Funny, It Doesn't Sound Jewish: How Yiddish Songs and Synagogue Melodies Influenced Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood, Volume 1

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SUNY Press, Jul 9, 2004 - Music - 306 pages
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In Funny, It Doesn't Sound Jewish, Jack Gottlieb chronicles how Jewish songwriters and composers transformed the popular music of mid-twentieth-century America. Although many critics, historians, and musicians have alluded to the Jewish influence on American popular song, this is the first book ever to support such assertions with comprehensive musical examples. Drawing on a variety of historical and archival sources, as well as his own experiences as a composer of synagogue, popular, and concert music, Gottlieb carefully and compellingly documents how a minority culture infused a majority culture, enriched it, and still retained its own identity. He does this with the support of a companion CD that includes previously unrecorded songs as well as some surprising rarities performed by the likes of Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, and Leonard Bernstein.
 

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Funny, it doesn't sound Jewish: how Yiddish songs and synagogue melodies influenced Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood

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In his introduction to this meticulously researched study of Jewish-influenced theatrical and popular music from 1914 to 1964, scholar and composer Gottlieb observes, "For the first time since ancient ... Read full review

Contents

Slices of History
12
Over ThereThe Mediterranean Basin and Western Europe
18
Over HereThe USA Mostly New York City
22
The Lullaby of BrodyChildhood Experiences
39
Pathways of Americanization
54
AdaptationMusical Transformations
55
A Young Wifes TaleLove Me to a Yiddisha Melody
65
AdoptionMusical Quotations
67
Kurt Weill
155
Jacques Offenbach
159
Irving Berlin
160
Harold Arlen
166
Sammy Fain
170
Cantors Sons as Performers
171
Symbols of Faith in the Music of Leonard Bernstein
178
Porters Trunk
186

AbsorptionMusical Anagrams
68
Writes of Passage
74
AccentFree AdoptionsNature Boy
78
AccentFree Absorptions
79
The Wandering Gypsy
88
The Charm of the Flatted SixthJewish Coloration
95
Yingish Songs
101
NoveltiesMinor VerseMajor Chorus
103
In the LimelightYiddle On Your Fiddle Play Some Ragtime
107
Moon Shine
113
Song Sheets International Proudly Presents The Story of Becky from Babylon
117
Sacred Roots
121
The Mood of Modes
122
The Magein avot Mode
131
Hatikvah The Hope
136
Eli Eli My God My God
138
The Ahava raba ModeThe Freygish Factor
141
Bits and Pieces
145
The Impact of the Synagogue
149
Sons of Cantors
154
Affinities Between Jewish Americans and African Americans
193
Exploitation
194
Blackface
198
Pastiche
201
Showbiz Religion
203
The Ukrainian Dorian Mode
205
Jungle Fever Blues and Jews
213
DavenenJewish Prayer Style
216
AfterwordSociety and Musical Politics
224
Photo Gallery of Yiddish Songwriters and Poets
231
Composers Authors and Performers
236
Yingish Song TitlesA Selective List
246
Musical Example Titles
259
Acknowledgments
264
Bibliography
267
Permission Credits for Musical Examples
277
CD Tracks
286
Index
294
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Author and composer Jack Gottlieb has lectured on the Jewish contribution to American popular music throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel. He is past president of the American Society for Jewish Music and has received wide recognition for both his synagogue and secular music. He has been a reviewer and author of articles on music as well as an annotator for concert program and record jacket notes. His choral, chamber, and theater and cabaret works, as well as his sacred music--including Songs of Godlove, over 50 solos and duets--are available in print. His recordings appear on the Naxos, Albany, and other labels. He lives in New York City.

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