Moishe Oysher

Moishe Oysher was born in 1907 in Lipkany, Bessarabia, Imperial Russia. It is said that there were cantors in his family going back six generations. Oysher seems to have been drawn more to the stage than following in his predecessor's footsteps, and whenever travelling players visited his village, much to the disapproval of his father, he would try to get a part in their production as a child player.

In 1921, Oysher traveled to Canada with his family and joined a traveling Yiddish theatrical company. In 1932, he started his own company and traveled to South America. In 1934, after Oysher returned from a trip to Buenos Aires, he was unable to get a part in the New York shows since they had all been cast. Needing work, and with the encouragement of his friends, since it was coming up to the High Holyday season he applied to conduct services at the Rumanian Synagogue. He obtained the position and was a sensation!

Oyshernow had two careers running. He starred in Yiddish films, The Cantor's Son (Dem Khazn's Zindl), Yankel the Blacksmith ((Yankl der Shmid), and Overture to Glory (Der Vilner Shtot Khazn), and it was not long before he became something of a 'Kosher heart throb. ' He also made numerous recordings, and continued to sing at the Amud. Although he received many offers to appear on Broadway, Oysher always refused, since he would not desecrate Shabbat.

His extensive acting experience clearly gave him a great advantage at the Amud. Listening to his recordings, one can hear the great artistry in his superb, rich voice. He was a cantor who knew how to manipulate the emotions of his congregation (or audience) and was clearly a great showman.

He made many recordings. He also was on Radio in the New York City area during the 1950s. Oysher died on November 27, 1958 in New Rochelle, New York.

Moishe Oysher singsHalka: Szumią jodły na gór szczyci (1939)
In RA Format
I wish to thank Thomas Silverboerg for the recording.

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