FRITZ WOELFFER AND HIS GUITAR, Indio/ County, 1969

date-1019-frontdate-1019-backdate-1019-1date-1019-2In April 2008, six month after I had started Berlin Beatet Bestes, I posted this 45 by Fritz Woelffer for the first time. I wrote: “The two songs are solid instrumental Rock´n´Roll in the European Easy-Listening style of the Spotnicks, the Shadows or Jorgen Ingmann. Sadly, the first 10 seconds of Indio are pretty scratched up, to the point of being unlistenable. I`m putting the song here anyway. Until I find a better copy…”

I actually never expected to see another copy. Not that the record is particularly sought after, but it´s rare and just never turns up. Well, last week I finally found one, at a Berlin record fair. Ironically, it was the first record I picked, when I absent-mindedly let my hand wander through a box of cheapo 45s.  Usually I never bother with cheap records at record fairs, because there is too much high quality stuff to choose from already. Even though I had never seen the sleeve, I recognized the record immediately. It looks like it´s never been played and the sleeve is in good condition too. I paid 1 Euro.

Only a handful of German guitarists like Ladi Geisler, Coco Schumann, Dieter Resch, played this style in the 1960s. None of them ever made it big. On top of that, Fritz Woelffer´s Date 45 unfortunately fell out of time. Instrumental rock was long out of style, when it came out. Contrary to what I assumed six years ago, the record is not from the early, but from the late 60s. Both songs seem perfect. Indio is a seamless Western-movie themed tune. County is a sweet little tune, that apart from what the title suggests, also features bass, organ and drums. But it was all in vain. The odd sleeve probably didn´t help sales either. Fritz Woelffers only solo record went completely under the radar.

Fritz Woelffer was a well-known local session musician. In the late 40s he played guitar with the Heinz Becker Barquintet and recorded a bunch of sided for Amiga. So Woelffer was from Berlin, but I´m not so sure, that these songs were recorded in Berlin any more. The record was published by Albert Bennefeld  out of Berlin-Schlachtensee, but the back of the sleeve lists one Hermann Will (date-Tonproduktion für Schallplatte, Funk und Fernsehen, 8662 Helmbrechts), as the producer. So the date label was obviously from the small town of Helmbrechts, in the Upper Franconia region in the state of Bavaria.

My first copy of this record was so scratchy, that I didn´t even notice it was in stereo and recorded it in mono. Now, I  re-recorded both sides in glorious stereo.

Enjoy!

FRITZ WOELFFER AND HIS GUITAR, Indio, 1969

FRITZ WOELFFER AND HIS GUITAR, County, 1969

date-1016-1019

The date label apparently issued mainly Bavarian folk music from the region, but then suddenly changed to beat and pop in the late 60s. Most notably Günter Noris, who became famous as leader of the Big Band of the German Bundeswehr. I have never seen, nor heard any of these other Date records:

- 1016  Günter Noris und sein Orchester, Playboy-Slop/ Hurrikan

Eine Instrumentalplatte mit viel Sound und Schwung. Ideale Party-Platte

- 1017  The Sunsets, Believe it everyday/ Blared Black Beat

Das Richtige für verliebte Leute – Soft Beat (weicher Beat)

- 1018  Orchester Ralf Cardello, Play Beat/ Canadian Patrol

Big Band Beat – Eine Sensation

- 1019  Fritz Woelffer and his Guitar, Indio/ County

 

 


MAMBO BAND, Hey-O-Mambo, 1966

hey-o-mambogeh-nie-mehr-fort-von-mirWhen I arrived at the flea market on Saturday, it was already afternoon. Not too many people strolled around the flea market in the icy wind, but nevertheless most of the boxes had probably been combed through by other collectors. One of the first booths I went to, belonged to a nice lady my age, a seasoned seller, who comes to the flea market even when it´s snowing. Now she was sneezing and coughing. I noticed that two guys were checking through the pile that I had just picked and told them kindly:” I just picked those.” One guy replied, “Oh! Sorry. I´m still curious what you found. Mind if I take a look?” I said: “You´re welcome. Go ahead.”

