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Albums

£7.19

Musical Theatre - Released December 9, 2017 | Curtain Call Hits

£7.19

Humour/Spoken Word - Released July 27, 2017 | Curtain Call Hits

£13.99

Humour - Released February 8, 2005 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Allan Sherman's career had lost much of its momentum by the time My Name Is Allan was released in the fall of 1965, and the album was hardly strong enough to revive his sagging fortunes. While Sherman's previous long-player, For Swingin' Livers Only, found him still sounding game, this time out most of the songs sounded like they would never have made the cut on his first three sets -- "The Laarge Daark Aardvark Song" may be the worst tune he recorded for commercial release (significantly recorded without the presence of a live audience), and "The Painless Dentist Song," "That Old Back Scratcher," and the homage to name-dropping, "Call Me," don't fare much better. On the upside, Sherman has fun with the shifting mores of the country in the mid-'60s on "Peyton Place U.S.A." and "It's a Most Unusual Play," both of which anticipated the themes from his later book The Rape of the A.P.E., and though they've dated more than a bit they display a bite missing from most of the set. Sherman's fascination with the English language gets another workout on "Chim Chim Cheree," and on "The Drinking Man's Diet" he revels in two of his great obsessions, booze and losing weight (both of which would ironically lead to his premature death). Sherman parted ways with longtime musical collaborator Lou Busch after For Swingin' Livers Only, and though Ralph Carmichael's arrangements are polished and professional, they lack the élan of Busch's work and sound like soundtrack music for some unproduced television special. There are scattered laughs to be had on My Name Is Allan (and the cover is a very funny parody of Barbra Streisand's similarly titled album of the same year), but it's a pale shadow of Sherman's glory days of only two years before. ~ Mark Deming
£11.99

Folk - Released February 15, 2011 | Classic Music International

£7.19

Humour - Released December 9, 2017 | Curtain Call Hits

£4.99

Humour - Released August 6, 2018 | Jasnet Records

£6.39

Humour - Released January 1, 2000 | PnR

£3.23

Pop - Released November 17, 2017 | White Cross Records

£4.99

Humour - Released October 1, 2015 | Mach60 Music

£3.99

Pop - Released April 8, 2017 | La Vintacion Records

£3.99

Pop - Released March 22, 2017 | La Vintacion Records

£3.19

Pop - Released April 3, 2017 | Vintage Jukebox

£1.99

Miscellaneous - Released July 29, 2016 | Vinyl and Dust Records

£3.99

Humour - Released January 20, 2015 | Art & Classic

£4.79

Miscellaneous - Released November 7, 2014 | Star Records

£7.89

Jazz - Released December 29, 2013 | SantaJazzClause

£7.89

Jazz - Released June 1, 2013 | Jazz Arena

At his best, Allan Sherman was as perceptive an observer of the American Jewish experience as Philip Roth or Saul Bellow, and when he was on a roll he was a lot funnier than either, and that's certainly the case with 1962's My Son, the Folk Singer, Sherman's first album and the record that made him an overnight success, selling over a million copies within a few months of its release. Musically, Sherman's shtick was to take familiar melodies and fuse them to new lyrics that offered a very funny and openly Semitic take on contemporary American life, as "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was transformed into the tale of a tailor named Harry Lewis, "The Streets of Laredo" became "The Streets of Miami," and the French ditty "Frere Jacques" accompanied a telephone conversation with "Sarah Jackman." While My Son, the Folk Singer was the most openly "Jewish" of Sherman's albums, the bulk of Sherman's humor was recognizable to anyone familiar with the absurdities of suburban life in the Kennedy era, and while many Jewish humorists treated their material as some sort of inside joke, by marrying his lyrics to songs familiar to everyone he gave them a universal appeal -- and it certainly didn't hurt that most of the numbers on his debut album are howlingly funny. While so many Jewish artists frequently focused on the often painful desire to assimilate into mainstream American culture, Sherman's characters were so innately Jewish that whether they landed in Scarsdale or the Old West, their accents and appetites traveled with them, and the unspoken but clear acceptance of the comic foibles of Sherman's twin cultural allegiances has much to do with why My Son, the Folk Singer remains both funny and potent more than four decades after it was recorded. ~ Mark Deming
£10.49

Pop - Released December 19, 2014 | RCA - Legacy

£7.99

Humour - Released May 5, 2017 | Jasmine Records

£1.99

Humour - Released December 15, 2009 | Rhino - Warner Bros.