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Hungarian Slovak Gypsies in the United States

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Title: Hungarian Slovak Gypsies in the United States  
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Subject: Romani people in the United States, Romani people, Kawliya, Romani music, Romani people in France
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Hungarian Slovak Gypsies in the United States

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Romani people
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Burying of the Bass Violin

Hungarian Slovak Gypsies immigrated to the United States in the late 19th century, many from (Sáros and Zemplén counties) Kassa, Hungary. They settled in the cities of Braddock, Homestead, Johnstown and, Uniontown, Pennsylvania; Cleveland, and Youngstown, Ohio; Detroit, and Delray, Michigan; Gary, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; and New York City. The Hungarian Slovak Gypsies were a community of sedentary Roma, and in the United States were well known for playing music for the Central European immigrants communities in which they settled.[1] For the first time Americans were seeing Gypsies different then the stereotype they only knew. These Roma never told fortunes, traveled in caravans or performed in a circus. There is very little written about them and what was written was spread out in different publications.[2] These Roma were known as Bashaldo Gypsies, and in Hungary they are called Romange Roma;[3] portions of them were also known as Romungre. In the early 1900s the Roma in Braddock, Pennsylvania, purchased an entire block of homes, making them the largest population of sedentary Gypsies in America.[4]

Musical culture

Their music was an important part of world roots music, and they performed throughout America in Hungarian music and all genres of music. In 1887, the first of these Roma immigrated to America,they brought to America the traditional Hungarian Carmen; and Maurice Ravel.Tzigane

By 1920, Cleveland had the largest population of Hungarians in America, second to Budapest. Cleveland Hungarians held hundreds of events every year and the Gypsies were the entertainment for all of these events.[7] Detroit's Delray district had many Hungarian restaurants such as the Hungarian Village, where as many as four cimbaloms would be set up to play, and in [18] Billy Rose, Martze Ballog, Willie Horvath, Hezekiah Szalay and Bella Ballog.

The Gypsy Countess Verona,[19] was one of the most famous of these Hungarian Slovak Gypsies. She married the Count Dean Szechy de Szechy Favla, of Budapest. She was one of the greatest cimbalom players in the world; she toured the world, made records and wrote music.

In 1924 Henry Ford, in an effort to get the young people away from jazz and back into the old music, started his Old Fashion Dance Band.[20] Musicians from all over the world auditioned for a spot in the band. The cimbalom player was a Hungarian Gypsy from Braddock, William Hallup.[21] They made records, traveled the world and played at all Ford's events. His cimbalom is in the Henry Ford Museum.


  1. ^ David Levinson (1991). Encyclopedia of World Cultures: North America. G.K. Hall. p. 287.  
  2. ^
  3. ^ "RADOC". RADOC. 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  4. ^ "Gypsies - gypsy, europe, name, language, rumanian, time and germany". 1906-01-06. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  5. ^ "Imre Magyari- Bio, Albums, Pictures – Naxos Classical Music". 2011-06-25. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  6. ^ "Racs Laci and Georges Boulanger". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  7. ^ Susan M. Papp (1981). Hungarian Americans and Their Communities of Cleveland. Cleveland State University. p. 229. Retrieved 2012-09-30. . Available through the Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Libraries.
  8. ^ a b "Growing up in Old Delray, by Robert Takacs". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  9. ^ "Hungarian-American Restaurants". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  10. ^ "Rabb Joska's Gypsy Cellar Records - Home". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  11. ^ "DULCIMER PLAYER'S FORUM - Cimbalom Links - (18)". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  12. ^ Harris, Craig. "Emery Deutsch - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  13. ^ Dick Oakes. "Larisa Lucaci". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  14. ^ "Gold Seal". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  15. ^ "Ziggy Bella (1910 - 1989) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  16. ^ "MTAP The Gus Horvath Hungarian Gypsy Collection". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  17. ^ "Alex Udvary". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  18. ^ "Tony Ballog and his Gypsy Orchestra". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  19. ^ "THE BIG SHOW' ITS TITLE. - New Hippodrome Spectacle to Have a Minstrel First Part. - View Article -". New York Times. 1916-08-17. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  20. ^ "Madore's Obscure Music Blog: Henry Ford's Old Fashioned/Old Time Dance Orchestra (Two 1926 Columbia 78s & One 1926 Victor 78)". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  21. ^ "FolkWorld Article: T:-)M's Night Shift - Books". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 


  • Gypsy Fires in America p. 214 by Irving Brown, 1924 - Irving Brown writes about Braddock,Pa Gypsies
  • Raggle-Taggle: Adventures with a Fiddle in Hungary and Romania by Walter Starkie, 1933 - Starkie writes about him, John Brencas and Imre Magyari in Budapest.
  • The Gypsy in a Non-Gypsy Economy Erdmann Doane Beynon American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 42, No. 3 (Nov., 1936), pp. 358–370 Gypsies of Delray, MI
  • The Subject of Index to Periodicals volume 1915
  • The Journal of American Folklore, Endre De Spur, 1958, Gypsies of Braddock, PA.
  • The Survey by the Charity Organization Society of the city of New York reference to Gypsies of Braddock, Pa
  • The Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science reference to Gypsies of Braddock, Pa
  • The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1956 - Braddock, Pa

External links

  • Gypsies in the United States. Smithsonian Education
  • Arrival of Gypsies in America.
  • Gypsy-Roma immigration.
  • Emery Deutsch - Violinist and Songwriter. New York Times, 20 April 1997
  • Gypsy and Traveler Culture in America. Gypsy Lore Society
  • What us musical tradition can teach us about roma culture. George Soros Foundation
  • Author-records romany music culture. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 8, 2012
  • [1] Encyclopida of Cleveland History: Gypsies
  • [2] Professor Steve Balkin, University of Illinois, Roma Page, links to many Roma sites, videos, and music.
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