Tuesday, August 20, 2013

From the Back Wall: Gut Yom-Tev Kinder

Confession time: I listen to a classic rock station. I'm not proud, but it's a habit from junior high and I can't seem to kick it.

Anyway, one of the many irritating things about my classic rock station is when they say they're going to play something you haven't heard 10,000 times before: something from the "back wall." And then they play "Witchy Woman" or "Paperback Writer." UGH! As if they don't very well know that every song played comes from a not very large dot matrix printout from 1989, "back wall" included! UGH! Just being a B-side doesn't make it obscure. Jeez!

Now, on to things so not deserving of scorn.

Last summer I was gifted with a huge stack of vintage Jewish vinyl. It's been a year and I'm still working my way through it all. So I decided that a good way to explore these treasures is to blog about them in my own "back wall" series. Because, hey, most of these are legit obscure (unavailable on CD) and I really do keep my records on the back wall (of my living room.)

First up: Gut Yom-Tev Kinder

(Yes, I liked it so much I had to have it in multiple manifestations of obsolescence)

Gut Yom-Tev Kinder was released in 1974 by the education department of the Workmen's Circle and featured a chorus of kids from its schools. According to the back of the record jacket, Gut Yom-Tev Kinder came with booklet with Yiddish words, English transliteration AND English translation. WOW!

Alas, the copy I inherited was missing the booklet; the cassette (purchased new) never had a booklet; and the Workmen's Circle has never seen fit to re-release it on CD. (A huge wasted opportunity, in my humble opinion. They let this get their rightful market share.)

Gut Yom-Tev Kinder is definitely worth buying (and reissuing!!!) because on one record you get a generous slice of the Yiddish holiday repertoire, all in a very understandable Yiddish, appropriate for all levels of Yiddish students. Moreover, many of the songs on Gut Yom-Tev Kinder have been re-worked and re-appropriated by the edgiest of artists. Yiddish Princess does Oyfn Nil, and the Klezmatics do Ale Brider, Makht Oyf and Simkhes Toyre, just to name a few.

Seen from 2013, Gut Yom-Tev Kinder, released pretty much at the beginning of the "klezmer revival," is a charming peek into what was to come.

Side One

Leshono Toyvo
A Suke
A Fon
Der Vinter
Feter Shneyer
Khanike Oy Khanike
A Dreydl
Drey Zikh Dreydele
Gut-Yomtev Aykh Kinder
O Ir Kleyne Likhtelekh
Ver Ken Dertseyln
In Khoydesh Shvat
Haynt Iz Purim
Makht Oyf
Yakhne Dvoshe
Ma Nishtano
Tayere Malke
Oyfn Nil
Eliyohu Hanovi
Khad Gadyo

Side Two

Oyfn Pripetshik
Geyen Mir In Shul Arayn
Katz Un Moyz
Mitn Zegel
Di Ban
A Yingele A Meydele
S'hot Der Tate
Ikh Bin A Guter Muzikant
Karuseln Dos Iz Emes
Der Zingemaring
Kum Rokhele Zikh Shpiln*
O, Hermerl Klap
Makhnes Geyen
Shoymer In Galil
Ale Brider
Fayer Fayer
Ay Vi Gut

*An unjustifiable absence from the klezmer revival repertoire has been Kum Rokhele Zikh Shpiln. I look forward to someone rectifying this very, very soon.

1 comment:

  1. RK, I look forward to more reviews. Keep 'em coming!

    I knew a man in Cleveland who had so many Jewish records, visitors had to turn sideways to negotiate his basement steps.

    Jack Saul. His collection wound up in the sound archives at Fla. Atlantic U.

    Gut shabbes.