Bette Midler Talks Gay and Jewish Audience

Bette Midler begins a 32 city tour through July 19 across the country as well as in Canada and England. The show will feature songs from Midler’s latest CD “It’s The Girls,” featuring her salute to the all girl musical groups, starting with The Andrews Sisters to The Shirelles and TLC.

Beth Midler

Midler is proud of the album, and is especially fond of one song she recorded “Bei Mir Bistu Shein,” that was a hit for The Andrews Sisters.

“Not everyone knows the song was originally in Yiddish and I was inspired to record it because of my love of The Andrews Sisters and because it takes me back to a time when everyone in my family hummed or sang the song growing up. There is much deep emotion for me whenever I sing it,” said the 69-year-old Midler in a phone interview from her home in New York.

“I am a Jewish girl not from New York, but from Hawaii. I felt like an alien in school, a foreigner even though I was born there. I remember children being so cruel. You do not easily forget that.”

According to Midler, she grew up culturally, if not religiously Jewish, in a home with three other siblings.

“I always knew who I was. My parents especially loved Jewish humor. My dad was a funny man. He loved a good joke and one of the thrills for my parents, because they had so little Jewish contact in Hawaii, was to see Myron Cohen on television in ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.'”

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Bette Midler will showcase her flair for music, laughs and drama with two shows at Hard Rock Live Arena at the Seminole Hotel and Casino in Hollywood May 8-9 at 8 p.m.