CHUCK RIO AND THE ORIGINALS, Margarita & The Whip, 1959

Chuck Rio (born Danny Flores, 1929-2006) wrote the 1958 No. 1 hit song “Tequila” while being with the Champs. In 1959 he left the Champs and formed the Originals. The two songs here are quite similar to “Tequila”. This is the German pressing that came out in 1963 on the Acondor label out of Osnabrück.

CHUCK RIO, The Whip, 1959

CHUCK RIO, Margarita, 1959

CHARLY TABOR, Manzanilla, 1961

Charly Tabor was a trumpet player and band leader from Munich. Despite the “exotic” sleeve and despite the trumpet being the lead instrument Manzanilla  is a pretty good instrumental rock´n´roll song.

CHARLY TABOR, Manzanilla

CHARLY TABOR, Red Lion Madison

With dances like the Twist, the Hully Gully and the Madison in the early 60s every orchestra around the world tried their luck at this kind of Rock`n`Roll. This is one of Charly Tabors takes on the Madison.

CHARLY TABOR, Red Lion Madison

Recent Update: First retrospective exhibition of Ha-Ga’s works in the Museum of Caricature in Warsaw on the 12 th of May 2008

Last Friday I received a very nice mail from Zuzanna Lipinska, daughter of Polish cartoonists Anna Goslawska (Ha-Ga) and Eryk Lipinski. In February I had written about Ha-Ga with what little I could gather from my own small collection of her printed work and the even smaller amount of information from the Internet. Zuzanna pointed out some of the resulting misinformation so that I could add this new information to the post and change the errors.

Zuzanna has worked on a big retrospective exhibition of her mothers work that will take place at the Museum of Caricature in Warsaw starting on the 12th of May 2008. Zuzanna has also designed a new accompanying website to the exhibition.

It`s in Polish and English and it looks really great. It shows a lot of Ha-Ga`s beautiful illustrations for children`s books and her cartoons are collected in different topical sections. There is even a short film from Polish Television in 1957 showing Anna, Eryk and Zuzanna happily drawing cartoons together.

We exchanged some very nice mails and Zuzanna invited me to the opening of the exhibition in Warsaw and I`m looking forward to go now.

Thank you very much Zuzanna!

FRITZ WOELFFER and his Guitar, County

Another record that I have no clue about, but that´s why I picked it up. I had never seen the date label and the titles sounded promising. And because it was only 50 cents in one of the thrift stores that I check every week here in my area.

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 on the A-Side Indio are pretty scratched up, to the point of being unlistenable. I`m putting the song here anyway. Until I find a better copy…

When I came home, I checked the Internet, but there is nothing on Fritz Woelffer (or Wölffer) apart from a Fritz Woelffer who played guitar on a East-German Jazz record in the late 40s. Is that the same Woelffer? And why are the titles and his name written in English on this record? Even the name of the label is English. Very unusual for a German release of that time…

From my recent experiences I know, that just because there is no information in the computer world, doesn`t mean that there is no information OUT THERE in the real world. Sometimes you just have to be a little patient…

This 45 was published in West-Berlin by the music-publisher Albert Bennefeld. From the look of the record, in the early 60s.

FRITZ WOELFFER and his Guitar, County

FRITZ WOELFFER and his Guitar, Indio

Today I found these postcards. I think that they fit with the time this record came out.

SPORTPALAST, Koockakoolaintschina & Ich will hier raus, 1980

In 1980, the band Sportpalast came in first, in a band contest held by the city of Berlin, and won a record contract for this 45.

It was the first in a series, that was sponsored by various record labels. Each of the records had a press run of a 1000 and they were distributed by the bands themselves. That said, the female singer still managed to say “Scheisse” (shit), “Ficken” (fucking) and “Disco zerstört dein Gehirn” (Disco destroys your brain) on a record that was financed by the city of Berlin. Nena certainly wouldn`t have done that. I can only assume that it was this boldness that prevented the otherwise catchy song “Ich will hier raus” from being played on the radio and eventually becoming more successful.

“Sportpalast” is a well chosen name for a Berlin rock band. Built in 1910 the Sportpalast was Berlins first multi-purpose arena. Max Schmeling boxed there. Social-Democrats, Communists and Nazis held conventions there. Goebbels held his famous “Total War speech” there. After the war many rock groups played there, among them: Bill Haley, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. It was torn down in 1973

I´m not sure if I would have liked this record at the time of it`s release. It`s not really sophisticated compared to what was happening in the Underground at the time. It´s not Punk, it`s not Post-Punk and a little too rock-ish for New Wave.

Strangely, today it sounds like a typical “Neue Deutsche Welle” (German New Wave) record. The weaker A-Side “Koockakoolaintschina” (Coca-Cola in China) points out that instead of drinking Coca-Cola the Chinese used to smoke Opium. The B-Side “Ich will hier raus” (I want out of here) though, is a fast saxophone-driven rocker with a touch of Poly Styrene. I really like it.

SPORTPALAST, Koockakoolaintschina, 1980

SPORTPALAST, Ich will hier raus, 1980

EXTRA, Du bist so eitel & Leg an, 1980

Extra were similar to Sportpalast in that they were also from Berlin and also had a female singer.

But while Sportpalast only recorded one 45, Extra recorded a LP and were more successful nationally.

Extra were featured on a 10″ New Wave-compilation called “Prima Tanzmusik” that included many well known German New Wave bands. I bought that record when it came out in `81 and while there were similar Hard Rock bands posing as New Wave on that comp, I remember particularly not liking the band Extra. Too rockish for my snobbish 15-year old taste back then. And I hadn`t even seen the naked bearded dude on the cover of their 45…

The German new music magazine “Sounds” wrote that Extra played “simple Hard-Rock in the most embarassing German tradition”. Actually they were not hard enough for the Hard Rock and not new enough for the New Wave crowd.

25 years later my taste seems to have changed. Now I like the aggressive voice of singer Katia and the powerful approach of Extra. A lot of the old German New Wave stuff sounds awfully tame and complacent today. Extra at least had some balls.

EXTRA, Du bist so eitel, 1980

EXTRA, Leg an, 1980

Recent Update: NOROC, De ce plang Chitarele & Canta un artist, 1969

With the help of a reader of this blog, Andrei from Russia, I found new information on a Russian record I bought at a flea-market last december. Sadly there is a tragic note to the story