace. Dating myself now I recall an interview he did with Burt Lancester on Live TV (1950s) and asked him some personal questions in a most intrusive manner. Lancester said--point blank---that is not why I am here. Wallace said you are here to promote a film and I will ask what I want--it is ---this is a direct quote I recall--Quid Pro Quo. At that point Lancester said something to the effect that that is your opinion---stood up and walked out. Wallace sat there on an empty stage on live TV. Never forgot it.

Back to Bikel---I think you will find some of the music interesting and next week on SUNDAY SIMCHA I focus more on his Yiddish music. On TRADITIONS we will also feature some of the great artists that will join him for his 85th Bday Bash at Carnegie Hall--Tom Paxton, Peter/Paul/No Mary)Susan Werner, etc.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 15 May 09 - 08:23 PM

Bill--my memory IS faulty. It was not on the PM East show, at all, that Bikel made those remarks. The venue was the Skip Weshner (radio) Show out of New York, which was heard later, several days later on tape, in Los Angeles.

As I was reading your responding post, I flashed back to an evening in my bedroom studying. We moved from that house in mid-1962, the interview in question was sometime before that. A few years later Weshner moved west, and did a live show in Los Angeles for a couple of stations, probably into the '70s...maybe even longer. It was also from his New York show that I first heard the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.

That's my corrected memory and I sticking to it!

Another eastern folk show we got for a while back then was the Oscar Brand music and interview program. I think those were on Saturday AMs, here.

Writing these memories is beginning to make me feel like a codger, as I'm approaching my Biblical life span of 70 years occurring this fall.


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 15 May 09 - 10:51 PM

Well, Oscar is still on the air and going strong--also appearing. I believe he is closing in on 90. Does not look it. Me---a bit behind that and also Bikel---but not by decades for sure.

Too bad no one recalls the early and abusive Mike Wallace. Some memories just stick with you.

Should be a grand event to honor Bikel on his 85th (which in reality was on May 2)

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: Acme
Date: 15 May 09 - 11:02 PM

Bob, I know I'd remember if Bikel had come to the house in West Seattle! :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 May 09 - 11:08 PM

He has a just great sense of humor, in addition to being a really dynamic singer. A subset of my group (13 of us) was involved in singing on a CD of Yiddish partisan songs. He just embodied the spirit of that one, called   "Shtey oyf tsum kamf" (Rise Up And Fight). No matter how we threw ourselves into it, we were just the ultimate white-bread chorus on our cuts compared to the songs he sang. A real privilege to be involved in that project with him.


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 16 May 09 - 12:16 AM

Bill, most people don't even remember the older radio announcer for various shows, Myron Wallace, who became the abusive Mike Wallace. I only know this from OTR broadcasts, but not from first hand memory.


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: Stringsinger
Date: 16 May 09 - 02:03 PM

When the Weavers appeared at the open air Forest Hills stadium, it was my first concert with them. We were deluged by a heavy downpour. My banjo head went limp and Ronnie's mascara was running down the side of her face. The audience put newspapers over their heads and remained in their seats. It was a soggy beginning for me but the thing that I remember was this.

Theo followed us. He came out onstage after us, sat down in his chair and the


Did he know the "lighting person"?


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Subject: RE: Theodore Bikel and Traditions
From: Stringsinger
Date: 16 May 09 - 02:04 PM

sun came out.


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