Saturday, November 17, 2012

Social Media Feeding Frenzy

I'm trying to keep up with social media but I feel like when I was a kid playing with my chemistry set and mixing solutions until something blew up.

My author page at Goodreads is here, and if all goes well this post will be funneled to my blog there via rss feed, then forwarded to the Pentagon for review before it zings back to me along with a pepperoni pizza.

And to go really self-referential meta on you, here's a screen shot of my Goodreads page just before I save this page.

Now my Amazon author page is here, and it looks like this,

Amazon warns it might take up to 24 hours for this post to show up there, during which time I imagine Jeff Bezos scans it for tell-tale signs of my consumer habits reading habits eating habits digestion and evacuation driving habits grooming failures and psychic tremors.

I'm going to hit save. Take cover.

Where I'll Be When I'm There

Book Tour!

Doesn't have the same ring to it as when John Belushi in Animal House screams, "Food fight!" but such are the more sober satisfactions of middle-age.

My first bookings are a ways off yet, but here's the latest.

May 19, 2013 - Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles

May 23 - San Francisco's Jewish Community Library

May 30 - June 1 - Book Expo in New York. Not a public book reading. At this industry event Brandies University Press will showcase Overweight Sensation as one of its featured titles. Pretty neat.

June 2-4 - Jewish Book Council Conference, New York. Wonderful opportunity to present my book to representatives of the more than 100 Jewish book festivals that take place across the country each year.

More as more is available.

Friday, November 9, 2012

How To Be Charming While Avoiding Marriage (Lost Lyrics Friday, vol. 6)

Allan Sherman learned how to do it, and so can you.

He learned out of necessity. It's hard to believe, but in college Sherman was a catch.

"He wasn't physically attractive," explained a college girlfriend (and a 1943 hottie), "but I thought he was very, very bright and clever."

Part of the magic was Sherman's trick of wooing while pretending to be cagey about the custom of "pinning," which until the very early 1960s was a college custom that often led to marriage. (The custom involved a woman wearing her boyfriend's fraternity pin.)

Here's some of Sherman's "Don't Take My Pin" (to the tune of "Don't Fence Me In")

If I should drink and you should think that I'm thinking of romance
Don't take my pin
Although you're swell, what the hell, give the other girls a chance
Don't take my pin.

I know I'm the guy and there is no other, 
I know you'd like to take me home to mother
But can't you get a pin from my fraternity brother?
Don't take my pin.

To Trace the Roots of Obama's Presidency, You Can Start Here

This letter from the Kennedy White House to Allan Sherman is part of Obama's story. 

(Courtesy of Robert Sherman)

When the first Catholic president was happy to admit enjoying Sherman's Jewish comedy it was a very small but important step toward today's multicultural Democratic party.

What Republican president or candidate can you imagine enjoying Allan Sherman?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Off With Their Heads!

Tomorrow night while watching your guy win or lose, whoop it up or vent with the world's greatest negative campaign song.

Play Sherman's "You Went the Wrong Way Old King Louie" and sing along.

It works no matter who you're against.

(Uploaded by gmcmd)

The Video That Proves Presidential Campaigns of the Past Were Even Worse

Hate today's politics?

Nostalgic for a simpler time?

We've got the cure right here.

Hey, I'm an Allan Sherman fan. I wrote his biography. But nobody today could stand this kind of sentimental political song from a 1964 fundraiser for President Lyndon B. Johnson.

It is unbearable.

Click here for the antidote.

Don't Be a Noodge. This Is The Source For All of Allan Sherman's Song Lyrics

If you want to quibble, you can argue that in "Shake Hands With Your Uncle Max" the name Tidelbaum is obviously wrong.

It should be Teitelbaum.

But other than that and other corrections that only an impossible noodge would make, this Allan Sherman page lets you click the names of his eight original Warner Bros. albums and find the lyrics to every song.

Compiled by Jeff Morris and his friends, the site is insanely comprehensive, including images of both sides of the label of the never released recording of Sherman's short-lived 1969 Broadway musical, The Fig Leaves Are Falling.

Also, there's the cover of the promotional album Sherman recorded for the Scott Paper Company.

Nobody else has this stuff.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Allan Sherman Lost Lyrics Friday, vol. 5

"It was laugh, laugh at the Stunt show last night with Al Copelon '45."

That was the lead in the University of Illinois' Daily Illini paper on October 11, 1942. Sherman, then known for a brief time as Copelon (don't ask), had the night before performed what appears to be his first full-length song parody.

To the tune of "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey" he sang "Don't Burn Down Bidwell's," a parody about the student watering hole and make-out spot.

Burn down that Union Building,
Burn Lincoln Hall,
But, please, boys, don’t burn down Bidwell’s!
Burn down the football stadium
Huff Gym as well,
But, please, boys, don’t burn down Bidwell’s!
We know you love this campus, we think it’s swell,
You can burn it till it flames like hell!
But if that backroom’s found in flames,
We’re gonna call you dirty names,
So don’t burn Bidwell’s down!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Allan Sherman and the Seinfeld Gang

I know, I know -- everyone wants to grab a little of the Seinfeld show glow and bend it in their direction.

But with Allan Sherman, the glow turns in his direction naturally.

First, Seinfeld star Jason Alexander offered a terrific blurb for my book praising Allan Sherman as a "brilliant wit, satirist beyond compare."

Thank you again Jason Alexander.

Then there was Jerry Seinfeld and friend Joel Hodgson talking here about Sherman on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Now we have a trifecta with this video of Larry David singing Sherman's "Shake Hands With Your Uncle Max" with the Boston Pops on August 7, 2011. (The video was filmed by one Marilyn Rowland.)

And here is Sherman singing the same song, which appeared on his first album, My Son, The Folk Singer.

Anything out there confirming either Michael Richards (Kramer) or Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine) as fans?