BEAT AROUND THE CLOCK

LP-2602-ALP-2602-BJust found this album last Friday in the free bin outside a local charity shop, without a sleeve and in pretty bad condition. There are big scratches over both sides, but it is a fun album to share, because the bands are anonymous, it mostly consists of folk songs that are in the public domain, plus, it has never been re-issued.

Issued by the tiny local budget label Topas, and manufactured by the Phonocolor company, it´s probably the most amateurish Berlin beat album. Only, The Bounties, The Medussas, The Black Devils, and Die Floridas were not from Berlin. So, where were they from? I have no idea. There was a  Black Devils group in Bochum. But is this the same group?

Topas was the LP branch of the super-budget flexi-disc labels Okay Exquisit and Rondo Spezial, that mostly issued 45s. I have posted Okay and Rondo releases repeatedly over the past years.  Obviously, variety budget labels only cared for profit. But Topas went even further, with their habit of not assigning any specific names to the songs on the labels or on the sleeves. So which artists really played on this record? And when was it released?

I simply chose the order of the bands on the labels, but maybe that´s not making matters easier. Another Topas LP (Melodie und Rhythmus, Topas # 2606) also features eight of these tracks (The Old Cottonfields, O my Darling Clementine, Almdudler, Gregor, Oh Susanna, Good Night Ladies, Greenleaves) but only features one beat group: The Black Devils. Still, are all these songs really performed by the same group?

Lots of ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????….

Seite A

THE BOUNTIES, The old Cottonfields

Cotton Fields was written and first recorded by  Lead Belly in 1940.

“When I was a little bitty baby/ My mama done rock me in the cradle/ In them old cotton fields back home/ It was back in Louisiana/ Just about a mile from Texarkana/ In them old cotton fields back home”

THE BOUNTIES, The Quartermaster

The Quartermaster’s Stores is a traditional British army song. The Shadows instrumental version of Quartermasster´s Stores (re-named after the BBC´s science fiction TV series Quartermass), was the flip side of their 1960 hit Apache.

THE MEDUSSAS, Almdudler

Almdudler is an Austrian soft drink, that was developed in 1957. The phrase auf der Alm dudeln, means “singing in the (alpine) meadows”. Austrians love  Almdudler almost as much as Coke. A Radler variety (mixed with beer), is called Almradler. In the wine-growing regions of eastern Austria,Almdudler is mixed with locally produced white wine.

Probably for copyright reasons, this song was titled Almdudler. It does sound a lot like Rocket Man by the Spotnicks, which was incidentally adapted from the melody of a Russian folksong

THE MEDUSSAS, O my Darling Clementine

Oh My Darling, Clementine is an American western folk ballad, or rather a parody of a ballad, written by Percy Montrose in 1884.

“In a cavern, in a canyon,/ Excavating for a mine/ Dwelt a miner forty niner,/ And his daughter Clementine/ Oh my darling, oh my darling,/ Oh my darling, Clementine!/ Thou art lost and gone forever/ Dreadful sorry, Clementine/ (…) Drove she ducklings to the water/ Ev’ry morning just at nine,/ Hit her foot against a splinter,/ Fell into the foaming brine./ (…)/ Ruby lips above the water,/ Blowing bubbles, soft and fine,/ But, alas, I was no swimmer,/ So I lost my Clementine./ (…)/ How I missed her! How I missed her,/ How I missed my Clementine,/ But I kissed her little sister,/ I forgot my Clementine.”

THE BLACK DEVILS, Good Night Ladies

Goodnight, Ladies is a folk song written in 1847 by Edwin Pearce Christy, founder of the blackface minstrel group Christy’s Minstrels.

“Goodnight, ladies! Goodnight, ladies!/ Goodnight, ladies!/  We’re going to leave you now./ Merrily we roll along, roll along, roll along, O’er the dark blue sea.”

THE BLACK DEVILS, A home on the range

Home on the Range was originally written by Dr. Brewster M. Higley in the early 1870s. It´s also the state song of the American state of Kansas. .

“Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,/ Where the deer and the antelope play,/ Where seldom is heard a discouraging word/ And the skies are not cloudy all day./ Home, home on the range,/ Where the deer and the antelope play;/ Where seldom is heard a discouraging word/ And the skies are not cloudy all day.”

Guitar break!!!

DIE FLORIDAS, I´ve been working on the railroad

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad is an American folk song, first published as “Levee Song”  in 1894.

I’ve been working on the railroad/ All the live-long day./ I’ve been working on the railroad/ Just to pass the time away./ Can’t you hear the whistle blowing,/Rise up so early in the morn´/ Can’t you hear the captain shouting,/ “Dinah, blow your horn!”

DIE FLORIDAS, Yankee Doodle

Yankee Doodle is a American patriotic song that dates back to the mid-18th century. Also the state anthem of Connecticut.

As a term, Doodle first appeared in the early seventeenth century, and is thought to derive from the Low German dudel or dödel, meaning “fool” or “simpleton”.

See also: Almdudler

TWANGGGG!!!!

Seite B

THE BOUNTIES, Take it easy

This is not the classic German beat tune by Drafi Deutscher & Manuela. Probably a self-written song.

“Take it easy Mister Playboy,/ wenn sie dich nicht lieben kann./ Leider sucht sie keinen Playboy,/ sie will einen echten Mann./ Leider sucht sie keinen Playboy,/ sie will einen echten Mann./ Take it easy Mister Playboy./ Muss es grade diese sein?/ Glaub´ mir, lieber Mister Playboy,/ lange bleibst du nicht allein./ Glaub´ mir lieber Mister Pl,ayboy,/ lange bleibst du nicht allein./ Sei nicht traurig, Mister Playboy./ Lass sie gehn,/ mach dir nichts draus./Take it easy Mister Playboy,/ such dir eine andre aus./Take it easy Mister Playboy,/ such dir eine andre aus./(…)/ Take it easy Mister Playboy,/ such dir eine andre aus/ 

THE BOUNTIES, Gregor

“Gehe nicht, o Gregor” is a Ukrainian folk song, with German lyrics written in the early 1930s by German Boy Scouts leaders Eberhard Köbel and  Günther Wolff.

The tune is still sung by German Boy Scouts today.

“Gehe nicht, o Gregor, gehe nicht zum Abendtanz;/ zauberische Mädchen folgen deinen Schritten dort./ Weiße Hand wie Schnee braut dir Tee aus Zauberkräutern,/ trübt den Spiegel deiner Seele wie der Wind den See./ Dort ist auch die eine mit den schwarzen Augenbraun./ Glaube uns, o Gregor, das ist eine Zauberin./ Ihre schmale Hand braut dir Tee aus Zauberkräutern,/ legt sich über deine Seele wie der Herbst aufs Land.”

THE MEDUSSAS, Kalinka

“Kalinka” (Russian: Калинка) is a Russian song written in 1860 by Ivan Larionov.

The refrain of the song refers to the kalinka, which is the snowball tree.

THE MEDUSSAS, O Susanna

Oh! Susanna , a minstrel song by Stephen Foster, was first published in 1848.

My favorite track. Great piercing organ sound!

THE BLACK DEVILS, Greenleaves in summer

The Green Leaves of Summer was written by Dimitri Tiomkin for the 1960 film The Alamo. In 1961 the song was nominated for an Academy Award.

THE BLACK DEVILS, Farmer John

Ultra-garage version of The Searchers cover of Don & Dewey’s Farmer John.

“Oh-yeah, a-ha-ha/ Oh-yeah, a-ha-ha/ Oh-yeah, a-ha-ha/ Oh-yeah, a-ha-ha/ Oh-yeah, a-ha-ha/ Oh-yeah/ Mmm, farmer John/ I’m in love with you daughter/ Wow-wow-wow/ With a champagne eyes/ Yeah, she knows that I love her/ Yeah, but she tell me lies/ I like the way she walks/ The way she talks/ She really knocks me out/ Causin’ me to shout, oh-wow/ Now look here!”

DIE FLORIDAS, Jonny Guitar

Johnny Guitar was written by Peggy Lee for the 1954 film Johnny Guitar, directed by Nicholas Ray and starring Joan Crawford.

The Spotnicks recorded Johnny Guitar as an instrumental in 1963

“Die Floridas” –  What a great band name!

DIE FLORIDAS, Peace Pipe

Another Shadows song…

topas-label

Sorry for the sound quality. It was a free record. A presumably much better copy than mine is currently for sale on Ebay for 32 euros

beat-around-the-clock-LP

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4 Comments on “BEAT AROUND THE CLOCK”

  1. kendrasteinereditions says:

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for a few years now, but this album just forced me to leave a comment. Budget-label quickie recordings have such a unique charm to them, and this one—featuring German bands doing international public-domain items–presents an interesting mix of cultures, done quickly and honestly with garage-band chops. This album really brought a smile to my face. Thanks for rescuing this well-worn copy and finding it a new home on the internet, where people all over the world can taste of its charms. Best wishes from Texas USA….BILL S.

  2. mischalke04 says:

    Wow! A lot of praise for an album from the free bin. Thanks a lot! Glad you like it. Actually, there´s still so much long forgotten stuff out there. I have a ton of records that have never been digitized and I keep finding more every week, that I wish I had the time to post it all. Hopefully some other German blogs will finally appear to make that job obsolete…

  3. Jörg says:

    The song “Gregor” – or at least it´s melody – is also known as “Yes My Darling Daughter”. Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa, the Andrew Sisters and some others recorded it. My favorite version is from the Barry Sisters “Yuh Mein Tiere Tochter”, really good for swing-dancing. I read, that even Ludwig van Beethoven liked the melody of the Ukrainian original “Minka” and used it in one of his compositions.

  4. Kurt L - KL in NYC says:

    Just a note: A British EP release of Gala tracks is here:

    http://lordofthebootsale.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-rk-record-club.html

    Different cover art and label scans.


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