VIN News by Sandy Eller/ Yossi Zweig
In an exclusive VIN News interview with Yossi Zweig, Abie Rotenberg discusses the origins of the Marvelous Midos Machine, his all new album and the possibility of future episodes in this iconic series. After a twenty five year hiatus, some of the best loved characters in Jewish children’s music have been resurrected with today’s release of the fourth installment in the Marvelous Midos Machine album series.
Created by the venerable Abie Rotenberg, whose poignant lyrics and classic compositions have inspired countless music lovers for decades, the Marvelous Midos Machine used a memorable cast of characters including Shnooky and Shlumpy Shapiro, Dr. Middos, Dizzy and of course the Marvelous Midos Machine itself, to educate children about good midos in an lighthearted but meaningful way. Rotenberg partnered with Moshe Yess, a’h, on Up, Up and Away, the first episode of the Marvelous Midos Machine and with Rabbi Shmuel Klein, the voice of Dr. Midos, on the episode three, titled Does Anybody Know What Time It Is?
“I never thought there would be another episode of the Marvelous Midos Machine,” Abie Rotenberg told VIN News. “The original albums were created when my own children were small and now that the grandchildren have come along, new ideas and new material came up. I think the passing of Moshe Yess was also a catalyst for this album and there is a tribute to him on the inside cover.”
What set the Marvelous Midos Machine series apart from other children’s albums was the pairing of well crafted, entertaining yet educational story lines with music that was so well done it was as enjoyable for adults as it was for children.
“I think a children’s album has to be appealing to both parents and kids, because the whole family is going to end up listening to it,” explained Rotenberg.
Episode four of the Marvelous Midos Machine, titled Shnooky’s Bar Mitzvah, takes place in 1988, picking up just one week after the end of episode three and explores new ground including exercising patience, forgoing an opportunity that is rightfully yours for the sake of another and enthusiasm. In keeping with its tradition of conveying lessons via quality music, Shnooky’s Bar Mitzvah features catchy songs, trademark Abie Rotenberg lyrics and guest appearances by Baruch Levine and Shlomo Simcha. Several of the Rotenberg grandchildren are featured on the album as well.
Sameach Music, distributor of the album is confident that even a quarter of a century later, the Marvelous Midos Machine is as relevant, timely and as well done as ever. Benny Taubenfeld, general manager at Sameach, said that his own children grew up listening to the series and he jumped at the opportunity to distribute the album.
“Abie Rotenberg’s genius shines through on everything that he’s done from Journeys, D’veykus, Aish and to many others,” said Taubenfeld. “To this day, the Marvelous Midos CDs continue to be one of our best consistent sellers and when I was first approached by its producer to distribute it, it was a no brainer as I knew that parents the world over would be delighted to add this to their children’s music collections. In all the years that I’ve been distributing Jewish music, I’ve never come across a series of kid’s CDs that is as classic, meaningful, educational, midos instilling and timeless as Abie Rotenberg’s Marvelous Midos Machine.”
They can but it online on JewishJukebox.com.
In an exclusive VIN News interview with Yossi Zweig of TheJewishInsights.com , Abie Rotenberg discusses the origins of the Marvelous Midos Machine, his all new album and the possibility of future episodes in this iconic series.
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