Friday, January 21, 2022

“Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends; we’re so glad you could attend; come inside; come inside.” —Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Thank you listeners/readers, sincerely, for all the feedback. We welcome interaction in all forms. Join us “on air” for our radio shows, which are farbrengen style and fun. It seems we’ve touched upon something important and meaningful to many: soul music and the expansion of variety in the Jewish music world.

As the year winds down, upon taking stock, we see that musically there have been many contributions. Deep ballads earlier in the year shifted to more energized tunes of late, including ethnic varieties, so there’s been something for everyone. Music is a love language, ours for sure. We love all types of music and all types of people.

Unity is powerful, which is why collabs are great. Many of our Jewish hall of famers teamed up with newcomers to create great music. Musical events where talented folks promote each other, then together promote God, are the ultimate. This winter offers many fundraising events supporting special needs while showcasing talent simultaneously, basically chesed in real time. We invite you to join us live.

We’ve had a plethora of musical artists reaching out to us, coming on air to share their musical journeys and more. There’s a story behind every song and every singer, with a theme of music as a healing tool, anytime, and certainly during a pandemic. It’s no wonder the “thank you Hashem nation” movement magnified so rapidly.

A doctor approached us promoting music therapy. Tali Yess, son of legend Moshe Yess and a singer in his own right, appeared on our NY-plus program. We discussed how musical expression helped his family with grief and moving forward, and as a Grief Movement Guide myself, utilizing music in my compassionate support of others, I know this to be true.

Our friend Berel Solomon produced a widely popular film “Orthodoxed,” which was discussed on air. We play the film “song” on the radio and hope anyone who deems it appropriate watches or rather “experiences” the film, available on YouTube. Music speaks a million words: How many of us recall theme songs or even commercial songs from yesteryear? Oorah’s theme runs through my mind on every highway.

Nina Glick, one of my favorite colleagues and columnists, wrote in last week’s Jewish Link regarding Bruce Springsteen’s sale of musical records and rights for a whopping $550 million. It got me thinking, as it did her, about what matters most. Another of those “a-ha moments,” to say the least.

Value lies in R.E.S.P.E.C.T. A new song describes parents respecting kids and kids turning their hearts to adults in kind. We format music to touch all ages: mass appeal, as Leibidig Al calls it, and he is the master at that! He shouts out to Joey Newcomb as one of those who bridge the divide. We don’t do “divide.” We welcome all.

Avraham Fried said: “Shiurim inspire, yet only music can make someone ‘dance.’” Let’s make this the year of authenticity, where words and actions align in public and in private. That’s surely something to sing and dance about!

2022 looks very promising. We are grateful to report, based on extensive feedback, that hope is on the rise despite news statistics that prefer to spread fear. We don’t do fear. We do unity. Each person matters, like an orchestra where the absence of one person has an impact. Hashem has designed our world in song and each of us has one: our own. It’s time we sing it, as only we can. May we all go forward together, where possible in musical unity and in harmony. Our power as a people certainly comes through that.

We invite your musical thoughts, comments and suggestions. Our door is always open as is our “open mic.” Thank you, Hashem, for this wonderful publication and free speech. May we go from strength to strength.

By Sarah Newcomb


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