Well, they both saw this 45 and didn´t bat an eyelash. We talked about another one in the pile, a Spanish opera record that had a cowboy on the sleeve. I ended up not buying it. But, without knowing what it was, I did buy the Mambo Band for 1 Euro. No wonder this unassuming, sleeveless 45 went by unnoticed. Most collectors don´t go for mambo.

Well, as it turned out, Hey-O-Mambo is a great garage beat rocker, fuzz guitar and all…

MAMBO BAND, Hey-O-Mambo, 1966

tanz-und-showband-mambo

When I heard Hey-o-Mambo at home for the first time, I immediately checked the Internet. It´s been featured on Prae-kraut Pandaemonium #14, that came out in 2003, the same Volume that also has Andy Nevison & His Rhythm-Masters White Woman.

This is what Peter Urbach wrote, in the trademark hip PKP-style liner notes:  Though credited on their Etzel 7” as Mambo Band, these guys were better known as The Mambos all over the Lower Franconian hinterland. A rare case of early German frat rock, these kids looked like acolytes on a joyride, but could do a neat Sonics imitation, when fuelled with enough homebrew. Remember: There’s nothing dirty about sax, except you know how to blow right…”

Left out from Bear Family Records huge German Beat round-up “Smash!…Boom!…Bang!…”, it´s due to the classic Prae-kraut series, that bands like the Mambos were finally put on the global map of Rock´n´Roll.  Of course, it also led to increase the value of the original 45s.

Apart from the bootleg PKP re-issue, that is sold out, the songs are currently not available anywhere.

Rock´n´Roll-wise, there is nothing more to add. Still, the flip sheds a little more light on the background of the Mambo Band.

MAMBO BAND, Geh´ nie mehr fort von mir, 1966

Started as a duo by Kurt Eisemann (organ) and Hilmar Hirt (sax)  in 1952, when the Mambo was in style, they soon developed into a full band. After more than 60 years, they still play locally.

 

 


JACK FINEY, Aufmachen Mary, 1961

aufmachen-maryevelynJack Finey is a really great and underrated artist. Unfortunately, these two 45s are the only records of his, that I own. I´d sure like listen to some of his other sides, like Das ist fies Luise or Shake it Nelly Grey. I bet they´re great too! Apart from Schade um die Rosen, none of his songs have ever been re-issued, so they´re not available on Itunes, Amazon, Spotify, not even Youtube. Please, can  somebody help with some more Jack Finey?

Jack Finey recorded at least 14 sides until 1967. This is a list of his recordings, compiled by Deutsches Rock´n´Roll Schallplattenforum:

- Oh Baby, Komm’  Sofort Nach Haus’ (Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home)/Die Kaltmamsell Vom Grand-Hotel (Decca 19370) 1960

- Evelyn/Aufmachen Mary (Decca 19411) 1961

- Die Geschichte Von Stagger Lee (Stagger Lee)/Sie Heißt Betty Bones (Electrola 21231) 1959
- Piccola/ Schade Um Die Rosen (Electrola 21390) 1960

- Das Ist Fies Luise/ Genau (Electrola 21554) 1961

- Du Kleines Gör (In Der Badewanne)/Boing (Amadeo AVRS 21237) 1962

- Yes Tonight Josephine/Shake It Nelly Grey (Vogue DV 14594) 1967

Aufmachen Mary is a great nutty Twist!

JACK FINEY, Aufmachen Mary, 1961

JACK FINEY, Evelyn, 1961

aufmachen-mary-front-2

 

 


JACK FINEY, Sie heisst Betty Bones, 1959

betty-bonesstagger-leeThe story of Afro-Caribbean artists working in Germany in the 1950s, has not been written yet. After the second World War, musicians like Roberto Blanco (Cuba), Mona Baptiste (Trinidad), Billy Mo (Trinidad) and Jack Finey (Curaçao) helped to transform German culture and society. From a despised and isolated country, that had caused the worst crimes of the century, back into the civilized world. Germans simply couldn´t have lifted themselves out of their misery. As you will hear, they needed the help of some spirited Caribbeans desperately.

