Remember those funny pink celluloid cylinders made by a man named Thomas Lambert during the first few years of the 20th century in Chicago? Our CD, The Pink Lambert, was only the second release by Archeophone, back in 1999. Well, we’re seeing pink again.
A large block of Yiddish selections were among Lambert’s first releases, around 1901—titles including show tunes from Yiddish theater, operatic arias, and sacred numbers. A collection of many of these very early Lamberts was recently acquired by the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and they have reached out to us to put them out on a new CD. In turn, we have asked Mayrent Director Henry Sapoznik to shepherd the project, providing translations and context for material that is foreign even to people knowledgeable about Yiddish culture.
That’s because apparently these are the earliest known recordings of Yiddish music. It’s not clear why Lambert chose to market this material, but presumably he had an “in” with Chicago’s large Jewish community. One other mystery we’re trying to solve is why all the cylinders are announced “Standard Record,” instead of something like “Record made for the Lambert Company of Chicago,” which is the usual formula we hear. Has anybody out there got a clue?
Besides the 11 cylinders now in the Mayrent Institute, we have contributions from private collectors to bring the total number of Yiddish Lamberts to 19 for our CD set. These are rare, rare items. So we’re asking you: do you have any Yiddish Lamberts to add into the mix? Below are the titles we have so far:
|102||Tahne Nit||Solomon Smulewitz|
|106||Rozhinkes mit Mandlen, von Shulamis||William Nemrel|
|108||Min Hameizar||William Nemrel|
|110||Lustige Chsidim||Dave Franklin|
|144||Kabet es Owicho||Kalmen Juvelier|
|148||Weisoso, von Achashweires||Dave Franklin|
|150||Meine Tate Hot Gemacht, von Schamel Israel||Dave Franklin|
|167||Hagode shall Peisach||Dave Franklin|
|178||Shicker Lied||Solomon Smulewitz|
|185||Jetzias Mizraim, von Teibele||Solomon Smulewitz|
|187||Die Glesele Mashke||Solomon Smulewitz|
|188||Ben Hador||Kalmen Juvelier|
|199||Der Kadesh, von Jeshive Bocher||William Nemrel|
|302||Eil Mole Rachmim||Sam Rubin|
|304||Die Yudishe Chuppe (Descriptive Song)||Sam Rubin|
|305||Das Yudel, von Die Nacthtigal von Jerusholaim||Solomon Smulewitz|
|310||Odom Jeseide Miofor (Sacred, for Rosh Hashana)||William Nemrel|
|313||Zu Gefellen Menner, von America||Solomon Smulewitz|
|321||Sprinzes Bentchen||Sam Rubin|
The titles above in italics are the names of theater shows in which the songs appeared. You can read more about these recordings in the press release. Or find out more about the work of the Mayrent Institute on their website. Go check your cylinder collection, and let us know!