Juzef Grigoryevich Laut
Juzef Laut was born in 1901 into a Jewish family in Mykolaiv (Ukraine). After gaining first stage experiences in amateur performances,
he studied singing at the conservatory in Kharkiv from 1921 to 1926, became then member of an operetta troupe (it's not clear whether
as a soloist or as a chorister), and in September 1928 participated in a competition at the Moscow opera studio led by Stanislavskij.
He was admitted, and was trained in both voice and acting there for the next year. In 1929, he joined the Red Army's
Aleksandrov Ensemble, where he was one of the main soloists in the 1930s and 1940s. It seems that he didn't entirely give up his
classical aspirations, since he recorded some classical music with the Aleksandrov Ensemble, which was unusual in that context.
When his daughter and son-in-law decided to emigrate to the USA in 1975, he went with them, or he would have
been left behind all alone as his wife was already dead. He died in New York in 1982.
Juzef Grigoryevich, by the way, was a russification ("suggested" by his army superiors) of his actual Jewish names Ojzer Hyrshevych.
I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the recording of the Novikov song.
Source for the Majskaja noch recording: Russian Records