der-verrueckte-boogiegummi-mambo For many years, this record has been sitting in the attic at my brother´s house, where I still store some old stuff from when I was a teenager. It was on a visit to my brother last year, in that dusty attic, when I realized that I have been acquiring the same type of records that I present here since I was a child.

Like this Neckermann 45. In the mid 50s the Neckermann mail-order company tried to get a piece of the booming record market with their own short-lived budget label. Established in 1948,  Neckerman declared bankruptcy in 2012. Neckermann travel agency still operates today.

This record is perfect blog material: defunct budget label, anonymous band, 50 plus years old songs and never been reissued. Nobody knows this stuff exists. Nobody cares about it. I might as well claim to have created it.

The crazy Boogie…


German Version of Perez Prado´s Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White. Teddy Kraft on trumpet.

GROSSES TANZORCHESTER, Gummi Mambo ( Das ist die Liebe im Vorrübergeh´n)

CLUB ENSEMBLE, Tip-Top-Slop, 1963

club-ensemble-frontclub-ensemble-backclub-ensemble-label At the moment, I´m staying in Budapest together with the staff of Jungle World.  Our brand new all-Hungarian issue will come out on Thursday. It will contain a wide array of cultural and political topics, including some critical commentary regarding the country´s current situation. Each year I´m appointed to find local Hungarian cartoonists for a double-spread of comics in full color. So far Dániel Csordas, Gróf Balázs and András Halter have promised to contribute. Hopefully, the amazing  Zoltán Fehér will also be included

Of course, there was also some time to go record shopping. The city has a good selection of record stores and I did find some cool records, but recording it will have to wait until I get back home. So, for the time being, here´s a re-up of an old Hungarian record that I posted back in 2009.

I still don´t know anything about this Hungarian ensemble, not even if they really were from Hungary. But actually there´s not much to know.

Tip-Top-Slop is a standard semi-rock instrumental played by a studio group. But both these songs are not bad. Not great but not bad. People obsess over much worse music nowadays.

And at least you have probably never heard these tunes before…

CLUB ENSEMBLE, Tip-Top-Slop, 1963

CLUB ENSEMBLE, At the Jenka Show, 1963


EVERETT BARKSDALE, One Arm Bandit/Firewater, 1962

N90W1814N90W1815Everett Barksdale (1910-1986) was an American jazz guitarist and session musician who worked with anyone who had a name in the jazz field from the 30s to the late 60s.

As far as I could find out, Everett Barksdale only recorded two 45s of his own material, this one and another one (See You Friday/ First Flag On The Moon) in 1968 for the Murbo label. Both of them have never been reissued in any format.

Think about it and do the math…

That´s a pretty fresh guitar sound for a 52 year old man in 1962!

EVERETT BARKSDALE, One Arm Bandit, 1962

EVERETT BARKSDALE, Firewater, 1962


RIO GREGORY – HIS PIANO AND HIS RHYTHM, International Piano Medley, 1955

varieton-pop-13pop-13-1pop-13-2 This  record has puzzled me for years. Who was this guy with the colorful name ? Only recently a German Wikipedia article appeared that cleared things up. This is my translation of the German article:

Rio De Gregori  (* September 22,  1919 in Zürich; † May 22, 1987 in Munich) was a Swiss jazz pianist and singer.

De Gregori learned to play the piano at age 7 and at fourteen started to collect jazz records by the likes of Duke Ellington and others. Although his parents wanted him to become a classical pianist, he started to perform professionally as a jazz musician. He worked with Willie Mac Allen (1939-40),  James Boucher (1940- 41), Jo Grandjean (1942) and up until September 1944 with René Weiss and his orchestra. Then he got a job in  Fred Böhler´s big band and stayed with them until 1945. The same year he founded his own big band,  that included some of the  best Swiss jazz musician like Stuff Combe, Bob Jaquillard, Jean Pierre Dupuis, Luc Hoffmann, Raoul Schmassmann, Kurt Weil and guest soloist Glyn Paque.  After the breakup of his band he continued to work in a trio and as a soloist and also managed a bar in Ascona, Switzerland. He then settled in Munich, opened a night club and henceforth called himself Rio Gregory. He named the club Bar Ascona.  Later he discovered pop singer Suzanne Doucet at Bar Ascona.


Rio Gregory recorded another four EPs worth of material for the Varieton label and some more records for Columbia, Elite and Harlekin. Despite the Wikipedia article, not one of  them has ever been reissued.

Simple but nicely designed one-sided plastic Varieton company sleeve and red vinyl for the jazz collectors of 1955!


