One of the best things about doing this blog, apart from getting nice comments from you my dear readers of course, is getting reactions from people directly involved with the music I post here. So far nobody has complained or asked me to put down music but supported my efforts.
Last Wednesday I got one such mail from Pivo Deinert, nephew of Werner Deinert. He found the video of Jimmy Jimson and the Werner Deinert orchestra that I had posted on YouTube. He informed me that his uncle had died on Tuesday. He was 78 years old. Pivo Deinert is a musician himself and though not into jazz, pretty much grew up accompanied by the music of his uncle. Sadly he didn´t own any of his records apart from a compilation LP and the MP3 I made from Jimmy Jimson´s Lavender Coffin.
Actually I do only have this record but I wanted to help. One reason why I couldn´t make the deadline last Thursday was that I still didn´t know how to record the 78 rpm records that I wanted to post. I also wanted to go even further back in time than the 50´s rock´n´roll records that I posted last time. I found these six records from 1949 together in a thrift store two years ago and they were pretty cheap, around 2 Euros each. Normally I don´t buy 78 rpm records but these looked too cool. I didn´t know anything about the music though and honestly I still don´t know anything about swing music.
When I posted the flip side of this record, a cover version of Lionel Hampton´s Lavender Coffin by Jimmy Jimson backed by Werner Deinert and his orchestra in September 2008 I took the sound file of the video and turned that into a MP3. Naturally that didn´t sound too good. I still don´t have a record player that plays 78 rpm records that connects to my mixer, amplifier or computer but now I finally found a really simple, even primitive , way of recording them. I put a microphone directly in front of the speaker.
I know that´s still not a satisfying way to record them and to do these forgotten songs some real justice I hope to record them in a better quality some time but the MP3´s that I made with the microphone actually do sound pretty decent. There is a lot of background noise, but that´s how they sound when played on the record player.
So here are the two sides of the Werner Deinert record. Side A ist a Jimmy Jimson, probably a black G.I. stationed in Berlin at the time, backed by the Werner Deinert Orchestra.
(Photo from a article about 6000 black G.I.´s stationed in Wildflecken, Bavaria and the German Frauleins that befriended them, Neue Illustrierte , July 1951)
Werner Deinert´s son discovered my video of the song on YouTube and showed it to his father but he didn´t seem to remember and shrugged it off: “Yea, that was one of those recording sessions”. Pivo wrote that his uncle used to talk about the difficult recording techniques in those days. To regulate the amount of reverb while recording in a church, they lifted the long drop curtain to get more reverb when they played the solo parts.
Mohrchens Boogie, written by Werner Deinert, is a nice swinging instrumental song.
As I wrote two years ago:
Lavender Coffin is the swing classic written in 1949 by Shirley Albert and made famous by Lionel Hampton. This version was released on the local Berlin label Metrophon. I`m not a swing expert so I don`t know much more except that this ROCKS!
Even more than the Hampton version!
Bongo-Bongo is a German cover version of Civilization made famous by the Andrews Sisters and Louis Prima. I posted a rock´n´roll version of that song from 1961 by the Belgian group Sam and the Saxtones in January here.
This is a East-German release on the Amiga label but the same recordings might have also been released in the Western part of Berlin. In the 40´s a lot of artists had their records released on both sides. The label lists the musicians of the Heinz-Becker-Barquintet as: Heinz Becker, accordeon; Franz Zvikl, violin; Fritz Wölffer, guitar; Heinz Kamberg, clarinet; Rudi Schelenz, bass and Ilja Glusgal on vocals.
The same Fritz Wölffer recorded a nice Shadows/Jorgen Ingman-style instrumental 45 for the obscure local Berlin Date label in the early 60´s that I posted two years ago here. Nothing further to be found about Fritz Wölffer at all.
The German lyrics leave most of the satirical content and the natives in the jungle methaphors of the original intact and are quite amusing. Bully Buhlan also recorded a version of Bongo-Bongo, see Youtube here and Ilja Glugal also recorded an English language version of the same song that you can see on YouTube here, but I think it´s weaker. Somebody else beat me in posting this German version of Bongo-Bongo on YouTube but he doesn´t want anybody to embed the video so you have to go there.
So I made my own video, it´s not as good and I guess I went a little too far with my self-obsession, but it´s damn boring to record the record and just stand there, so I took a little walk in my own little Berlin jungle room:
Swing Heil was an actual greeting used by German Swing fans in the 30´s and 40´s to mock the Nazis Sieg Heil. Only after the war was it possible to make the saying into the title of a song. The song itself is a pretty nice cover version of Sy Oliver´s up-tempo classic Swing High.
Du hast ja keine Ahnung (You have no idea) sung by Rita Paul is more interesting musically. It´s a swinging tune that has Rita doing some scat-style singing in German, really cool.
She played in some films and was a member of the Insulaner, a political Cabaret group. By the end of the 50´s her career was stagnating. She married a scientist and moved to the US. although she mostly resigned to being a mother and housewife she managed to appear in three US films and even recorded during that time. After returning to Germany she was unable to match her former success but continued to perform in nostalgic TV programs into the 70´s. She still lives in Berlin.
