Much has been made of the Jewish affinity for blackface minstrelsy, but what about Jews who wore “Jewface”? Music historian Jody Rosen explores Jewish dialect songs and novelty hits performed by vaudeville's “Hebrew comedians.” Why did Jewish audiences thrill to songs that seemed to slander them? What hidden history links Over the Rainbow and God Bless America to Yonkle, the Cowboy Jew and When Mose with His Nose Leads the Band? Jody Rosen is the music critic for Slate, the author of White Christmas: The Story of an American Song, and the producer of the CD Jewface.
Recorded Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at The Society for the Preservation of Art & Culture in Evanston.