Rashi Shapiro - Musical Career

Musical Career

Rashi and the Rishonim
Studio album by Rashi and the Rishonim
Released 1971
Recorded February 2, 1971
Genre Jewish music, folk
Length 35:49
Label Fran FRS-119
Producer Isaac Hagar
Rashi and the Rishonim
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Before receiving his PhD, he founded the first folk-rock Jewish music group named "Rashi and the Rishonim" at the age of 17. He gave concerts in the U.S. and in Israel often performing with the likes of Shlomo Carlebach (The Singing Rabbi), the Rabbis' Sons and Theodore Bikel (a very famous Jewish folk singer and actor) and others of their ilk and reputation. The band received critical acclaim for their first album, but Rashi abruptly quit the band to pursue religious training in Israel.

The album is, today, hailed by record collectors as one of the rarest and most desirable records in the genre of Jewish Folk Music.

"This band was a groupie’s dilemma. Four single guys. A rock and roll lifestyle. A thumping folk sound that dripped from their hits such Chayil . The liner notes explain: “There once lived a great sage named Rashi whose prophetic commentary on both the written and oral Torah shed glorious light on its cosmic intricacies. Rashi is truly the name of the arranger of this album. His parents named him Rashi in the hope he would strive to attain even some of the greatness of the great sage. He developed the ability to play nine musical instruments including the Cordovox.” For the record, the Rishonim are Josh, Shelly, Heshy, Abbi, Steven, and Yussie."

Personnel on the LP were Rashi Shapiro (vocals, Cordovox, guitar, harpsichord); Heshy Gruenberger (vocals (alto-tenor)), Shelly Lang (vocals, Duovox); Josh Neustein (vocals (baritone)); with Abby Warshaw, Yussie Lieber and Steven weiss on additional guitars, Yisroel Lamm and Sam Weiss on trumpets, Elliott Federman on drums, and Mickey Lane on bass guitar.

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