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Martin Boris interviews....



In the 1980s, writer Martin Boris set out to write a book1 about Yiddish acting great Maurice Schwartz. In order to gather information for this book, Boris set out to interview a number of Yiddish theatre people to gather information about Schwartz and his Yiddish Art Theatre troupe.

One interviewee was the great Seymour Rechtzeit (husband to another Yiddish acting great Miriam Kressyn and past president of the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance.)

Martin Boris conducted and recorded seven interviews with him over a twenty-one month period between February 1998 and November 1999. The Museum of Family History, of which the Museum of the Yiddish Theatre is part of, has acquired these recordings from his gracious widow and is making available to you sound clips and/or texts or transcripts of these interviews in a piecemeal fashion, as they are being created.

The sound clips are being presented to you here as an mp3 file. Hopefully you will be able to play this file on your computer. If you have any questions, please contact the museum at

  • How Seymour Came to America and Got Started in the Business (4 mins, 28 secs)
    The interview starts off with Seymour telling Martin how he and his family first performed in Europe before he and his father immigrated to the United States. Then he describes his experience aboard ship and at Ellis Island, then how he started to give concerts in America, how he sang duets with Cantor Rosenblatt and signed contracts with Victor and Columbia Records, and finally how he started (then sold) his Banner Records Company. He even sings a few lines here and there!!

  • How Seymour Came to Record "Belz" (2 mins, 45 secs)
    This clip deals with how Seymour came to record one of Seymour Rechtzeit's greatest hits, "Belz." Here he talks about how he came to sing on stage and record this famous Yiddish song for Victor records. For Jan Peerce fans, you should listen to this too!


1 -- Martin Boris passed away before he could publish his biography of Schwartz, "Once a Kingdom." However, the Museum of Family history has published it online, and it is available for you to read in its entirety. He has written other articles about the Yiddish theatre, and they too can be read on the Museum's website. Just search the website under his name, "Martin Boris."