Actually this is almost too good to be posted here. It´s a fantastic LP and I was surprised when I searched for it on the internet and found, that it has never been re-released (apart from Hummel-Twist that appeared on a bunch of comps such as the Beat on The Krauts Im Star Club Hamburg LP Vol.2 that Dionysus/Romulan re-released in the 90´s and on one of Bear Family´s Tausend Nadelstiche CDs) at least to my knowledge. There´s no reason why this music should not be heard by as many people as possible. But please let me know if I´m wrong. If this ever saw a proper re-release, I´ll delete it immediately. This album definitely deserves one. Posting music of this caliber (and format!) will be an exception here and I´ll return to my usual beloved garbage pickings next week: the music that doesn´t need to be heard by as many people as possible…
I bought the album 10 years ago in pretty excellent condition (so please take the time to look at my supersized scans) and initially I only wanted to post one track of it , Hully Gully, because Troy pointed out in one of his recent comments that the Hully Gully song seems to have been a trigger for violence when played in the Beatles Star Club era. Toni Cavanaugh´s version is pretty free and wild and has some lightning-fast guitar breaks but it´s not a very aggressive song. The wording “Halli Galli” however, directly derived from the Hully Gully dance craze is still used in Germany. We say: “Da is ganz schön Halli Galli!“, like, there´s some action going on! Mostly it´s positive but it could also mean a quarrel. Toni Cavanaugh´s Hully Gully is one of the wildest Hully Gully songs I know:
We´ll what about this outbreak of violence when Hully Gully was played? I don´t know these things, I was born in 1966. I did however grow up in Hamburg right by the Alster, the beautiful lake that lies in the center of the city. My father and my mother went to the Star Club on one of their first dates. I´ve been living in Berlin for 13 years now and I love Berlin but Hamburg is my home town and will always stay close to my heart. I´ll always be a Hamburger.
Toni Cavanaugh (Orlester Watson Cavanaugh) was born in Indianapolis in 1939 ( the year my mother was born). He landed in Germany in the late 50´s as a US paratrooper and was stationed near Mannheim but soon found himself entertaining the troops on various stages around Germany. After his military time he ended up in Hamburg in the blossoming rock´n´roll scene on the Reeperbahn. In 1960 he was drumming in Tony Sheridan´s group the Jets for a while, who were playing the Top Ten club regularly. He also played with Tony Sheridan in the Star-Combo, kinda the house-band at the Star Club from 1963 to 1964.
In 1962 he had his own group, the Bats. 1964 saw the release of this LP Rock´n Twist Slop Hully Gully with the Liverpool Triumphs.
Side 1 starts of with a rousing versions of
and a fast saxophone-driven version of What I´d Say.Hummel-Twist is Tony Cavanaugh´s most well-known song, likely because it was the only one sung in German on this LP. Hummel Hummel Mors Mors is a very old greeting of local Hamburgers. As legend has it, Hans Hummel was a poor worker, a water carrier in the 18th century, who was always teased by little kids, so he replied: “Klei di an´n mors!”(kiss my ass). The greeting is a call and response thing. When I was a kid and we were on a family trip, me and my brother used to look for passing cars that were also from Hamburg. When we found one, we´d scream “Hummel Hummel” and sometimes they would scream back “Mors Mors” to our greatest delight.
The lyrics to Hummel-Twist go like this:
Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, ich bin ein Ausländer/Don´t you know , ich sprech´kein Deutsch/ My mother told me, don´t you go/ Hummel Hummel, ich weiß nicht, was das heisst/Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, yeah yeah, Mahlzeit!/…/ Hummel Hummel Humel Mors Mors, mein Mädel hat zu mir gesagt: Wenn du kommst nach Deutschland mein Kind, man sagt: Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, sagt jeder Hamburger/Ich bin ein Ausländer, ich möchte deutsch lernen, Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, JAAA!/…/Hummel Hummel mors Mors, ich bin ein Ausländer/Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, ich weiß nicht, was das heisst/ Hummel Hummel, Hummel Hummel, Hummel Hummel/ Hummel Hummel … Mors Mors…Ich weiß nicht, was das heisst…Aaah!…Is´egal!…Wie geht´s?
