During my studies of the family, I've always been struck by the sentimental depictions of Mother in days gone by. Nothing illustrates this better than the smash hit of 1928, My Yiddishe Momme (Mama), which put vaudevillian Sophie Tucker on the map. Its nostalgic images struck a chord with immigrants from all countries then and with anyone who's had a mother since. In fact, over the years this tear-jerker has been recorded by a wide range of artists, including:
Cantorial version (Josef Rosenblatt)
Operative version (Jan Peerce)
Pop versions (Tom Jones, Connie Francis, and Neal Sedaka),
Bossa nova version (Irving Field Trio)
Blues (Billie Holiday)
Soul (Ray Charles)
French (Charles Aznavour),
Bolero version (Argentinian singer)
Classic violin (Itzhak Perlman)
Finnish version (artist unknown).
The most hilarious of all the versions I came across is that of a male performer singing his heart out in Yiddish, while a phalanx of Russian Army officers stand behind him totally expressionless. It must be seen on YouTube to be believed! For your listening pleasure here's the original Red Hot Mama doing it her way.
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