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Great Jewish Rock Stars

Here is a list I have been compiling. Your comments, additions and
emendations are welcome. Please respect my copyright and make fair use of
this list only.


     Note that the title of this list is in quotes. Each word in the title 
     should be considered to be in quotations, as each term is meant loosely.  
     In other words, "great" doesn't really mean "great" and "rock star" 
     doesn't really mean "rock star." 

     As for "Jewish," the criteria for this list is that the person is known 
     to have Jewish ancestry.

     In the cases of bands, some or all of the key members need to be 
     Jewish in order for the band to be considered "Jewish."  Near the 
     end of the list is a section reserved for Jewish musicians in prominent, 
     mostly non-Jewish bands.

Bob Dylan

Robbie Robertson: solo artist, founding member and guitarist of The 
Band. It is not common knowledge that Robertson's natural father was 
Jewish. Robertson's mother was of native ancestry.  

Peter Stone Brown

Steely Dan: Donald Fagen, Walter Becker

Lou Reed: founder, Velvet Underground

Leonard Cohen

Beastie Boys


The Ramones: founder/lead singer Joey Ramone, b. Jeffrey Hyman

Van Halen: lead singer/founder David Lee Roth

Kiss: Gene Simmons, b. Gene Klein (Haifa, Israel); Paul Stanley, b. Paul Eisen

Blue Oyster Cult: lead singer Eric Bloom; founder/producers Sandy Perlman/R. 

Neil Diamond

Carole King

Carly Simon

Warren Zevon: father was Russian Jew according to article

Randy Newman

J Geils Band -- Peter Wolf, Seth Justman, Magic Dick (Dick Salwitz), 
Danny Klein, Stephen Jo Bladd (according to Jay Geils, he was the only 
gentile of the group, and they jokingly called themselves the J Geils 
Jews Band -- the original name of the group was J Geils Blues Band).  


George Gershwin

Dire Straits: Mark Knopfler

Peter Himmelman: Peter is probably the only Torah-observant Jew in rock 
music. For those who don't know, he is married to a daughter of Bob 

Jorma Kaukonen (Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane): It is not commonly known 
that Jorma's mother is Jewish. He told me himself, and also spoke of 
spending a lot of time as a youngster with his Jewish maternal 

Herb Alpert

Jennifer Trynin: Boston-based alternative-rock chick.

Kenny G

Paul Desmond: well-known clarinetist/Dave Brubeck sideman. Wrote Brubeck 
hit "Take Five"

Lenny Kravitz

Andrew Dice Clay

John Zorn

Marc Ribot

Yo La Tengo: Ira Kaplan/Georgia Hubley

Was Not Was -- Don (Fagenson) Was/David (Weiss) Was

3rd Bass: MC Serch, rap artist/producer

Andy Statman

David Grisman

Allen Ginsberg

Janis Ian

Lounge Lizards: actor/musician John Lurie

Benny Goodman

Ziggy Elman

Luscious Jackson: Gabby Glaser

Spyro Gyra:

Barbra Streisand

Barry Manilow

Bette Midler

Kinky Friedman: surprisingly, most of the Texas Jewboys were not

Ramblin Jack Elliott: b. Elliott Adnopoz

Arlo Guthrie

Dave Bromberg

Michael Bloomfield

Peter Paul and Mary: Peter Yarrow, Mary Travers (not Noel Paul Stookey, however)

Paul Simon

Art Garfunkel

David Buskin

Sammy Davis Jr

Marvin Hamlisch

Mickey Katz

Paul Shaffer

Billy Joel

Counting Crows: Adam Duritz

Wallflowers: Jakob Dylan, Rami Jaffe

Rush: Geddy (Gideon) Lee, Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson

The Bangles: Susanna Hoffs

Paula Abdul 

Dan Bern

Lucy Kaplansky

Olivia Newton-John: allegedly has one Jewish grandparent

Sha Na Na: Ritchie Joffe, Elliot Cahn, John "Bowser" Baumann

Manfred Mann: b. Michael Lubowitz (Johannesburg)

Sharon, Lois & Bram: Canadian children entertainers

T Rex: Marc Bolan, b. Marc Feld (London)

Mama Cass: of Mamas and the Papas, allegedly b. Naomi Cohen

Gary Lewis & the Playboys: b. Gary Levitch, son of comedian Jerry Lewis

Neil Sedaka

Mountain: Leslie West, lead singer and guitarist, early-'70s power trio,  
b. Leslie Weinstein (Queens, NY, 1945).  

Blues Project: Al Kooper, Danny Kalb, Steve Katz, Roy Blumenfeld, Andy 
Kulberg. Amongst themselves referred to the band as the "Jews Project."

Phil Ochs

Asleep at the Wheel: founder/vocalist/guitarist Ray Benson, b. Ray 
Seifert. Also Lucky Oceans, b. Reuben Gosfield

Happy and Artie Traum

Soul Coughing: Sebastian Steinberg, Yuval Gabay, M. Doughty?

Songwriters/Key Industry figures:

Doc Pomus
Mort Shuman
Jerry Ragovoy
Aaron Schroeder
Gerry Goffin
Irving Berlin
Jerome Kern
Brian Epstein: manager, the Beatles
Murray the K
Alan Freed
Leiber and Stoller
Albert Grossman: manager, Bob Dylan/The Band/Janis Joplin/Peter Paul Mary
Bill Graham
Jerry Wexler
Don Kirshner


Can anyone verify any of the following?

Michael Bolton
Paul Butterfield
Iggy Pop (James Osterberg)
Paul Westerberg -- The Replacements
Eddie Vedder
KD Lang
Flo and Eddie: Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan
Grand Funk Railroad
Blondie: Chris Stein, Debbie Harry, b. Debbie Harary?
Ry Cooder
Perry Farrell: founder, Jane's Addiction/Porno for Pyros/Lollapalooza tour

Shabbos Goy: Elvis Presley

Jewish musicians in predominantly non-Jewish bands:

Slash: guitarist, Guns 'n Roses
Lenny Kaye
Trevor Rabin (Yes)
Anton Fig: drummer, Paul Shaffer's band
Gary Glitter: b. Paul Francis Gadd (England)
Mickey Hart: drummer, Grateful Dead, Planet Drum
Jim Steinman: songwriter/producer, most notably of Meat Loaf
Elliot Easton: guitarist, The Cars (b. Elliot Shapiro)
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes: Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg and 
Alan Berger 
Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen: not the Commander, but 
bandmates including Andy Stein.
Wings: keyboardist/vocalist Linda Eastman McCartney
Paul Kossoff: guitarist, Free
David Bryan: member of Bon Jovi
Hillel Slovak: founding member of Red Hot Chili Peppers (deceased)
Zal Yanovsky: founding member of the Lovin' Spoonful
Twisted Sister: Dee Snider 

[This list compiled by Seth Rogovoy. Copyright Seth Rogovoy 1997. All
rights reserved.]

Seth Rogovoy                        
rogovoy (at) berkshire(dot)net
music news, interviews, reviews, et al.

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