The Shapiro Files

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Lewis Brothers: For the Record

Marcie's Uncle, Rabbi Sheldon Lewis, and her father, Dr. Sherwin Lewis, have been making beautiful music together ever since they were kids. The Lewis twins have been lending their two-part a cappella harmonies to Shabbat and High Holiday services for more than 50 years — over 30 of which have been at Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, where Shelly has been serving as Rabbi since the early 70's. Yet after a full half-century of singing together, the Lewis brothers have never endeavored to make an official recording of their singing.

Until now.

With much gratitude to Marcie for handling all scheduling logistics, I now have the honor of being the Lewis Brothers' first record producer. Reminiscent of the way The Beatles recorded their very first album in 1962, in just one day (Friday, November 25), we gathered at "Shapiro Studios" (i.e. Marcie's and my little home studio) and laid down the tracks for their first full album, which we're taking to calling For the Record (a bit of a play on words there). In just a handful of hours, we recorded a full 19 tracks encompassing all the Lewis Brothers' High Holiday and Shabbat selections that have been enjoyed by Kol Emeth congregants for years. All performances were recorded a cappella, direct-to-digital on two tracks (one for each singer), in complete single takes.

I'm now in the process of mixing all the recordings and mastering them to CD. I'll also be making all the recordings available online in MP3 form so all non-local family and friends can easily download the recordings without having to fuss with getting a CD copy (although I'll happily send CDs to any family members that request them).

In addition to the 19 tracks recorded last Friday, I'll be including a bonus track, "Love Song" as performed live at Sharon and Akiva's wedding, which I'll be extracting from their wedding DVD. And if I have the chance, I might even do an additional "club mix" (complete with thumping drums and bass) of one of their recordings just for laughs.

Mixing/mastering is taking quite some time, so it'll probably be several weeks before I'm done. However, I'll try to post a few sneak previews in MP3 form along the way. So keep checking back!


  • Oh, that sounds great!

    (by the way, are they identical twins?)

    By Blogger Irina Tsukerman, at 11/29/2005 2:12 PM  

  • I can't wait to hear this!


    The Egel Nest

    By Blogger Bradley Egel, at 11/29/2005 3:08 PM  

  • Shelly and Sherwin are fraternal twins (non-identical). But their singing voices are very simlilar, which is one of the reasons why they sing so well together. It's almost like listening to one voice somehow singing in harmony with itself! Brad can vouch for me on this. :)

    And speaking of Brad...

    Brad, I knew you'd be excited to learn about the new recording. I'll try to get an MP3 or two posted in the very near future. Stay tuned!

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 11/29/2005 4:15 PM  

  • Steve!!!

    This is GREAT news!! I can't wait to hear it!

    I don't know if you know this......but when we were kids, Shelly, Sher, and I used to do the dishes every night after dinner, and always sang while we did it! We had BEAUTIFUL three-part harmony! It sounded great, if I say so myself!

    I still remember ALL those songs that my brothers sing to this day! Wonder if we lived closer, if this would be a recording of the 3 of us???

    Nice to ponder!

    Thanks for doing this Steve! Preserving their music for posterity is EXCELLENT!!!!!!!

    Aunt Linda

    By Anonymous Aunt Linda, at 12/01/2005 9:02 AM  

  • I'm looking forward to hearing it too! Good idea, Steve! :o)

    By Anonymous Cousin Sue, at 12/01/2005 2:24 PM  

  • Aunt Linda, I didn't know about your musical trio days with Shelly and Sherwin. I'd love to hear the three of you sing together! Perhaps the next time you're able to make it to the West Coast, we can book a new recording session at "Shapiro Studios"?"

    Sue, I'd love to take credit for the idea of recording the CD, but I think it was mutually instigated by Shelly and Sherwin who have been talking for years about recording their repertoire. I also give much credit to Marcie for nudging me to commit to a specific date/time!

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 12/02/2005 3:28 PM  

  • Steve,

    I would love a CD copy!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/14/2005 8:52 PM  

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