Tikva Lives!!!


Tikva Records was an independent American record label that specialized in “an eclectic range of Jewish-American songs.”  Most or all of its approximately 170 records were recorded in the 1950s and 1960s, and we believe that they are in the public domain.  Mr. FAT-W Audio has been acquiring Tikva Records LPs and after digital reformatting and upgrading, has begun re-releasing them in a new CD series called “TIKVA LIVES!!!”  Pictured above is the artwork which will be inserted into the “Mr. FAT-W Audio” template for this series, beginning with Volume One.  The players below have some representative audio selections.


“Tikva Records was founded in 1947 as an independent Jewish record label. For the next 30 years, it would record an eclectic range of Jewish-American songs, including klezmer pop, cantorial singing, Catskills medleys and Israeli folk tunes. Allen B. Jacobs, the label’s founder, was a Long Island-based businessman who, as the liner notes put it, “churned out anything mid-century Hebrews might be interested in.” That included kitschy numbers, novelty acts and even spoken-word comedy sets from the Catskills.  “He was somebody who saw this as a chance to produce records inexpensively, to put them together very quickly, to put together the cover art himself with his trusty pair of scissors and, as most believe, cutting the masters together himself,”  [Josh Kun, co-author of And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl] says. “[It was] an attempt as cater to what he saw as a massive audience of American-Jewish record buyers. The result was this grab-bag of styles and sounds.” “I think this label … gives us this window into understanding what Jews were buying [and] what Jewish identity could sound like in all of its mixture and diversity….It was this crucial time in American-Jewish life where you had record numbers of Jews moving up the economic ladder, suburbanization on the rise, corner shuls becoming big synagogues out in the suburbs, and Jews caught in the push and pull between mainstream, American-white identity and the Old World identities of the pre-WWII years.”
(www.npr.org, Reviving ‘Songs For The Jewish-American Jet Set’)

Great work is being done in preserving recordings that reflect Jewish heritage by The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation; they describe themselves on their web site as “… a small but dedicated team from the music industry and academia who passionately believe Jewish history is best told by the music we have loved and lost. In order to incite a new conversation about the present, we must begin by listening anew to the past.”  They have re-released a number of historic classics and compilations, arranged a number of stage performances, and opening “The Tikva Records Store” in San Francisco,  “the world’s first ever 1950’s pop-up Jewish record store …for a month, featuring exhibits, nightly musical performances, oral histories, and lectures. The Tikva Records store drew over 25,000 visitors. The Idelsohn Society was founded by Roger Bennett, Courtney Holt, David Katznelson and Josh Kun…. We are named for Abraham Zevi Idelsohn, legendary Jewish musicologist and writer of everybody’s favorite classic, “Hava Nagila.” Idelsohn devoted his life to studying, gathering, and classifying Jewish music in all of its forms in order to better understand the very nature of Jewishness itself.”  The Idelsohn Society has released a CD with a number of Tikva Records selections.


The most important recent case regarding copyright status of pre-1972 recordings, as we believe to be the case with all of the Tikva Records releases, is Capitol Records, Inc. V. Naxos of Am., Inc. (2005 NY Slip Op 02570 [4 NY3d 540], April 5, 2005, Graffeo, J., Court of Appeals.  In that case, the copyright question at issue was the U.S. copyright status of very early English recordings which were unquestionably in the public domain in England.  Although the underlying case had originated in the U.S. District Court, the highest court in New York State, the Court of Appeals, was asked in substance to explain whether English law should be applied to determine the copyright status of the recordings in New York, and if not, what the New York copyright law was. The lengthy opinion quickly disposed of the question of which law should apply; in the absence of a treaty specifically giving an American court the right to apply foreign law, it cannot do so, but must look to American law.

In regard to what the American law is, the Court of Appeals noted that “In 1971 Congress “amended the Copyright Act of 1909 to expressly include “[s]ound recordings” within the classes of artistic and intellectual works entitled to federal copyright protection…But the 1971 amendments were prospective only, so recordings created before February 15, 1972–the effective date of the amendment– were not protected by federal law…[In the final version] existing state common-law copyright protection for pre-1972 recordings would not be preempted by the new federal statute until February 15, 2047 – 75 years after the effective date of the 1971 amendment.” Subsequently, the 2047 date was extended to  February 15, 2067. In other words, pre-1972 recordings would be governed by state copyright law only, until 2067, after which if they are good copyright under state law, after February 15, 2067 they will be governed by Federal copyright law, and can be registered for Federal copyright.

