Gold, Clara

Photograph of Clara Gold, from Zalmen Zylbercweig, ed., Leksikon fun Yidishn teater, Vol. 1: 264.
Gold, Clara
Birth Date:
July 6, 1888
Death Date:
December 12, 1946
Place of Birth:
New York, New York

Clara Gold was born in NY in 1888 but grew up in her family’s hometown of Lemberg (now Lviv), Ukraine. She returned to the U.S. around 1900 and began her acting career working in the chorus at the Windsor Theater. By 1916 she had formed a comedy duo with Gustave “Gus” Goldstein, with whom she would perform for the next decade.

Gold made her first successful recordings for Columbia in 1917, performing as both a soloist and with Goldstein. Already a stage veteran with over fifteen years of experience at the time of these first recordings, Gold performs with the skill and nuance of an actor in complete command of her craft. On "Yente Veirt A Janitor" ("Yente Becomes a Janitor") for example, one of the many Yente and Mendel recordings she made with Goldstein, Gold brilliantly executes the rapid-fire lyrics with impeccable timing as she trades lines with her stage partner. In all, Gold recorded some 21 solo numbers and 75 with Goldstein; perhaps her most well known recording today her 1921 release, "Ale Vayber Megn Shtimen" ("All Women Can Vote"), a celebration of the 19th amendment securing women's suffrage that had been ratified the previous year.


Listen to the full recording of Clara Gold and Gus Goldstein's "Yente Veirt A Janitor" (Emerson 13101, recorded c. June 1920)



Gold worked regularly throughout the 1920s, appearing with Julius Adler at the Liberty Theatre for two seasons, with Charles Groll and Abie Adler at the Prospect Theater, and in Philadelphia with Hershel Zuckerberg. She died in 1946. 

Photograph of Clara Gold from Zalmen Zylbercweig, ed., Leksikon fun Yidishn teater, Vol. 1: 264.