Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The "You Shall Know Us By The Trail Of Our Vinyl" Book & Bernie Knee's "Orthodox, Conservative, or Reformed"

Cover for 'And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl: The Jewish Past as Told by the Records We Have Loved and Lost'I'm was delighted to find that the Hippo and Campus at Reboot Stereophonic hadn't given up on the "You shall know us by the trail of our vinyl" blog like I thought they had. They'd just moved to a happy shiny new home to promote their book "And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl: The Jewish Past as Told by the Records We Have Loved and Lost". Now this is the kind of coffee table book that I can get behind. (Hint, my darling wife, hint!) The authors, also known as Roger Benett and Josh Kun, share my love for all the odd corners of Jewish music and are champion dumpster divers. Their blog and book showcase a lot of odd (and sometimes wonderful) moments in Jewish music and, though them, moments in Jewish cultural life. And their book will be out in two weeks, just in time for Hanukkah. I haven't seen it yet, but if it's as good as their blog I'm sure it will be fabulous.

Album cover for 'Jewish-American Songs for the Jet Set' As an example of their ouvere, here's singer Bernie Knee performing the Tobias Henry song "Orthodox, Conservative, or Reformed" from Knee's album "Jewish American Songs for THE JET SET." I love this song for not only name checking three of the major Jewish movements in America but for contextualizing the movements as impediments for wooing women. Knee was a singer and actor active in the late 1970's and 80's. This album was recorded by Tikva Records, a production house that put out a variety of Jewish and Israeli albums and then disappeared without a trace. So much so that there is an active group of collectors trying to track down any available information on Tikva. I hit GEMM and EBAY to see if any copies of JET SET were floating around, but no luck. Even eMusic and iTunes came up dry. If you act quick, though, EBAY can set you up with 45RPM singles of Knee performing Irving Fields "Let's Go Skiing" and "Melody of the Gypsies."

Bernie Knee- Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform

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