The first record by a classical artist to sell 1 million copies was ‘Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,’ sung by a Romanian Jewish soprano who knew bupkis about Virginia.
This is a clip from an early concert of Lahakat Kaveret, often known as the Poogy Band. There are four songs here: “Hamakolet”, “Magafayim shel Baruch”, “Goliath” and “Natati Lah Hayai”. It’s fabulous viewing if a) this was ever your thing and/or b) your Hebrew is good. But wait: There’s an eerie aspect, as I’ll note below.
On February 7, at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage, a new publication from New York University Press, “Is Diss A System? A Milt Gross Comic Reader” edited by Ari Y. Kelman, will be presented. Gross (born in 1895) of Russian Jewish ancestry, drew comic strips of wild slapstick energy, following in the violence-for-laughs tradition of “The Katzenjammer Kids.” A self-consciously low comedian, Gross drew racist images of black people and was not all that flattering about Jews either.