Last year I found a whole bunch of Danish 78s in a local thrift store and then already posted Eddie Russell´s version of “Blazin´ The Trail”. Eddie Russell (1908-86) was a popular Danish singer from the 40s to the 70s and recorded over 400 sides. Sadly only a handful of these have ever been been reissued. I found a few Youtube videos of his 78s playing and one CD of what sounded like his 60s material. But no Eddie Russell on Wikipedia, Discogs or any other fan site.
Now here´s another Stalin related record from the same bunch of Danish 78s that I found last year, like the majority of the them, issued by the Tono label, the most important Danish record label until the late 50s. “Stalin og Truman og Churchill og mig” (Stalin and Truman and Churchill and me) was recorded most probably right after the Allied Liberation of Denmark in the summer of 1945.
Two cheerful tunes that celebrate the fact that Denmark finally got rid of the fascists….
Just found this 78rpm record last week in a local antique book store together with the rock´n´roll birthday card/record. It´s a nice little oddity from Berlins musical past: the youth choir of the Central German Broadcasting system singing two odes to Joseph Stalin.
The record was released probably between 1949 and 1951 by Ernst Busch, one of Germany´s foremost interpreters of political songs. Busch set up the first record label in communist East-Germany in 1946. In 1953 his own comrades turned his company into into a soviet style people-owned enterprise, a Volkseigener Betrieb. A lifelong communist, Busch had fled Nazi Germany in 1933, settled in the Soviet Union, fought in the Spanish Civil War, fled from Franco´s Nationalist to Belgium and was interned by the Germans and later imprisoned in France and Berlin. Freed by the Soviet army in 1945, he settled in East-Berlin.
After the fall of the wall in 1989 and the collapse of the communist system, most of the former people-owned enterprises were bought by private businesses. Today the exact same people that own the rights to the songs of Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, own the catalog of Ernst Busch´s communist record label. Pretty funny that capitalists now also own these commie propaganda songs. Of course these two Stalin love songs, recorded by a group of unknowns, at an unknown date more than 60 years ago, in a political system hostile to the one we live in today, have never been reissued.
Lied über Stalin
Musik: Ferencz Szabo
Text: M. Inyushkin und Erich Weinert
Es schwingt über Gipfel und Täler und Auen
mit Schwingen des Adlers ein herrliches Lied.
Das Lied über Stalin, dem alle vertrauen,
zu dem wir in Liebe und Freundschaft erglühn.
Wir lassen mit Stolz unser Sturmlied erklingen.
Wir führen zum Siege den Stalinschen Plan.
Wenn wir unser glückliches Leben besingen,
wir wissen, mit wem wir das Tagwerk getan.
Es schwingt über Gipfel und Täler und Auen,
wo Flieger sich grüßen in Wolken und Wind,
das Lied über Stalin, dem alle vertrauen,
dem alle wir treu und verantwortlich sind.
Song about Stalin
With the swings of an eagle, a glorious song
is swinging over mountain tops and valleys and meadows .
A song about Stalin, who everyone trusts,
for whom we are burning with love and friendship.
Proudly we sing our battle song.
We ´ll lead Stalin’s plan to victory.
While we sing about our fortunate lives,
we´ll know with whom we have done our day´s work.
Swinging over mountain tops and valleys and meadows,
where flyers greet in clouds and wind,
is the song about Stalin,
who everyone trusts,
who we are all true and responsible to.
Interesting aside: If you look a litle closer at the label of the the A-Side “Lied über Stalin” above, you will notice a light blue shade of another label that seems to be glued under it. Because I was curious, I reversed the scan with Photoshop and it revealed the words Jazz-Harmonika and Albert Vossen.
After a little Internet research I found the record on Ebay. It´s “Komm´ zurück “ (Come back) by popular West-German jazz-accordionist Albert Vossen mit seinen Tanz-Rhythmikern with vocals by (Rudi) Schuricke Terzett. Indeed this is a Telefunken label from before 1945. Because of the shortage of shellac in the post-war years, old shellac records were often used to produce new ones. But paper was equally short. This is probably an example of the back sides of old labels being used.
(From my GDR collection, an advertisement for the HO Industriewaren, the state-owned retail business, on Stalinallee. Formerly Große Frankfurter Strasse, the street was renamed in honour of Stalin´s 70th birthday on December 21, 1949. Again renamed in 1961 to Karl-Marx-Allee, after loving Stalin went out of style, the huge boulevard still exists in all its pompous socialist glory today.
“Do you know the biggest shop-window? From Strausberger Platz to Proskauer Strasse (Niederbarnim Strasse)… extend our special business outlets. Shop after shop, window after window, through which you will see our rich range of goods.”)
By the way, before anyone gets any wrong ideas…
The only Stalin I´m interested in, is this Stalin:
After funny football fado, here is funny political fado. After the Carnation Revolution of April 1974 the whole country was celebrating the end of the oldest European dictatorship and the beginning of a new era.
Ser fascista is making fun of the fascists. A beautiful song just like the other three….
Peter Lorenz was the first German politician that was ever kidnapped . His kidnapping also marked the first and last time that a German government would comply to the demands of the kidnappers.
