The packaging of this 45 is pretty typical for privately pressed records – white, wrap-around paper “sleeve” and plain label colour and graphics. Everything else about this EP is out of the ordinary. The release in the early 1970s, coincides with the legalisation of homosexuality in Germany in 1971 and that of pornography in 1972.
The” girls” of the Travestie-Cabaret “Die Herren Damen laden ein” ( The Gentlemen Ladies invite you!) perform two jazz-standards and two risqué songs. Or actually, two lyrically graphic and pretty bold songs about sex. The name of the label says it all: SEX-Record.
Still, this is all quite humorous and softened by the cute vocals of the anonymous cross-dressing “Gentlemen-Ladies”. No clue who actually performed this, nor when or where. However, the songwriters of Die erste Nummer were Bert LoskaGraf Porno Mit Seinem Herrenclub “Intime 8” in 1970.
Die erste Nummer ist die Allerschönste (The first time is the best) questions the unrealistic display and frequency of sex actions in the flood of sex films that followed the lift of the ban of pornography. A wonderful musical time capsule of Berlin’s gay nightlife in the early 70s…
It´s summertime, so here are two summer related Dixieland songs. The Dixie-Kavaliers were inspired by the success of the Old Merry Tale Jazzband who had a few hits mixing Dixieland and Schlager around the same time in the early 60s.
Amalie is an uptated Dixieland version of an old German Jazz-Schlager. Max Raabe recently authentically revived the 1927 original, a so-called “Badesaison-Schlager” (bathing season hit song). In the 1920s, swim rings and other sorts of inflatable water toys, were called Gummikavalier. The song was written by Siegwart Ehrlich (1981-1941), a German jew, who was also known by his pseudonyms Victorio and Sydney Ward. Ehrlich wrote many songs for revues and musicals. In 1933, he fled Germany to escape the Nazis. He died in 1841 in Barcelona.
Trumpf ist die Mode der Seebadsaison,
man nimmt ins Wasser Tiere,
Hunde aus Gummi in jeder Façon,
Affen, Giraffen, Tapire.
Amalie fand das sehr apart,
doch hat sie ihre eig’ne Art.
Amalie geht mit ‘nem Gummikavalier,
mit ‘nem Gummikavalier ins Bad.
Amalie geht mit ‘nem Gummikavalier,
mit ‘nem Gummikavalier ins Bad.
Und sie pustet, und sie bläst ihn auf geschwinde,
an der Nordsee und im Wannsee, Travemünde.
Amalie geht mit ‘nem Gummikavalier,
mit ‘nem Gummikavalier ins Bad.
Fittingly, In meiner Burg am Strande is also bathing-related. Originally written in1938 written by Ralf Maria Siegel, In meiner Burg was first recorded by Oskar Joost Tanzorchester. The name of Hamburg-based jazz musician and bandleader Günter Fulisch appears in the credits on both labels so I assume the Dixie-Kavaliere was one of his projects.
In my sand castle on the beach…
Ich bin so faul (I´m so lazy) is a song that praises laziness. Surprisingly up-to-date, its Sirtaki rhythm and melody makes it sounds like a conservative parody of the Greek crisis. If anything, the Greek people had to work harder than any other European nations in recent years, while the obedient Germans, wo caused the crisis through massive wage cuts and overblown exports, eat up all the bullshit lies of the mainstream propaganda machine. Hopefully the brave Greek government will prevail. If not, the entire European leftist project is at stake. Capitalists are already shitting their pants, as is evident in their recent hysteria.
Ich bin so faul is not a parody. It expresses a genuine pleasure to be lazy. I love work, too. I work for a couple of hours every day. I might not earn much, but I´m happy, because I love what I do. But what´s wrong with being lazy, anyway? What we need today, is more laziness! With Capitalist rule unchallenged for decades and everybody brainwashed into believing there is no alternative, I can´t think of a more political statement. Work is our collective obsession. In the last two years, two of my friends committed suicide because of burnout/depression, and ensuing unemployment. Both felt worthless without a job. To me those tragedies are still unacceptable and I directly blame the Capitalist ideology.
No information on Alfie Morgan, apart from the liner notes stating that he appeared in “various films in France, Austria and England” and that” his friends Omar Sharif and Michel Polnareff persuaded him to record his German début single”.
The tiny Citycord label, located in Hamburg-Sasel, was founded by Manfred Dulau and Joe Moser in 1966. Moser also co-wrote “Morgen ist ein neuer Tag”. The music to Ich bin so faul (Ya Du travail) was written by young Janco Nilovic, later a composer of library music, with lyrics by Ernst Bader. Bader, both a Christian and a Socialist, wrote countless songs for stars like Freddy Quinn, Udo Jürgens, Catarina Valente, Nana Mouskouri, Adamo and most of the German lyrics to the songs of Charles Aznavour. Despite of his wealth, he lived a very modest life, giving most of his money away. He donated to the radical-leftist APO-Press, financed the St. Pauli Museum, that is still in existence today, and guaranteed in his will, that the tenants of his condominiums had life-long habitation rights at a low rent. Photographer Günter Zint, was a friend of Ernst Bader for forty years. When Bader died in 1999, he held his obituary.
