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Alas, some things (low pay for cantors; low pay for Jewish musicians) don't seem to change

Marvin Margoshes posts to the Jewish-Music list:

There was some discussion recently of ways that makers of Jewish music are being squeezed financially. Those on this mail list may want to read about the abuse of cantors by synagogues in New York in 1917-1918.

My uncle, Samuel Margoshes, was one of the authors of a study called "The Jewish Communal Register of New York City, 1917-1918. The whole book can be read at books.google.com/books?id=ptPTTkYiLNAC&printsec=frontcover. A chapter, starting on p. 301, "The Cantors and Their Problem", is by N. Avromson, the President of the Jewish Cantors Association. It describes how congregations in New York City used a series of trial performances to get cantors to lead services without pay. Avromson also describes how short term contracts were used to keep cantorial pay low. According the Avromson, the old tradition was for cantors to have life-time appointments, with a pension for their widows. Also, if a son was qualified, he would have first claim to replace his father.