This accession consists of material documenting the career of Louis Herman. It includes music programs dating from around 1920 until 1939, bulletins, the Y-Times (1938 & 1942) as well as correspondence, newsletters, skits, music and programs from the war years. Finally, it includes a poster as well as three photographs of Louis Herman taken during the course of his career.
The material was donated to the OJA by Louis' son.
Louis Herman was born on 4 January 1911. His father, Reverand Samuel Herman, was a cantor who first worked in Montreal and then moved with his family to Toronto. They lived at 20 Major Street during the 1920s and 1930s.
Louis was a child prodigy who studied under Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt. He established a music career as a boy, singing soprano with the synagogue choir and later performing on the Maxwell Coffee Hour in the United States, which was hosted by the New York Jewish radio station WEVD.
During the 1920s and 1930s he sang professionally and performed at a variety of venues, entertaining Jewish organizations and groups in Toronto. He also performed outside of the city at that time in the American mid-west and the northeast.
After the start of the war, Louis enlisted and became a private in the Canadian Army. He entertained the troops, appearing in stage shows in Canada and overseas, often appearing with famous acts like Wayne and Shuster. He also saw combat duty.
After the war he returned to Canada and studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music. After completing his studies, he decided to become a cantor like his father. He married Yetta and moved with their children to Camden, New Jersey in 1957 in order to serve as the cantor to Congregation Beth El. They lived there until the late 1960s, when the the synagogue was relocated to Cherry Hill. Cantor Herman retired in 1982. He passed away on December 16, 2004. His son David is the Rabbi Shaarei Tfiloh in Baltimore.
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Related material note: also see accession 2007-3-6.