The trail of our vinyl

By , December 18, 2009 3:49 pm

                                                                                                                                                 Josh Kun__SS500_                                                                                                                                                                                      

I was listening to my local public radio station while I was driving to work the other day. Roger Bennett, co-author of And You Shall Know Us By the Trail of Our Vinyl, was talking with Marco Werman about his attempt to save decades of American Jewish music from obscurity.

We, at the JSA, are very proud of our participation in helping Roger and his co-auther, Josh Kun to find materials that eventually found its way into their wonderful book.

Even though he didn’t mention us by name, we knew who Roger was talking about when he mentioned visiting Boca Raton, Florida, “where old Jewish vinyl goes to die.” When JSA Director, Nathan Tinanoff listened to the interview he told me, “He got that wrong! The JSA isn’t where old Jewish vinyl goes to die.  It is where it goes to be reborn!”

The book is a wonderful compendium of stories, information, photos, and album covers from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.  

Josh Kun, Associate Professor of communication and journalism at USC Annenberg School for Communication and the author of Audiotopia: Music, Race, and   America, which won a 2006 American Book Award, co-authored the book with Roger Bennett who also co-authored Bar Mitzvah Disco

The authors write about how they “encountered the Judaica Sound Archives of Florida Atlantic University, where Nathan Tinanoff and his devoted staff generously opened their collection to us.”  And where they found “thousands of LPs, shelf after shelf filled with dsicarded cardboard and vinyl that we gushed over like scientists marveling at new speciments” (p.17).

Looking through the book is an education and a trip down memory lane. From Steisand to Bagels and Bongos by the Irving Fields Trio, from Molly Pecon to the Four Bursteins, from Neil Sedaka to Theodore Bikel, the names and images pop off the pages.

The following JSA featured performers are highlighted in the book: Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt, Oysher-Michaels Family, Benny Bell , The 4 Bursteins, Gladys Gewirtz, Shimon & Ilana Gewirtz, Gadi Elon.

 A friend of mine who loves the book told me that when she goes on the JSA website it is like the “book comes to life” right on her computer. I can’t think of a nicer compliment.

Chanukah music for the whole family

By , December 9, 2009 10:28 am

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You might think that Adam Sandler has the last word when it comes to Chanuka songs.  But you would be wrong! The Judaica Sound Archives has hundreds of Chanukah songs that your whole family can enjoy. This year’s Chanukah Mix highlights 17 songs by some of our favorite JSA performers.

You might also enjoy these holiday albums:

Chanukah Favorites – Judy Caplan Ginsburgh

Chanukah Festival of Songs – Sidor Belarsky

Chanukah is Freylekh! – Lori Cahan Simon

Chanukah Melodies – Honore Singer

Chanukah Songs For Children – Shimon & ilana Gewirtz

Hanukkah Sing-A-Long

Hanukkah Sing-A-Long II

Hanukkah Sing-A-Long III

Hanukkah The Feast of Lights – Emanuel Rosenberg

Happy Channukah! – Fran Avni

Isaac Goodfriend Sings Hanukka Songs – Isaac Goodfriend

Kinder Songs – Holiday Songs for the Entire Family – Deborah Katchko-Gray

Latkes and Hamentashen – Fran Avni

Make a Chanukah Miracle – Cantor Benjamin Maissner

Mother Goose Rhymes for Chanukah – Honore Singer

The Chanukah Collection – Safam

The Chanukah Party – Fred Vogel (Narration), Jesse Silverstein (Songs)

JSA finds more hidden treasures in Cleveland

By , December 2, 2009 5:01 pm
Ben Roth-Aroni looking for treasures in a hidden closet

Ben Roth-Aroni looking for treasures in a hidden closet

After his visit to Cleveland in October 2009 to look at the additional recordings that Jack Saul’s family had discovered in the furniture store and in a “hidden closet” in the family’s home, Nathan Tinanoff, director of the JSA at FAU Libraries,  said, “I could see right away that this was going to be a big job.” Last week he returned with Ben Roth and Alethea Perez, two JSA employees who offered to help pack the rest of the phonograph recordings that were earmarked for Florida Atlantic University Libraries in Boca Raton, FL.

Although the JSA team had packed about 30,000 recordings in September 2009, there was still a lot to do. The JSA team made a plan of attack.

Day 1: Explore the “hidden closet” in the house and determine which recordings would be shipped to FAU Libraries. Complete the packing of recordings in the house which had been identified but not packed during the previous visit.

Day 2: Explore the previously undiscovered basement of the furniture store to identify recordings for shipment to FAU. Pack as many of the recordings as possible.

Day 3: Pack as many recordings as possible.

The team was excited by what they found. Recording treasures and vintage 78 rpm recordings had been tucked away into every nook and cranny. Jack Saul’s enormous collection which had become disorganized and cluttered throughout his home and place of business were in the process of becoming a valuable research tool for teachers, students and scholars.

Ben Roth in front of store with folded boxes

Ben Roth in front of store with folded boxes

FAU Libraries has already unpacked almost all of the recordings from the first shipment of 30,000 recordings. Although the vast majority of these recordings turned out to be duplicates, many of these were in far better condition than what the JSA already had. About 575 vintage 78-rpm recordings and 400 LPs have been added to the JSA database so far.
Alethea Perez packing recordings previously identified in the Saul's house.

Alethea Perez packing recordings previously identified in the Saul’s house.

Alethea Perez packing phonograph records in store.

Alethea Perez packing phonograph records in store.

Ben Roth sealing boxes filled with recordings.

Ben Roth sealing boxes filled with recordings.

Nathan Tinanoff making boxes in furniture store.

Nathan Tinanoff making boxes in furniture store.

……

Alethea Perez & Nathan Tinanoff take a well-deserved work break as they pose in front of some of the boxes they packed.

Alethea Perez & Nathan Tinanoff take a well-deserved work break as they pose in front of some of the boxes they packed.

“This second shipment of recordings from Cleveland will be almost twice as large as the first. We did a great job of packing recordings. Our backs hurt. Our fingers are bleeding. But are hearts are happy,” said Tinanoff.

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