Red, White & Jew!


SYNOPSIS: Daring, daunting, and almost sure to get your Uncle LD in even more of this stuff, this week’s adventure in good listening features Slate magazine’s very own music critic Uncle Jody holding forth about a type of music most people have forgotten—if they ever knew it existed—and that nearly everyone else wishes would just go away.

But not us. We babble insanely about Uncle Jody’s JEWFACE, a lusciously curated new disc of archival recordings of blackface’s kissing cousin, out now on Reboot Stereophonic. This is a perfectly hideous, non-PC and often hysterically funny homegrown (in New York’s humble Lower East Side) vaudeville of ethnic caricatures strutting their stuff and lovin’ it, circa 1900. Got it? America the beautiful, dearie. G-d bless it. Home of free speech and kugel. When Abie starts to play, we suspect you’ll lose it. Listen in as we cue up the Victrola and chew the fat about Izzy Baline, Rhoda Bernard and the world’s oldest Jewish joke—no, not the one about the mohel and the magic coin purse…

Hey, and what’s the Yiddish word for “uncle” anyhow?

See also: Uncle Michaelangelo Matos’ feature about Jewface here.

NEXT WEEK: Small Wonder!


HB17 Playlist

“I’m a Yiddish Cowboy” (excerpt), sung by Edward Meeker

“Cohen Owes Me 97 Dollars,” sung by Rhoda Bernard

“Pittsburgh, PA,” sung by Monroe Silver

“Marry a Yiddisher Boy,” sung by Premier Quartet

“That’s Yiddish Love,” sung by Edward Meeker

“Under the Matzos Tree,” sung by Ada Jones

“When Mose with His Nose Leads the Band,” sung by Collins & Harlan

Bonus Beats:

“Under the Matzos Tree,” MoWo’s Afikomen remix (2006)