August 24, 2004 Author Jack Gottlieb to Discuss His Book "Funny, It Doesn't Sound Jewish," on Sept. 20

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: (202) 707-5394

Jack Gottlieb will discuss his book "Funny, It Doesn't Sound Jewish: How Yiddish Songs and Synagogue Melodies Influenced Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood," at the Library of Congress at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 20, in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, which is sponsored jointly by the Library's Music Division, Publishing Office and Center for the Book, is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

"Drawing on the Library's rich collections of musical scores, sound recordings and Hebraica, this publication reveals how the American Jewish community - robust in achievement far beyond its modest size - has influenced American musical traditions," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

"Funny, It Doesn't Sound Jewish," a co-publication of the Library of Congress and the State University of New York Press, is being published in the SUNY series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture. The book is the product of a lifetime of research into the influence of Jewish music on popular culture, underscored in Gottlieb's public performances, including "From Shtetl to Stage Door," and "Sing Along, the Jewish Influence on Tin Pan Alley."

A resident of New York City, Gottlieb is a noted scholar of Jewish music and a prolific composer of works for orchestra, chorus, theater, opera, piano, organ and chamber ensembles. His music is published by Theophilous Music Inc. and distributed by Boosey & Hawkes Inc. He has also composed a substantive body of sacred music, distributed by Transcontinental Publications. His compositions have been performed by Seiji Ozawa and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony and the Vienna Philharmonic, Jennie Tourel, the Gregg Smith Singers, Felicia Montealegre and Leonard Bernstein, among others.

A former president of the American Society for Jewish Music and winner of the Ahad Ha'am Award from the Center for Jewish Creativity and Culture, Gottlieb is well-known as a lecturer, reviewer and annotator. He served as Leonard Bernstein's assistant at the New York Philharmonic from 1958 to 1966 and is currently a consultant for the Leonard Bernstein estate and editor of the Leonard Bernstein newsletter. His numerous writing on Bernstein have appeared in many publications.

"Funny, It Doesn't Sound Jewish" - a 306-page hardcover book with illustrations, musical scores and a CD-ROM containing 50 songs - is available for $40 in bookstores nationwide and through the Library's Sales Shop, Washington, DC 20540-4985. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557. Online orders can be placed at


PR 04-156
ISSN 0731-3527