RIO GREGORY, International Piano Medley Side 1, Bacciami – Ich Hab Mich So An Dich Gewöhnt – Tant Je Suis Amoureux De Vous – We´ll Be Together Again – Ich Zahl Mir´s An Den Knöpfen Ab

RIO GREGORY, International Piano Medley Side 2, Tell Me Why – Trois Fois Merci – Avril au Portugal – Dreh Dich Noch Einmal Um – Sweet Georgia Brown



Der Gorden-Hit

gorden-frontgorden-backwarenprobe-frontwarenprobe-backToday´s best offer: an anonymous jazz band, a flexible advertisement record, a defunct brand of cigarettes and the original envelope that it landed in peoples post boxes in.

Cigarettes and Summertime! They work well together. Sitting outside enjoying the sun, the body bursting with energy, there´s nothing like inhaling and wasting some of that excess power. And then there´s still beer and lemonade…

Gorden – So frisch wie das Leben von heute

Rauchen sie gorden!  Machen Sie mit – tanzen sie den gorden-hit!

Der Gorden-Hit


EDDIE VARTAN ET SON ORCHESTRE, Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Tonight, 1962


Musician, singer-songwriter and conductor Eddie Vartan ( 1937-2001) is the brother of French pop star Sylvie Vartan, father of actor Michael Vartan and uncle of  David Hallyday. As a bandleader he was the mastermind behind his sister´s early success. He also composed many songs for her and a dozen titles for his friend and brother-in-law Johnny Hallyday. Eddie, Sylvie and Johnny were certainly at the top of the yé-yé game. They sold a ton of records and the teen magazines were full of their antics. In the early 60s you couln´t be cooler than these three.

Surprisingly though, when I searched for “Eddie Vartan” on Amazon/Itunes/Spotify only one song popped up. Considering the celebrity status of Eddie Vartan and his family, it´s a real shame that his whole solo instrumental works of the 1960s, especially the early twists, have never been reissued in 50 years. If it wasn´t for a handful of people who put his music on Youtube, it could not be heard at all. The two instrumental twist songs from other EPs on the Twist label, the mid-tempo Salut les copines and the hectic S.L.C.Twist, are both similar in style to the tracks I present here. Then there is his version of Telstar in a weird Scopitone film that you´ve got to see to believe. Eddie himself even appears playing the guitar while following a female astronaut, surrounded by his band all dressed in lab coats like a bunch of Joe Meeks. All these songs would sure make a nice Eddie Vartan Twists compilation LP.

Eddie Vartan died in 2001  following a brain hemorrhage in Paris at the age of 64. Shortly after Sylvie Vartan recorded Réponds moi, a wonderful tribute to her brother. Again, it was a fan who made an effort to put the song together with some collected images of Sylvie, Eddie and Johnny.

At least seven EPs by Eddie Vartan were released by the small Twist label, that was distributed by Decca. A bunch of other artists also recorded for the Twist label, but not as many as Eddie Vartan. Of all the Twist label releases, this one has by far the most boring sleeve design. It´s probably because I´m a cartoonist that I feel that all-typo designs look dull.  The hand-made Twist logo is cool though. This EP was very cheap, but unfortunately when I got home I discovered that my copy was sun damaged and warped at the sides. Two of the tracks are completely unplayable.

Your Ma said You cried In Your Sleep Tonight was first recorded in by Kenny Dino and reached #24 in the Billboard charts in 1961. Kenny recorded a number of demos for Elvis, including the song Good Luck Charm, so it is no surprise that he is pretty much imitating Elvis on Your Ma said. Compared to Kenny Dino´s original version, Eddie Vartan´s instrumental version is pretty heavy…

EDDIE VARTAN ET SON ORCHESTRE, Your Ma said You cried In Your Sleep Tonight, 1962

One Track Mind was recorded by Bobby Lewis in 1961 on the Beltone label. Eddie Vartan´s instrumental version copies the Sheb Wooley-style sound of  a toy saxophone that is also in the Bobby Lewis original.

EDDIE VARTAN ET SON ORCHESTRE, Un p´tit je ne sais quoi (One Track Mind), 1962


DIE SKYPIPERS, Red River Rock, 1959

heinerle-02136-a“WTF! Are you kiddin´”? That´s what I thought today when I heard this song for the first time. But somehow it also made perfect sense. So much sense that I wondered if I had ever really listened to the original version of Red River Rock. I mean really really LISTENED closely.  Because on this version, the famous melody is played on a Blockflöte -  a recorder. And it just sounds right. Was that a recorder, that I had never noticed, in the original version, too? This little school kid instrument?  I actually immediately went to check…

Of course in the Johnny and the Hurricanes version its a Hammond organ!  Played by Paul Tesluk on a Hammond Chord Organ.  Pfff, I was worried there for a short time…

On this German flexible budget 45 the recorder, according to the label played by a certain Fred Brass, aptly mimics a Hammond organ. Sweet!

