Neil Sedaka Did Tel Aviv: 16 October 2010

posted Sep 19, 2010, 11:02 AM by Professor Katz   [ updated Dec 5, 2015, 2:25 AM ]
Yes, first performance in Israel since 1964: one of the LEGENDS of rock 'n' roll, Neil Sedaka himself: 100% Jewish, 50% Turkish.  Is that a winning combination or what?

As soon as I heard the good news, I wrote to Mr Sedaka, inviting him to come to Tel Aviv University.  I suggested to him that as a former pupil at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, he might be interested in seeing our own School of Music, as well as visiting the Diaspora Museum and meeting some of our TAU leaders, his near contemporaries.

Almost immediately, I had a letter in reply, saying that as this was only a short visit to Israel he was sorry he did not have time to come up to Ramat Aviv .... but .... the Great Man in his generosity (for tzdaka is his name) sent along two free tickets to the concert, the very best seats in the Nokia Yad Eliyahu Stadium, fourth row, a little to the side.  Fully aware of the gravity of the event, I thought it best to take along a TAU official, Dr Gary Sussman, Vice-President for Public Affairs.

It was a GREAT performance.  Not only the classic hits of the 'fifties and 'sixties, but some new songs as well.  Best of all: he sang two songs in Yiddish and two in Hebrew.  Until you've heard "Oh, Carol" in Hebrew you don't know what Jewish rock 'n' roll really is.  "Carol", of course, is Carole King, Neil's high-school girl friend.  She later had a thing with someone infinitely more cool, James Taylor.  They still perform together sometimes.  Anyway, back to Neil Sedaka:

He's 77 years of age, but he still lays down a groove like nobody's business.

And just in case you missed him, here's Neil performing one of his classic songs at the Royal Albert Hall: