Search - Bob Booker, George Foster :: You Don't Have to Be Jewish/When You're in Love the Whole World Is Jewish

You Don't Have to Be Jewish/When You're in Love the Whole World Is Jewish
Bob Booker, George Foster
You Don't Have to Be Jewish/When You're in Love the Whole World Is Jewish
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (36) - Disc #1

One of my fondest family memories of my wonderful childhood in the 1960's was listening to record albums on the hi-fi set in the den. Real records, that you had to flip over after side one, and be careful not to leave o...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Bob Booker, George Foster
Title: You Don't Have to Be Jewish/When You're in Love the Whole World Is Jewish
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Jmg / Jewish Music
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 2/6/2007
Album Type: Live
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop
Styles: Jewish & Yiddish, Comedy & Spoken Word
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 857764001596

Synopsis

Album Description
One of my fondest family memories of my wonderful childhood in the 1960's was listening to record albums on the hi-fi set in the den. Real records, that you had to flip over after side one, and be careful not to leave on top of the toaster oven. This was a time where my Little Golden Books and little transistor radio were my essential bedtime companions. Not to mention the hot mug of Ovaltine that Mom would make us before hitting the sack. "You Don't Have To Be Jewish" and it's follow up, "When You're In Love, The Whole World Is Jewish" were both staples in the Lifson home. Jewish comedy was not available to me as a kid through visits to the Catskills, so these albums, along with "Chanukah Carols" (also available on JMG) were my first exposure to a genre which would help prepare me for the Woody Allen and Albert Brooks movies I would love watching in the next decade, the '70s, and have enjoyed ever since. These very funny records were the brainchild of producer Bob Booker, who had produced a hugely successful pair of albums called "The First Family" which lampooned the Kennedy clan, with actor Vaughn Meader doing a brilliant JFK. These were essential listening for the early '60s, but after JFK's assassination, were quickly antiquated. For "You Don't Have To Be Jewish," Producer Booker, pairing with writer George Foster, assembled a first class ensemble of comedic actors to play the jokes and blackout type sketches on this LP. Lou Jacobi was seen on countless sitcoms as the "Jewish Dad" type, and Valerie Harper, who would later star as "Rhoda" on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." Also featured were Arlene Golonka, who played Ken Berry's girlfriend on "Mayberry R.F.D." and Bob Mc Fadden, who were the voices behind many cartoon characters including one version of "Popeye" and one of my '60s faves, "Milton The Monster." And who could forget actor Jack Gilford from the many "Crackerjack" commercials he did, where he is caught eating the kid's Crakerjack late at night? The sketches on these two wonderfully nostalgic albums played like a prequel, maybe more Jewish version, of TV's "Laugh In" which would appear just a couple years later, in the Fall of 1968. The cast of "You Don't Have To Be Jewish" were invited to appear on the Ed Sullivan show, because of the broad appeal of the album's humor. It was clean and quaint, not biting and unsettling, like several of the "hipper" '60s comics, like Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl. These Jewish jokes were ones that could be repeated at any office gathering or weeknight Pan and Poker games, like the ones I recall my parents having in the mid '60s. They still have the black card table with the white leather top that was used at their gatherings back then, when albums like "You Don't Have To Jewish" were such a unifying force. Classic bits on these two albums, released for the first time as a double disc CD here, include "Secret Agent James Bondtstein" and "The Cocktail Party" which is reminiscent of "Laugh In's" party scenes with the one liners floating in and out of martini glasses. "The Plotnick Diamond" bit is funny too, where Mrs. Plotnick complains that her large diamond comes enshrouded with a curse..."What's the curse her friend asks, in a Yenta-like way, "Mr. Plotnick!" is the reply. You see, these albums showcase the qualities of Jewish life we have all come to know as "trademarks," like: guilt, marrying a nice young doctor, eating as a remedy for anxiety, worrying too much, and of course, more guilt! Jewish people throughout the ages have relied on humor as a survival technique, and have always been noted for their sardonic and revelatory abilities to translate "agony" into "ecstasy" in the form of humorous dialogue. One can see where comics like Woody Allen got a lot of his early material from gleaning the cultural mores predominant in both these albums, that show Booker and partner Foster's true genius for defining a genre through humor. The live audience present here makes the material play even more like television, helping to create a real "visual" presence for these playets, which are both timeless and charming in their appeal. May these hilarious records provide you and your family the same "sitting around the hi-fi" happiness that I experienced when I first listened to them, wearing my pajamas that had all the gas station signs on them (my favorite was "Gulf") and eating my strawberry "Whip 'N Chill" light meringue pudding that Mom would make in those little glass dessert cups that were so evocative of the era for me. Food and humor always go well together in Jewish culture...Enjoy! Hal Lifson

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