Clearly, the Tikva Records recordings, having been recorded prior to February 15, 1972, could not be registered for Federal copyright protection. However, the Court went into a lengthy analysis of what the New York copyright law was; it found that New York Courts had adopted the original English copyright law, even though there was no statute that specifically spelled out what the law was.  It found that for a work created in New York, the creator of the work would own the copyright to it in perpetuity, with no requirement for notice or registration. The Court of Appeals in the Naxos case was not faced with question of where the records in that case had been recorded – the original English recordings had been re-released in New York, so it determined that New York copyright law would apply.

Mr. FAT-W Audio does face that question, before it can be determined whether or not they are protected by a state copyright law. The short answer is that we have no idea of where the recordings were made; it appears that some were certainly made in Israel and perhaps in other foreign countries, but we have been unable to find any information about where and when those made in the United States were recorded.  In theory, although the records themselves could not have been registered for Federal copyright, the album covers could have been registered and in any case, could be protected by state copyright law, so Mr. FAT-W Audio created its own cover artwork so as not to infringe on any album artists’ copyrights.  It is our position that absent any evidence to the contrary, the Tikva Records recordings are in the public domain.  However, in the event that somebody comes forward with a reasonable claim of copyright ownership – i.e., an indication of where the individual recordings were made, so that we can determine what, if any, state copyright law might apply, and a reasonable basis for claiming ownership of copyrights protected by state law, it will be our pleasure to pay an appropriate royalty to that claimant.

Mr. FAT-W Audio does not simply copy the Tikva Records LPs which it obtains; they are played on a turntable, and the analog audio signal is ingested into our MacPro computers, after which it is treated with different software programs to  digitally filter and upgrade it. We are able to digitally eliminate surface scratches, pops, and hisses, and to then enhance the sound for level, clarity, and range. At the end of the process, they are in MP3 format, and are rearranged for release on CD, and for streaming.  We believe that these are “derivative works” entitled to new copyright.


Initially, there will be eighteen CDs, each corresponding to an original Tikva Records LP; below the contents lists, there are links to Amazon.com for purchase.  As more become available, we will update the links.  These are the contents of each CD:


1.  Doinas
2.  Frailachs
3.  Waltzes
4.  Shers
5.  Polkas Mazurkas Kozatskis
6.  Horas

VOLUME TWO – SHABAT SHOLOM (The Noam Singers/Epstein Brothers Orchestra)

1.    Yallel and Zeh Ol Norah (Israeli Medley)
2.    Lo Yisag Gol (Rabbi A. Weiss)
3.    Shimru Shabosal (E. Diamond)
4.    Yonah Motzo (Traditional arr: I. Meller)
5.    Hayom y’Vodah (Rabbi J. Spivak)
6.    B’Kol D’Mama (Rabbi A. Weiss)
7.    Chad Gadyo (Moishe Oysher)
8.    Y’Did Nefesh (Rabbi Y. Alster)
9.    Koh Niron Olam (arr: Liefers)
10.  Y’Hal’Lu (Steven Schwartz)
11.  T’Kah (Rabbi M. Twersky, Vocal Arr. By I. Meller)

VOLUME THREE – LEBENIK UN YIDDISH (Pinie Goldstein and Anna Rappel; Ernesto Honisberg and his Orchestra)

1.      Ich Ken Es Nicht
2.     Der Hickevate Chusn
3.     “Ich Vill”
4.     “A Hopkele”
5.     Opera Cocktail
6.     Es Dreit Sich
7.     A Mexicandlr Maisle
8.    Yidish Darf Zan Helik
9.    Bet Mich Abisele Mamele
10.  Prawen Weln Mir A Chasine
11.  Di Nale Gora

VOLUME FOUR – JEWISH SONGS MY MOTHER SANG TO ME (Cantor Samuel Malavsky and the Malevsky Family Choir)

1.  Oif’n Pripetchor
2.  Das Talis’l
3.  Mein Yiddishe Momme
4.  Rozhinkes Mit Handlen
5.  Ich Baink Ahaim
6.  Lulinke Mein Feigele
7.  Singt Alle Yiddelachj
8.  Hova Nogilah
9.  Tzur Mishelo


