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Papa, Play for Me
The Autobiography of Mickey Katz
Mickey Katz; Joel Grey, fwd.; Josh Kun, intro.




Wesleyan
2002 • 288 pp. 25 illus. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Biography - Musicians & Composers / Music / Jewish Studies

$22.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6433-7

No sales outside US & Canada


The heartwarming autobiography of a vintage Jewish comedian, with a new introduction highlighting his relevance to contemporary culture and cultural studies.

Mickey Katz (1909 - 1985), a Jewish comedian and musician, is best known for his parodies -- "Theme from Moulin Rouge (Where is My Heart)" became "Where is My Pants?", "(How Much is that) Doggie in the Window" became "Pickle in the Window" -- incorporating Yiddish words and accents. His very first English-Yiddish recording, "Haim afen Range," was an instant hit and he went on to record ninety singles and ten albums for RCA and Capitol. Father of performer Joel Grey and grandfather of actress Jennifer Grey, Mickey Katz's irreverent blend of Jewish story-telling, vaudeville routines, African-American jazz, Jewish klezmer and popular dance band music have had a lasting impact on American culture. In this rollicking autobiography, first published in 1977 and reissued here with a new introduction, the King of the Borscht Capades talks frankly about politics, music, family, identity and show business.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

"The warm and witty story of a man who has long been a part of Jewish American entertainment. I liked it lox, stock and bagel." —George Burns

"In Kun's hands, the story of Mickey Katz and America's reaction to him sheds light on a number of intriguing issues that are at the center of scholarly debate today: issues about identity and ethnicity, about the role of the popular artist in society, about the functions (and limits) of satire. Josh Kun's introductory essay is outstanding."Shelley Fisher Fiskin, Department of American Studies, University of Texas at Austin



Joel Grey, acclaimed actor, singer, and dancer, is Mickey Katz's son. He performed small parts in revues and television until he landed his signature role as the sinister but mesmerizing Emcee in the Broadway musical Cabaret (1966), which earned him a Tony Award. He also won an Academy Award for his reprisal of the character in the 1972 film version of Cabaret and has remained a beloved figure of the American stage and screen.

Josh Kun is a writer whose articles in the San Francisco Guardian, Boston Phoenix, LA Weekly, Spin, and elsewhere are at the forefront of contemporary music journalism. He is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California at Riverside.



Sun, 19 Mar 2017 18:58:28 -0500