Lives in the Yiddish Theatre
SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE
aS DESCRIBED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"

1931-1969
 

Chaim (Hyman) Altman


A. was born on 15 May 1881 in Lisinka, Kiev Gubernia.

His father was a colonist and a prayer leader.

He learned in a cheder.

He was a choir boy for Yankele the hoarse(?) in Beyala Tserkov where he also learned notes. Afterwards he sung for two years in the tailor's shul in Kiev. Later he became an assistant chorus director in the Ukrainian operetta of Kropovinsky. During military duty he was in pulk assistant director and was taken in to learn to perform bass.

In 1903 he went away to Galicia and was assistant choir conductor for Yakov Ber Gimpel. He was brought down to New York, together with Pepi Litmann through Sam Agid, by whom he worked for four years as a writer of one-act operettas, and he studied as one of the choir. His song "Dem r'binim heylike hbdlh" was sung by Pepi Litmann, and it became popular across the entire Yiddish world. A. composed his many songs together with music and had written "lyrics" to the music of Perlmutter and Wohl. Especially well-known were his songs "The New Yorker trern", "Be a Father to Your Children", "The Khupah", and "Di lukhut" (text and music); also the "lyrics" to Thomashefsky's play "The Polish Jew" and "Dos dorfs-meydl (The Needy Girl?)".

Around 1929 he left the theatre and became an insurance agent, went away to Detroit, where he became occupied with real estate, lost his property, and since 1929 managed a Yiddish radio program for a year.

Also in Detroit, A. from time to time, once again wrote "lyrics". One of his last songs was "I Am Afraid of My Wife".

On 10 February 1945 A. passed away in Detroit.

In the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" (V. 1, p. 63), he pi teut called Morris.


Sh. E. by Harry Weinberg.


 

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 7, page 6169.
 

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