Arts

Malden native still has that Spirit in the Sky

By Sharon Santillo Fifty years ago in 1969, a song was released that has become a quintessential guitar track for movies, TV, and advertising; it still receives radio play today.  “Spirit in the Sky” was composed and performed by Malden-born artist Norman Greenbaum, who is one of a handful of musicians who has made a lifetime of earnings from one song. Malden Arts ARTLine is planning a spectacular tribute to Greenbaum and “Spirit in the Sky” on this fifty-year anniversary with the painting of a mural to highlight the song on the back of 110 Pleasant Street, facing the Exchange Street side. Painting on the Spirit of the Sky mural has begun and will continue through August. A ribbon-cutting will be held at the site on Oct. 16  with Greenbaum as the honored guest. The Malden community is invited to enjoy the mural and welcome Greenbaum back to his hometown. Greenbaum was born at Malden Hospital on November 20, 1942, two months premature. “I couldn’t wait to get started on my career,” Greenbaum quipped in a recent interview with […]

Featured

Malden’s Suffolk Square is a forgotten Jewish enclave

Have you ever heard the term banker’s hours? This usually refers to being open for the shortest, most inconvenient hours. But back before Suffolk Square in Malden, Massachusetts was leveled for urban renewal, banker’s hours had a whole different meaning. Suffolk Square was a Jewish enclave in Malden, the heart of which was in the vicinity of Cross and Bryant streets and the old Lincoln Junior High School. When Elaine Lubin’s grandparents wanted to buy land in Malden, the large, established banks in Malden Square weren’t where they went for a mortgage. The Jewish bank in Suffolk Square, Progressive Workmen’s Credit Union, saw the potential in this hard-working Polish Catholic couple who had immigrated to Massachusetts from Vilna in what is now Lithuania. They approved of their plan for a small dairy farm in the area of Bowdoin Street and Bent Avenue and gave them a mortgage for the property that they then purchased from Mrs. Bent. When Elaine’s parents needed a car loan for their new blue Plymouth, they also went to Mr. Eiseman at […]