Funeral services were held today for Merna Barry Pine, one of the two singing Barry Sisters, whose Yiddish recordings were popular among Jewish audiences throughout the world. She died Sunday at the age of 51.
Merna and her sister, Claire, recorded and made stage appearances singing songs in English and other languages. But they were best known for their songs’ in Yiddish. They were the first American entertainers asked to perform for Israeli troops after the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War.
Known originally as the Bagelman Sisters, they began their career in 1932 on the Jewish Children’s Hour radio program in New York when Merna was seven and Claire was nine. In the early 1940s they changed their name to the Barry Sisters. They appeared frequently on radio and television, including 16 times on the Ed Sullivan Show and sang in concert halls and night clubs, making a number of international tours.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.