1.  Mizratze B’Rachamim
2.  Sfira Ho-Omer
3.  Al Zos Shibchu Ahuvim
4.  V’Chol Hachayim
5.  Borcheinu Vabrocho
6.  Haskhiveinu

VOLUME SIX – GREEK DANCE PARTY (Tasso Marvis and his Greek Orchestra)

1.     Never on Sunday
2.     Hasapikos
3.     Gerakina
4.     Karagouna
5.     Sylivrianos Syrtos
6.     Misirlou
7.     Ballos ((Pasiopdula)
8.     Chiotikos
9.     Zorba
10.   Isamikos
11.    Pentozali
12.   Kalamationos (Samiotisa)

VOLUME SEVEN – ISRAELI FOLK DANCES (Shai Burstyn, arranger/director and Fred Berk,
dance consultant; music by Tsila Avigad and Avi Siany)

1.      Gozi – Li
2.     Tslil Zugim
3.     Lamanatseach
4.     Bein N’Har Prat
5.     Ronee Bat Tsion
6.    Harimon
7.    Mitzvah Tanz
8.    Hora Chemed
9.    Pashtu Kvasim
10.  Mishal
11.   Yarad Dodi Legano
12.  Tzadik Katamar

VOLUME EIGHT – GINATTA LA BIANCA SINGS HEBREW (with Marienka Michna and Orchestra)

1.  A Nigun
2.  Hora
3.  Zol Noch Sein Shabos
4.  Yehi Rotzon
5.  Eibik
6.  A Pastuch’l
7.  Ze Huni
8.  Jewish Medley

VOLUME NINE – MARTHA SCHLAMME SINGS JEWISH FOLK SONGS (with Tanya Gould, pianist, Mose Bucholz, flutist)

1.    Chatzkale
2.    Eingemachts Margaritkalexh
3.    Di Alte Kashe
4.    Yomme Yomme
5.    Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen
6.    Ay Ay Der Rebbe Gate
7.    Vuzhe Villst Du
8.    Schulf Mein Kind
9.    Broitele
10.  Mottle
11.  Viegendick a Fremd Kind
12.  Der Rebbe Eli Melech

VOLUME TEN – TFILOIS CHAYIM (Cantor Hyman Millman)

1.   Loi Lonu
2.  Ato Yodea
3.  Ov Horachamim
4.  Yerushalyim
5.  Mismoir Shir Lyom
6.  Kiddush
7.  Boruch Elokainn
8.  Mein Saidens Hois


1.     Yiddish Twist
2.     Men Darf Machen A Leben
3.     A Yiddishe Chasene
4.     Hosti Gisti Bisti
5.     Shalom Pardner
6.     Tateh Un Mameh
7.     Oy Volt Ich Gevolt
8.    Az Men Farzicht
9.    A Yiddle In Yisroel
10.  Abisel Mazel
11.  Roumania, Roumania


1.  Erev Ba (Evening Falls, line dance)
2.  Lean Noshevet Ha Ruach (Where Does The Wind Blow, open circle dance)
3.  Syn-Co-Pe (couples dance)
4.  Hasual (The Fox, open line dance)

VOLUME THIRTEEN –  BORSCHT BELT HUMOR (Henry Tobias, The Barton Brothers, Eli Basse, Irving Fields, Jackie Wakefield, Larry Best)

1.  The Borscht Belt
2.  Larry Best Humor
3.  Activity (Moe the Shmoe)
4.  The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (The Barton Brothers)
5.  Moe the Shmoe Goes Latin
6.  Jackie Wakefield at the Concord
7.  I’m a Litvak And She’s A Galitz (Eli Basse)
8.  A Nechtagin Tug
9.  Zei Gezunt (Bernie Kniee)


1.  Aeolian String Quartet (Silvermine String Quartet, Antonia Lavanne, Soprano,
Reuven Kasakoff, Piano)
2. Children’s Suite (Ruth Bell, Contralto, Bruno Eisner, Piano)
3. Haleluyah (Jacob Marcus, Tenor, Reuven Kosakoff, Piano)

VOLUME FIFTEEN –  SONGS OF OUR PEOPLE (Ben Bonus; Victor Yampole, Piano)

