Josef Rosenblatt, lovingly nicknamed Yossele by his many admirers; born May 2nd, 1882 in Bila Tserkva/Ukraine
the son of a cantor, died June 18th, 1933 in Jerusalem, where he was supposed to shoot a film. Together
with Gershon Sirota, the most famous cantor of his and maybe of all times; even on record, Rosenblatt's
enormous charisma is obvious, while on the level of pure singing, he was not quite a competition for Sirota.
He was orthodox enough to decline all offers to sing in opera, but he did appear in movies, and toured
vaudeville theatres throughout the USA – and he also sang operatic arias at the Carnegie Hall, but didn't
unfortunately record any, Massenet's Élégie – in baritone key! – being his only recording of classical music.
He served as a cantor in Hungary and Germany (in Hamburg, more precisely) before taking up a post at a
New York synagogue in 1911, when his records had already earned him world-wide fame.
For his exhaustive biography, see Chazzanut Online.
Picture source: Wikipedia