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Barry Sisters - tell me about these Yiddishe Mamas

Joe Offer 27 Feb 10 - 03:35 PM
Melissa 27 Feb 10 - 03:48 PM
M.Ted 27 Feb 10 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,Gerry 28 Feb 10 - 02:53 AM
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Subject: The Barry Sisters - tell me about them
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 03:35 PM

If you look for old Yiddish songs, the name "Barry Sisters" pops up time and time again. Lots of their recordings have made it to CD and to YouTube. Sometimes I wonder how authentic their renditions of songs are, but time and time again I find out that the roots of their performances are authentic.

Is anyone familiar with the history of the Barry Sisters? Can you tell us about them?

There's no biography at, although there is an extensive discography. Here's the entry from Wikipedia:
    Born in the Bronx, New York, Clara and Minnie Bagelman were first known as the Bagelman Sisters. As Claire and Myrna Barry they were popular Yiddish jazz singers made popular in the 1940s-1960s on the New York Radio Show "Yiddish Melodies in Swing", where they would sing jazz recordings in Yiddish. They also would record popular tunes in Yiddish, such as "Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head." During the height of their popularity, they even made appearances on the Ed Sullivan and Jack Paar shows and were one of the few American acts to tour the Soviet Union in 1959. [1] The Barry Sisters also recorded with other noted Jewish singers such as Barbra Streisand and Moishe Oysher. The Barry Sisters are thought to be the inspiration for the SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE skit, "The Sweeney Sisters," in which Jan Hooks and Nora Dunn portrayed a C-list sister cabaret act. Mark Shaiman did the musical arrangements for these sketches.
    Myrna Barry was born in 1925 and died in 1976. [2]. Claire Barry, born in 1923, continues to sing and perform, and was recently featured in the NPR radio show, "Yiddish Melodies in Swing." [3]

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Subject: RE: Barry Sisters - tell me about these Yiddishe Mamas
From: Melissa
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 03:48 PM

I don't know anything about them, but I sure am enjoying them on youtube!


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Subject: RE: Barry Sisters - tell me about these Yiddishe M
From: M.Ted
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 10:14 PM

I don't have it in front of me, but there is a fair amount about them in Henry Sapoznik's wonderful book, "Klezmer! Jewish Music from Old World to Our World" --

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Subject: RE: Barry Sisters - tell me about these Yiddishe M
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 28 Feb 10 - 02:53 AM

I tried to post a summary from Sapoznik's book a few hours ago, but it seems to have vanished. Anyway, there's basically three paragraphs on pp 141-142, where we learn

Early recognition on a Jewish children's show,
First records at Victor in 1939 accompanied by Dave Tarras, Abe Ellstien et al,
Very popular recordings with tenor Seymour Rechtzeit,

and not much more.

I agree that it is a wonderful book.

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