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Brian Epstein

The Beatles arrived in America on this date in 1964 and launched a cultural tidal wave. They were accompanied by their 30-year-old manager Brian Epstein, who had paid for the recording of their first demo record, convinced record producer George Martin to sign them, invented their “mop-top” hairstyles, outfitted them in suits, and arranged for […]

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“The Russians Are Coming” and Other Poems

by Sparrow From our 2018 art calendar, dedicated to the theme of music   THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING The Russians are coming; the Russians are coming. They stole our election, and they are drumming. The Russians are drumming; the Russians are drumming. The president hears them, and he is humming. The president’s humming; the president’s humming. […]

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Singing Along with Mitch

Mitch Miller, an oboist, conductor, record industry executive, and television host who powerfully shaped American musical tastes during the early 1960s with his NBC television series, Sing Along with Mitch, died at 99 on this date in 2010. At Columbia Records, Miller helped shape the careers Doris Day, Dinah Shore, Jo Stafford, and Aretha Franklin, while passing on opportunities to sign both […]

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February 18: Wallace Berman’s Assemblage Art

Wallace Berman, who pioneered “assemblage” art, introduced elements of kabbalistic symbolism to his work, and appeared on the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album, died on his 50th birthday on this date in 1976 in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Berman lived most of his life in southern California, where he […]

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February 21: Murray the K

Radio disc jockey Murray “the K” Kaufman died at 60 on this date in 1982. Kaufman was the child of a vaudevillian mother and appeared in several Hollywood films in the 1930s. After World War II (in which he served organizing shows for troops), he worked as a song plugger and a Borscht Belt show […]

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May 19: Alma Cogan and John Lennon

British pop singer Alma Cogan (Cohen), the highest-paid female vocalist in Great Britain during the 1950s and early 1960s (although she remained living with her mother) was born in London on this date in 1932. She broke into recording in her teen years, and in 1953, after laughing during the recording of one of her […]

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September 28: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

New York disc jockey Murray the K (Kaufman) obtained a copy of the Beatles’ “She Loves You” on this date in 1963, fully two months before Beatlemania hit the United States, and played it on his show for two straight weeks, alerting the country to things to come. Your Jewdayo editor remembers hearing it at […]

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August 6: More Popular than Jesus

On this date in 1966, the Beatles’ Jewish manager Brian Epstein cut short a vacation to fly to New York and defend John Lennon for making his infamous remark that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.” The remark had inflamed Christian true-believers, especially in the American South, but also in Mexico, South Africa, and […]

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