Anyway, I love the unabashed praise of the virtues of laziness in this song…
Der Tag ist heiß,/ heiß weht der Föhn/ Oh, ich bin so faul/ Ach, ist das schön/ Die Andern ackern und schaffen für sich,/ aber keiner ist froh und zufrieden wie ich./ Wenn sie sagen, ich mach´ alles völlig verkehrt,/ich finde, auch mein Leben ist was wert./ Oh, ich bewund´re den emsigen Boss,/ ganz bestimmt fällt dem Mann das Geld nicht in den Schoß,/aber ich schau´ auf blühende Felder hinaus/ und ich ruh´ mich aus./Der Tag ist heiß,/ heiß weht der Föhn/ Oh, ich bin so faul/ Ach, ist das schön./ Da schlendert froh mit verliebtem Gesang,/ schon mein Mädchen am Morgen die Strasse entlang/ und sie setzt sich zu mir dann mit fröhlichem Blick./ Und dann träumen wir beide vom großen Glück./ Für dauren Küsse, da brauch´ ich kein Geld./ Wir geniessen mit offenen Augen die Welt./ Wenn die ander´n sich plagen, dann träumen wir süß/ wie im Paradies./ Der Tag ist heiß,/ heißweht der Föhn/ Oh, ich bin so faul/ Ach, ist das schön
Morgen ist ein neuer Tag is a German cover version of Gene Stridel´s northern soul classic Tomorrow Is Another Day on the Atlantic label.
“Klingeling mit meinem Fahrrad/ fahr ich fröhlich durch die Welt./Einnmal linksherum, einmal rechtsherum/ Grade wie es mir gefällt.” A happy song about riding a bicycle, from a time when very few Berliners owned a car. The Cornel-Trio (Peter Cornehlsen – baritone, guitar, Michael Lengauer – bass-baritone and Horst “Dickie” Kraft- tenor, double bass) was one of many German groups that were influenced by US-Rhythm’n’Blues-vocal groups of the late 40s. But while black vocal groups met on street corners, these guys met each other in the Wehrmacht in 1942, when they were still teenagers, and then went all the way through the war, captivity and release together.
Originally recorded for Amiga, and backed by the Bruno-Klennert Quartett, this 78 rpm record was also released on its West-German subsidiary label Regina. The Cornel-Trio was a pretty productive group in their time, but of all the dozens of sides they recorded, so far only 13 songs have made it into the digital age through the retrospective CD Peter Cornehlsen & das Cornel Trio in 2008.
Written by Edgar Kausch and cartoonist Hans Bradtke, this Radfahrswing has never been re-issued in any format since 1949.
Klingeling mit meinem Fahrrad…
Ilja Glusgal is also the vocalist of Der Maharadscha von Magador, backed by Lubo d´Orio and his orchestra on this West-German Electrola release. For whatever reason, the label names a Jimmy Dubrowski, but it is obviously Glusgal. Well, the label… The writing on it is almost illegible. It´s how I bought the record. For 2 Euros. I don´t know how the colour got so washed-out, while the record itself is still in good shape. The paper that was available in bombed-out Berlin of 1949 was certainly poor.
The Rich Maharadja of Magador was originally recorded by Ziggy Talent with the Vaughan Monroe Band in 1948. An English version of The Rich Maharaja, that Glusgal cut with Walter Dobschinski and his orchestra for the East-German Amiga label is featured on the CD : Ilja Glusgal “Ach, lachen sie doch”, issued in 2011. This, probably rarer German version, has never been re-issued in any format in the past 66 years.
The original lyrics go like this: The rich maharaja wants to learn how to dance the rumba and hires a “slick, little chick” to give him lessons. Instead she teaches him “the thrill of a moonlight night”, then takes all his wealth and runs.
While lyrically, Glusgal´s english version is identical to the original, the German version tell a different story, that was probably closer to the life of the average people in the struggling German post-war years: The rich maharaja can dance boogie woogie and swing but wants to learn the rumba. “Money is not important in life”, he exclaims and spends all his money on lessons, until he is broke. When his money is gone, he is furious. But suddenly he can dance the rumba!
