The High Holidays are approaching and you don't have the 200 bucks to shell out to your local shul for peanut-gallery seats with the junior rebbe. Don't despair. On Yom Kippur, you can atone for your sins and honor your dearly departed in the comfort of your own home by putting on the turntable a recording of "Kol Nidre," sweetly sung by none other than Johnny Mathis. Yup, Mathis recorded the Aramaic prayer as a seven-inch single in 1959, backed by Percy Faith, no less. Word has it that as a youngster in San Francisco, Mathis would sneak into synagogues to listen to cantorial music. If you don't have the single, his recording will be re-released this week on Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations, a 15-track compilation featuring Mathis, Billie Holiday, Eartha Kitt, Jimmy Scott, Lena Horne and Nina Simone. Tonight, the 75-year-old will be presented with the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation award as part of the Jews on Vinyl revue, featuring Hedva Amrani, Fred Katz and Sol Zim. What a mensch. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A; Thurs., Aug. 19, 8 p.m.; free. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org.
Thu., Aug. 19, 8 p.m., 2010