Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Endnote: A Kindness Along the Way

Riki Goldstein

Sometimes it’s the unsung, uncelebrated deeds that boost a singer into the limelight. Who helped these popular entertainers find their way?

Wednesday, August 02, 2017




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.

“When my friend booked me for my next wedding, Zeidy bought me my first microphone. More bookings came in, but I didn’t drive then, so Zeidy drove me to each chasunah. When he printed my first batch of business cards, they had two contact numbers: mine, and Zeidy’s.”

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.”

(Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 671)





Related Stories

While the Candle Burns

Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman

Oldest baal teshuvah in the shul

In This Together

Sarah Chana Radcliffe

Teach children to consider others’ needs

With the Cock’s Crow

Rebbetzin Shira Smiles

The rooster’s crow isn’t only about dawn

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
When Tragedy Strikes
Shoshana Friedman What are we giving and what are we getting?
One Nation, Divisible
Yonoson Rosenblum Israel isn’t yet suffocated by political correctness
What Am I, Chopped Liver?
Eytan Kobre Far more disturbing is the title’s unspoken implication
Not Just Politics
Yisroel Besser We’re fighting over something that means the world to us
Are We There Yet?
Alexandra Fleksher Striving for the same thing: to be servants of Hashem
Top 5 Yeshivish Business Ventures
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Different answers to “So, what is it you do?”
Work/Life Solutions with Mois Navon
Moe Mernick “When you set a goal, it’s going to take lots of effort”
Were They Orthodox Jews?
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman This is why I asked, “What difference does it make?”
You Get What You Pay For
Jacob L. Freedman “Get me a real doctor from Harvard who speaks Persian!”
Tunes That Take Me Back, with Levy Falkowitz
Riki Goldstein “It’s amazing how strong music memories are”
All Rivers Wind Up in the Sea
Riki Goldstein Your heartbeat will slow down listening to the new album
Nameless
Faigy Peritzman A name symbolizes the essence inherent within
Trapped
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Inject positivity into your marriage to counter burnout
The Game of Life
Rebbetzin Suri Gibber Use your competitive spirit to score high in life
The Musician Part II
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer “It’s an integrative therapy approach. Not boot camp”