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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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February 21: David Geffen

One of the most influential record producers of the past four decades and cofounder of the film studio DreamWorks SKG, David Geffen was born in Borough Park, Brooklyn on this date in 1943, to shopkeeping parents. A dyslexic college dropout (twice), Geffen lied his way into the William Morris Agency and then became personal manager […]

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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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October 7: John and Yoko’s Lawyer

The U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the deportation order for John Lennon on this date in 1975, ruling that Lennon, who faced deportation because of a 1968 cannabis conviction in Great Britain, had been denied due process. Lennon’s key attorney in the lengthy case was Leon Wildes, an observant Jew who began his career as […]

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August 28: Dylan Visits the Beatles

Woodstock writer Al Aronowitz brought his friend Bob Dylan to New York’s Hotel Delmonico on this date in 1964 to visit the Beatles, who had just finished playing at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium (and, that day, made their first appearance on the cover of Life magazine). Here’s the description of the event from Robert […]

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A Day in the Life

by Richard Klin Discussed in this essay: The John Lennon Letters, edited by Hunter Davies. 2012, Little, Brown, 400 pages. . . . I’m bringing myself down thinking about what a thoughtless bastard I seem to be . . . I really  feel like crying . . . —letter to his ex-wife, Cynthia, 1965 The […]

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December 26: Phil Spector

Rock and roll pioneer Phil Spector, whose career ended in violence and imprisonment, was born in the Bronx on this date in 1940. His first hit song, “To Know Him Is To Love Him,” sung by the Teddy Bears (which he formed with Marshall Lieb, Harvey Goldstein, and lead singer Annette Kleinbard), used words from […]

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In Memoriam

Abie Nathan April 29, 1927 – August 27, 2008 Abraham Jacob Nathan was a free spirit and a visionary. In 1966, as tensions mounted between Israel and Egypt, he flew a small plane named “Shalom One” to Egypt to discuss peace with Egyptian President Gamel Abdul Nasser. Nathan attempted to repeat the deed in early […]

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