Lots of interesting articles in this week's "Forward"
Most weeks, the English-language, Forward resembles nothing so much as one's local Jewish newspaper, albeit allegedly national or international in scope, and mostly aware of New York City. It eschews controversy, espouses political opinions that would have been safe 50 years ago, and one is continually reminded in reading it that Abe Cahan was a social democrat, not actually a socialist.
Some weeks, however, the newspaper covers an unusual amount of significant cultural activity, and the past two weeks have seen a series of stories worth reading, both expected and unexpected. This week in particular sees a plethora of Yiddish-related features in the "Arts and Culture section. Among them:
- In "Beatle Mania: British Invasion Gets a Yiddish Translation," Josh Richman features Bay Area-based Yiddish singer and educator Gerry Tenney. Known for years (among more significant accomplishments like always having a sound system we could use for benefits) for his Yiddish translations of rock 'n' roll standards (my favorite, "in der shtill fun dem nacht"), someone recently posted to YouTube video clip of the Beatles singing "A Hard Days Night," but replaced the original soundtrack with Tenney's Yiddish version. So, now Tenney gets some deserved recognition. This is a good thing.
- "Songbook Recaptures Lost Melodies, by Alexander Gelfand, publicizes the recently-released Yiddish Folksongs from the Ruth Rubin Archive.
- Gelfand makes it a double-header with his article on December's Yiddish Dance symposium finally seeing print: "Symposium Seeks to Save Yiddish Dance
- In "Yelling Melodiously, Rachel Ament does a lovely article on the "Shondes," who have recently released a CD, "The Red Sea."