Unfortunately, information about Jack Finey is scarce. At least, the trusty German Rock´n´Roll-Schallplattenforum, collected a bit:

Jack Finey (born Jakob Frerian Christian Schreuder) was born in Amsterdam in 1928. He grew up in Curaçao and returned to Amsterdam when he was 14 years old. He appeared on Broadway. In 1959 he first recorded in Germany for Electrola and later Decca, also for the Austrian Amadeo label in 1962 and for German Vogue label in 1967. In 1960 Jack Finey appeared in the German musical comedy “Meine Nichte tut das nicht” with his song Schade um die Rosen.

In 1959 Jack Finey recorded this fine two-sider for Electrola, containing German versions of  Louis Prima´s “The Closer To The Meat” and Lloyd Price´s “Stagger Lee”.

Like other popular American folk songs, such as Delia Gone, Stagger Lee is a song about an actual murder case. In 1895, “Stag” Lee Shelton, a black pimp, shot Billy Lyons in St. Louis, Missouri, over an argument about politics. Lyons snatched Shelton´s hat from his head. Stagger Lee demanded it back. When Billy refused, Stagger Lee shot him, took his hat and walked away. Shelton was arrested and convicted of murder in 1897. The crime quickly entered into American folklore and became the subject of songs.

In 1928, Mississippi John Hurt recorded the most well-known blues version of Stagger Lee. Twenty-two years later, New Orleans rhythm & blues pianist Archibald wrote and recorded his own version of Stack A Lee. It´s a New Orleans boogie in an easygoing, rocksteady rhythm, that is very well worth listening to on Youtube. The Imperial 45 has two parts. In Part 2, Stagger Lee dies and goes to the devil. Lloyd Price covered Archibald´s “Stagger Lee Part 1″ and turned it into a # 1 hit on the Billboard charts in 1959.

Whereas the lyrics of  German versions of US hits were usually changed completely, and left only the melody intact, the German lyrics to “Stagger Lee” are unusually faithful to the original. They´ve got pretty much the exact meaning and content, down to naming the song ” Die Geschichte von Stagger Lee” (The story of Stagger Lee).  The German writer Nicolas sure had a good instinct for teenage subjects. Whereas Dick Clark reportedly had Lloyd Price change the lyrics to a fight over a woman and a happy ending, to appear on his show, the German lyrics keep the bloody ending.

Just for comparison, I transcribed the lyrics. The lines change from German to English, to make the song more authentic. Note the Dutch accent in “He´s real danger!”:

“Ich stand müde an der Ecke,/ doch ich bin dann plötzlich aufgewacht./Auf der Strasse würfelten zwei Männer in der Nacht./ Da war Stagger Lee, da Billy,/ da die Würfel, um Mitternacht./ Stagger Lee warf eine Sieben,/  Billy schwor, er habe acht./ Stagger Lee sagte heiser,/ lass das Zeug , Mensch. Ich habe ´ne Wut./ Du hast all mein Geld gewonnen/ und auch meinen neuen Hut./ Stagger Lee ging nach Hause,/ schob ´ne Kugel in den Lauf./ Sagt, die Schuld muss ich begleichen/ und entsicherte darauf./ Watch out! Watch Out, Billy! Watch out for Stagger Lee, man. He´s real danger, man! He´s real danger! Be careful, Billy! Run, Billy, Run! That´s the only thing you can do!/ Zu der Bar ging er heimlich,/ und dann stand er grinsend in der Tür./Zog den Colt und sagt zu Billy:/ “Büssen musst du mir dafür!”/ “Stagger Lee!”, rief Billy./ “Schon mein Leben. Nehm´ es nicht./ Denk an meine kleinen Kinder./ Meiner Frau, das Herz zerbricht.”/ Stagger Lee schoss auf Billy./ Nahm ihm alles, was er besass./ Und die Kugel flog durch Billy/ und zerbrach ein Whiskeyglas./ Run, run, Stagger Lee, lauf! That´s the only thing you can do. Lauf, Stagger Lee! You´re a bad boy! You´re really bad, man! Look at that poor Billy, laying on the floor, guy. Oh, he´s dead. Billy is dead.You´re bad… Run, run...

