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May All Your Hanukkahs Be White
New York Times ^ | JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.

Posted on 11/22/2012 9:59:40 PM PST by nickcarraway

At first glance “ ’Twas the Night Before Hanukkah” looks like a novelty album. On the cover two smiling women in 1950s garb exchange presents by a fir tree topped with a Star of David while a demure girl lights a menorah. It seems to promise a kitschy collection of comic tunes along the lines of Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song.”

But the people behind this double album — four Jewish record collectors who form the nonprofit Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation — say they are deadly serious about the subject. They have compiled an eclectic set of songs that not only highlight the history of Hanukkah in the United States but also explore the influence of Jewish songwriters and singers on America’s Christmas canon.

“For us it’s the one Christmas album you can listen to without having to atone at Yom Kippur for playing it,” Roger Bennett, one of the producers, said.

The set, released on Tuesday, is full of cross-cultural curiosities: the gentile folk singer Woody Guthrie singing “Hanukkah Dance” and the tenor Richard Tucker (who was also a cantor) belting out “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

It started out as a project to tell the story of Hanukkah’s rise in the United States from a minor holiday in the 1870s to a Jewish counterweight to Christmas in the postwar years, what Mr. Bennett calls “a holiday on steroids.” But as the society members dug through old recordings, they began to think the albums should also address Christmas music by Jews.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Music/Entertainment; Religion
KEYWORDS: chanukah

1 posted on 11/22/2012 9:59:47 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

It’s about time! Maybe the album will even get a bit of air play before the secularists shut it down.


2 posted on 11/23/2012 4:07:22 AM PST by QBFimi (When gunpowder speaks, beasts listen.)
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To: nickcarraway

That’s one thing I have to say for Barbra Streisand: where Barry Mannilow settles for Winter Wonderland, Barbra goes for Silent Night and Ave Maria on her album!


3 posted on 11/23/2012 5:56:32 AM PST by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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