Clara and Minnie Barry were popular American Jazz and Klezmer entertainers of the 1940s to the early 1970s. Born in the Bronx, New York in a Yiddish-speaking home to a Russian-born father and a mother from Vienna, when the sisters decided to entertain by singing in Yiddish, their father told them they would need to do it in the manner of the Old World and not with American accents. The young girls got their first break as singers on WLTH Radio's "Uncle Norman" show for children and were then known as The Bagelman Sisters. They made their first recordings with RCA Records in the late 1930s and began to make a name for themselves as Yiddish jazz singers.
When the Andrews Sisters' version of the Yiddish song, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön", became a hit, musician and composer Sam Medoff started his "Yiddish Melodies in Swing" radio program on New York's WHN. Before joining the radio show, the sisters made a change of their stage surname from Bagelman to Barry. From 1937 until the mid-1950s they performed on the program, where they would sing jazz recordings in the Yiddish language. Their recordings included popular tunes, such as "Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head" translated into Yiddish (Trop'ns Fin Regen Oif Mein Kop). They also performed in the New York Catskills resort hotels. They eventually toured with Mickey Katz.During the height of their popularity, they even made appearances on the Ed Sullivan and Jack Paar shows and were one of the few American acts to tour the Soviet Union in 1959. The sisters also entertained Israeli troops during the Yom Kippur War.
Scope and Content
Item consists of a portrait of the Barry Sisters performing onstage.
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