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Jewish Blues Musician Elly Wininger Proves It’s Never Too Late

Elly Wininger, 2014 inductee into the NY Blues Hall of Fame, has a unique recording history among a group of versatile Jewish musicians who have wowed us with their blues singing and playing, like Mike Bloomfield of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Amy Winehouse, Dave Bromberg, and Bob Dylan. Even Bette Midler (“Long John Blues,” “Empty Bed Blues”) has dipped into the genre. Wininger went to her first audition at 16, was offered a recording contract, and forbidden from pursuing it by her mom. Five decades later, she’s finally been signed to a label, and she took a moment to talk to Lilith’s Patricia Grossman about her life as a singer and musician.