The Song is not the Same: Jews and American Popular Music

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Bruce Zuckerman
Purdue University Press
Professional & Scholarly


This volume of the Casden Institute's The Jewish Role in American Life annual series introduces

new scholarship on the long-standing relationship between Jewish-Americans and the worlds of

American popular music.  Edited by scholar and critic Josh Kun, the essays in the volume blend

single-artist investigations with looks at the industry of music making as a whole. They range

 from Jewish sheet music to the risqué musical comedy of Belle Barth and Pearl Williams,

from the role of music in the shaping of Henry Ford's anti-Semitism to Bob Dylan's Jewishness,

from the hybridity of the contemporary "Radical Jewish Culture" scene to the Yiddish

experiments of 1930s African-American artists. Contents: Foreword (Gayle Wald); Introduction

(Josh Kun); "Cohen Owes Me Ninety-Seven Dollars, and other Tales from the Jewish Sheet-

Music Trade" (Jody Rosen); “'Dances Partake of the Racial Characteristics of the People Who

 Dance Them' : Nordicism, Antisemitism, and Henry Ford’s Old Time Music and Dance

Revival" (Peter La Chapelle); “Ovoutie Slanguage is Absolutely Kosher: Yiddish in Scat-

Singing, Jazz Jargon, and Black Music” (Jonathan Z. S. Pollack); "'If I Embarrass You, Tell

Your Friends' : Belle Barth, Pearl Williams, and the Space of the Risque" (Josh Kun); "'Here’s a

foreign song I learned in Utah' : The Anxiety of Jewish Influence in the Music of Bob Dylan"

(David Kaufman); "Jazz Liturgy, Yiddishe Blues, Cantorial Death Metal, and Free Klez: Musical

Hybridity in Radical Jewish Culture" (Jeff Janeczco).