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The Barry Sisters Sing (2008)

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The Barry Sisters Sing (2008)

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01. Beltz 3:35
02. Shein Vi Di Levonne 2:22
03. My Yiddishe Momme 4:37
04. Beit Mich A Bisele 2:23
05. Romania Romania 4:01
06. Vie Iz Dus Gesele 3:29
07. Roshinkes Und Mandlin 3:26
08. Abi Gezunt 2:38
09. Otchi Charnia 3:21
10. Ay Ay Hora 2:23
11. Der Alter Tziegeuner 3:47
12. My Mother's Sabbath Candles 2:46

 

Claire and Merna Barry (born Clara and Minnie Bagelman) "were born in the Bronx in a Yiddish speaking immigrant home. They began performing as The Bagelman Sisters on a Jewish children's radio show on WLTH in New York and recording for RCA Victor in the late 1930s. They became well known in Yiddish speaking communities as they appeared on radio show `Yiddish Melodies in Swing.' and then popular outside of those communities as they began to release mainstream pop songs in Yiddish. The Barry Sisters released numerous albums in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show (ten times from 1956-65), The Jack Paar Show, and The Tonight Show. They were also popular internationally, with tours of Israel and the Soviet Union." (The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation)

If anyone tells you to have a few tissues ready before listening to these songs, they're right! The Barry Sisters sing a stunning arrangement of poignant songs and ballads and every song is special. There are songs that are sad; songs that are sentimental; songs that are upbeat and some songs even have the sisters singing in both Yiddish and English! The Barry Sisters are in their natural element here with arrangements by Abraham Ellstein; and the music always fits in perfectly with their vocals.

"Beltz" uses the strings very well as Merna and Claire Barry harmonize so very well; and "Shein Vi di LeVonne" has a great beat for dancing; what a terrific song this is! The Barry Sisters handle tempo and key changes as effortlessly as if it were mere breathing. Of course, we know it really wasn't all that easy; their talent carried them through every time they sang together. "My Yiddishe Momme" is a most sentimental number that brought a tear to my eye; they showcase their ability to sing in English and "My Yiddishe Momme" is truly an excellent song. "Beit Mich a Bisele" is an energetic, swingy tune that I really like and The Barry Sisters outdo even themselves on the traditional "Roumania." "Roumania" starts off slow and when the sisters pick up the pace this number takes flight! "Vie Iz Dus Gesele" is a hauntingly beautiful song that explores the melancholy that one feels with an unrequited love, not to mention sentimentality in general for times past. "Vie Iz Dus Gesele" also has Claire and Merna singing in both Yiddish and English for a memorable effect!

"Roshinkes Un Mandlin" is yet another timeless ballad; The Barry Sisters deliver this with panache and I'm very impressed! "Abi Gezunt" is another tune that has a swing flavor to it that I always like to hear and again "Otchi Chornia" has the sisters performing at their usual very best. Claire and Merna alternate between singing in Yiddish and English and it makes a wonderful song to hear. "Ay Ay Hora" is quite an energetic number and "Der Alter Tziegeuner" becomes a fast paced song after a relatively slow introduction which works well for "Der Alter Tzigeuner." "My Mother's Sabbath Candles" features the sisters singing a most sentimental ballad that couldn't have been done any better; and the track set (on CD, at least) ends with "Intrigue (From the film `Foreign Intrigue')."

The Barry Sisters deserve to be remembered more than they are but perhaps that will change with continued sales of their CDs and songs for download. I highly recommend their music for especially for Jewish people who appreciate five star quality Yiddish and English songs. ---Matthew G. Sherwin, amazon.com

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