I took Seymour's great yiddish rendition of Surrey With The Fringe On Top and matched it with video from Oklahoma.
for more on Seymour go to the Yiddish Radio Project
from Seymour Rexite's 2002 obituary
Seymour Rexite, a onetime matinee idol of the Yiddish theater and radio, died on Monday at his home in Greenwich Village. He was 91, his nephew Mel Friedman said.
A high, sweet tenor, Mr. Rexite had a career arc that swung from singing for Calvin Coolidge to playing host to a television show on educational television to singing with Mandy Patinkin at Lincoln Center. He also starred with his wife, the singer and actress Miriam Kressyn, for more than 40 years on the radio, performing pop standards in Yiddish. At one time they were heard on 18 radio shows a week.
When Ethel Merman opened in the Irving Berlin show ''Call Me Madam'' and introduced the duet ''You're Not Sick, You're Just in Love,'' Ms. Kressyn and Mr. Rexite had to have it.
''Irving Berlin never let anybody change lyrics,'' Mr. Rexite said, in an interview with The New York Times in April. ''But we recorded it anyway. Then I called him up and I said, 'I want you to listen to this, if you think it's no good, we'll put it away, that will be the end of it.' I went over to his office; he said: 'It's terrific. Put it on.' ''
Known in his native Poland as the wunderkind child singer, Mr. Rexite (born Rechtzeit) immigrated to the United States in 1920, with his father, a cantor, and his elder brother, Jack, an actor and songwriter. When quotas prevented his mother and sisters from immigrating, a congressman arranged for him to perform before President Coolidge. Jack Rechtzeit wrote a song: ''Bring Me My Mother From the Other Side.'' And they did.
In the 1930's Mr. Rexite performed, in white tie and tails, at Billy Rose's night club, Casino de Paris, on 54th Street, singing ''I'm Just a Gigolo'' and ''A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody.''
But it was in the Yiddish Theater that he had his greatest success, starring in ''Dem Rebbens Nigun'' (''The Rabbi's Melody'') and ''Dos Yidishe Maydele'' (''The Jewish Girl''). He appeared in one of the first full-length Yiddish films with sound, ''Mayn Yidishe Mame'' (''My Jewish Mother''), in 1930 and in the Yiddish film ''Motl der Operator'' (''Motl the Operator'').
''He was a high tenor matinee idol whose voice made the ladies quaver,'' said Isaiah Sheffer, the artistic director of Symphony Space, who worked with Mr. Rexite at WEVD when it was ''the station that speaks your language.'' ''Back in his youthful days, the stories of his backstage amours would circulate. The women just had to hear him sing the song 'Mazel' -- that's Yiddish for luck -- and afterwards they were putty in his hands. It goes, 'Mazel, you shine for everyone, but not for me.' The song of a heartsick lover. I remember him sitting with Abraham Ellstein, the composer, joking about which one of them had more girls based on 'Mazel.' ''
Mr. Rexite's bachelor days ended in 1943, when he married Ms. Kressyn, a star of the Yiddish stage. The couple performed on ''Memories of the Yiddish Theater'' and ''Matinee Time'' for Maxwell House, or ''The Caravan Show.'' Ms. Kressyn translated English songs into Yiddish, and the couple recorded them or sang them on their radio shows.
Ms. Kressyn died in 1996; they had no children.
In recent years, though he was in frail health, Mr. Rexite occasionally performed. In March he appeared at a Richard Rodgers tribute at Symphony Space, physically frail but still able to belt out ''The Surrey With the Fringe on Top'' in Yiddish.
He had spent most of his time in the last five years organizing his recordings and papers for Harvard University, assisted by Caraid O'Brien , a playwright and translator. This past Monday, Ms. O'Brien said, was typical: Mr. Rexite identified several recordings from the 1940's and 50's, listening to his voice and that of his wife, talking about her, singing along with his younger self.
Two songs he sang along with were ''Make Someone Happy'' and ''Miami Beach Rhumba.'' In, of course, Yiddish.