Eddie: When you're making out, who do you prefer? Sinatra or Mathis?
Boogie: I like Presley
-- Diner, Barry Levinson, 1982
The Jewish Day of Atonement -- Yom Kippur -- has always been one of our favorite holidays and not just because we have more to repent for than the average gent. Our unfettered delight comes from our ownership of this seven inch masterpiece by "Mr. When A Child Is Born" Johnny Mathis himself, who recorded the Kol Nidre melody —the nullification of personal promises that cannot be fulfilled—on his 1958 LP, Good Night, Dear Lord. On the album itself, Mathis' versions of Eli Eli and Where Can I Go? nestled alongside renditions of Ave Maria and Sweet Rosary but even more staggering than the tracks cropping up on an album sung by the universally acclaimed King of Romance, is that Mathis devoted the time to mastering Aramaic, Hebrew and Yiddish so he could record them fluently. Savor the track and appreciate the awe of the liturgical melody and Mathis' velvet virtuosity. And if you find it sub-consciously putting you in the mood for romance as opposed to reverential atonement, click here and calm yourself down.
We wish all of readers happiness and health for the year ahead. In the Hebrew calendar this is 5769... the end of the Sixties era... so rock on.