Manischewitz is the premier manufacturer of kosher foods. I can’t tell you how many boxes of their matzo or those squared off bottles of wine sat upon seder tables of my youth but one Manischewitz product I never saw before is this special edition single released in 1958. I never even knew there were Jewish cowboys let alone that Harold Stern was one of them.


Stern regales us with almost 9 minutes of chatter about being a Jewish cowboy and the joys of Manischewitz.


Many famous songwriters have been Jewish, among them the very founders  of Pop music like George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Oscar Hammerstein, but who knew about “Avram”?!


This record is fascinating for many reasons, not the least of which is that it was put out by a big legitimate company yet it’s just a demo, not an officially recorded record.


I personally usually love demos, what the songwriter records as their idea of the song, better than the actual records made of them. But back in the day, very few people who couldn’t afford to go the full record route copped to the fact that what they were putting out was the demo. Here they didn’t even spring for a back label.


Who knew that Centerville, Texas was such a hotbed of religious passion?


I always liked Peanut butter and jelly on my matzo.  Perhaps I’ll crack open a box and spread a little of that on now, fill my Swinger Glass with  grape wine and lie back and enjoy all the fruits of Manischewitz and The Jewish Cowboy’s labor.


5 Responses to “Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ the Day – Happy Passover! Manischewitz Presents “The Jewish Cowboy” record”

  1. scott kraz

    so i am a jewish person from detroit mich. I first heard this about 5 years ago. so i am visiting a friend in round rock tx. we hop into the car and try to track down the famous jewish cowboy from centerville tx. we drove to centerville. we stopped in at the town newspaper no luck! never heard of him or his family’s ranch. they even tried to look up town records from a book of leon county that they had no luck!. i tried to call the mayor to see if he had heard of him. No luck not even a return call. Stopped a real old man on the street asked him. he said “I remember the name but thats it. there was something about that.” all we could dig up.i was bummed out!

  2. alison

    He was my father and it was a publicity stunt. Our family which is Jewish did own a ranch in Centerville, but my father was a law student at UT and they choose him to be the face, it is not his voice or singing… He passed away in 1990 at only 45, the record was made in 1968, not 58.