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KATZ, MEYER MYRON

KATZ, MEYER MYRON "MlCKEY" (15 June 1909-30 April 1985) was a well-known American-Yiddish parodist and dialect performer who brought bilingual humor to English-speaking Jewish communities throughout the United States.

One of four children, Meyer Katz was born in Cleveland, the son of Menachem and Johanna (Herzberg) Katz. While at Central High School, he helped support his family by playing the saxophone and clarinet in local bands. After graduation, Katz toured with PHIL SPITALNY's orchestra and worked for Phil's brother Maurice in the early 1930s as a pit musician at the State and Palace Theaters. In the summer he led his own orchestra on the Goodtime entertaining passengers on Lake Erie excursions. He later organized a novelty band "Mickey Katz and his Kittens." During WWII, he toured the European Theater of Operations with actress Betty Hutton. When the family moved to Los Angeles in 1946, Katz played briefly with the Spike Jones band and then recorded his first hit record "Haim Afen Range" (Home on the Range) the first of many English-Yiddish parodies of popular songs. He also developed the highly successful "Borschtcapades," an American-Jewish variety show which attracted a wide audience by presenting Jewish humor and culture in a modern format. It toured the country for two decades. Through the 1970s, Katz continued to perform in the theater and on records,

In 1930 Meyer (Mickey) Katz married Goldie (Grace) Epstein and they had 2 children, Joel (Grey) and Ronald. Katz died in Los Angeles.