Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jewish Music Radio Comes of Age

In my early years, I recall once hearing a Yiddish song on the radio as I flipped through the various stations. I was quite surprised to discover that the Jewish minority was large enough to procure programming time on the public airwaves. As I matured, I was able to enjoy Jewish music on Art Raymond of WEVD and also Dov Shurin. Eventually Nachum Segal became King of Jewish music radio and became the standard EmCee at Jewish concerts.

Yet as large as these audiences grew, there still was no full-time Jewish music radio option. One could listen a few hours in the morning, sometimes a few hours at night, but there was nothing in between. I once entertained the notion to solicit sponsorship for 24x6 Jewish music programming. I thought that perhaps this would sway the youth not to get hooked onto rock-n-roll. One of the arguments I would encounter when I asked friends why they listened to R-n-R was that there wasn’t anything Jewish readily available.

But as JM proliferated in the 80’s and 90’s, there was now plenty of source material to support a full-time radio station. As the great Abie Rotenberg once noted…”a new tape comes out every week”. Even though other radio personalities, such as Country Yossi and others found their niche, even in our day there is not a dedicated Jewish music station.

Yet the age of the internet has enabled the world of “Internet Radio”. Almost all music stations now boast a presence on the world wide web; where their music is now available 24x7. The cost to maintain such a site is now totally within reason, and several websites have appeared with Jewish themed music being streamed to one’s computer.

However, for the Yeshivishe consumer, most programming was still wanting, as several of these sites play songs sung by women, or other content that the Yeshiva World finds offensive. This issue has now been rectified by several websites now offering streaming Jewish music 24x6. One can now play the radio at work or at home and enjoy the wide variety of "oldies" along with the new talented singers. Kudos to the pioneers who have brought us this service.

Redacted 5:42 PM November 14


  1. Dov Shurin and Uncle Laibush! Those were the days!

  2. I love this blog for taking me down memory lane so many times. Keep 'em coming.


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