Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blago's Borscht Capades Channels Mickey Katz - Oy Vey!

"Men who eat salami come on and Join the Yiddish army,/ Fight! Fight! Fight for Palestine!/
If you like your bread and gravy Come and join the Jewish navy/ Fight fight fight for Palestine./
Come on you sons of bitches Put on those Purple britches/ Fight Fight for Palestine." Mickey Katz*

"I will fight, I will fight, till I take my very last breath. I have done nothing wrong.” - R. Blagojevich 12/19/2008

I heard Governor Sunshine sing his battle cry and thought that he was channeling the great Yiddish Parodist Mickey Katz! My late pal and boyhood chum, Danny Levi sang this song at a Little Flower Picnic. Danny's family was Jewish in a neighborhood surrounded by Goyisher Cossocks from Ireland.

Danny Levi bought a saloon ( photo above) on 111th Street that was mainstay of Little Flower, St. Sabina, St. Killian, Visitation, St. Tommy More, St. Ethelreda and St. Margaret of Scotland children of the Diaspora - The Irish Temple! Danny's logo was a Star of David encompassing a Shamrock. Danny knew more Clancy Brother and traditional Irish ballads than Terry McEldowney and he also knew the great Yiddish works of Klezmer artists and Borscht Belt singers like Mickey Katz.

Mickey Katz knocked the schmaltz out of faux sentiment when he was with Spike Jones and his City Slickers.

Governor (extant) Rod Blagojevich is taking another great leap over the political shark and using faux sentiment that works so well for elected officials caught in the act of grabbing a baby's Laffy Taffy or knocking another man's wing-tips from under a John Stall:

In his first statement since he was arrested on federal charges of conspiracy and soliciting bribes, Mr. Blagojevich was alternately emotional and combative, his voice breaking as he told reporters that he would be vindicated, and asked Illinois residents to withhold their judgment.

“I intend to stay on the job and I will fight this thing every step of the way,” he said in an appearance at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. “I will fight, I will fight, I will fight, till I take my very last breath. I have done nothing wrong.”

Blago lawyered up with the Illinois Criminal Law A Team; Fitzy must play Beat the Clock with an indictment; President Elect Obama ain't saying nothing; Rahmbo's loins are on the Weber; the Illinois Legislature is posturing; the Media is as genuinely curious about 'the Truth' as a sixteen year old boy is about Quantum Mechanics - Mickey Katz! America needs You!

CLICK my Post Title for Mickey Katz's rendition of Davy Crockett!

Mickey Katz (June 15, 1909 Born: Cleveland, Ohio - April 30, 1985) was a U.S. Jewish comedian and musician who received his first moments of fame in the 1940s as a member of Spike Jones and His City Slickers where he was most famous for his "glugging" vocal sound effects on tunes like "Cocktails for Two" and others. He later went on to perform his own parodic musical review and record highly popular "ethnic" comedy albums on the Capitol label where he would perform English-Yiddish parody songs. He was also recognized as a master of what would later be called Klezmer style clarinet and had several hits during his long career. Though Katz sang primarily in broken Yiddish, he is often as recognized as one of the godfathers of American song parody which would later be advanced by the likes of Allan Sherman and, in the 1980s, Weird Al Yankovic.

Katz and his group can be seen in the movie Thoroughly Modern Millie accompanying Julie Andrews as she sings a Yiddish song at a Jewish wedding.

Katz is the father of Broadway legend Joel Grey and a grandfather of the actress Jennifer Grey. In the early 1980s he told the story of his life in a biography called Papa Play for Me.

A number of famous Jewish musicians, including those with their own bands have recorded with him including Manny Klein, Ziggy Elman and Si Zentner.

Jazz musician Don Byron recorded a tribute to Mickey Katz in 1993 entitled Don Byron Plays The Music of Mickey Katz.

The 2003 British movie Wondrous Oblivion featured Katz' "The Barber of Schlemiel" (a parody of The Barber of Seville in a scene where the Jewish main character played the record for his Jamaican neighbor. No soundtrack has been released for the film as yet.


Bill Baar said...

He still own it?

pathickey said...


Danny passed away two years ago - the bar is now called Hippo's.

BillyFish said...

Do yourself a favor Hickey!

Flogging Molly
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Congress Theater
2135 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Doors: 5:00 PM
Age: All Ages

Anonymous said...

Maybe Rod can sing "Man behind the wire" and follow up with Hava Nagila.

Rod is what you call a Meshugginah

pathickey said...

Jefe, Tu es Un Hombre Simpatico y Sincero!

Rod has, is and will always be one of the stranger Dudes to come down the pike - interesting to listen to some of his warmest partisans in years past getting all uffish on the Eedjit - as my Old Gran Pappy the Kerry Bogman would say. 'A Sparklin' Eedjit and a Shower of Bastards in Himself, so he is!'