Monday, December 1, 2008

Clinton Street, Between Delancey and Rivington 1936

Appearing at the Clinton Theater (92 Clinton Street) on that day was Joseph Rosenblatt
1882 - 1933 Joseph Rosenblatt was born on May 2nd 1882 in Biela Tserkov, in the Ukraine. He came from a long line of Chazanim and his father was a cantor in Kiev. Yossele sang from a very early age. He became a member of his father's choir and was soon declared to be a 'wunderkind,' travelling throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire, performing at countless synagogues. At the age of 12 he met Taubele Kauffman and at the age of 18 Yossele married her and soon after accepted the position...
He is generally considered to be the uncrowned king of cantorial music. People often refer to him just as "Yossele," a Yiddish diminutive of Josef.
There is a famous joke about a Cantor who calls himself the Third Yossele Rosenblatt... When he's asked who the Second Yossele Roseblatt might be, in great offense he retorts, "There could BE no Second Yossele Rosenblatt!"
Rosenblatt's greatest hit was his recording of "Shir Hama'alot," Psalm 126, to a tune composed by Minkowsky. This psalm is said on festive occasions, just before the "Grace after Meals." This cheerful melody became so popular, that soon it was considered to be the traditional tune for this psalm. When the State of Israel was looking for a suitable National Anthem, Rosenblatt's "Shir Hama'alot" was proposed as a serious candidate.

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