1.   Mma Shprach
2.   A Yid A Shmidt
3.   Avram’l Marvicher
4.   Freilicher Chassid
5.   Doina
6.   Oif’n Veg Shtait A Boim
7.   Ich B in Mir A Schneider’l
8.   Dort’n Dort’n
9.   A Zemer’l
10. A Lullaby
11. Beggar Songs
12. Sha Shtil

VOLUME SIXTEEN – ISRAELI DANCES (Tova Ronni,vocal soloist; Dvora Lapson, dance consultant; The Tikva Ensemble)

1.  Negev Shelanu (Our Negev)
2.  El Harahat (To the Wall)
3.  Shir Today (Dance of Thanksgiving)
4.  Ber Besade (A Well in the Meadow)
5.  Yemina Yemina (To the Right)
6.  Anomincha (I Will Extol Thee)
7.  Yayin (Wine Dance)
8.  Israeli Couple Dance


1.  Kol Rinoh
2.  Boruch Elokenu
3.  Ashre
4.  Asher Melech
5.  A Mitzvah Tantz
6.  Moditzer Valse
7.  V’Sechezenoh
8.  Stolliner Nigun
9.  Ov Horachamon
11.Ele Comodo Libi
12.Moditzer Chasene
13.Od Yi Shgoma
14.V’Korev P’Zurenu


1.  Jerusalem of Gold
2.  Hatzoanim
3.  Eli Cohen
4.  L’Oriental
5.  Torat Emet
6.  Sharm El Sheikh
7.  Koneytra to Kantara
8.  Kaver Rachel
9.  Yismach Moshe
10.  Yerma
11.  Ani Ladodi


1.  Ad Hayno – Nishmas
2.  Av Horachamim Hu Yera Cheim
3.  Y’Hi Rozon (Umipinay Chatoeinu)
4.  Ato Yozarto
5.  Ribono Shel Olom
6.  Adon Olom

and Family Choir/Cantorial Masterworks)

1.  l’cHU Neraneno
2.  Zechor
3.  B’Rosh Nashono
4.  Birchas Ko-Ha-Nim
5.  L’Cho Dodi
6.  Yaleh
7.  Usaneh Tokeff
8.  Bi Ein Melitz Yosher

“Yiddish in English” by Fred Kogos
Featuring Maria Karnilova and Zvee Scooler

1.  Ha-Navah Ba-Banot
2.  Zot Hafrech Lielat (Road to Eilat)
3.  Shimu Shimu Ohalim (Listen O Tent Dwellers)
4.  Zemer Chag
5.  Ro-Eh V’Ro-Ah (Shepherd and Shepherdess)
6.  Bo Dodi
7.  Arava
8.  Omer
9.  Chemdati
10. Mayim
11. At Adama
12. Hava Neitsei B’Machol
13. Erev Shach
14. Simona
15. Gizratech
16. Ana Halach
17. Moshe Hika


1.  Debka Dayagim
2.  Debka Druz
3.  Debka – Debka
4.  Debka Daluna
5.  Hein Yerunan
6.  Debka Halel
7.  Ma Navu
8.  Hora Nirkoda
9.  Zemer Atik
10. Eten Bamidbar
11. Niguno Shel Yossi
12. Kalu Raglayim

VOLUME TWENTY-FOUR – Mimi Sloan sings Moishe Oysher

1.  Hagadah in Song
2.  Come, Sing With Me
3.  Yibuneh Bes Hamikdash
4.  Mein Shtetle Belz
5.  Amar Amar
6.  Greena Bletter
7. What Would I Do Without You
8.  Sim Shalom
9.  Unter Boimer
10. Keshinever Stickele

(Traditional Wedding/Bar Mitzvah/Bat Mitzvah Dances)

VOLUME TWENTY-SIX – The Passover Festival (Malevsky Family)

1.  Introduction
2.  Va Da Ber
3.  Kadish
4.  Ma Ha Tov
5.  Kiddush
6.  Hulachmo Anyo
7.  Fier Kashes
8.  Ve Ish Sheomdo
9.  Tze Ul Mad
10. Mi KiMi
11. Shir Hamaalois
12. Eli Yo Hu
13. Meh Ais Adfoshem
14. Zeh Ha Yom
15. Cheshal Sidur Pesach
16. Sfira
17. Kilonueh
18. Adir Hu
19. El Ben Ay
20. Echod Me Yodey Ah
21. Echod Elokai Nu
22. Chad Gad Yoh

There are samples on the players below.  “TIKVA LIVES!!!”