The careers of stage-and-screen star Mae West, moral crusader Anthony Comstock and birth-control pioneer Margaret Sanger are intimately bound up in the history of sexuality in America. So, too, are those of burlesque queen Ida Mencken, publisher Samuel Roth and condom-maker Julius Schmidt. Their enterprising exploits will be on display when the Museum of Sex opens this week.
This year produced 16 five-star recordings, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. However, because of space limitations, I am forced to choose a 10-best list. That doesn’t mean the rest are anything less than wonderful, and I have listed them all here.
“Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda” (Smithsonian Folkways)
Ruth Moskowitz was the youngest of 10 children born to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents Jacob and Ida. Little did they imagine that their baby daughter would grow up to create one of America's most popular icons.
As the creator of the Barbie doll and co-founder of the Mattel Toy Corp., Ruth became one of the country's most enterprising and powerful businesswomen.