The Rich Maharadja of Magador by Ziggy Talent with the Vaughan Monroe Band (1948):
And a great up-dated 1960s popcorn version by Ziggy Talent with the Steven Scott orchestra:
” The only people who like this, are Götz Alzmann and you” my co-host sneered, after I had played this song on our radio show a while back. “I think it´s funny!”, I tried to defend my choice. “I´m shocked. Speechless”, he replied. He obviously hated the song. I said: “Wait, til´ I play my other songs…”.
I do like obscure, regional German records and, yes, there are reasons, they never got anywhere. But it´s boring to only listen to the records by myself at home. And it´s fun to catapult a local Berlin song into the digital world after 60 years of obscurity.
(Coco Schuhmann, guitar; Rudi Ernst, clarinet; Ilja Glusgal, cymbal; and unidentified woman jammin´ at Wannseebad, 1940; from Schumann´s autobiography „Der Ghetto-Swinger”, 1997)
Ilja Glusgal was born to Jewish and non-Jewish parents (according to his friend, jazz guitarist Coco Schuhmann) and went to music school when he was 9 years old, to learn to play piano and violin. His first professional job was as a drummer in the swing band of Lubo d´ Orio in 1942, when he was 21. In 1946, he joined the new RBT-Orchestra ( Radio Berlin Tanzorchester), where his talent as a vocalist was “discovered” by Michael Jary. Handsome Ilja quickly became one of the first stars of the post-WWII-era and appeared in eleven movies. By 1950 he had recorded two dozen sides for the state-owned communist East-German Amiga label, but also for West-German labels Columbia, Electrola, HMV, Metrophon, Odeon, Parlophone and Regina. Glusgal even recorded a promotional shellack record for the German beer company Bitburger:”Bitte ein Bit”. His last seven singles of his short career were issued by Philips. Around 1955 he settled in the United States and seems to have stopped working in the music business for good. Apart from an appearance in a German TV-show in 1964, his later life is a mystery. Ilja Glusgal died in 1983 in San Francisco, California.
Ilja Glusgal was the most American of German post-war swing vocalists, if not all Schlager vocalists ever. From Louis Prima´s Bananas and “Angelina, to Jeepers Creepers , to Sensation am Broadway, a German Version of Lullay of Broadway, he always tried to keep it swingin´. He even recorded two western-swing songs in 1949: Roy Rogers´ I’m An Old Cow-Hand and Peter de Vries´ Cowboy Jimmy.
Sensation in Dixieland, backed by Lutz Albrecht and his orchestra and accompanied by the Continentals vocal group, must have been one of Glusgal´s last recordings. His genuine love for jazz music still shines through, though largely overshadowed by Schlager. This lack of purity is one reason it has not been reissued in 60 years.
I hope I´m not the only one to like this type of Swing-Schlager….
Ilja says”Prost!” and goes to play the drums. He´s seen to the right of Lonny Keller. From the film “Die Blume von Hawaii” (1953):
Again he plays the drums in the film “Grosse Starparade” (1954):
Okay, that´s not true. If it was, you would probably have heard about it. It´s a pretty nice German novelty record with a cartoon sleeve. Perfect for Berlin Beatet Bestes. And, the flip and the back of the sleeve are indeed blank.
The label, that says “Lachplatte” (Laughing Record) and the Art Nouveau-style of the lettering, suggest that the song is based on the idea of The original Okeh Laughing Record: a man and woman laughing uncontrollably about a musician playing out of tune. For whatever reason, this song has very little laughing, but a lot of out of tune playing.
I assume, that the Kleckerdorfer Symphonieorchester is actually Rolf Schneebiegl´s brass band. Scheebiegel (1924-2004) was quite an interesting musician who played jazz after WWII with Freddie Brocksieper, Kurt Edelhagen and Hans Koller, before he started his own very successful brass band, the Original Schwarzwaldmusikanten. While it might not work as a re-make of the famous Laughing Record, fans of classical music might still find humor in this rendition of Franz von Suppe´s “Dichter und Bauer”, as arranged by Rolf Schneebiegl.
There´s some crafty voluntary out of tune playing to be heard…
The reason I bought this record, was the sleeve, designed by cartoonist Reinhard Streit. I found no information about him online at all.
However, I found four cartoons by Reinhard Streit in my collection, published in the small book “Ohne Worte” (Without Words) in 1956 by Verlag Kurt Desch. The company published a European, a French and a German cartoon anthology. This is from the German edition:
Patentamt (patent office)
The original OKeh Laughing Record, first released in 1922, features a man and woman laughing uncontrollably in response to a musician playing out of tune.
Jacob Smith wrote about the Okeh Laughing Record extensively in his blog Vocal Tracks in 2008.
This is the Beka Laughing Record, the German version of the OKeh Laughing record. Or was it the other way round?
The record was also featured in the 1955 Walter Lantz cartoon Sh-h-h-h-h, the last short directed by Tex Avery.