Endnote: A Kindness Along The Way

August 03, 2017 3 min read



Every artist wants his album to be as perfect as can be, but sometimes he has to take a gamble. Is the
song he’s deliberating over going to soar or flop? Is
the intro going to hook the guys or be a sleeper?
How do these entertainers know
they made the right choice?




Country Yossi still remembers the genesis of the song that perfectly captures the angst of parents transporting their brood up the Quickway. “I was driving up to the country one day when a minivan pulled up alongside, horn beeping loudly. ‘Look, Yossi!’ my wife said. ‘There are seven little kids sitting in the backseat!’ “I turned around and took in the sight of a bunch of kids smiling and waving at us from the rear window. I guess someone in the family must have recognized me… but they probably didn’t imagine they would inspire a song about their trip.” 

1 of the 5 things you didn’t know about… Beri Weber
His song “Ben Melech” (“Ich bin a ben melech/yoch vel oisfiren veil Tatte ich bin mit dir”) was given to him in a dream.


Shloimy Gertner “I was a kid in camp, about 11 or 12, when I passed by choir rehearsal. The song was Abie Rotenberg’s ‘Shalom Rav,’ from Dveykus. I could hear that they were struggling with one solo, so when they finished practice, I went over to Avrumi Calek, who was conducting, and asked if I could try it. I wasn’t even in the choir, but he told me to come back at the next rehearsal to try the solo. I did, and he stopped me halfway through to tell me that I could sing on the camp stage. It was my first time singing in public, so I made sure to record it
Shmueli Ungar “If I had to point to one person, it would be my zeide z”l — Reb Yumi Ungar — originally of Brooklyn and later of Monroe, who was recently
niftar. He was a huge figure in my life, especially since I was orphaned
of my father at age 14. He was the sweetest man, yet he loved us with
a tougher style of love than you usually see today. “I was a musical kid, but I never sang in public. When I was 17, my sister got engaged, and Zeidy informed me that he wanted me to sing at the wedding. ‘No way,’ I said. He insisted. Eventually I said, ‘I’ll do it, but only if I can do it properly. I’ll need voice lessons.’ So Zeidy paid $100 a week for my voice lessons and I learned how to use my voice. I sang, and I guess people liked it."

Benny Friedman  “When I wanted to start out, I spoke it over with my uncle, superstar Avraham Fried. Uncle Avremel promptly called Izzy Taubenfeld, CEO of Sameach music, and gave me a great introduction. He told Izzy that his nephew was worth looking into, and Izzy was the one who invested in me, paid for and produced my first album. That was huge. 

“Then, in 2013, when HASC was producing the ‘A Time for Duets’ concert, they gave my uncle a list of suggested singers for him to do a duet with. Avremel looked through it and said, ‘I’ve sung duets with all of these before. Why don’t we do something new and fresh?’ and he suggested that he sing with a new name, his lesser-known nephew Benny. They agreed. The duet included my song ‘Taamu U’re’u Ki Tov,’ which became very popular. My uncle had moved me up to the next level.”