In 1975 Lorenz was candidate for mayor of West Berlin. He was kidnapped by the terrorist group Movement 2 June three days before the elections on 27 February. The terrorists demanded a release of several imprisoned group members, including Horst Mahler, one of the founders of the Red Army Faction (RAF) and future RAF terrorists Verena Becker, and Rolf Heissler. Mahler refused to be exchanged but the other prisoners were set free.
After the militants had been flown out to Aden, South Yemen, Lorenz was set free on 4 March.
One of the freed prisoner – Rolf Heißler – became a member of the group which abducted Hanns-Martin Schleyer in 1977 to exchange him for imprisoned RAF members. After the operation had failed, Schleyer was killed. Heissler was one of his two murderers.
I bought this record a while ago in a thrift store in the street that I live in. Strangely the place where Peter Lorenz was held hostage in for six days in the spring of 1975, a basement of a store-front in the Schenkendorfstr. 7, is only a block away from my place. I walk on that street every day. Back then this area of Kreuzberg was a poor run-down working class district, that would later be the fighting-ground of parts of the squatters movement. Incidentally the same state-owned corporation that was pushing the redevelopment of this part of Kreuzberg in the late 70´s and early 80´s is keeping it from complete gentrification today. At least in my house none the residents have moved out in the last 13 years.
The Schenkendorfstrasse No.7 today:
On this one-sided flexi-disc Peter Lorenz can be heard speaking in a friendly slightly local Berlin accent. Campaigning for the 1971 Berlin elections to become mayor of Berlin he talks about building better housing and reasonable rents for everybody. Even the terrorists were said to have been surprised that the supposedly evil conservative politician they kidnapped was a regular and nice guy. Peter Lorenz died in 1987.
(Ein kleiner Artikel über diese Schallplatte, Berlin Beatet Bestes Folge 57, erschien am 5. August 2010 in der Jungle World. Zu finden online hier.)
Again I found this last week for 50 cents in a local thrift store. It was released by a group of Berlin communists in support of the Chilean people who were massacred by the military Junta in 1974. The Chilean coup d´état of General Pinochet was a major political cause to fight against for the political left. In Eastern-Germany it was state-policy.
Chile Venceremos (we shall overcome) is a folk song but the singing is very similar to that of Ton Steine Scherben, Germany´s most radical-leftist Krautrock group. It features some cool commie lyrics about overthrowing the capitalist system and fighting violently to the end…
( Ein kleiner, von mir auf deutsch geschriebener Text über Kourosh Yaghmaie und iranische Rock-Musik, erschien am 2. Juli 2009 in der Wochenzeitung Jungle World. Im Internet zu lesen ist er hier. )
Now that the Western journalists have successfully been silenced or had to leave the country ( at least German television seems to be completely ignorant of the wave of repression that is happening in Iran right now) the Islamist fascists can finally crack down on the protesters. And they do with the most vicious brutality. It´s heartbreaking. Like this video that reports of mass beatings and killings happening June 24, 2009:
The brave people of Iran have shown that the resistance to the Islamic dictatorship is widespread and that they have had enough. Whatever will become of the situation in Iran, the powers that be, will not be able to turn back the wheel of time. No dictatorship has ever been able to do that. They can rule with fear and scare everyone to death. Just like Hitler did. But they will inevitably be brought down. The crack in the system is there. It´s only a matter of time now until it gets bigger and bigger and it will break…
There is so much that Iran could give to the world if the people would be free. It´s a big country of 70 million and the majority are young and restless. They want freedom. As a reminder that Iran used to have a great history of Pop music that was mixing Western and Iranian traditional influences, here is the most famous Iranian Rock song. Of course there is Rock and Pop music in Iran today but as usual I´ll stick to vinyl records on this site. These were lend to me by my friend Minou who got them from her father. Incidentally she is visiting her family in Los Angeles right now. Thank you Minou! Thank you Mousa!
How fitting that these records are in such poor condition. I don´t have any professional clean-up program yet to get rid of all the disturbing surface noise. Just don´t give up too early. There are some beautiful tunes that lay beneath that. They mostly start out real bad but it gets better towards the middle. Enough with the metaphors, on to the music…
Kourosh Yaghmaei was Iran’ s most well known Rock musician before the Islamic Revolution brought the country to a halt in 1979 and all Pop and Rock music was banned. He was silenced and forbidden to perform and record for 17 years. He started playing in the 60´s in the Iranian Beat group the Raptures and then went solo with this his first record.
Gole Yakh is a sad, slow Rock song with a nice piano and a great guitar solo. It´s got a beautiful, haunting melody. The b-side Del Dareh Pir Mishe is a mid-tempo song with great fuzz guitar and organ. Wonderful!
Fikret just supplied a much better sounding file for Gole Yakh. If you like the song you´ll find the link in his comment below.
I could be a cynical anarchist and say that nothing will change anyway no matter who is president but right now I`m as happy about Obama`s historic victory as anyone else. It`s a great little moment and I`d like to take the time to post some more political records- some strange, some funny and some serious.
This is a flexi-disc that was published in support of the candidacy of social-democratic politician and popular Berlin mayor Willy Brandt to become German chancellor in 1966. Both songs are playing with Willy`s image as a womanizer. I found the record at my local flea-market and the lyrics and a story here.
The caricature of Willy Brandt is by the local Berlin cartoonist Ole Jensen( see my post about him here)