Side 1 ends with a version of Money that sounds similar to a lot of versions from Star-Club groups, BUT this has a great drum and saxophone sound! This sounds like it was recorded live and it was!
and a funny little number called Twiullyop, a mix of the words twist, hully gully and slop. Otherwise a pretty straight beat stomper:
The album closes with a soulful rendition of Tell Me, Baby.
In 1965 Toni Cavanaugh got a deal with Teldec and recorded four songs in German backed by the “Beat Brothers”, among them Kingsize Taylor, Howie Casey and some members of the Blizzards from Stade, a small town near Hamburg.
Toni Cavanaugh continued to play with various groups in Germany into the 70´s, but finally went back to the states, leaving the music business behind altogether. He died in a nursing home on November 5th, 2005.
Like other African-American expatriate rock´n´rollers such as Rocky Roberts in Italy and the great Harold Nicholas in France, Toni Cavanaugh left some very fine recordings in Europe. It´s time that they are paid a little more tribute to.
I´ve been really busy these past weeks with work so I haven´t been able to meet my Thursday deadlines recently. Sorry for all of you who come here regularly to find no new posts. I´m trying to work on it.
A bunch of cover versions this week . I already posted another one of Bernd Spier ´s records last year here. He covers two Chuck Berry tunes on this one. Ohne ein bestimmtes Ziel is a pretty accurate German translation of No Particular Place To Go, but without any of the sexual connotations of Chuck Berry´s original. This is a pretty common record here in Germany but that shouldn´t make it any less enjoyable.
Yea, before you laugh about this, wait til you heard the rest of this week´s cover versions. It gets waaaay worse…
Czerwono-Czarni are one of my favorite Polish beat groups. They might not have been the wildest but they put out a lot of great records in the 60´s.
They backed many pop singers in the 60´s too, among them Karin Stanek:
On this first EP of the “Red and Blacks” they´re dishing out some cover versions of Chuck Berry´s Sweet Little Sixteen, Cliff Richard´s Apron Strings, Tommy Steele´s Elevator Rock and Bill Haley´s When The Saints Go Rock´n´Roll.
Unlike on their later releases Janusz Godlewski (Sweet Little Sixteen, Apron Strings) and Marek Tarnowski ( Elevator Rock, When The Saints) are singing in English here. Or at least it sounds like English.
It doesn´t really matter because they´re rockin´their polish souls out…
The Olympics, or simply Olympic, from Prague were and probably still are the most well known Czech rock´n´roll group. I collected most their early 45´s in the 90´s when the East-Berliners threw out their old records to make room for new CD´s from the West. This is not among Olympic´s best records but pretty much their funniest.
Or maybe this one is:
Pavel Bobek played with Olympic from 1963 to 1965 and then went on to become one of Czechoslovakia´s most popular country music stars in the 70´s and 80´s.
I bought this record together with a whole bunch of other Polish beat and rock´n´roll 45´s on a trip to Warsaw two years ago. Eddie Cochran´s Twenty Flight Rock and Ronnie Hawkins Forty Days interpreted phonetically both in the title and in the singing by Janusz Godlewski, who also played with the popular Polish beat groups Czwerwono-Czarni and Tajfuny. I swear I was singing and speaking English like that before I started to learn English in 5th grade, just imitating the sound from the American and British pop music I heard on the radio.
Nevertheless this is pretty rockin´, way better than for example Peter Kraus´ schmaltzy German version of Bluejean Bop (Susi-Rock) or most German 50´s rock´n´roll for that matter.
And way funnier…
Little Tony (Antonio Ciacci) was one of Italy´s most popular rockers. This is a Jugoslav release of their first original Italian EP on Durium. A nice proof that that there were early rock´n´roll releases behind the iron curtain.
Gene Vincent´s Lotta Lovin´done Italian style…
These Brits had the courtesy to record these two songs in our beloved mother-tongue. If only some of the currently popular artists would also do that! It would bring a much needed comical element to their music.
I would buy Lady Ga Ga singing in German any time…
I also have their last CBS 45 from 1966 Cement Mixer/Never Let Me Go which is a little rougher and where they are singing in English.
This is more funny…