Songs For The Jewish-American Jet Set
“Songs For The Jewish-American Jet Set: The Tikva Records Story 1950-1973″ is a new compilation celebrating the indie Jewish record label that raged in the latter half of the last century. Tikva had an eclectic roster, cranking out everything from Israeli folk and klezmer to cantorial singing, Catskills comedy, political spoken word, and 60s rock from the Jewish diaspora. And then, it all suddenly ended. Not willing to let this rich bit of music and Jewish history vanish into the lost record crates of history, my pal David Katznelson and his co-conspirators at the non-profit Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation curated this collection of the best of Tikva. We’ve posted about Idelsohn Society before — they’re the ones who reissued such amazing classics as Irving Fields Trio’s “Bagels and Bongos” and The Barry Sisters’ “Our Way,” and compilations like the Jewish minstrel collection “Jewface” and Gershon Kingsley’s “God Is A Moog.”
To celebrate the release of “Songs For The Jewish-American Jet Set: The Tikva Records Story 1950-1973,” the Idelsohn Society is opening a pop-up Jewish record store and community space in San Francisco’s Mission District. The fun starts on December 1 and goes for one month only. Boing Boing is thrilled to be the media sponsor for the shop, called The Tikva Store. There’s a slew of special concerts, listening sessions, and other programs on the schedule, featuring the likes of Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, a tribute to the Burton Sisters, Old Jews Telling Jokes, members of Dengue Fever, Fool’s Gold, Rebecca Bortman of My First Earthquake, Jeremiah Lockwood of the Sway Machinery, Ethan Miller, Luther Dickinson, Zach Rogue, and Dan Lebowitz. David Katznelson and I are planning a special Boing Boing event for the shop too, and we’ll keep you posted as the plans unfold.
Meanwhile, check out the Tikva Store schedule and please enjoy this free track from Songs For The Jewish-American Jet Set, The Sabras’ “Ho Yaldonet” (1967). You can download the MP3 from archive.org here.
More on the song:
By far the most coveted cult album from the Tikva catalog is 1967’s Jerusalem of Gold, the only release from Hebrew reverb specialists The Sabras. Though they formed in New York City with one American and three Israeli members, the band took their name from the tough Israeli prickly pear cactus that had become the familiar Zionist handle for Jews born on Israeli soil. The cover makes the quartet look like a Vegas novelty act (wide-collared, chest-hair-bearing gold lame shirts, an Ottoman handlebar moustache, electric guitar poses, a dumbek over the knee), but what’s inside is a bit more serious: twelve slices of fuzzed out diaspora garage rock. They are at their tightest on the lean and mean “Ho Yaldonet” (“O Little Girl”), a stomper that should certainly earn them a spot on the Israeli version of Nuggets.
The Sabras’ “Ho Yaldonet” (Archive.org)