Born: Jan.13, 1886 (Tulchyn, Ukraine, Russian Empire)
Also Knows As: Sonya Kalish (birth name), Sonya Tuck (after marriage to Louis Tuck).
Died: Feb. 9, 1966 (NYC)
Autobiography: Some of These Days, Garden City Publishing, Garden City, NY; 1945.
When Sonya Kalish Tuck went to NYC in 1906 to seek a career in vaudeville she was considered to be “too fat and ugly.“ So she belted out ragtime, blues and other Black-influenced music (jazz) in blackface. But, before long she dropped the disguise and created a stage presence that simply could not be ignored. She emerged as “Sophie Tucker: the last of the red-hot mama’s.”
· Among the first to record commercially, she released, That Lovin Rag, in 1910 on Edison cylinder.
· Released her signature song, Some of These Days, on Edison Records in 1911.
· Released My Yiddishe Momme, written by Jack Yellin, in 1928. This song was banned by Hitler for evoking Jewish Culture.
With the demise of vaudeville Sophie Tucker enjoyed success in radio, films and musical theater. Widely known for her bawdy humor (which may seem tame by today’s standards) and her big personality, she never lost touch with her Jewish roots.
To hear more Sophie Tucker songs, click here.
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