Yiddish Radio Project by Scott Simon

Yiddish Radio Project

Stories from the Golden Age of Yiddish Radio

by Scott Simon

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
2 Hrs. 16 Min.
User Rating
  4.3  Stars Based on 3 ratings


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.

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