RABB, JOSEPH EDWARD (26 March 1914 - 28 Dec. 1996) created a romantic persona as an exponent of gypsy music. The son of Joseph and Esther Szücs Rabb was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and brought to Cleveland as an infant. Raised in Cleveland's Hungarian community (see HUNGARIANS), he was a graduate of John Adams High School. He taught himself to play the violin but also furthered his studies at the CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC, becoming a close friend of CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA assistant concertmaster Ernest Kardos. He married Maria Szabo in 1939 and served with the U.S. Army in London during WORLD WAR II. Rabb had performed in New York nightclubs prior to the war and accompanied Hungarian actress Ilona Massey on a nightclub tour after the war. Using the Hungarian form of his name, he appeared as Rabb Joska in billowing sleeves and purple cape in such local venues as HOTEL CLEVELAND, the Hotel Statler (see STATLER OFFICE TOWER), and Luccioni's Restaurant. In 1955 he opened his own Hungarian restaurant, the Gypsy Cellar, on Buckeye Road. Rabb was his own main attraction, leading a gypsy combo and serenading patrons at their tables. The Cellar became a favorite gathering place for such visiting celebrities as Liberace and Zsa Zsa Gabor which led to Rabb's cameo appearance in Joe Pasternak's 1962 film, "Jumbo." After closing the restaurant in 1971, Rabb briefly held positions in the MAYORAL ADMINISTRATION OF RALPH J. PERK and the Washington office of Ohio Senator William Saxbe. He continued playing the violin daily until his death at home in BEACHWOOD. Buried in All Souls Cemetery, Rabb was survived by his wife, a son, Joseph Rabb, Jr., and daughters Joyce Consilio and Jeraldine Metcalfe.


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