Gorby, Sarah (around 1900-1980)

Sarah Gorby (her real name was Gorbevitsh) is born around the turn of the century in Kishinev, which then belonged to Tsarist Russia. She was the descendant of a mainly Russian-speaking family of ordinary shopkeepers from Poland. At the age of 17, she left home to study music in Jassy (Rumania), and got married with Joseph Goldstein, a newspaper editor much older than her.

After spending some time in Rome, she settles in Paris with her husband during the 1920s, and performs regularly as a singer, under the name Sarah Goldstein. In the 1930’s, she travels regurlarly on tour to South America, and in the United States from 1935 on. In 1940 she flees with her husband to Haiti. She continues her career there as a singer, and performs several times in the United States between 1944 and 1947, before returning to Europe in 1948, for a tour of concerts of Yiddish songs in displaced people camps.
Sarah Gorby comes back to Paris in 1949, year in which she recorded most of her titles on the Elesdisc label. Her husband, Joseph Goldstein, passed away in 1950 in Haiti, and she therefore settles definitely in Paris. Even though she spends several months a year abroad (in South America, South Africa and Israel), Paris remains her center of gravity until her death in 1980.

Ellen F. Prince, in an article published in 1987, described Sarah Gorby’s talent and love for languages and dialects. Her dominant language was Russian, then Yiddish. She was also proficient in French, Rumanian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and spoke English fluently, although with a strong Russian accent.

Sources : Booklet of the CD boxset Jewish music in Paris in the aftermath of WWII, Wikipedia (russian) and Victor Eskenasy’s article De la Chișinău la Paris: Sarah Gorby o voce extraordinară


Listen to the playlist dedicated to Sarah Gorby




Order the CD Jewish music in Paris in the aftermath of WWII - Elesdisc 1948-1953.





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01:27 Dave Cash
03:48 Bernard Potock
05:58 Sarah Gorby
08:27 Ben Baruch
12:04 Henri Gerro
15:38 Richard Inger
19:02 Les autres artistes du label

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