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Hail to thee, Allan Sherman


In the late summer of 1962, an overweight, out-of-work television producer stepped up to the microphone in a Hollywood recording

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studio.   ¶    Allan Sherman was 37, had lived comfortably for years as co-creator of “I’ve Got A Secret,” had recently been fired as producer of “The Steve Allen Show,” had to sustain a wife and two kids and a lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. Two-hundred showbiz friends were his audience in the recording studio. They were liquored up and disposed to laughter.        The tape rolled and the cocktail piano played a few bars of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” that mighty, heaving Christian solemnization of the Civil War. But the words that issued in Sherman’s rough baritone were about a Jewish cloth cutter named Harry Lewis who worked for another Jew named Irving Roth. Two-hundred showbiz friends howled when Sherman’s semitized lyrics hit them:   next»


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