JACK FINEY, Die Geschichte von Stagger Lee, 1959

“Betty Bones” is the German version of Louis Prima´s saucy  The Closer To The Bone, of his 1959 album “The Call Of The Wildest”.

“Now she’d make a good thermometer/ If she drank a glass of wine/ She’s built just like a garter snake/ She climbs up like a vine/ My friends tell me I’m a fool/ To love a girl like that/ Here’s the reason I like ‘em slim/ Instead of big and fat/ ‘Cause closest to the bone/ Sweeter is the meat/ Last slice of Virginia ham/ Is the best that you can eat”

Bony Moronie. Long Tall Sally. Skinnie Minnie. The list of songs about skinny girls is long in pop music, from  the 1920s into the 1960s, equally long as the list about fat girls. Today they would be considered rude, except in rap songs.  Now, in the German version, only the title “Betty Bones”, touches on the subject of  skinny girls.  “Sie heisst Betty Bones” is about a girl with a cold heart, or at least she´s not into Jack, until she get´s jealous of another girl…

 For the last 30 years, Bear Family Records had the market of  German Schlager and Rock´n´Roll reissues pretty much covered. Still, both songs have never been re-released and never been digitized. Apart from Jack Finey´s Schade um die Rosen, that appeared on the Bear Family comp “Rock in Germany”, none of his songs have ever been. That means, you won´t find them on Youtube, Spotify, Itunes, Amazon or anywhere else.

Just here….

JACK FINEY, Sie heisst Betty Bones, 1959

jack-finey-voguejack-finey-electrola

Side note: When I bought this 45, last week in a local second-hand record store  for four Euros,  I didn´t see that the record was autographed.Until I scanned the record and suddenly saw the label in high-resolution. Compared with the  signatures on these two autographed pictures that are currently offered on Ebay, they look pretty similar. That little loop over the F gives it away.

The seller in the record store sure didn´t see the signature either, otherwise the record probably wouldn´t have been so cheap.jack-finey-signatures

 


GESCHWISTER PREIN, Wann werden meine Träume wahr

mondano-106-a mondano-106-bThe tiny Mondano label from Dortmund released a bunch of 45s and probably LPs locally in the 60s and early 70s. Their biggest seller was Jens Hudek, who sold 120.000 copies of his LP “Show Express”. Hudek died in August 2014, aged 74.

Gustav A. Küper wrote both these songs and his name is on the address of some other Mondano releases, so I assume he was the owner of this operation. Küper released “Ahoi, alter Jonny” by “The singing Sailor” Fred Mauritz, Horst Strauss und die Mondenos´ ode to local football club “Borussia Marsch”, and Rudi Horn´s novelty 45  “Angelika Serenade/ Hunde-Ballade”.

For some strange reason the Geschwister Prein (Prein Sisters) appear only abbreviated and in brackets on the label. I chose to write their name in full, because it´s obviously a female duo singing on this record. They are backed by Hugo Köhler´s Studio-Group, who also backed Jens Hudek on his Mondano sides. Hugo Köhler died in 2008, aged 77, in Dortmund. No information about Geschwister Prein on the Internet, though.

 

GESCHWISTER PREIN, Wann werden meine Träume wahr

GESCHWISTER PREIN, Fern auf uns´rer Ranch

 

geschw-prein


THE ACCORDIONAIRES, Accordeon Rock and Roll

Q-1009-AQ-1009-BIn the 1950s, Rock´n´Roll was a force. Some brave accordionists were still holding their ground, not ready to give up the fight. But it was a losing game, loud electric guitars were taking the world by storm. Since then, they have more or less replaced acoustic instruments like accordions, recorders, zithers, cazoos and washboards in popular music.

The Accordionnaires, on the other hand,  tried to go with the times…

THE ACCORDIONNAIRES, Accordeon Rock

THE ACCORDIONNAIRES, Accordeon Roll

 

Found this Rose Records 45 in Vienna a couple of weeks ago. No idea when or where it was published. No trace of it in the digital world either. Obviously it´s never been reissued. About the only thing that popped up, when I searched for The Accordionaires on the Internet, was this music book.

 

rock-n-roll-party-book-1961 accordionaires

 

 


DIE LOTHAR NAKAT BOYS, Beatnik Fly

B-33-frontB-33-backB-33-2B-33-1More Blockflöten-Rock. Here´s  one more version of  a rock´n´roll instrumental by Johnny and the Hurricanes that uses a recorder to simulate  the band´s trademark Hammond Chord organ, played by Paul Tesluk. Lothar Nakat´s arrangement of the Hurricanes 1960 hit Beatnik Fly was initially released by the small indie Starlet. Apparently Starlet regularly licensed Nakat´s recordings to a couple of dozen other budget labels like, in this case, Deutscher Schallplattenclub, out of Stuttgart,  a record club like Bertelsmann, Opera and Jazztone,

Lothar Nakat´s happy “recorder rock”-version of Beatnik Fly might not sound as dangerous as the original, but I think  it´s really sweet! It´s a shame that it has not been reissued in more than 50 years.

DIE LOTHAR NAKAT BOYS, Beatnik Fly

DIE LOTHAR NAKAT BOYS, Too Much Tequila

CHOR UND ORCHESTER LOTHAR NAKAT, Summer Set

CHOR UND ORCHESTER LOTHAR NAKAT, Luna Triste

Heinz Wolf;  Soprano saxophone

Hans Etzel; Trumpet

Photo credit: Rainer Fichel

B-33-detail

 

 


FRED HOLLERBACH, Liebestraum

hallo-1021-b-liebestraumhallo-1021-a-angel-of-loveAround 1960, the Hallo label out of  Rastatt/ Baden-Württemberg, released around four dozen flexi discs, often containing original tunes, to go with their Hallo magazine, a rock´n´roll knock-off of Bravo. I haven´t posted any Hallo flexis, because a book about Hallo and a CD, was soon to be released. That was years ago, but so far, no book. If the book and the CD finally come out,  I´ll be happy to buy a copy. Meanwhile, this Hallo flexi is fine blog material: 50 plus years old, defunct label, unknown artists, not available in digital format elsewhere.

Franz von Suppé´s Liebestraum was turned into a Twist hit in 1961 by Charly Cotton and his Twistmakers, a band led by prolific songwriter Christian Bruhn. I´ve posted a bunch of versions of Der Liebestraum als Twist over the years, by Jimmy Brown (Tempo), Bert Landers (Tip) and Bob Gerry (Baccarola and the Gary Edwards Combo (Oriole). This Accordeon-Jazz-version,  typical of the 1950s trend of Jazz-takes on Classical music, predates Charly Cotton´s.

The condition of this flexible record seems to be the result of a familiar scene. Flexis were cheap products for teenagers, teenagers that lived in the same rooms with their little brothers and sisters. Like I did with my little brother until I was 13 years old. Frequently we would get in fights. I´m sorry to admit it, but my brother always lost.

liebestraum-fred-hollerbach

In revenge, he would take his crayons and draw all over my stuff…

FRED HOLLERBACH, Liebestraum

Angel of Love was first recorded by Charlie Gracie for Coral in 1959. Teddy Palmer, recorded a German version for Electrola the same year, in the rrrrrock´n´rrrrrollin´Peter-Kraus-style.

FRED HOLLERBACH STUDIO-COMBO, Angel of Love

 

 

 

 

 


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