And You Shall Know Us By The Trail of Our Vinyl

“And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl: The Jewish Past as Told by the Records We Have Loved and Lost” (Roger Bennett, Josh Kun)

Ha, what a great idea for a book. I want to go to this, though $15 a person seems a little expensive.

An affinity for kitschy album covers became a quest as Josh Kun and Roger Bennett scoured attics and garage sales to collect once-loved gems. In Jewish recordings from the 1940s-1980s they discovered sacred songs, Jewish mambo, comedy, folk tunes, and the “holy trilogy” of Neil, Barbra, and Barry. Their book includes commentary from writers and performers including Aimee Bender, Michael Wex, Shalom Auslander, Sandra Bernhard, Motown legend Lamont Dozier, and TV pioneer Norman Lear. With music and visual images, Josh Kun will share how these recordings speak across generations to tell a vibrant tale of Jews in America.

[From Spertus | Author Event | Booksigning]

“Hot August Night (Remastered / Expanded) (2CD)” (Neil Diamond)

The Amazon blurb says:

What started out as a mutual affinity for kitschy Jewish album covers–think Neil Diamond baring his chest hair on the cover of Hot August Night or Barbra Streisand in hot pants on the cover of Streisand Superman–soon became a quest for identity, history, and culture between the grooves of LPs.

Together, Roger Bennett and Josh 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. And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl spans the history of Jewish recorded music from the 1940s to the 1980s, weaving an account that begins with sacred songs and ends with the holy trinity of Neil, Barbra, and Barry. The LPs found here are also a love letter to forgotten moments in Jewish American pop history, celebrating well-dressed cantors singing Christmas tunes, Long Island suburbanites dancing the mambo, and Chassidic prog-rockers.

The music, much of which is no longer available in any format, is brought to life through commentary from writers Aimee Bender, Etgar Keret, Michael Wex, and Shalom Auslander; performers Sandra Bernhard and Motown legend Lamont Dozier; music critics Oliver Wang and Anne Powers; and TV pioneer Norman Lear. A gateway to a forgotten kingdom of sound, the good, the bad, and the ugly of Jewish vinyl gives this aspect of Jewish culture the attention it so richly deserves.

“Streisand Superman” (Barbra Streisand)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.