Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Searching for Ari Kunstler's "Eyes on Jerusalem"

I've got a new job title. A Teruah reader has officially dubbed me "Musical Schadchen." (A schadchen is an expert matchmaker. I had to look it up.) From now on every email I send will proudly proclaim it.

Here's what happened. I received an email a couple of days ago by a Teruah reader who was trying to "track down an album/tape that was released about 15 years ago (I think), entitled Eyes on Jerusalem. ... Used to listen to it on long trips with the family -- the tape eventually dissolved in a grimey mix of smashed banana, hard boiled eggs, old maps, old tennis shoes, pretzels, twizzlers, and big gulps." I can empathize. I had a number of tapes go that route. And couple of others that, once I dug them out, had spontaneously became Queen's Greatest Hits. The footwells of cars do strange and unfortunate things to music.

I'd never heard of the album. 15 years ago I wouldn't have known such an album existed. But I love treasure hunts, so I hit Google and did some sleuthing. It turns out that the album was recorded by Ari Kunstler, musician, songwriter, and father of current Jewish music performer Aryeh Kunstler. I had a nice email exchange with Ari, who was delighted to find out that 15 years later his album was remembered and loved. "Eyes on Jerusalem isn't available through JewishJukebox, MostlyMusic, Hatikvah or any of the other usual suspects (Eichler's has Ari's most recent album, "In this place of Mercy"). But Ari still has some copies that he'd be happy to sell to anyone interested. Email me and I can pass along Ari's contact information.

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