DIE SKYPIPERS, Red River Rock, 1959


The other side is Dixieland. German budget Dixieland and I´m pretty confident, that the people who recorded this song and the people who bought the record didn´t have any idea what they were playing and listening to. In the 50s Germany was just too far away from Dixie. Nevertheless this version is not even so bad. It´s a pretty carefree trad-style jazz song, including nice trumpet, clarinet, banjo, saxophone, even a short drum solo!  There is a lot of music out there that is way worse…

ALAMBA DIXIES, Two Beat Dixie, 1959


I don´t know anything about the Heinerle label, but I´ve noticed that it had a knack for recording original material along with the typical budget versions of hit songs. Limehouse Dixie is credited to M. Bender  and Moro, whoever they are, and doesn´t sound like Limehouse Blues, the jazz standard. So maybe it was a Heinerle original:

DIE DIXIELÄNDER, Limehouse-Dixie


In Motril is a silly song (poem?). It´s got nothing to do with the Spanish town of Motril on the  Mediterranian coast. Tommy Stone is a pseudonym and I don´t know who he is behind it, but I´ve written about Kid Orbis before. This is what I wrote:

The name Kid Orbis can be found on quite a few cheapo releases on various German labels like Delta-Ton, Opera, Tip Top and Universumin. Likely chosen to sound like legendary jazz trombonist Kid Ory,  the man behind the pseudonym Kid Orbis was actually Wolfgang “Wolf”  Gabbe. According to Wikipedia Wolf Gabbe, born April 28, 1924 in Berlin, first worked as an auto-mechanic before taking evening classes to become a drummer. After 1945 he started to play in swing and dance bands and made his first recording for the East-German Amiga label in 1948. Gabbe´s “Radio-Star-Band” remained a fixture in Berlin into the 60s. By the way, you might want to check out another Wolf Gabbe advertisement record that I posted some years ago here: “Hully-Gully-TÖFF-TÖFF” released in 1961 on the local Rondo-Exquisit label.



Getting bored already? I am. Yea, that how it is sometimes… I start out with one cool song and then I add all the others that I have by that artist/label and they just are not as good. “Our love awakened tonight at the Rio Grande…” Yawn…



Perfect if you´re from somewhere on the other side of the world and are really curious about German Schlager music. And for some reason you´ve never heard the original version of Kriminaltango. Or you like Tango. Or  Criminal stories.

DIE SOLM BROTHERS, Kriminaltango



esdf-1144-front esdf-1144-back esdf-1144-face-a esdf-1144-face-b This is the other EP by Jean-Claude Pelletier that I have in my collection. My French is rather limited so this is what I could grasp from the liner notes on the back of the sleeve. It´s probably all wrong, so please correct me:  Jean-ClaudePelletier was born in Paris in 1928, started to go to conservatory in 1936 and won a first prize for his piano playing and graduated in 1946, met Benny Vasseur, Pierre Braslowsky, René Franc and their group ended up in the finals of the Hot-Jazz contest in 1946. Jean-Claude then joined the orchestra of Alix Combello and stayed with them for five years. In 1954 he started to play in smaller groups together with Bill Coleman, Albert Nicholas, Buck Clayton, Jonah Jones James Moody, Sidney Bechet and Lionel Hampton. In 1955 he performed together with Claude Luter at the Vieux Comombier, the famous Paris jazz club in the basement of the Vieux Colombier Theatre.

Jean-Claude Pelletier is seen pointing to a sign of the Paris metro station Peletier (pronounced just the same but spelled differently) on the front cover of the record. On the back of the sleeve two more EPs are listed in the Columbia Jazz Stars series by the Pelletier Trio and the Pelletier Sextett.  I would sure be interested to hear them, but, just like this EP, they have never been reissued. All of the songs were written by Jean-Claude Pelletier.

The personnel of the Pelletier orchestra is:

A. Renard – P. Sellin – V. Cassino (tp) B. Vasseur – Ch. Verstraete (tb) – H. Jouot (bs) – G. Grenu (as) – G. Lafitte – R. Simon (ts) – R. Bianchini (b) – Ch. Garros (dm) – J.C. Pelletier piano and leader

Pelletier was not only well-versed in traditional jazz but could also really swing. The liner notes mention his ability to play the blues: “a rarity among pianists of the new generation”. Now some purists might argue that the only good swing music is from the 1930s and 40s but by now you should know what I think of purists.  I think this is  excellent French 1950s big-band swing…






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