Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Welcome Home!

The Biggest Travel Day of the Year:  For those of us with freshmen in college, this week is what we've been hoping and and paying for.  And paying for.  And pay ...

What?  Oh, yes.  Abq Jew of course meant praying!  It's Thanksgiving week, and your college kid(s) will, God willing, be coming home.  And if you're a freshman parent, this may be the first time you've seen your kid (not counting on Skype) since before the High Holidays.

As one who's been there - twice - Abq Jew encourages you to enjoy this moment.  The worrying you experienced up until right now will never be more intense.  It's all downhill after this.  By winter break it'll be "Who are you?  And why are you in my kitchen, eating all the food in the house?  When do classes start again?".

So, college kid - Shake Hands With Your Uncle Max!  And welcome home!

A history lesson for the youngsters in the audience:  "Shake Hands" was written and first performed by Allan Sherman (1924-1973), of blessed memory.  This song and a dozen other parodies appeared on the album My Son, The Folksinger, issued in October 1962.

That album became the fastest-selling album in recording history, selling 1,500,000 copies.  Sherman capitalized on Jewish suburban humour by turning folk songs such as Harry Belafonte's "Matilda" into "My Zelda", and the folk song "The Streets Of Laredo" into "The Streets Of Miami".  The French standard "Frere Jacques" became "Sarah Jackman" and the USA patriotic number "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" was turned into "The Ballad Of Harry Lewis", the story of a garment salesman.

The formula of the first album was repeated on the subsequent My Son, The Celebrity (1962) and My Son, The Nut (1963).  The third album also produced a number 2 single, "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp)", based on Ponchielli's 1876 composition "Dance Of The Hours".

By 1964 the phenomenal novelty had diminished . . . .

1 comment:

Perri K. Feldman said...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving...from "the hood" Hope it was a GREAT first semester!!!