From recordings of the Yiddish theater to klezmer music, from cantorial songs to popular hits, and dramatic readings to ballads, the Mayrent Collection of Yiddish Recordings brings to life the broad range of Yiddish albums from the first half of the twentieth century. The collection includes over 9,000 78rpm discs, from locations as diverse as the United States, Eastern Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Israel.

Below, listen to 3 highlights of the collection. To examine the collection in full, visit: University of Wisconsin Digital Collections website.

“A Brief Fin New York Kein Paris”

William Schwartz

In this song, dated to 1918, a mother, father, and bride write to their loved one—a soldier stationed in Paris—from their tenement apartment in New York City.



“Leben Soll Columbus”

Kalman Juvelier
Arnold Perlmutter and Herman Wohl (Composers)
Bores Thomashefsky (Lyricist)
Columbia, 1916

This song boasts the refrain, “Long live Columbus!”—a phrase that appears increasingly ironic as the song progresses.


“Mein Shteitele Belz”

Marlin Sisters
Alexander Olshanetsky (Composer)
Sammy Gallop and Jacob Jacobs (Lyricists)
Columbia, 1950

This popular song nostalgically recalls the small market town of Belz, now Bălţi, Moldova.