The melody was imported to North America in the 1920s. The renowned klezmer clarinetist and self-proclaimed “King of Jewish music” Naftule Brandwein (1884-1963) recorded a purely instrumental version with the title “Der Terk in America” in 1924. Brandwein was originally born in Przemyślany/Peremyshliany (Polish Galicia, now Ukraine) and emigrated to the USA in 1909 where he perceived a very successful career in the early 1920s. He was known for incorporating not only the influence of Jewish music, but also elements of Greek, Turkish, and Gypsy music.
The tune became even better known in North America after the US-American actress, singer and cabaret star Eartha Kitt produced a vocal/instrumental version with the title “Uska Dara – A Turkish Tale” in 1953. Eartha Kitt was born in 1927 and became an international star in the 1950s and 1960s. Orson Welles once called her "the most exciting woman in the world." She is African-American and Native American on her mother’s side and of German or Dutch ancestry on her father’s.
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