Jews on Vinyl

 

Jews on Vinyl

Through January 15, 2012

What do Bagels and Bongos, Israeli Disco Fever, and When You are in Love the Whole World is Jewish have in common? They are just a few of the vintage record titles featured in Yeshiva University Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Jews on Vinyl, based on the book by Roger Bennett and Josh Kun-And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl: The Jewish Past as Told by the Records We Have Loved and Lost. What started out as a mutual affinity for kitschy Jewish album covers, soon became a quest for identity, history, and culture between the grooves of LPs. Together, guest curators Bennett and Kun embarked on a thrilling journey, scouring the world to collect thousands of vinyl LPs from attics, garage sales, and dusty archives. Pieced together, these scratched, once-loved and now-forgotten audio gems tell a vibrant tale: the story of Jews in America.

Adapted from the original exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, Jews on Vinyl features a soundtrack of highlights from these LPs to provide opportunities for Museum visitors to experience forgotten moments in Jewish American pop history. Much of the music is no longer available in any format and through this exhibition; audiences will have the unprecedented opportunity to explore new perspectives on Jewish identity and history through this exciting aspect of Jewish culture.

A Musical Teaser (Click on Song Titles to Download a Sample)

CULTURAL MISH-MOSH: My Yiddishe Mambo, by Mickey Katz

The 1950s saw an explosion of creativity among Jews, including among Yiddish speakers.  Mickey Katz was a notorious Yiddish commedean, as you can here in this 1950s take on a Yiddish Mambo.  These types of tunes illustrate just how much traditional Jewish culture was finding its place in the increasingly diverse mainstream culture. 

FOR THE SOUNDS OF THE OLD COUNTRIES: Tumbalalayka, by Theodore Bikel

Not all Jewish music from the mid-20th century was cutting edge pop, but rather fit better in the ballooning folk-music movement of the time.  With his background in Jewish liturgical singing, Theadore Bikel brought Jewish music from the “Old World” to the ears of an American public hungry for sounds from around the world.  The sounds of the old home were now the sounds of the new.

JEWISH CULTURE IS AMERICAN CULTURE: Kol Nidre, by Johnny Mathis

In 20th-century America, culture became more open, and everybody was welcome to experiment with forms of traditional expression that weren’t “their own.”  Johnny Mathis, like other singers, took a try with Kol Nidre, the invocation heard at the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement.  

THE JOYS OF YIDDISH: Roumania, Roumania, by Eartha Kitt

Singers of all stripes were attracted to the sounds of Yiddish, a language which had come to define the cadence of vaudeville in the first half of the century.  Eartha Kitt’s rendition of the venerable folk tune “Roumania, Roumania,” lets us hear just how much fun these enduring Jewish songs were to sing, as well as listen to.

THE SONG THAT GOES WITH EVERYTHING: The Twist of Hava Nageela, by Perez Prado

It’s got a sound you can’t shake, and shakes you up.  Perhaps the best-known Jewish folks song in the United States, Hava Nagila was a popular song for many artists experimenting with folk tunes, and each of whom brought their own slant.  Perez Prado offers his Latin twist version, combining an American popular dance craze, Afro-Cuban rhythm and screaming horns, with a sound that can only fill you to the brim with “Nachus!”

Promotional Images

Irving Fields Trio, Bagels and Bongos, Decca, 1959, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

The Barry Sisters, Shalom, Roulette, 1962, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

The Sabras, Jerusalem of Gold, Tikva, c. 1968, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

Harvey Jacobs, D.J. Martin, Victor Goldring, Mrs. Portnoy’s Retort, United Artists, 1969, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

Marty Allen and Steve Rossi, Batman and Rubin, Mercury, 1967, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

Sol Zim, Joy of Chanukah, Zimray, 1979, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

Mickey Katz, Mish Mosh, Capitol, 1957, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

 

Jews on Vinyl

 

Jews on Vinyl

Through January 15, 2012

What do Bagels and Bongos, Israeli Disco Fever, and When You are in Love the Whole World is Jewish have in common? They are just a few of the vintage record titles featured in Yeshiva University Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Jews on Vinyl, based on the book by Roger Bennett and Josh Kun-And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl: The Jewish Past as Told by the Records We Have Loved and Lost. What started out as a mutual affinity for kitschy Jewish album covers, soon became a quest for identity, history, and culture between the grooves of LPs. Together, guest curators Bennett and Kun embarked on a thrilling journey, scouring the world to collect thousands of vinyl LPs from attics, garage sales, and dusty archives. Pieced together, these scratched, once-loved and now-forgotten audio gems tell a vibrant tale: the story of Jews in America.

Adapted from the original exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, Jews on Vinyl features a soundtrack of highlights from these LPs to provide opportunities for Museum visitors to experience forgotten moments in Jewish American pop history. Much of the music is no longer available in any format and through this exhibition; audiences will have the unprecedented opportunity to explore new perspectives on Jewish identity and history through this exciting aspect of Jewish culture.

A Musical Teaser (Click on Song Titles to Download a Sample)

CULTURAL MISH-MOSH: My Yiddishe Mambo, by Mickey Katz

The 1950s saw an explosion of creativity among Jews, including among Yiddish speakers.  Mickey Katz was a notorious Yiddish commedean, as you can here in this 1950s take on a Yiddish Mambo.  These types of tunes illustrate just how much traditional Jewish culture was finding its place in the increasingly diverse mainstream culture. 

FOR THE SOUNDS OF THE OLD COUNTRIES: Tumbalalayka, by Theodore Bikel

Not all Jewish music from the mid-20th century was cutting edge pop, but rather fit better in the ballooning folk-music movement of the time.  With his background in Jewish liturgical singing, Theadore Bikel brought Jewish music from the “Old World” to the ears of an American public hungry for sounds from around the world.  The sounds of the old home were now the sounds of the new.

JEWISH CULTURE IS AMERICAN CULTURE: Kol Nidre, by Johnny Mathis

In 20th-century America, culture became more open, and everybody was welcome to experiment with forms of traditional expression that weren’t “their own.”  Johnny Mathis, like other singers, took a try with Kol Nidre, the invocation heard at the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement.  

THE JOYS OF YIDDISH: Roumania, Roumania, by Eartha Kitt

Singers of all stripes were attracted to the sounds of Yiddish, a language which had come to define the cadence of vaudeville in the first half of the century.  Eartha Kitt’s rendition of the venerable folk tune “Roumania, Roumania,” lets us hear just how much fun these enduring Jewish songs were to sing, as well as listen to.

THE SONG THAT GOES WITH EVERYTHING: The Twist of Hava Nageela, by Perez Prado

It’s got a sound you can’t shake, and shakes you up.  Perhaps the best-known Jewish folks song in the United States, Hava Nagila was a popular song for many artists experimenting with folk tunes, and each of whom brought their own slant.  Perez Prado offers his Latin twist version, combining an American popular dance craze, Afro-Cuban rhythm and screaming horns, with a sound that can only fill you to the brim with “Nachus!”

Promotional Images

Irving Fields Trio, Bagels and Bongos, Decca, 1959, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

The Barry Sisters, Shalom, Roulette, 1962, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

The Sabras, Jerusalem of Gold, Tikva, c. 1968, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

Harvey Jacobs, D.J. Martin, Victor Goldring, Mrs. Portnoy’s Retort, United Artists, 1969, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

Marty Allen and Steve Rossi, Batman and Rubin, Mercury, 1967, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

Sol Zim, Joy of Chanukah, Zimray, 1979, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

Mickey Katz, Mish Mosh, Capitol, 1957, Courtesy of Josh Kun and Roger Bennett

 

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