Monday, October 23, 2017

The Barry Sisters: Der Nayer Sher (1940)

Yiddish Performance of the Week

Der Nayer Sher (“The New Sher”) written by Abraham Ellstein and sung here by the Barry Sisters. The Barry Sisters (Claire and Merna) were born as Clara Bagelman (in 1920) and Minnie Bagelman (in 1923) in the Bronx borough of New York City. The duo were in the 1950s and ’60s big stars in the Catskills and Miami Beach; they got their start on Dick Manning’s (born Samuel Medoff) “Yiddish Melodies in Swing” radio program on New York’s WHN, which was broadcast between 1938 and 1955. As for this song, Neil W. Levin for The Milken Archive of Jewish Music writes: “Der nayer sher (The New Sher [i.e., new dance tune]) was written in 1940 expressly for recording, and according to one recollection, it was composed in an automobile between rehearsals or concerts (or perhaps broadcasts) for a session with Seymour Rechtzeit for the RCA Victor label. It was an immediate commercial success and was sung by many radio and stage singers, including Molly Picon, the Bagelman (Barry) Sisters, and the famous clarinetist Dave Tarras. Ellstein subsequently published it (1948) in two orchestral versions—with and without voice—and labeled them as a “special rumba,” with some rhythmic modification. It was also performed in an English version by Edmundo Ross, as The Wedding Samba. This version is likely taken from A Gala Concert with Moishe Oysher & The Barry Sisters: Vol 2 (Side 3; track 6), released in 1973 by Greater Recordings Co. of Brooklyn, NY.
Via: Youtube


  1. The Yiddish words are spelled in Standard Yiddish, whose vowels are close to northeastern (Litvish) Yiddish. The singing, however, is done in theater Yiddish, which is close to southeastern (Ukrainian and Romanian) Yiddish.
    Be that as it may, the music and performance are wonderful.


Comment Policy:

All comments will be moderated; and bear in mind that anonymous, hostile, vulgar and off-topic comments will not be published. Thoughtful, reasonable and clear comments, bearing your real name, will be. All comments must be in English.