Friday, July 30th 2021   |

Music

Rush rocker Geddy Lee’s Jewish mom, a Holocaust survivor, was his biggest fan

By JACQUELINE RODERICK

(Kveller via JTA) – Our deepest condolences go out to Rush lead singer and legendary bassist Geddy Lee, whose Jewish mom, Mary Weinrib, passed away on July 2, 2021. Weinrib, who was set to turn 96 on July 16, was not only a massive supporter of her son’s music career but she was also a Holocaust survivor. 

In a moving tribute on Instagram, Lee shared a brief...

Elvis Presley was Jewish? A grave marker locked away for 4 decades confirms it.

By DAN FELLNER

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (JTA) – The large crate sat unopened in a 20,000-square-foot warehouse here for more than four decades, concealing a little-known fact about one of America’s cultural icons.

Inside was the headstone of Elvis Presley’s mother, Gladys, which had been stored in the Graceland archives along with 1.5 million other items since 1977. And on the upper left side of the long-unseen marker — designed by...

Patti Smith and Julian Casablancas among over 600 musicians to call for boycott of Israel

(JTA) — Patti Smith and Julian Casablancas of The Strokes are among the more than 600 musicians who have signed a letter calling for artists to avoid playing concerts in Israel.

“We call on you to join us with your name in refusing to perform at Israel’s complicit cultural institutions,” says the letter, which began circulating Thursday in media reports.

It claims Israel committed war crimes in its recent fighting...

Dua Lipa responds to full-page NY Times ad that blasts her Israel criticism

(JTA) — Prominent Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s World Values Network took out a full-page New York Times ad on Saturday denouncing the British pop star Dua Lipa’s criticism of Israel on social media, and the singer responded, saying the ad was full of “falsehoods and blatant misrepresentations.”

The Grammy-winning megastar had reposted several messages on Instagram in the early days of the recent Israel-Gaza conflict that were critical of Israel’s actions...

James Levine, cantor’s grandson who led the Metropolitan Opera for 40 years, is dead at 77

By ANDREW SILOW-CARROLL

(JTA) — James Levine, the grandson of a cantor who led New York’s Metropolitan Opera as artistic director for more than 40 years, has died.

The cause of death was not announced, although Levine had been in ill health for years. He was 77 and passed away on March 9.

Levine was one of the dominant figures in opera and American classical music until being fired in...

The Jewish highlights of the 2021 Grammys: Breakout performance but no win for Jewish sister act Haim

By EMILY BURACK

(JTA) — When the Jewish sister act Haim took the stage at the 2021 Grammy Awards on Sunday night, Americans began googling “hime.”

That’s how host Trevor Noah pronounced the group’s name, which is the last name of the sisters and the Hebrew word for life. Though the sisters did not win in either of the categories in which they were nominated, they celebrated their friend Taylor...

Phil Spector, convicted murderer, rock legend, dies at 81

(JTA) — Phil Spector, the massively influential rock composer and producer who murdered a woman and spent his declining years in jail, died at 81.

Spector died Saturday at a hospital in French Camp, California of COVID 19 complications, the New York Times quoted his daughter, Nicole Audrey Spector, as saying.

Spector was born into a Jewish family in the Bronx. His father committed suicide when Spector was 8 years...

Sylvain Sylvain, Jewish guitarist for the influential band New York Dolls, has died at 69

(JTA) — Sylvain Sylvain, a guitarist best known for anchoring the influential 1970s band the New York Dolls after his Jewish family left Egypt because of rising anti-Semitism, has died at 69.

His Facebook page announced the news Thursday night. The rocker had been battling an unspecified form of cancer.

He was born Sylvain Mizrahi to a Syrian Jewish family in Cairo in 1951. But his family left during the...

Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters singer, is pumping out covers of songs by Jewish artists for Chanukah

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Dave Grohl, who is best known as the leader of the 12-time Grammy winning band Foo Fighters, isn’t Jewish. But he’s having a lot of musical fun this Chanukah.

Grohl teamed up with the Grammy-winning Jewish producer Greg Kurstin, who has worked with the Foo Fighters, to record eight covers of songs by famous Jewish artists, one for each night of the holiday. “Festival of...

WATCH: Daveed Diggs’ new ‘Puppy for Hanukkah’ song

(JTA) — There’s a long history of Jewish artists releasing parody songs for Hanukkah, but this year’s most catchy addition to the holiday canon may be Daveed Diggs’ new rap, “Puppy for Hanukkah.”

The song — about a kid hoping to receive a puppy as a present — is set against a klezmer-style clarinet melody and includes a recitation of the blessing over the menorah.

“I don’t know what it...