As you might have noticed, I´ve been absent from this blog for a while. No specific reason, I just lost the weekly rhthm to post stuff and then had other things on my mind over the summer. But of course I kept buying records! I´ve got a whole box of stuff that I will post in the coming weeks. Before I do that, I´ll post a couple of records that were ready to post before I went on hiatus, this one is from May. Another reason I stopped posting was that I thought that the records on my wait list weren´t exciting enough. Actually they´re not better or worse than anything I ever posted before. This one fits the bill: It´s not available in digital format elsewhere, the artist hasn´t been active for decades, and 50 years after it was recorded, I feel it´s fair to present it.
This one-sided flexible disc was made for the German Indanthren trademark association. Indanthren, or Indanthrone, is both a type of organic dye and a brand name. The featured vocalist Ruth Fischer recorded about twenty sides for Electrola in the late 50s and early 60s. Accordingly the Electrola-Tanzorchester is also backing her on this swinging promotional song. While the arrangement is top-notch, the lyrics rather clumsily link teenage desire to the product:
You are still too young for me. Your mustache looks wimpy, so stop bragging (…) I´ll be seventeen next year and I know what I want (…) What do you have to offer, besides big talk and blue jeans? (…) I want a manly, smart and true guy. A man as true and and “light fast” as Indanthren…
This funny little song from the early 1960s even manages to mix patriotic feelings for the city of Hamburg with Brazilian Bossa Nova. It seems strange but it does make sense considering that Hamburgers always prided themselves to be very cosmopolitan. Hummel Hummel is a traditional greeting among people from Hamburg.
Karl-Heinz Loges held the position of staff arranger and conductor for Radio Hamburg for many years. He also wrote music for films and was probably best known to the general public for the themes to the the German TV series “Hallo Nachbar” and “Lotterie”.
Just noticed that the last post was my 700th post since I started this blog in 2007. To celebrate all these wasted years, here´s another flexible Birthday 78rpm postcard record, published by the London based Melody Cards company. These postcard records offer perfect copyright-friendly blog material: anonymous artists, no copyright noted, 50 plus years old and of course never reissued.
Plus, underneath the crackles and pops, a pretty silly song.
No washboard though….
Happy, Happy Birthday!
Happy, Happy Birthday!
On this anniversary of the day that you were born.
Let´s git goin´ down the track,
Once I´se there ain´t comin´ back,
Git those presents on the rack
Of the WASHBOARD BIRTHDAY SPECIAL
This cash-in version of Chris Barber´s 1959 hit coupling of Petite Fleur/ Wild Cat Blues, recorded by The Dixieland Wild Cats, an anonymous group, was both published by the budget label Baccarola and the Bertelsmann record club. I already posted another version by Kid Orbis on the Delta super-budget flexi-label in 2012.
Petite Fleur was an international hit in 1959 and spearheaded the popularity of the Trad-Jazz movement in Europe. Sidney Bechet, who wrote and first recorded Petite Fleur in 1952, wasn´t able to share the late success of his song. He died in Paris on May 14, 1959.
I really do like these budget versions, especially the rhythm section on Wild Cat Blues. The vibraphone, the bass and the guitar, add a dynamic, slightly more modern touch to the standard early 1920s chug-chug-chug rhythm of the original. I also dig the novelty ending:
Some late reference to the football word cup in Brazil. Bought this last year at a flea market in Hamburg. It´s from the early 1960s, when SABA was still a variety label, and before it focused purely on jazz. No information online about this record or the artists. As usual, it has never been reissued in any format in fifty years.
Nice easy listening Herbie Mann-style bossa nova…
Found this in the 50 cent bin of a local thrift store recently. Sleeveless, but still in okay condition. Here´s all the information that I could find about this mysterious, completely forgotten group.
- Bert Landers was a Berlin band leader who recorded a great number of records for various German labels, but mainly for the budget Tip. He also recorded under the name of Berth von Landers und sein High Society Orchester. I assume that The Bertlanders-Starband is actually the studio orchestra of Bert Landers in one of its earliest formations.
- The Bertlanders-Starband are: Heinz Wulfestieg – trumpet; Karl Wolfgang Wiesenthal – trumpet; Bert Button – trombone; Dieter Siebert – alto-sax; Volkmar Schmidt – tenor-sax, Detlev Clausen – piano; Joachim Gilow – bass; Kurt Giese – drums
- Alto-Saxophonist Dieter Siebert might be identical with 20th-century classical music composer Wilhelm Dieter Siebert (1931-2011). His Wiki-resume mentions that he played Jazz in the late 50s.
- I further assume that Volkmar Schmidt is saxophonist, clarinetist and orchestra leader of East-German groups Gruppe Schmidt, Schulz & Co., Orchester Volkmar Schmidt and Volkmar Schmidt Combo.
- Drummer Kurt Giese later became a producer for North German radio (NDR) and arranged Chet Baker´s “Last Great Concert” in 1988 in Hannover, two weeks before Baker´s death.
- Trumpet solo on Franz Grothe´s Mitternachts-Blues by Karl Wolfgang “Charley” Wiesenthal.
These four tracks, exclusively recorded by Opera – Europäischer Phonoclub, have not been reissued in 50 years.
Yah-dah! is a nicely up-dated version of one of the earliest Jazz recordings,Yah-de-dah, first recorded in 1917 by the Frisco Jass Band.
The Careless Cats are a new swing/jazz group, who are quickly making a name for themselves in the local swing dancing scene. Their vocalist Nina and their pianist are both dancers and it does show in how they always keep just the right tempo for us dancers. Nina also happens to be one of my favorite dance partners, both as a lead and as a follower.
The philosophy of the Bassy club is “strictly music before 1969″. It´s a rock´n´roll club, so we thought we should be emphasizing the jazz element in swing music with our new JAZZ DANCE CLUB. We´re also trying to put the jazz bands where they belong: on a proper stage, with proper lighting and sound.
In aller Bescheidenheit, dit wird ganz geil….
We´d be happy to see you!
Jazz Dance Club
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Careless Cats at Bassy Club, Schönhauser Allee 176 A
A swing dance taster class starts at 7!
Cover: 5 Euro
Here´s two songs that I recorded when the Careless Cats played at Queen Quotti last November:
CARELESS CATS, Cement Mixer, 2013
CARELESS CATS, Sweet Sue
The very first record that I posted in 2007 was similar to this one, in that it was also local, political and privately pressed. While the former was anarchist, this is a straight communist record. It was issued to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Freie Deutsche Jugend Westberlins (FDJW), the youth organization of the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Westberlins (SEW). The Socialist Unity Party of West Berlin was more or less a Berlin branch of the SED, the governing party of East-Germany.
In short, these cats were West Berlin fans of communist East Germany. After reunification, the party quickly dissolved. Not surprisingly, it was later revealed that East Germany had financed the party with more than 10 million German marks a year. I´m sure none of that money went into the making of this record. It´s got the touch of a genuine DIY project, from the “graphics” on the front sleeve, to the paper of the labels and the lack of any address or copyright. To say this release looks private, is an understatement, it looks clandestine.
Musically both bands are close to the radical leftist Krautrock of fellow locals Lokomotive Kreuzberg and Floh de Cologne (from Cologne). Recorded in 1977, these guys were not into fun stuff like Blitzkrieg Bop or sniffin´glue, but 37 years later their earnest commie rock is a lot funnier than most Berlin punk records of that period…
(Ein kurzer Text über diese Platte erschien am 22. Mai als Folge 242 meiner Berlin Beatet Bestes Kolumne in der Wochenzeitung Jungle World, nachzulesen hier.)