Roger Bennett and Josh Kun are the masterminds behind the amazing Jews on Vinyl project, where they have digged deep to retell "the history of Jewish recorded music from the 1940s to the 1980s, weaving an account that begins with sacred songs and ends with the triumvirate of Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, and Barry Manilow."
Bennett and Kun are members of a larger collective/team called The Idelsohn Society for
Musical Preservation. Their projects include a blog, a neat book full of pictures and wonderful trivia (And You Shall Know Us By The Trail of Our Vinyl), and a traveling museum exhibit which is coming to LA's Skirball Cultural Center on May 12 and will be there until September 5:
Set in a retro 1950s-style living room equipped with listening stations, the exhibition features a soundtrack of LP highlights--much of it no longer available in any format--providing an unprecedented opportunity to experience lost moments in American Jewish pop history and new perspectives on Jewish identity. Complementing the music will be an abundance of often kitschy and surprising album art to discover and enjoy!
Next Tuesday, May 11th, at 8 pm Jews on Vinyl co-curator Josh Kun and President of MySpace Music Courtney Holt will present "a one-of-a-kind slideshow of LP covers, plus rare musical clips. In this multimedia presentation, Kun and Holt will speak about the nationwide quest to rescue record albums from oblivion, all in an attempt to restore missing legacies to our contemporary view of Jewish America." The exhibit will be free and open to lecture attendees form 6 to 8..
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To celebrate this exhibit and the talk, Kun and Bennett will be guest-blogging for West Coast Sound, sharing covers and stories from their great archive of greatest moments (and some strangest moments) of the Great Jewish LP era.
(Bonus appeal: if you're a thrifstore crate-digger, many of these covers will be very familiar to you. Kun and Bennett know the inside story about them.)
Now, wanna hear some Incredibly Strange Barbra?: