THE HIGHLIGHTS, Ah, So, 1958

Last week Gary Bailey, guitarist of the Highlights, left a comment on a post about their 45 that I had done earlier this year in February. I´m re-posting it here because Gary was so kind to send me some additional information plus high-resolution scans of a great publicity shot of the group (as Gary wrote: “Now you can put faces with the Record”) and  a beautiful poster.

On the picture is:

Lower – Drummer Al Anderson, Middle Row Left – Gary Bailey-Guitar, Middle Row Right – Barry Rush-Lead Guitar, Upper Row Left –  Bob Bulger-Bass, Upper Row Right – Dale Anderson-Sax.

Note that the other Highlights have greased-up flat-tops while Gary is the only one donnin´ a fine pomp!

Gary Bailey and lead guitarist  Barry Rush, who co-wrote Ah, So, played music together from the time they were 9 and 12 years old.  Contrary to what I had written they were actually from Minnesota, while the 45 was recorded in Minneapolis where they were also booked through T.B. Skarning out of Minneapolis. The Highlights played together for 25 years. Both are  retired now, with Gary living  in Colorado and Barry in Minnesota and they´re  both still playing  music in  50’s Rock Bands.

Ah, So really is a cult song among many Rock´n´Roll fans and record collectors. It has been featured on Volume 1 of the  “Jungle Exotica ” compilation that was put out by Tim Warren of Crypt Records in the 90´s and that really got a whole new generation of music fans to hear it for the first time. The Japanese girl group “The 5.6.7.8.´s” have recorded a cover version of Ah, So in 1991 and I´m sure others did too that I´m not aware of.

Studio Blues is a little unfortunately titled, because it´s a real fine instrumental rocker with great guitars and the same sparse but effective drum sound of Ah, So.

Thanks a lot Gary! I love this 45 and I´m sure a lot of people will continue to enjoy it in the future.

Keep on rockin´!

THE HIGHLIGHTS, Ah, So, 1958

THE HIGHLIGHTS, Studio Blues, 1958


BERNHARD FRANK, Über die Brücken von Venedig, 1965

As you might have noticed, I´ve taken a little break from this site lately, because…  because I felt like it. After all, it is a lot of work scanning and digitizing the records and it´s not like they absolutely need to be heard anyway. My main ambition still is to put material (mostly obscure German records that are easy to grab for everybody at flea markets and thrift shops)  on the Internet for the first time. But for now, nobody really seems to want to take over that job, probably because obviously this stuff is not worth most serious record collectors time. So here I am again…

Well, sometimes I do find records that are not so bad, or even great like this one. Bernhard Frank is not unknown to followers of this blog,  I´ve posted a bunch of  records by this forgotten Berlin musician in the past. Like I´ve said many times, he only wrote good songs. These two schlager-beat tunes might not stand the test of hardcore beat fans but I  love them. The ballad on the  flip side “Über den Brücken von Venedig” (Over the bridges of Venice) is a beautiful organ driven love song, while “Küsse von mir” (Kisses from me) is a fine easygoing schlager-beat stroller.

Interpop and Derby were two small Berlin sister labels that produced mostly pop and schlager records in the early to mid-60´s. Like Bernhard Frank they seem to have vanished into nowhere…

BERNHARD FRANK, Über die Brücken von Venedig, 1965

BERNHARD FRANK, Küsse von mir, 1965


JAN BERTHOLD, Immer allein, 1964

Altough I have now idea who Jan Berthold is but that shouldn´t mean that someone more knowledgeable out there does. Several  people that were connected to the records and artists that I´ve poste have contacted me over the past three years, so maybe over time somebody will come up with some information about Jan Berthold.

The catalog on the back of the sleeve lists three Transylvanian (Ethnic Germans from Siebenbürgen, Romania) records, so I´m curious if the owner of the Berlin-based Derby record label had any Transylvanian roots.

I don´t know any of the artists on the list and I´ve never seen any of the records either, but that´s one of the reasons I picked this one up. It´s  another hint about what other stuff there is to discover. I know I´m  a little strange, but doesn´t  “Schwarze Saphire aus Bangkok” by Bert Bucher or “Tingel, Tingel,  Ling-Ling” by Anita sound pretty interesting?

These  two obscure schlager songs by Jan Berthold might not have changed the world  but at least you´ve never heard them before…

JAN BERTHOLD, Immer allein, 1964

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/408815/JAN%20BERTHOLD%2C%20Sind%20auch%20die%20Jahre%20vergangen%2C%201964

JAN BERTHOLD, Sind auch die Jahre vergangen, 1964


MARY, Die Antwort weiß ganz allein der Wind, 1964

Mary and her backing band the Moonlights were another obscure Berlin outfit that recorded a handful of  records.  Still, right now I can´t find any information about them. “Die Antwort weiß ganz allein der Wind” , a cover of  Blowin´in the Wind was a hit for Marlene Dietrich in 1964. Hans Bradtke, who wrote the German lyrics to “Die Antwort weiß ganz allein der Wind” was a song writer, illustrator and cartoonist.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/408815/MARY%2C%20Die%20Antwort%20weiss%20ganz%20allein%20der%20Wind%2C%201964

MARY, Die Antwort weiß ganz allein der Wind, 1964


MARY, Schau in die Welt, 1964


HENRY HEISS, So will ich die Liebe nicht, 1964

Henry Heiss had a pretty cool name for an artist, because heiss means hot in German. Again I don´t know a thing about him.

“So will ich die Liebe nicht” (That´s not how I like love)  is a nice schlager-beat tune that is sung with the typical heavy pronounciation that was fashionable at the time and backed by even heavier reverberation.

Like an echo from an old, long gone  Berlin…
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/408815/HENRY%20HEISS%2C%20So%20will%20ich%20die%20Liebe%20nicht%2C1964
HENRY HEISS, So will ich die Liebe nicht, 1964
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/408815/HENRY%20HEISS%2C%20Ich%20seh%C2%B4%20fremde%20Sterne%2C%201964

HENRY HEISS, Ich seh´fremde Sterne, 1964


Voodoo Voodoo

This is actually a whole page that I did two years ago. It ran in the comic magazine Mamba, a supplement of  Jungle World, the weekly paper that has been  publishing my Bigbeatland comic-strip  for the last eight years, and in OX magazine. The English version of the comic I did today. Die deutsche Version dieses Comics findest du hier.

Werner Voss has been doing his “Rock´n´Roll Museum” radio show  since 1974 and he´s still on the air every first Saturday of the month on NDR 4! I haven´t listened to his show in many years but now I think I need to catch-up with it sometime soon.

This is the German Atlantic 45 that was probably re-released in the mid-60´s,  combining two of  LaVern Baker´s greatest rockers: Voodoo Voodoo from 1958 and  Hey Memphis from 1961. Because it was on Atlantic it´s not a very rare record here in Germany, but it is one that I reeeally like. And yeah, I´need two of them.


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