The Ruth Rubin Legacy
Archive of Yiddish Folksongs

Ruth Rubin's Discography

In addition to her life's work as a collector and performer of Yiddish song, Ruth Rubin had a parallel career as a recording artist. From the 1940s through the 80s, Rubin made a series of commercial discs for a number of small independent American companies, and had a long association with the various labels owned and operated by Moses Asch. She also released several collections under her own imprimatur. The repertoire on these records span the entire range of Yiddish song, as well as some early Israeli ballads. The arrangements and performance style presented on the albums reflect the times in which they were recorded. They range from a cultivated classical vocal sound from Rubin accompanied by a small instrumental ensemble and chorus or piano through more vocally natural collaborations with folk revivalists Pete Seeger and Fred Hellerman of the Weavers, Dick Weissman of the Journeymen and singer/mulit-instrumentalist Hedy West, to traditional a cappella singing. Ruth Rubin also produced an LP for Folkways Records of material drawn from her field recordings.

78s records

Jewish Folksongs (sung by Ruth Rubin, with chorus and instruments), Asch Records  [3 disc set - album #607] (78 rpm), New York; 1945 YIVO cat. 2799

"Ruth Rubin - Jewish and Palestinian Folk Songs", Disc Records [3 disc set - album #937] (78 rpm), New York YIVO cat. 2977

Jewish Folksongs II ["Jewish Folk Songs Album No. 2”] (Ruth Rubin, vocals -- R. Post, arrangement and piano accompaniment), Oriole Records [cat. 100-1 to 100-6] (78 rpm), New York; 1950 YIVO cat. 3054


Jewish Folksongs III (Ruth Rubin, vocals -- Richard Neumann, arranger and conductor), Oriole, New York; 1954 / Folkways Records [cat. FW 8740] (33 1/3 rpm), New York; 1957 YIVO cat. LP 0633/0634 - on the Smithsonian Folkways' Website

Jewish Children’s Songs and Games (sung by Ruth Rubin, with Pete Seeger on the banjo), Folkways Records [cat. FC 7224] (33 1/3 rpm), New York; 1957 YIVO cat. LP 0566 - on the Smithsonian Folkways' Website

Yiddish Love Songs (Ruth Rubin, vocals -- Fred Hellerman, guitar), Riverside Folklore Series [cat. RLP 12-647]/Washington Records [cat. 726] (33 1/3 rpm), New York; 1958 YIVO cat. LP 0563/0564

Jewish Life: “The Old CountryEthnic Recordings, Collected and Edited by Ruth Rubin (sung by informants, as collected by Ruth Rubin), Folkways Records [cat. FG 3801] (33 1/3 rpm), New York; 1958/1964 YIVO cat. LP 0567 Smithonian Folkways' Website

Ruth Rubin Sings Yiddish Folk Songs (Ruth Rubin, vocals -- Dick Weissman, banjo, guitar, mando-cello -- Hedy West, flute, piccolo), Prestige/International Records [cat. 13019] (33 1/3 rpm), Bergenfield (New Jersey); 1959 YIVO cat. LP 0565

Yiddish Folk Songs sung by Ruth Rubin (Ruth Rubin, vocals), Folkways Records [cat. FW 8720] (33 1/3 rpm), New York; 1978 YIVO cat. LP 0073 - on the Smithsonian Folkways' Website

Yiddish Songs for Young People (sung a capella by Ruth Rubin), a set of five records (7-inch 33 1/3 rpm), privately issued with booklets of texts and annotations; 1968


“Yiddish songs of the Holocaust: The struggle to survive” an illustrated lecture presentation by Ruth Rubin, on cassette; privately issued; 1980

Note: Her Folkways recordings are available as CDs and digital downloads from the Smithsonian Institute (Folkways collection catalog), Washington, D.C.


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