JAY JEROME was born Jacob Jerome Sosenko to Simon and Rebecca Sosenko in Camden on February 24, 1915.
Simon and Rebecca Sosenko had come to Camden by the time the 1914 City Directory was compiled. They appear at 431 Mechanic Street, Simon's occupation being listed as "packer". The following year they had moved to 1401 Norris Street, where the operated a grocery store through at least 1917. By 1920 Simon Sosenko had moved his family and business to 237 Sycamore Street. The family would remain there through 1924. When the City Directory was compiled in 1926, the Sosenkos had moved to 416 Kaighn Avenue, where they operated restaurant. They had moved to 506 Chestnut Street by 1929, and were still at that location in 1931. Besides the grocery and the restaurant business, and Simon and Rebecca Sosenko also rented rooms to traveling entertainers on the vaudeville circuit.
Young Jacob Sosenko was musically gifted, and after graduating from Camden High School in June of 1933 became a professional musician, playing violin and saxophone. He wasn't the only musically gifted child in the Sosenko family. Sister Anna Sosenko played piano, and after meeting a young singer named Hildegarde Sell who was boarding with the Sosenkos in Camden, made her mark as a songwriter, manager, radio and theatrical producer, among other endeavors. Anna Sosenko became Miss Sell's manager, and guided the career of "the incomparable Hildegarde" for over 25 years.
Jacob Jerome Sosenko was inducted into the Army on February 1941 at Trenton NJ. He served with the United States Army during World War II and was wounded while in North Africa. He had reached the rank of Sergeant before his discharge from the service.
After returning from overseas, Jay Jerome Sosenko shortened his name to Jay Jerome. He formed and led a band, named, appropriately enough, the Jay Jerome Orchestra. The band worked in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area, playing weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other social functions. They also played in Cuba in the 1950s, and for many years his band played the Miss America banquet in Atlantic City. The Jay Jerome Orchestra also recorded for a variety of labels during the 1950s and 1960s.
Last a resident of Cherry Hill NJ, Jay Jerome passed away on January 29, 2001.
Teen 102 - Jay Jerome &
his Orchestra and Chorus
ABC/ABCS 261 -
Greater Des Moines Jewish Press - July/August 2005
By day, Andy Goodman is the mild-mannered Executive Vice President & CEO of Iowa Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association – and on the Jewish Community Relations Commission. By night….a member of a not-so-notorious Jewish motorcycle gang. The real Andy Goodman? Perhaps we’ll find out just a bit more about him and his family in the following interview conducted by the Jewish Press.
Jewish Press: Starting with the basics…
Andy Goodman: My wife Dory and I are members of Tifereth Israel Synagogue. We were previously in Lincoln, Nebraska where we attended the University of Nebraska. I have a degree in business. Dory has a law degree and is now Director of Human Resources for Sysco Foods of Iowa. We have three children and have been in Des Moines for 16 years. I have been with Iowa Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association for 11 years.
JP: Tell us a little about your children.
AG: Leah is an associate movie producer. The company she is with produces G-rated movies for major TV networks. She’s in LA. Elizabeth is a consultant with Boston Consulting Group, in Dallas. She works with Fortune 500 corporations. And Joe is working on a Ph.D. in consumer behavior. He’s at the University of Texas - Austin.
JP: Thank you. That’s very nice. I think people will be interested in knowing about the environment in which you grew up.
AG: Well, I grew up among an extended family of musicians. Originally my mother’s family was from Camden, NJ and my mother’s brother was a very well-known bandleader in Philadelphia specializing in Jewish music. His name was Jay Jerome. He really steeped himself in Yiddish music, but blended that together with what he learned as a classical- and jazz-musician. He played in a military band during WW II and then actually had his own band that played in Cuba. For many years his band played the Miss America banquet in Atlantic City.
Along with conducting, he played violin and saxophone, and his band, of course, played weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.
Also, my mother’s sister was a well known musician and composer from the 1930s on. Her name was Anna Sosenko. Although she played piano and played very well, she was known more for her compositions and cabaret style entertainment.
Perhaps her most famous composition was “Darling Je Vous Aime Beacoup,” performed in 1935 by Hildegarde in the movie, Love and Kisses, and the song made the charts in 1955 when recorded by Nat King Cole. Anna was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1996. Annasosenkotrust.org web site is interesting to look at.
My mother’s father’s involvement in music and theater went back to the Yiddish theater in Bialystock. I know very little about that, although I knew my aunt and uncle very well.
My mom, herself, didn’t play an instrument. My dad, however, sang, as a youth, in the NY Boys Choir when he lived in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, he dropped out of school and went to work at a very early age, during the Depression. He did enjoy music, and there was always music of some sort in our house. ]
I’ve had some minor training in piano, clarinet and saxophone. Probably the most interesting musical training that I had was with Marjorie Barstow, associated with the Alexander technique, in Lincoln. Dory is very musically inclined. She also comes from a musical background. She had vocal training and her mother was a professor of music education at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, and our children are all musical.
JP: And your love of motorcycles?
AG: I was about 12 years old when I first started tinkering and riding on motor scooters (one of the main industries in Lincoln at that time was Cushman Motors). I progressed from motor scooters to motor cycles by the time I was in my 20s. I went “up the scale” from the Doodlebugs to the Cushmans and then, during and after college, onto motorcycles, mostly Kawasakis. I dropped the hobby for almost 30 years and picked it up again last year.
JP: You’re in this Rat Pack of sorts, huh…
AG: Yes, the “Jewish Bikers Association“ (he says facetiously). I ride occasionally with Neil Salowitz and Sam Kreamer. We ride out into the country and go and see the scenery and enjoy Central Iowa. People who are interested can join us if they’d like.
JP: How do your wives feel about this hobby of yours?
AG: Not too good (chuckling).
JP: Do any of the wives come along?
AG: Dory is the only one. She has ridden with me, but then she also rode with me in our younger years.
JP: Thank you for sharing these aspects of your background with us, Andy. All the best to you and your family!
AG: Thank you.
Je Vous Aime Beaucoup
Camden Courier-Post * June 23, 1933
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