Mark Cohen is a writer and speaker specializing in American Jewish culture.
The man behind the sensation was a short, plump guy with a crew cut and big glasses. Allan Sherman had been a TV producer who'd entertained his friends with song parodies for years. He collected them on an LP called My Son, The Folk Singer — old favorites rewritten with a contemporary suburban Jewish audience in mind. It was never expected to appeal to the general public.
To everyone's surprise, Sherman's humor did translate. By August 1963, three Sherman albums were on Billboard's Top 100 chart. Writer Mark Cohen has written a book about the short-lived success of the musical satirist. It's called, somewhat cruelly, Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman. (Shortride)