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You Don't Have to Be Jewish/When You're in Love the Whole World Is Jewish

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Performer Notes
  • YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE JEWISH recorded live at Fine Recording Studios, New York on June 14, 1965. Originally released on Kapp (5503) in August 1965.
  • WHEN YOU'RE IN LOVE THE WHOLE WORLD IS JEWISH recorded live at Columbia Recording Studios, New York on January 24, 1966. Originally released on Kapp (5506) in March 1966.
  • Digitally remastered by Bill Inglot and Ken Perry.
  • Includes liner notes by Kevin Phinney.
  • The '60s were a golden age for recorded comedy, and while most of the leading comics of the day made LPs of their standup routines, a number of the most popular humor albums of the day were studio creations that took a more ambitious approach. Bob Booker, one of the creators of The First Family (the wildly successful record which poked gentle fun at John F. Kennedy), specialized in albums which featured scripted routines performed in the studio by a handful of voice actors, with a live audience adding their approval of the material. After The First Family fell into a cultural black hole following JFK's assassination, Booker's greatest success came with 1965's You Don't Have to Be Jewish, in which a handful of superb comic actors (among them Lou Jacobi and Jack Gilford) performed sketches adapted from classic Jewish humor. The album was a major success, and a year later Booker and his partner George Foster released a follow-up, When You're in Love, The Whole World Is Jewish; after years out of print, Jewish Music Group has reissued the two albums on a single CD. By Booker and Foster's admission, many of the gags on these albums were quite old long before these recordings were made, and the passage of time hasn't buffed off any of the tarnish; chances are good you'll know the punch lines to these jokes before the cast gets around to reciting them. At the same time, some of the more original routines on these albums have dated even worse, in particular the James Bond parody on You Don't Have to Be Jewish and the neo-Allan Sherman take-offs on When You're in Love. But the skill of the cast (especially Jacobi, who is in superb form throughout) breathes life into even the oldest routines, and forty years on these albums are hilarious documents of Catskills-style Jewish humor that are increasingly hard to come by. Fans of classic comedy will enjoy this disc, though those with a lowered tolerance for Nagging Mother jokes should consider themselves warned. ~ Mark Deming
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