Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Mickey Katz

I already uploaded a couple of tracks from another great LP last year but had some requests for more. How could I refuse? These tracks are from a CD called "Mickey Katz Greatest Shticks" and full of some great yiddish flavoured novelty songs.

"Long before Allan Sherman and Woody Allen showered the public with Yiddish slang -- and decades before the klezmer revival breathed new life into a once-popular ethnic music -- a little clarinetist with a lot of chutzpah blazed the trail, exposing "crossover" audiences to the language and the melodies of his forebears with a series of English-Yiddish parody records.

Being Jewish "was always popular in my house," recalled Mickey Katz, who embraced his heritage from the early days of his career. "The only people it wasn't popular with were those who were frightened." Among those who were displeased with him for being open about his religious persuasion was the Jewish editor of Variety, who reprimanded Katz for "defiling" the legend of Davy Crockett when the bandleader's parody "Duvid Crockett" became a hit record.

Katz made a lot of people uncomfortable in the 1940s and '50s. He was too ethnic for many Jews of his generation who couldn't shed their Old World roots fast enough, and too much of a comedian for the purists -- a strange hybrid of Naftule Brandwein and Spike Jones they didn't quite dig."

Mickey Katz - Duvid Crockett

Mickey Katz - Knish Doctor

Mickey Katz - Borscht Riders In The Sky

Mickey Katz - Old Black Smidgick

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