Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


David Meyerowitz


M. was born on 2 April 1867 in Dinaburg, Latvia, to poor parents. In 1888 M.'s father immigrated to America. So that he could become a breadwinner for his home, M. had to enter into work for twenty-five kopeks a week in his [own factory=shebl-fabrik]. However he earned more with the work of singing songs, although he wasn't able to read and write any languages. Later, on his own, M. learned Yiddish and English.

At the age of thirteen he was brought by his father to America, and M. worked with him together in a rag shop, dedicating himself during his free time to composing songs in themes about daily events. His song "Vu nemt men amolike yorn?", in which he sang at home simchas, became very popular and it was published. M. also tried to write songs for the Yiddish theatre. Through his sister, the singer Katie Blachman, he, together with her, was taken into a troupe which [Samuel] Tornberg had put together, and here he had the opportunity to sing his songs that he had composed. Then M. became engaged to Gilrod in Yiddish vaudeville as a singer and as a songwriter for other actors, and later he went over to the People's Music Hall, where he composed his popular original song "Gott un zayn mishpot iz gerekht" (published under his and L. Gilrod's name). He sung through Adler in Libin's "Gebrakhene hertser (Broken Hearts)", "Ven men ruft zikh tsurik", "Bur krh oykhprhu", "Kum isralikl aheym", "Kol israel khverim" and many more, of which several were published by various publishers or privately issued. Others were sung in various operettas and were sung on the gramophone.

After his marriage to Tessie Stark, M. was employed with oysarbetn shlislen, then he performed together with his wife in his own composition of sketches with songs in the motion pictures and in concerts, and he also acted in various troupes.

In 1906 -- according to B. Gorin -- there was staged his biblical operetta "Boaz and Ruth".

On 11 June 1917 in the National Roof Garden, there was staged his drama with music "On a mame (Without a Mother.)"

In 1918-19 M. staged with Yiddish vaudeville "Meyerowitz and Goldberg Gol? Theatre" in New York.

In 1927-28 M. acted with his own (non-union) troupe in Winnipeg (Canada).

Sh. E.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, p. 270.

  • Big Ben [B. Finkel] -- Yidishe teater "Poesie", "Di varhayt", N. Y., 5 May 1917.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1300.

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