Martin Mordecai Slavin (1922-1988) was one of Britain’s top vibraphone players and a prolific session musician. He moved to Vancouver, Canada in 1966 and later settled in Hollywood. In the mid-80s he returned to the UK and played occasional freelance dates, until he was killed in a road accident.
More 1960s charleston tunes by Martin Slavin and his Gang (of studio musicians, I´d guess) on the British Oriole label. Or rather charleston mixed with rock´n´roll. I just love how the mixture manages to completely destroy both styles. They don´t work as jazz tunes and they don´t work as rock songs either. Most likely that´s why nobody has cared to reissue them in 50 years.
But who cares what they are, when the result is so damn funny…
Hazy Osterwald, the undisputed King of Swiss pop and jazz music, died in 2012 at the age of 90. Without ever trying very hard, even I have collected a bunch of his records. This promotional record, made for a brand of men’s safety razors, has never been reissued.
For obvious reasons….
This record was meant for private education at home and was part of a 12-piece box set that was issued by Opera-Europäischer Phonoclub record club in the early 1960s. The majority of the set is about classical music, but there´s one 45 about early electronic music, one about gospel and only this one about jazz.
This is an early German example of academic re-evaluation of what was formerly considered low, vulgar, popular culture. I think, as comprehensible and well meaning it might have been to turn pop culture it into an academic discipline, it has always led to lessen its impact.
Even though not intended, at least in this case we were left with a pretty funny record:
Analyse: Prof. Paul Douliez, Dr. Karl Richter
Sprecher: Wolfgang Wendt
Tontechnik: Kurt Rapp
„Ist der Jazz Massenhysterie? Suggestion? Oder Entfesselung der unterdrückten Individualität? Musik der Freiheit oder der Disziplin? Gehört er zur Etikette der Snobs, oder bedeutet er harmloses Verspieltsein der Fans? In jedem Fall, was der Jazz zu geben vermag, geschieht spontan aus einer magischen Verbindung der Instrumente, ihrer Spieler und Hörer. Ob Ekstatik… oder intellektuelle Abstraktion,… diese Musik ist ein Kennzeichen unserer Zeit.“
I also found another version Opera issued with grey labels:
De tiener-band, “the teenager-band”, is actually a children´s choir led by Paula van Alphen, backed by Harry Bannink´s orchestra.
“Come and grab your mom´s washboard and join the teenager-band!”…
Unfortunately it is not noted who did the drawings for the sleeve and the booklet, there is however a small illegible signature on the front, that reads like Fj. Wijnen:
Because it fits the theme, here´s the story of jazz told for children from the German children´s book Das Karussell from 1966. Again, the drawings are not credited.
In 1957 Dutch singer Corry Brokken won the second European Song Contest, the Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Europénne. While she is mostly known for her smooth pop ballads, her career got started when she recorded the swingin´ Auto-Scooter´s-Boogie with Albert Van Hoogten´s small indie Ronnex in 1955. Now Ronnex was a hip label, from putting out Bill Haley´s pre-rock´n´roll sides, to Jack Hammer´s crazy twists, to the fuzzed-out beat of the Shake Spears. In the mid-1950s Albert sent his brother, Rene Jan van Hoogten, to the United States to set up a label there. Rene later changed his name to Ray Maxwell, started Moonglow Records, recorded a bunch of very cool rockin´records and eventually discovered the Righteous Brothers.
To celebrate tonight´s 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest, here´s a one-sided flexible 45, recorded by Corry Brokken and her Hi-Fives for BP in the early 1960s
Leo Martin (1924 – 1993) was a Flemish comedian and musician, most famous for being one part of the comic duo Gaston & Leo.
In the late 50s Leo also recorded some rock´n´roll songs. Strangely this one about Cleopatra, sung together with actress Chris Sent (1922-1989), is neither in Flemish or French but German.
Now on the flip they don´t even sing in a real language. Or is it?
And then communication deteriorates even further…
Leo Martin in a short wordless sketch from the 1980s:
This Belgian 45 is centered around Kom van dat dak af, the first and most famous Dutch rock´n´roll HIT song, written and recorded by Peter Koelewijn en zijn Rockets in 1959. If you do not know the original version I urge you to go find it. It´s one of my favorite European rock´n´roll songs. By the way, just want to point out that the Twist and Frit´blog still offers a lot of thorough information, very nice record sleeves and even some cool tunes of Belgian guitar groups of the 1960s.
When it came to real rock´n´roll screaming, none of the European rock´n´rollers came close to the likes of Little Richard in the 1950s. Except maybe the ones who just tried to parody rock´n´roll, like Wim and his Krafties, who recorded for the cheapo label Kraftone. Kraftone, a division of the Kraft cheese company, operated from 1960 to 1963 and was a typical variety label.
Anyway, both songs on this 45 are hilarious! The anonymous vocalist can´t sing and he doesn´t even try. He simply shouts at the top of his lungs in a wild approximation of rock´n´roll!!!
Now get outta your bed!
And get off the roof!
Neh, neh, neh, neh, neh, neh, kom van dat dak af
‘K waarschuw niet meer
Just because this sleeveless 45 doesn´t offer much visual stimulation I add this totally unrelated comic strip from 1964. It is also from Belgium though! And it is from my collection and drawn by my favorite Belgium cartoonist Marc Sleen.
I think the story pretty much explains itself…
Lengthy song titles are a good indication for a novelty tune. So, out of curiosity I bought this 45 last Saturday at a local Kreuzberg flea market. The flip, Kurdistan, has unusually nonsensical/clever lyrics, an oriental twist and a nice swingin´vibe. Good ingredients for a hit song, nevertheless the record flopped. The songs probably were too silly for jazz purists and still too sophisticated for mainstream audiences. Not surprisingly they have never been reissued in 52 years.
Fred Gartner is from Austria, but otherwise no information about him online. The only info I have, is from this sleeveless Odeon 45, that was originally released by the Austrian Favorit Records, house label of comedian Georg Kreisler.
From the credits I assume Kurdistan was written by Joe Dixie, another German Jazz musician that went completely under the radar. I have written a bit about Dixie a while back here.
Though the lyrics themselves are not related to it, Durchs wilde Kurdistan was obviously inspired by a novel of the same title, written by Karl May in 1892. A film based on the book was released in 1965.
Schokoladen-Laden-Ladennmädchen is vaguely reminiscent of titles like Bill Ramsey´s Wumba -Tumba Eisverkäufer and Trude Herr´s Ich will keine Schokolde. It was written by Austrian comedians Gerhard Bronner and Peter Wehle. Together Bronner and Wehle wrote over 1000 songs and programs. Both of Jewish descent, here they can be seen doing a comedy report on their tour of Israel:
The only trace of Fred Gartner that I could find is an excerpt of a show recorded live at the “Splendid Bar” in Vienna in 1959. Gartner is the one on the right side, doing the impression of Louis Armstrong: