The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The 12 Discs of Christmas 2008 #8


Ray Middleton-Chanukah
(from Ten Jewish Holidays, Candle Records CAN-112; 1957)


Hanukkah begins at sundown tonight, so I thought it would be appropriate to include something to mark the occasion, and since I don't have much in the way of Jewish holiday music--beyond Holidays, a duet between Mickey Katz and his song Joel Grey that includes all of the high holy days--I found this tune among the seasonal goodies posted at Ernie (Not Bert).

Ray Middleton may not be a household name (or even a Jewish one), but the late New York actor has a few claims to fame, including appearing in the initial Broadway run of Annie Get Your Gun with Ethel Merman and as the first actor to portray Superman in public, at the 1940 World's Fair.

And since Superman is the brainchild of Jewish comic creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, whose origin bears some resemblance to the birth of a certain Nazareth Ć¼bermensch, somehow this brings everything full circle.

1 comment :

R.H. said...

I'll tell you the truth, when I see that costume my whole childhood comes back. I'm there.