Saturday, January 19, 2008
"The most offensive album ever made!"
Well, don't know about that, but "Jewface", a various-artists collection of vintage recordings, certainly is one Jewish stereotype after another, many seemingly perpetrated by Jewish performers themselves. These antiques, some dating back to 1905, were part of the ethnic stereotype humor that was wildly popular in the early days of recording. Apart from blackface minstrel shows (hence the album title) there was German, Irish, Italian, you-name-it, all performed with exaggerated accents and broad humor.
Some of these songs, like "When Mose With His Nose Leads The Band," are funny, but not in the way it's creator's intended - it's because they're just so awful! It's hard to believe this was mainstream American entertainment and that times have changed so much. But I don't think too many people will really be offended - it's all so good-natured and innocent, and we can't really judge the past by today's standards. And besides, this is such a fun tune:
Edward Meeker: "I'm A Yiddish Cowboy"
Speaking of offensive, here's an upbeat Ku Klux Klan march that makes the Klan seem like a wholesome patriotic organization mainly concerned with fighting Communism. Race isn't even mentioned! What a fine upstanding group of young men...
Johnny Rebel: "Stand Up and Be Counted"
Thanks to Spacebrother Greg for the Rebel yell (I don't even want to know where you got it!)