Du hast ja keine Ahnung also appeared on the East-German, i.e. East-Berlin Amiga label as did many of Rita Paul´s early recordings. In the late 40´s and early 50´s the iron curtain seems to have been considerably softer.
Two sizzling hot swinging jazz tunes from the ruins of 1949 Berlin. Walter Dobschinski and his orchestra recorded a lot of records for the East-German Amiga label but also for others, like this obscure Regina label. Before the war he played in Teddy Stauffer´s band. In 1947 he got a job at the newly founded Berlin radio and then started his own swing band.
The trumpet player Micky Kasper wrote Three O`Clock Jump, a fast swinging tune complete with some nice trumpet and clarinet solo parts.
(Photos from Neue Illustrierte, July 25, 1951. Swing dancing in Montparnasse.)
More swing music from Berlin. Frühling in Texas is very much inspired by the Andrews Singers. Cool lyrics about springtime in Texas and the cowboys having a ball with no cops and no tax authorities around.
Instead of a copyright statement the label states: Issued with the approval of the intelligence of the military governement . Meaning the US military in Berlin.
Another issue of Kobold magazin, if you pleeeze?:
Kobold magazine, No. 7, 1949, printed in Berlin-Tempelhof
“Something the American advertisement illustrator allows women, a German cartoonist demands for men”. Ilustration by H. Lucas
Illustration by Hans H. Hoppe for a satirical poem about modern art by Hector:
Berufsverkehr (traffic), Cartoon by Heinz Musculus
Springtime in Texas…
I don´t know anything about the group so here´s something completely different instead but from the same time period and also from Berlin. Kolibri was one of the many new German pin-up and cartoon magazines that were appearing out of the woodwork after 1945.
(Kobold magazine, no.8, March 1949)
Incidentally kind of fitting because it is March and Springtime is slowly approaching, although it did snow here yesterday, but the snow didn´t stay: Märzveilchen (sweet violet) illustration by Heinz Musculus for a poem by Erich Kästner:
Perspektiven illustration by Heinz Musculus
Pralinen (sweets) illustration/collage by H.Lucas
Buchstäbliches (literally taken) illustration by Hans Kleefeld
Selbsthilfe (self help) comic strip by Pit
Illustrations by Heinz Musculus for a fictious short story by Karl Bianga about a young couple arguing in the kitchen and the history of jazz in New York city. I know it does sound kind of strange and it really doesn´t make any sense but that´s what the story is. Pretty cool, I guess the writer was a jazz fan and could get away with anything at Kobold magazine.
Just like Heinz Musculus:
Add for Edkaludon perfume
There are simply too many great illustrations in these Kobold magazines, at least I really like them, and I´m tempted to scan in all of the 58 pages. Some of the cartoonists continued to work into the 50´s others dissapeared. The years right after the war were a time of great turmoil and disorder in Germany and as a period were largely ignored by later Generations ( including me for the longest time) as opposed to the 1950´s who were supposedly cooler.
Well here´s two pretty cool German songs from the 40´s:
Before I´ll get to this week´s posts I´d like to let you know about a book and DVD of a fellow collector. Ralf Wenzel from Kassel recently finished putting together a pretty impressive and complete overview of the Klingende Post advertisement records. I posted a bunch of those last January and later helped out Ralf with some high-resolution scans and music files. He also made a nice website: www.die-klingende-post.de
(Das erste Buch über die Geschichte der Klingende Post Werbeschallplatten, liebevoll geschrieben und zusammengestellt von Ralf Wenzel, ist soeben erschienen. Die dazugehörige Klingende Post Webseite ist ebenfalls sehr gelungen und übersichtlich. Ohne so sympathische Verrückte wie Ralf, die auch an den Rändern der Popmusik wandeln und diese Ränder so wichtig nehmen, wäre die ganze Popmusik nichts. Irgendwann wandert schließlich alles mal an den Rand.
Das Buch gibt es sogar in zwei Versionen: als DVD (Buch im PDF-Format mit Musikteil und klassisch auf gedrucktem Papier. Einfach mal anschauen: www.die klingende-post.de
(Teenager cartoons by Kurt Klamann from Taschen-Eulenspiegel magazine Nr.23, 1961 and Nr.40, 1962 published by Eulenspiegel-Verlag, East-Berlin)
I had a bunch of German rock´n´roll records put together to post before my computer suddenly went kaputt two weeks ago, so here they are now . I got this record from my grandparents when I was 14 years old in 1980 , I guess it must have belonged to one of my aunts or uncles.
Tutti Frutti is probably one of the worst German rock´n´roll cover songs from the 50´s although this budget version recorded for the Opera label, sounds even better than the original version by Peter Kraus , our German Pat Boone. It´s so bad it´s funny, still cracks me up after all these years.
” So geht´s jede Nacht bis morgens um acht, RRRRack´n´RRRRohll hat uns veRRRRRRückt gemacht.”
Hazy Osterwald really needs no introduction, from the 50´s to the 70´s he was one of the most successfull Swiss musicians. Rebellen-Rock is a fine cover version of Duane Eddy´s Rebel Rouser but I like his own Na Zdrowje even better. Cool instrumental rock´n´roll from Switzerland.
Cheers! Na Zdrowje! Prost!