Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Year of Allan Sherman Starts With a New Biography and Rare Recordings


Attention all Allan Sherman fans: We know you're out there. This is your year. 

This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the release of Sherman's classic Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah. The parody, describing a boy's experiences at summer camp and set to the Dance of the Hours from Ponchielli's La Gioconda,  became a surprise novelty hit, reaching second place on the Billboard Top 100 list in 1963. 

Next week Brandeis University Press will publish Mark Cohen's biography of Allan Sherman, the early 1960s Jewish song parodist whose surprise national stardom signaled that assimilation was over and ethnicity was back. The book, Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman (Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture and Life) is now available for pre-order at Amazon  and Barnes & Noble. 

A special feature of the biography is a collection of Sherman's lost Jewish parodies of the great Broadway musicals. He began performing these songs at house parties when he lived in Westchester in the 1950s. 

"What you are about to hear is entitled, Goldeneh Moments from Broadway, is how Sherman introduced these creations. “I said to myself, what would have happened, how would it have been, if all of the great Broadway hits of the great Broadway shows had been written by Jewish people—which they were.” His parodies include "There Is Nothin' Like a Lox," "When You Walk Through the Bronx," "Ollawood" ("Camelot"), "How Are Things With Uncle Morris?" ("How Are Things In Glocca Morra?"), and more.

We've been in touch with the author, who clued us in about the recordings of these lost parodies that he discovered during his research for the book. 

As a tribute to Sherman, we'll be sharing these recordings with you during the next few weeks. Here is the first one, Seventy-Six Sol Cohens, a parody of 76 Trombones from Meredith Willson's The Music Man. It was recorded live on January 18, 1963, in concert at Santa Monica, Calif. (Courtesy of the archive collection of Robert Sherman). 

 Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)

1 comment:

  1. Sherman and Borscht Belt are favorite memories

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