Another find from the thrift store excursion two weeks ago. Immediately, when I saw this sleeve, I knew I needed to buy it, regardless of what music would be on the record. The crudely penciled lettering is crying! Now how cool is that. It looks like a punk record! Well, it´s not, it´s even cooler: Dan Marshall is a singing fire chief! How this privately pressed 45 from Amlin, Ohio found it´s way to Berlin-Lichterfelde is beyond me.
I googled this record and couldn´t find anything. And I only made up the date for this record, it could be from anytime in the 70´s. The pants look kinda late 60´s, but that´s just a feeling. I did find a fire chief named Dan Marshall however, this one is from Phoenix, Oregon. There is a similarity between the photo on the back of the sleeve and the photo on the website of the Oregon fire department and they both would fit in the same age group. But I´m not sure it´s the same person. Of course lots of firemen wear mustaches. The Oregon fire chief looks much happier than the man on the record sleeve and I would like to believe that after all, it didn´t turn out to be Dan Marshall´s destiny to be a “born loser.
Last week me and a friend of mine made a little excursion to the south of Berlin. Another fellow collector had told us of a charity shop/ youth center that was selling books and records. He had found the place when visiting his grandmother. It was a area of Berlin I had never visited since I moved here 13 years ago. Small one-story houses with nice gardens lined the streets and no foreigners and no freaks were anywhere in sight. We were very curious about that tip of our friend. How could anything cool be found here?
Surprisingly inside there were thousands of LP´s and 45´s and of course no other customers. We spent a couple of hours digging though every box and both got away with a nice batch of 45´s. I bought some soul, some beat and some nice oddball records.
(“The Rotting Stumps” from Go Go comic book Vol.1, No.5, 1967, Charlton Comics)
Over the past years I have posted some other Tempo releases here, here, here, here and here. Tempo was a German cheapo/variety labels that produced mostly cover-versions of current hit songs. It says on the label that these two songs by the McWhites were originally British recordings but there was a “Hang On Sloopy/Sloopy Poopy” 45 by the Rainbows (not the Berlin group) on the Belgian Dino label. If this is the same song, I don´t know.
Anyway, a funny combination of words:
Another Tempo EP from the thrift store . If you´re tired of listening to the original versions by the Stones, Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs and Chris Andrews for the millionth time, you might enjoy these German beat groups fighting with the English lyrics.
In the case of Ball Balla, a hit for local Berlin beat group, the Rainbows , the lyrics are simple enough. This little snippet from a Lupo Modern (No. 17, April 20, 1966) comic book explains why Balla Balla became so successful: only 3 percent of all humans can memorize more than two short sentences straightaway. Because there are only two words in this song that are repeated 76 times, it gives people a sense of satisfaction and superiority.
In 1966 Balla Balla hit #3 in the German charts and won the Rainbows a bronze Bravo Otto, right behind the Beatles and the Stones. At the time the silly novelty song compromised their credibility with the die-hard beat fans but Balla Balla remains to be one of the most original German rock´n´roll songs. In 2001 Bear Family has re-released all their cool 60´s beat material, including their equally silly “Kommando Pimperle” and “Rotkarierte Petersilie”. Today “Balla Balla” is still a relatively common German expression. One would say ” Das ist ganz schön balla balla”, meaning ” That´s pretty nutty”.
Another part of a comic-strip from Lupo Modern comic book No. 32, 1966:
Last week I also purchased this British cheapo/department store EP at the charity shop. When I bought it, it didn´t have a sleeve. Luckily, later when we played our new acquisitions, the missing Top Six company sleeve was on one of the 45´s that my friend had bought at the same place. Generously he let me have.
There are six cover-versions of 1965 British hit songs played by unnamed bands on this EP: “The Price Of Love” by the Everly Brothers, “I´s Just A Little Bit Too Late” by Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, “Colours” by Donovan, “I`m Alive” by The Hollies, “She´s About A Mover” by The Sir Douglas Quintet and “Crying In The Chapel”, that Elvis took to number one on the British charts in 1965 where it stayed for two weeks.
Built in 1910 the Sportpalast was Berlin´s first multi-purpose arena. At the time of its opening it was the largest such facility in the world. Max Schmeling boxed there. Social-Democrats, Communists and Nazis held conventions there. Goebbels held his famous “Total War speech” there. After the war many rock groups played there, among them: Bill Haley, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. It was torn down in 1973 and replaced by a high-rise appartement complex. Today it is still a eye-sore, dubbed by Berliners the “Sozialpalast”.
The Sportpalast-Twist is a twist version of the Sportpalastwalzer, that was first performed in 1923 at the “Sixdays” cycling event. The whistles heard throughout the song, were established by “Krücke”, a Berlin bloke who made a name of himself by his funny antics. Initially he loudly whistled the chorus from the audience and by doing so helped establish the song. In the subsequent versions of the song the whistles were deliberately built-in. The “Sixdays” run is still being held in Berlin, turning in about 75.000 visitors each year.
Fittingly “Noch ein Tor” (One more goal) is a twist song with a football theme. My record didn´t have a sleeve so I took this little image from the great FC 45 site. If you´re into football and football related music, they have gathered the best collection of football records I´ve ever seen.
One last 45 from last week´s finds at the charity shop. Like fellow orchestra leader Werner Müller, Max Greger recorded some rockin´stuff in his early period. These medleys from the film “Rock Around The Clock” (German title: Ausser Rand und Band) contain six Bill Haley songs: Mambo Rock, See You later Alligator, ABC-Boogie, Rock-A-Beatin´- Boogie, Shake Rattle And Roll and Rock Around The Clock.
Today, 84 year old Max Greger is still performing together with his son and his grandson. Rock on Max…