Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And You Shall Know us by the Trail of our Vinyl

It's not that I'm obsessed with Eden Ahbez, but I couldn't help noticing the mention of him in a description of And you shall know us by the trail of our vinyl. This book, by the Reboot Stereophonic guys, looks fantastic. An alternative narrative of the history of North American Jewry, via its vinyl culture, taking in the Barry Sisters, Johnny Mathis, Theodore Bikel and others. It turns out they have a wonderful blog, featuring sacred moog magician Gershon Kingsley, a Mathis Kol Nidre, Johnny Yune in Hebrew, some fantastic Yiddishe/Chicano mambo, and our old favourite the Jewish cowboy. Go feast on it!

The Jewish/Latin connection is also a feature of the ouevre of Bert Berns, a close colloborator of Jerry Wexler and another Jewish backroom guy who helped shape the history of soul music. His story is highlighted in a recent excellent blog post at Captain's Crate. (From the same source, listen too to Jewish Latin god Larry Harlow, "El Judio Maravilloso".)


Previous: Nappy Brown in Yiddish, Mickey Katz, Harold Stern Jewish cowboy, Theo Bikel, Irving Fields, Lionel Bart, Pearl Williams, Yiddish Beatles, Harry Dean Stanton's Hava Nagila, Mariachi Chet Baker, Doc Pomus and Israeli bossa nova.
Keywords: music, mp3

6 comments:

Graeme said...

That book looks fascinating and I should make a note to try to find a copy. It will likely, if nothing else, help to shape some of the thinking I've been doing lately about Jewish music.

bob said...

Graeme- Have you looked at Mick Billig's Rock 'n' Roll Jews (Five Leaves Press), mainly about Jewish songwriters in the Brill Building days, and about those who "came out" as Jews and as singers as the peak age of assimilation started to pass. Might also be relevant, but I'm making assumptions!

bob said...

P.S. Canadian publisher of And You Shall... is Random House, due out in a couple weeks

Graeme said...

I haven't looked into it--I'll take note of it though. To be fair, I haven't really done any reading other than what I've found on blogs with regard to this. I'm mainly interested in a paper that Keith Kahn-Harris wrote and posted on his blog about Jewish heavy metal and the question of if and how Jewish metal--and I don't mean Megadeth here--is possible and how it would sound and work within the prevailing ethics and aesthetics of metal. Basically I need to grow up because I'm getting too old to spend this much of my time obsessing over heavy metal and comic books. I'm sixteen years old forever.

But basically this is going to entail an in-depth study of John Zorn and the ways in which the grind-jazz of Naked City and the "Ornette Coleman meets the Jewish scale" of Masada are or are not connected. Shit, maybe Zorn should record a Naked City Book of Angels album and do all my work for me.

While I wait for that I'll look in to some of these recommendations.

bob said...

I was a bit shocked to learn from Keith's paper [paper_for_2008_iaspm_uk_conference.pdf (application/pdf Object)] that Manowar, who I always think of as the most gentile of rock bands, have a Jewish connection...

I look forward to your contribution Graeme!

Graeme said...

And who from Cannibal Corpse is Jewish? George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher?