Dave Cash : the « crazy lad » of Yiddish cabarets

A radio program of the European Institute for Jewish Music hosted by Hervé Roten

MUSIQUES JUIVES D’HIER ET D’AUJOURD’HUI - MARDI 1er DECEMBRE 2015, JUDAÏQUES FM (94.8), 21H05.

Dave Cash, whose real name is Ludwig Slomniker, is born in the Polish city of Lemberg (called Lviv today), the 3rd October 1910. He studies theatre and dancing and performs everywhere in Poland as an artist, dancer, singer, humorist, mainly in Yiddish. Along with his stage mate, and future wife, the dancer Yadwiga Podstolska, he flees the Nazis and gets refuge in Soviet Union, where foreign artists are reare and appreciated. The couple performs under the nickname Johnny Stone and Lydia Waren in an acrobatic dancing duo. At the end of the war, the two artists go with the civilians who follow General Anders Polish army built in Soviet Union, from Iran to Palestine. They settle in Palestine, and in 1947, the couple gets married in Haïfa. In February 1948, they go to France. Ludwig Slomniker, who took the stage name « Dave Cash » performs then in several Yiddish cabarets and records on the music label Elesdisc, founded by Léon Speiser, over twelve 78 RPM discs between 1949 and 1953.

Around 1950, Dave Cash and Yadwiga leave regurlarly on tour in North and South America, in particular in Argentina, where they meet great success. Around 1960, the couple settle in Paris, where they create with friends a first Yiddish cabaret. A few years later, Dave Cash creates his own cabaret which he will call « Chez Dave Cash ». As in all cabarets, one can see singers, dancers, more or less dressed entertainers, who encourage the audience, mainly Yiddish speaking, to eat, drink, speak and sing. The repertoire is mainly composed of Yiddish, Russian or Gypsy songs. Like the French singer Charles Trenet, singers act foolishly. Musicians play from table to table. Some cabarets even have a dancefloor and a small stage for the orchestra.
That period of Yiddish and Russian cabarets ends in the 1970’s. Russian music is no longer in fashion and Jewish people from the Yiddishland are less and less.
Dave Cash passed away in May 1981 in Cannes. Yadwiga passed away in 2001.

Our guests, Georges et David Winter, rnephew and grand-nephew of Dave Cash, will revive that forgotten period of Yiddish cabarets. The show will be illustrated with a lot of Dave Cash’s music, from the boxset Jewish Music in Paris in th Aftermath of WWII - Elesdisc 1948-1953 published by the EIJM.

Read Dave Cash’s biography
Listen to songs performed by Dave Cash.
Purchase the boxset Jewish Music in Paris in th Aftermath of WWII - Elesdisc 1948-1953

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Dave Cash : le fou chantant des cabarets yiddish - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)


Officer of the Ordre of Arts and letters, PhD in musicology at Paris University Sorbonne, prize-winning graduate from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Hervé Roten is the director of the European Institute for Jewish Music since its creation in 2006.
Ethnomusicologist, he quickly developed an interest in the safeguard and digitization of archives, subjects he taught for several years in Reims and Marne-La-Vallée universities.
Author of many articles, books and recordings related to Jewish music, producer of radio programs, Hervé Roten is recognized today as one of the best specialists of Jewish music in the world.

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