Reportage über den Weltraumflug Gagarins

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (9 March 1934 – 27 March 1968), Hero of the Soviet Union, was a Soviet cosmonaut. On April 12th 1961 he became the first person in space and the first to orbit the Earth. He received many medals from different countries for his pioneering tour in space.

This postcard record commemorates this triumphant victory for the Soviet Union. On the record 27 year old Gagarin is heard speaking from space: He is overwhelmed by the look of the stars and the gleaming colours of space. Of course he also praises the Soviet Union, Khrushchev and Communism . One of the best lines of the narrator is: “These 108 minutes were forcing the Capitalist Camp once more to rethink: the Cold War is senseless.”

Gagarin later began to re-qualify as a fighter pilot. On 27 March 1968 , he and his instructor died in a MIG-15 UTI on a routine training flight.

Reportage über den Weltraumflug Gagarins


“…1-2-3-4…1-2-3-4… Well, Dear Listeners, do you know how to dance the Hully Gully?… I´ve got a tip for you: you can watch it on R-F-T- Television Sets!”


This postcard record was meant to be a souvenir for visitors of the Leipzig Fair. It advertises for Television Sets and Radios made in East Germany. Somewhat of a rarity because Advertisement was not as necessary under Communism as it was in the Capitalist World. The song was written by band leader Walter Eichenberg.

I´m posting the cover for the regular Amiga 45 just because there is a nice dance instruction for the Hully Gully on the back.

In 2003 Bear Family Records released a great compilation CD of all East German Twist records called Twist in der DDR.



budapestbudapestbackibuszbudapestKörmendi Együttes means The Körmendi Group and Visszhang means Echo. Band leader, vocalist and composer Vilmos Körmendi has no Wikipedia page, but is a renowned artist in Hungary.  The link will lead you to the only appearance of his on youtube. Apparently he is still alive and kicking.

This is another re-up from 2008. The song is from a flexible postcard record…

KÖRMENDI EGYÜTTES, Visszhang vokal

ORCHESTER SCHWARZ-WEISS, Kleines Haus am Wald, 1963

This postcard record was a “Hit” by East German standards when this came out in 1963, two years after the Berlin wall was built. The card was sent August 20. 1964 from somebody on holidays in the Sächsische Schweiz, a popular East German holiday area in Saxony. Sorry, but although I am curious, I can`t make out much of the old fashioned handwriting. What a sweet thing it was to send a song along with your letter. I would love to send somebody a postcard with let`s say, a Christina Aguilera song on it. Attaching an MP3 to an e-mail just isn`t the same.

In the text below it says that, following the demand of the youth, they built a Big-Beat band (East-European speak for Beat) from members of the orchestra. Despite this hopeless endeavour this song has some nice guitar breaks.

ORCHESTER SCHWARZ-WEISS, Kleines Haus am Wald, 1963

KUTTE, Du stehst an einer Straße & Du kannst inne Nacht nich`penn

I don`t know anything about Kutte nor when this was recorded. I was told he was from Gropiusstadt, a big satellite city in the south of Berlin, made famous because Christiane F. was from Gropiusstadt too. Christiane F. was Germany`s famous teenage junkie who´s life was depicted in 1979 in the book “Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo”. The movie starred David Bowie. Kutte has got that same ragged, junkie, hobo, 70s vibe to him. One song (“Du stehst an einer Straße”) is about the troubles of hitchhiking and the other ( “Du kannst inne Nacht nich´penn”) is a workingman´s blues type song.

This is from a time when Berlin was grey. Before the Wall came down. Before the Love Parade. When Berlin was a Mecca of subculture. Bands like Ton, Steine, Scherben and Einstürzende Neubauten ruled and guys like Kutte roamed the streets.  This is as authentic as you could get in Germany. I like his songs.

KUTTE, Du stehst an einer Straße

KUTTE, Du kannst inne Nacht nich`penn

( Eine von mir auf deutsch geschriebene Übersetzung dieses Textes über den Berliner Songwriter Kutte erschien am 16. Juli 2009 in der Wochenzeitung Jungle World.

Im Internet zu lesen ist sie hier. )

EVELYN KÜNNEKE, Kikilala Hawaii, 1976

All these topical records made me forget about the good tunes. Here`s a really funky song. Well…a funky German song, so that`s probably not too funky BUT it combines the funk with a Hawaiian theme plus great nonsensical lyrics partially sung in Berlin dialect!!! Listen!

Evelyn Künnke, a native Berliner, was one of the lesser known German divas. Born December 15. 1921, she was a star of the late Hitler dictatorship. While swing music was largely forbidden she still managed to recorded some of the swingenest music of the period. In the 50s she recorded some Rock`n`Roll. By the 60s her career was largely finished.

In the mid-70s it took off again after Künneke starred in a Fassbinder film and famous gay film-maker Rosa von Praunheim made a documentary about her life called “Ich bin ein Antistar-Das glamouröse Leben der Evelyn Künneke”(“I`m an Antistar”) for German Television in 1976. This record must have come out in the wake of that. She continued to perform until her death in 2001.

EVELYN KÜNNEKE, Kikilala Hawaii, 1976

(Ein kleiner Text von mir über Evelyn Künneke und den Song Kikilala Hawaii erschien als Folge 20 meiner Kolumnen Berlin Beatet Bestes am 12. November 2009 in der Wochenzeitung Jungle World. Im Internet nachzulesen hier.)

THEO-SCHUMANN-COMBO,Freier Sonnabend,1967

Just because it fits the bill of Jim Flora rip-offs, I`m including this Theo Schumann 45. I´m not even sure who ripped off who, in this case. This East German cover drawing definitely is a direct swipe of one of the drawings on “Ein Cocktail guter Laune”(see previous post). Then again considering, that they swiped from Jim Flora…

Theo Schumann is well known for being the only East German band that was allowed to record a number of singles and three LPs of instrumental Rock and Beat in the late 60s/ early 70s. Pretty tame stuff that was no threat to the communist powers. Their music had a charm that was lost on the beat fans of the day. I like it a lot.

I´m including this cover only because it´s further evidence of this style swiping.

Theo Schumanns stuff was re-released a number of times. Bertelsmann owns the Amiga catalogue nowadays so it should be easy to find his music. It´s worth checking out…


THEO-SCHUMANN-COMBO,Freier Sonnabend,1967

Cocktail guter Laune

More flexible discs advertising for records and cocktails. This time they come in a book. There is a pretty obvious Jim Flora influence in the drawing style( see the hands) but i don`t know who did these. I cut out most of the boring music and left only the hilarious dialogue.

Cocktail guter laune, Lefty Frizell, Cigarettes and Coffee Blues