Found: Kol B’Seder

November 2nd, 2009 | admin | No Comments | Categories: Blog

  • Toward the end of our album cover history of Jews in America, And You Shall Know Us By the Trail of Our Vinyl, we included a terrific, autographed find from the early 80s by the cantorial duo Kol B’Seder, who looked like they took a break from desk jobs at IBM to shoot their cover photo. We knew little about them, but were thrilled and honored to have been recently contacted by the Darryl Hall of the duo, cantor Jeff Klepper.

    “When your book came out last year I was buying Chanukah gifts at Barnes and Noble, saw the display, sat down and spent maybe 15 minutes flipping page by page,” Klepper wrote to us. “I wasn’t looking for me/us, I was looking for the two biggies who came before us, Debbie Friedman and Safam, and I was starting to wonder if anyone from my corner of the Jewish world would be featured, until I got to p. 221. The feeling of that moment was incredible and unforgettable. Not birth-of-a-child unforgettable, but pretty close.”

    Turns out Klepper is a fan of Mickey Katz and Allan Sherman, he heard Gershon Kingsley’s moog-rock Shabbat service at NFTY camp, and caught Cantor Smolover and the Levites perform Edge of Freedom at a synagogue in 1969, a show Klepper says helped influence him to become a cantor.

    Klepper’s father Larry was a magician who performed “Jewish magic shows” at shuls and JCCs around the country and was managed by the Jewish Center Lecture Bureau, a Jewish CAA that handled the careers of Theodore Bikel, Shlomo Carlebach, and others. Klepper sent along these pics of his late father and this amazing signed headshot of the great Shari Lewis, whose father Abraham Hurwitz was a founding member of NYC’s Yeshiva University and a mentor of Larry Klepper’s. Who knew the history of cantorial music would eventually lead back to a famous talking sock.

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