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
 
In the King's Hands
Rabbi Moshe Grylak The will of Hashem is done, whatever the circumstances
Healthy in Body and Spirit
Yonoson Rosenblum Michael Kaufman’s potentially lifesaving new work
It's Miller Time
Eytan Kobre Wisdom will assume the properties of the body it enters
The Purim Generation
Rabbi Nachman Zakon Is the mishloach manos about you? Or about others?
Gun Control: Dead on Arrival
David G. Greenfield Each time we were outraged, each time nothing happened
Watch Your Step
Rachel Bachrach Yehuda Spira is the owner of Dance with Confidence in La...
Persian Piece
Jacob L. Freedman “I’m Persian and you’re Jewish, but it’s okay”
Service Provider
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “You said ‘shalom bayis.’ If this is correct, press one”
Crisis Mode
Faigy Peritzman Every Jew needs a specific spiritual goal
Mother of the Year
Sarah Chana Radcliffe The perfect mother? How did she pull that off?
Reaching Higher
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Esther found her internal greatness — we can too