Funny, It Doesn’t Sound Jewish

August 21st, 2005 | admin | No Comments | Categories: Blog, God Is a Moog, Press

  • In 1973, Gershon Kingsley was invited to perform at a convention of cantors at Grossinger’s, the Catskills retreat for midcentury Jews of a certain station. Mr. Kingsley, a pioneer of the Moog synthesizer, listened as the cantors lamented the increasing commercialization of Jewish music and the creeping influence of rock ‘n’ roll. And then, with some trepidation, he took the stage to perform some of his radical religious Moog compositions. ”It was a huge success,” Mr. Kingsley, now 82, recalled with a laugh. ”The same people who had been complaining came up to me and said that they thought it worked beautifully.”

    A new label called Reboot Stereophonic has compiled a collection of Mr. Kingsley’s work for release this November. So the other day, Roger Bennett and Jules Shell, two of the label’s principals, stopped by his apartment-studio in the West 50’s to show him the liner notes and see what he thought. Wearing a T-shirt inscribed with the word ”Mensch,” he read the admiring description of himself and singled out one word. ”I’m a heretic,” he said, beaming with amusement. ”It sounds good. It sounds powerful.”

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