So who is Mickey Katz?
The father of living Broadway legend, Joel Grey, inventor Ron Katz and grandfather to Dancing With The Stars’ champion, actress Jennifer Grey, Mickey Katz recorded Yiddish parodies of pop songs from the 1940′s to the late 60′s for both RCA Victor and Capitol Records. He was considered the “Weird Al” of his day.
His musicianship was superb, (clarinet, sax) his vocals were silly, and his comic timing, was “poifect”!
As a child growing up in Cleveland, Mickey helped support his family by winning talent contests playing the clarinet and sax. Mickey later played with the likes of Phil Spitalny and Spike Jones.
It was during a break in a Spike Jones recording session at RCA that execs overheard Mickey on a “hot mic” entertaining fellow band members with one of his song parodies.
After just a few sessions with RCA, Mickey joined the new label in town, Capitol Records with whom he stayed until the late 1960s.
Mickey created and toured with many Yiddish revues over the years including, “Borscht Capades”, “Hello Solly”, “Kiss Me Katz” and “The Man From Y.A.N.K.L.E.”
Even though the popularity of ethnic humor has mostly faded away over the years due to society’s push towards political correctness,
Mickey’s wit & musicianship continues to win over the hearts of music lovers world-wide more than 60 years later.
Wikipedia has some great info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Katz