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Yiddish Radio Project Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company; Unabridged,Original radio broadcast; 2 hours on 2 CDs edition (June 28 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565117131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565117136
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.1 x 14.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,218,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

DAVE ISAY is the founder of StoryCorps and the recipient of numerous broadcasting honors, including five Peabody Awards and a MacArthur “Genius” fellowship. He is the author/editor of four books including Listening Is an Act of Love, a New York Times bestseller.


HENRY SAPOZNIK is a Grammy-nominated record producer, composer, author, scholar and performer of traditional Yiddish and American music.

From AudioFile

A forgotten segment of the age of radio in America has been found by diligent searching in attics and basements. Enough of the collection has been restored to offer some of the stars of Yiddish radio programs to our ears again. Scott Simon of National Public Radio is the host of the two- hour disc, and some of the translations are read by Carl Reiner and Eli Wallach. For the listener who remembers the era from the 30s to the 50s, it is a nostalgic trip back. For the younger listener (younger than 50), it is a history lesson in the possibilities of com-munication in the America that was considered the melting pot of scores of diverse cultures. J.P. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's a shame that there's only one review of this double CD, and also a shame that it is described as an unabridged CD, as if it's a narration of a book. In fact, this was a radio presentation on public radio, narrated by Scott Simon, on the lost world of Yiddish radio, using old acetates (the flimsy records used to record the shows) recovered from dustbins by Henry Sapoznik, a social historian, who provides his own arch commentary. It is, as Sapoznik says, like listening to transmissions from another planet, because the recordings evoke an entire time period and culture of the 1930's and 1940's when a large audience of Yiddish speakers in New York listened to Yiddish radio. There is a wonderful pastiche of Yiddish advertisements, a hilarious history of Yiddish swing, and lots of dramas, advice columnists of the air, and other gems. It bears listening again and again, and you might find yourself entertaining passengers in your car with selections you like best. It gives you a warm, homey feel of being privy to the everday world of your grandparents, 60 or 70 years ago. I strongly recommend it.
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By Jules on Oct. 9 2003
Format: Audio CD
Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950's, my Father's radio was always tuned to WEVD (or WQXR). As such, I expected more of the lingua franca that the CD purports to contain. Enlish ditties sung by Jewish personalities is cute but not enthralling. I kept waiting to hear actual Yiddish and especially the voice of Zvi Scooler. I cannot imagine any collection of this sort not containing the voice of Zcooler. Maybe I expected too much.
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Format: Audio CD
or those that lived and loved it live! Zol zein leben a hundret yorin, laugh along with your ancestors and bubbies, be rational serve Hebrew National, and I'm off to the supermarket to see if I can still find Brillo Kosher Soap "the Star of David is worked right through the soap, it never disappears"! btw this is TWO full cds worth, oy what a bargain...
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Format: Audio CD
I enjoyed this thoroughly even though I didn't have any memories of Yiddish radio growing up.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A beautifully assembled history of a time long gone Sept. 10 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It's a shame that there's only one review of this double CD, and also a shame that it is described as an unabridged CD, as if it's a narration of a book. In fact, this was a radio presentation on public radio, narrated by Scott Simon, on the lost world of Yiddish radio, using old acetates (the flimsy records used to record the shows) recovered from dustbins by Henry Sapoznik, a social historian, who provides his own arch commentary. It is, as Sapoznik says, like listening to transmissions from another planet, because the recordings evoke an entire time period and culture of the 1930's and 1940's when a large audience of Yiddish speakers in New York listened to Yiddish radio. There is a wonderful pastiche of Yiddish advertisements, a hilarious history of Yiddish swing, and lots of dramas, advice columnists of the air, and other gems. It bears listening again and again, and you might find yourself entertaining passengers in your car with selections you like best. It gives you a warm, homey feel of being privy to the everday world of your grandparents, 60 or 70 years ago. I strongly recommend it.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Phenomenal Documentary of a Long Lost Era... Oct. 2 2005
By Eddie Landsberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Fortunately, if you've forgotten all the Yiddish you grew up hearing, or never grew up hearing Yiddish at all, you'll still be able to enjoy this INCREDIBLE radio documentary about the (virtually) lost world of Jewish/Yiddish radio (in NYC) and vanishing Yiddish-American culture in general. Enlisting top name actors (such as Eli Wallach, Carl Reiner, Jerry Stiller, Christopher Lloyd and others) for the first time you can hear the famous MO AND JOE Barton Brother's parody fully translated in all its blue galore... you meet a whole case of long gone, recently gone and a few still living charactors from one men ad agencies and program directors, Yiddish Swing singers, a RABBI who was the first JUDGE WAPNER long before JUDGE WAPNER, hear a radio broadcast in which a holocaust survival is reunited with his father in a THIS IS YOUR LIFE type broadcast, a Yiddish soap opera type radio drama fully re-enacted in English, and commercials for products anyone who grew up in a Jewish household will be quite familiar with (and shocked at the sales tactics... wow whoever knew that Matzah had more powers than a York Peppermint Patty !) - - The story is brilliantly told, through actually recordings, re-enactments in English, and narratives by those who lived it. - - I don't this this INCREDIBLE documentary won any awards, but it should have... It tells lot's of stories and is a peak into a world nostalgic for some, long forgotten by others... and for those who grew up in the "post assimilation era" or who aren't even Jewish, the documentary is an amazing look into the challenges of one ethnic culture balancing between its own identity and the influences of assimilating and incorporating the influences of a then new World for most Jews called America.

