External Links
Iain Kerr's
Home Page

The Tailors of Poznance (1967)

William GoldbergRoy Cowen
Arthur SolomonIain Kerr
Mrs LevyShirley Frome
Mrs ConwayLotti Lewin
Shmule, the SatchanAlister Williams
Mrs Ruth MindelMiriam Karlin
Mervyn MindelMatt Zimmerman
Morry KingRoy Cowen
Sheila ShalomToni Raingold
HymanMike Redway
Sir Oliver ShalomIain Kerr

Book and lyrics by Roy Cowen
Sullivan's music adapted and arranged by Ian Kerr

Eyemark EMPL 1005
Eyemark EMPL 1005
MP3 Album Cover
MP3 Album Cover

This album is captioned "The Best of Goldberg and Solomon No. 2," implying there was an earlier record in the series, which I am told was The Chandeliers, although it seems to be an extreme rarity. There is a later record, Gilbert and Sullivan Go Kosher (1970), which includes excerpts from both of these operas, and others.

This record is not in my collection, but Chris Webster provided the following review:

This was released by Eyemark Records (which I assume to be a small British company—I have never heard of anything else on this label). To quote the first paragraph of the sleeve notes:

"The Goldberg and Solomon Opera Company was recently formed by Roy Cowen and Iain Kerr on the assumption that Gilbert and Sullivan, had they been Jewish, would have written their famous Operettas along slightly different lines! As this series of records progresses the listener will be convinced that Goldberg and Solomon (alias Cowen and Kerr) are not imitators, but exponents, of the art that made Gilbert and Sullivan such illustrious figures.

I listened to this LP today and, perhaps because I am not Jewish, found that most of the humour (as well as the dialogue, because of the accents and use of words I don't understand) went over my head. Basically, there is some sort of family marital plot that uses Pirates as its base and follows the opera with adapted words to a selection of its songs. The biographies of the main artistes mention Australia and New Zealand wherever possible, which may add something to its background.

Dan Kravetz wrote:

"Goldberg and Solomon" was a duet act with piano accompaniment, in which Cowen and Kerr portrayed the imaginary Jewish comic opera creative team. They would tell the audience about the operas they had supposedly written, singing musical numbers from them in voices that presumably imitated how the characters in the operas were supposed to sound. Tailors and Chandeliers were two examples of the team's alleged output, but there may have been parodies of other operas in similar vein as the act continued to be performed. The above LP documents a typical live performance by the act, which seems to owe quite a bit to Flanders and Swann, as well as Hinge and Brackett. At least one of the two men [Cowan —ed.] passed away many years ago, ending the act.

At some point, after the act had been a confirmed success, Cowan and Kerr recorded an expanded version of Tailors with several male and female performers joining them in the cast [i.e., the above captioned recording]. The recording purports to witness an actual stage performance of Tailors, but I believe that this was a gimmick carried out in the recording studio, and that there was never really a staged version of this or any other "Goldberg and Solomon" work. I have heard that this expanded Tailors was actually recorded before the other LP but, because it was released later, it was labelled the second Goldberg & Solomon album. These LP's are all that remain of the act, and both are quite amusing, though I find Tailors funnier in the shorter, two-man version than in the expanded version.

The selections are as follows:

Act OneAct Two
Overture and "Celebration"
"When Mervyn Was A Little Chap"
"I Am A Morry King"
"I Must Tell You, My Dear Morry"
"Just Take A Look What We Have Found"
"Sheila Sholom Song"
"Oliver Sholom Psalm"
It's A Pleasure To Be Meeting You"
"If You're Looking For A Man"
"She's Orthodox"
"A Shatchan's Lot"

Chris Webster says the record comes with a small booklet entitled "Goldberg's Guide to the Lyrics and (you should excuse me) Glossary." It gives all the song lyrics, but not the dialogue, and also explains the meanings of the Jewish words.

Issue History
1967 Eyemark Records LP EMPL 1005
2007 Kerr/Cowen MP3 Download [no number]