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The Old Songs of the Bowery, Live

The Bowery near Broome Street in 1895NYPL The Bowery in 1895.

Lately, the Bowery has started to look more like Dubai and a whole lot less like a poor man’s Broadway. But for at least three hours on Sunday, old-time songs will echo on the street once again, as a connoisseur of vaudeville songs and a historian lead a walking tour of music from the Bowery’s heyday. Bree Benton, accompanied by a viola and accordion, will sing songs like “My Brudda Sylvest,” and “Yiddle On Your Fiddle, Play Some Ragtime” (which was written by one of the former Lower East Side’s most famous sons, Irving Berlin.)

“The songs are so full of life, they really speak to the people — the common people,” said Ms. Benton, who will play the character of Poor Baby Bree, a down-and-out kid from the Lower East Side. “People who couldn’t afford to be entertained on Broadway; they went to the Bowery.” Read more…