Great for repeated listening, so definitely worth getting ! ! ! This is NPR at its best !
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
a MUST for those of us who just missed it... Jan. 15 2003
By Alexshalom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
or those that lived and loved it live! Zol zein leben a hundret yorin, laugh along with your ancestors and bubbies, be rational serve Hebrew National, and I'm off to the supermarket to see if I can still find Brillo Kosher Soap "the Star of David is worked right through the soap, it never disappears"! btw this is TWO full cds worth, oy what a bargain...
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
disappointing Oct. 9 2003
By Jules - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950's, my Father's radio was always tuned to WEVD (or WQXR). As such, I expected more of the lingua franca that the CD purports to contain. Enlish ditties sung by Jewish personalities is cute but not enthralling. I kept waiting to hear actual Yiddish and especially the voice of Zvi Scooler. I cannot imagine any collection of this sort not containing the voice of Zcooler. Maybe I expected too much.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable but too brief! Feb. 20 2011
By Christopher Theophilus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The English translation was sometimes drowned out by the background original Yiddish speakers. The Yiddish needs to be quieter.

I enjoyed the "Jewish Philosopher" (an advice program for personal problems much like today's Dear Abbey); .........also,...... the program of a rabbi who conducted on-air arbitration (legally binding after participants signed up) to bring resolution to family disputes,..........as well as...... the program of concentration camp survivors re-uniting for the first time in many years with long-lost loved ones, broadcast live.

I would love a future CD program with an uninterrupted recording of each of the above three Yiddish programs, without any modern-day NPR commentary, but only with an English translation (with the original Yiddish speech too quiet to even hear for the most part, but keeping the music of the original).

Also, I did notice the original Yiddish speech inflections and emphasis of certain words, and their timing with appropriate pauses, and appropriate expression of emotion.....was changed in the modern-day English translation, often losing the essence of the original Yiddish. (I could hear this only at the end of an English translation, after which for two or three seconds the original Yiddish was audible.)

Therefore, the emphasis and emotion of the original Yiddish hosts should be more closely followed and so preserved in the English translation part, if this program is ever re-done.

Also if I am not mistaken, some of the original Yiddish broadcasts contained English translations within the original program itself...were bi-lingual, in other words. These would be priceless, and give me an unprecendented view into this other fascination world of the last century and another subculture than my own! I would love to hear ALL the bi-lingual programs, even ten or twelve hours of the best, if this much is preserved on the old recordings.

To summarize: a great glimpse into the past, but only a glimpse....I would enjoy a much longer audio program. I believe there may well be sufficient material preserved in the old recordings to do this. As the modern commentary says, the original broadcasts of almost a century ago were spontaneous and unpolished but therefore realistic ..... a less-polished modern production would be greatly to my liking, so I can feel I am actually listening to the radio in the livingroom or kitchen of a Yiddish-speaking family in, say, New York City, in the 1930s.

This NPR production, "Yiddish Radio Project", offers only snippets of original broadcast, interspersed with modern commentary. I invite someone to make a program with much longer segments of original broadcasts (with only English translation but little or no modern-day commentary).

Nevertheless, this recent audio program serves as a fairly satisfactory introduction to these old-time radio broadcasts.

Note: I just noticed that music from this NPR program in available on a separate CD, for those who might be interested. "Yiddish Radio Project" did offer some original musical broadcasts which I enjoyed. The CD might be worth a listen as it is edited to simulate a one-hour broadcast of the 1930s or 40s or 50s, according to one customer review!


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