Join Hershey Felder for a wide-open conversation about why he is compelled to tell these stories through music, how being Jewish has influenced his work and what Jewish music means to him.
Art Rupe, who died in April at the age of 104, was an independent record producer known for launching the musical careers of Lloyd Price, Little Richard, Sam Cooke and others, paving the way for Black music to crossover to White audiences and the new genre of rock n’ roll. Moment editor-in-chief and Billy Vera, a singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, Grammy Award winning music historian and author of Rip It Up: The Specialty Records Story is in conversation about Rupe’s impoverished childhood in a Pennsylvania town, his early affinity for gospel music, and how he turned down a scholarship to become a rabbi and instead headed to Hollywood, his legendary career, life philosophy and more.
This program is in celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month.
In the 19th century Black spirituals were inspired by biblical stories in the Old Testament, especially those we remember during Passover. In the early decades of the 20th century, Black and Jewish musicians, often living side by side in the same impoverished neighborhoods, connected through legacies of oppression. With the music industry one of the few fields open to them both, it’s no surprise that blues and jazz became rich, crossover genres. Join Loren Schoenberg, senior scholar at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center and Nadine Epstein, Moment editor-in-chief, for a conversation about these musical connections, the bonds and tensions, and a taste of the music itself including Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho and Go Down Moses to Bei Mir Bist Du Shein.
Throughout the 20th century, Jews have always contributed to American popular music, from Irving Berlin to Carole King and beyond. But according to musician Joe Alterman, executive director of Neranenah Concert & Culture Series, the Jewishness of the music is defined by its story and not necessarily its melody. Part performance, part storytelling, Alterman, shares great American music with its fascinating Jewish stories woven in.
Walter J. Podrazik and Harry Castleman, authors of All Together Now – the first complete Beatles discography 1961-1975, discuss Brian Epstein, the Jewish record store owner who discovered and managed the Beatles.