life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, April 4, 2014

Allan Sherman redux

So Mark Cohen came to our synagogue and gave a one-hour talk about Allan Sherman. His presentation included snippets of Sherman's songs, which he played from his boom box.

 His focus was how Sherman made ethnicity "cool", how he found his niche in 1962, before Fiddler on the Roof, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, etc., made it "cool" to be Jewish, and before the Kennedy assassination and the British invasion ushered in the transformative 1960's. How the NY Times wrote an entire profile of Sherman without ever once using the word "Jewish".

It was clear, from the question and answer session, that most of my friends and neighbors had not read the book. But Cohen sold more than a few copies of the book, and autographed Drew's copy. (My copy is on my nook, making it much easier for me to read, but does not provide a place for the author's signature.)

 Here's another Sherman classic, posted by Cohen on his YouTube channel.

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