This song is a strange hybrid of the German genre of Stimmungsmusik, used for parties and for the Karneval, and Rock´n´Roll. These two musical styles usually didn´t mix because of the generation gap. Stimmungsmusik, mostly marches with sleazy lyrics, was music for old people. Squares.
Well, this slightly rocks. Textil-Sparverein means Textile Savers Club. Minikini is about a guy complaining about his girlfriend because she is not wearing a Bikini. She is wearing a Minikini – no Bikini. Nimm keine Frau aus Kansas is a silly Cowboy song. Don´t take a woman from Kansas, because she carries guns when you´re kissing…
In 1964 the Bambis from Austria hit with Mini-kini-Baby. The lyrics were similar: a guy is telling his girlfriend, you can wear a Mini-Kini, but only when we´re alone…
Lyrically this German version stays pretty close to the original:
The story follows a young Trinidadian man in search of a wife. In each of the verses, the young man asks his father for permission to marry a different woman, only to be told he can’t marry the girl as “The girl is your sister but your mamma don’t know”. However, the tables are turned during the last verse, where the young man’s mother tells him that “Your daddy ain’t your daddy, but your daddy don’t know”, clearing the path for him to marry any of the girls. (Wikipedia)
The b-side, sung by the whole group, is a silly song about a guy drinking and then seeing little white mice.
The British group Brian Diamond and the Cutters recorded this German version of their own song Big Bad Wolf for the German Vogue label. It was their 4. single out of five. The German songwriter left the title: little woman don´t be afraid of the big bad wolf. But a lot of the wolf metaphors are missing in the German version. Thankfully musically it´s just as rockin´.
Like many other Rock´n´Roll wolf songs (Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs´Lil´Red Riding Hood, Lord Dent and his Invaders´Wolf Call ) this has a great wolf call and guitar break…
I posted the first Malepartus II. record last November. This, the second Malepartus II. single, was recorded by an entirely different band to cash-in on the success of Lisbeth, a cover version of Wild Thing. The original Malepartus II. group was actually the Kingbeats from Frankfurt. Their drummer Jürgen Zöllner later joined BAP and is still playing with them.
The cartoon sleeve was drawn by Will Halle, a cartoonist from Berlin. I already wrote a bit about him here.
Both songs stay within the initial novelty concept of mixing primitive Troggs-style Beat with silly German lyrics sung in the Hessian dialect. Fraa, bring de Äppelbrei! is about a hungry kid demanding his apple porridge. Ei Lorche is even more silly with lots of funny noises and lyrics about a parrot called Lorche that is driving his master crazy because it is talking too much.
Thanks for all the mails that I got from concerned readers. I was mostly occupied with the weekly Berlin Beatet Bestes radio show and the weekly Berlin Beatet Bestes column that I write for Jungle World. They are just spin-offs of this blog but they took up most of my free time. One can only work so much.
The radio shows were a lot of fun. On Tuesday we talked with Martin, who does Brotbeutel blog, on the phone for 90 minutes. He played some of his weirder music off his blog and in general seemed like a really nice guy. I had never met him and it was a pleasure to talk with someone who had inspired me to start this blog.
Then last week we had Peter Schimmelpfennig on the show. His biography is quite impressive but he is most well-known for producing and managing East-German Rock groups Karat, Puhdys and City in West-Germany in the 70´s and 80´s. Originally from Hamburg, he was a regular at the Star-Club in the 60´s and then moved to Berlin in 1963 to work for the independent record label Metronome when he was only 19. In the 70´s he started his own record label Pool records. His most successful artist was Georg Kranz. Surprisingly he also made a record with Horst Koch, a re-recording of Lachen called Rocklachen. I only saw the record in the bag of records that Peter brought to the show, but we didn´t get to play it. Now I have to find that record.
Peter Schimmelpfennig also produced the Berlin Rock group Bel Ami. I posted one of their records here. Andy actually got Peter to call up Lutz Walzberg, their original vocalist, in the show. I thought it was a little pushy but Peter assured us that it was okay and that they were still friends after more than 25 years. It was really great talking to Lutz. Altough he is paralysed and tied to the bed because of multiple sclerosis he sounded very energetic. He still knew the Turkish lyrics to Bel Ami´s hit song Berlin bei Nacht (the one I´ve posted) and even started to sing them. Cool!
Before I´ll get to the music, I`d like to announce that we´re doing AUKTION/DESTRUKTION again today, Friday, November 20th at the Kollage, Yorckstrasse 22 in Kreuzberg. Show starts at 10. This time Mario is joining me. We´ll be spinning, auctioning and destroying 45´s again – rarities, hits and total garbage. Starting bids are 10 cents.
Also, Kleingeld nicht vergessen! Ich hab diesmal wirklich schöne Platten in der Kiste!
I found another Bernhard Frank 45 recently. Actually I saw it on Ebay and then had a friend of mine, who regularly buys stuff there, bid on the record for me. Sometimes I look at records on Ebay to check prices and to see what is being offered. But when it comes to buying records I go to thrift-stores and flea-markets. At least there I can see the record up close. From the blurry picture on Ebay this record didn´t look too promising. Nothing like the great Beat records Bernhard Frank did in the 60´s but I kept my fingers crossed and took a chance.
When the record finally came in the mail I was very happy. As I´ve written before, Bernhard Frank only wrote good songs. These two songs are no exception. Obviously by the mid-70´s he had developed into a Folk singer. Der Zirkusdirektor is about a ringmaster at a circus, a melancholy tale that takes a rather surprizing turn. The B-side Einmalig is a funny up-beat tune with great lyrics.
In October 2009 I spent two weeks in Cyprus together with the staff of Jungle World. Each year Jungle World goes to another country to produce an issue about the country while we stay there. This year it was Cyprus. I wrote my column that week about my record digging in Cyprus and also contacted local cartoonists to include in our Cyprus issue. We had a lot of fun and spent a great time on the island.
This record I found in a little thrift store that I stumbled upon when I was taking a walk in the area where we stayed. Pretty much a residential area right by the sea. It was off-season and I was surprised that the store was open at all. I bought this record because of the cartoon sleeve. I don´t know anything about it, besides that it is from Israel.
Last weekend marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Cyprus is still divided into a Turkish and a Greek area. Israel has a wall that separates the Palestinians and the Israelis. So in a strange way this is my contribution to the fall of the wall – to the fall of all walls.
The female singer is singing two really nice songs in Hebrew. I bet somebody out there knows who she is and can translate the titles of the songs. Please, does anybody know?
Update Sept 23, 2010: Close to a year after I posted this, reader Tam just sent in this solution:
This record seems to be an early 60′s commercial gift from a company named „Chetz“ which apparently was a representative company for various insurance companies. The songs kinda glorify the company like a never ending radio jingle. Pretty funny!
God knows how this esoteric record found its way to Cyprus.
The main interesting value is the fact the songs are performed by Elisa Gabbai, a great and almost forgotten Israeli singer, who had her 15 minutes of glory in Germany in the 60′s
Here’s the same song in Hebrew:
Hope I poured some light over this little mystery.
Thanks Tam, you did indeed!
While on the island another journalist from Jungle World bought this Everybody dances the Sirtaki LP to review it in our Cyprus issue. When it was time to go back home he wanted to leave it in one of our bungalows so I had mercy with it and took it.
Most of it is pretty lame traditional Sirtaki music but I still kinda like the first and the very last songs on the LP. Especially the ultra fast Baxe Tsifliki is great for twisting. But then it gets reeeeeally fast and I guess everybody always lost their balance and that´s why it needs to be the last song…