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!



14 Comments on “WERNER DEINERT UND SEIN ORCHESTER, Mohrchen´s Boogie, 1949”

  1. Troy McClure says:

    That tune, “Lavender Coffin” is great! I like the free shouts in the background, like a Gene Vincent recording.

    I feel sorry for those black American G.I.s, because I interviewed and spoke with some of them back in the eighties about how difficult it was being black in both Germany as an occupation soldier and back in the States, where they were treated horribly, particularly in the U.S. South, but also in many Northern U.S. cities, until the 1960s began to change American attitudes for the better. One black former soldier told me that in Germany (Baumholder I think was where he was stationed, in the early 1950s before the Occupation was lifted in 1955) German Frauleins who so much as bought him a bier in a Service Club risked being treated as ‘prostitutes’ by the German authorities. Black culture is what gave Americans jazz and rock ‘n roll, yet many Americans don’t seem to appreciate this, nor do they know that the mistreatment of their black fellow servicemen in Germany could not have happened if the Americans hadn’t been racist, helping unfortunately to reinforce old conservative German racism from the Hitler Time. It seems like it was very hard to be black in those days. Things have certainly improved for the better today!

  2. mischalke04 says:

    Thanks for being such a steady reader here. And for adding something in the writing department, I´m always so occupied with the graphics that I don´t work too much on the writing. Also I´m such a smartass anyway that I don´t want to bore anyone with my “knowledge”. Then one of the points of this blog is that I pick records and artists to post that I haven´t found anything about on google. So I don´t have so much information anyway. That´s how a lot of people find their way here too, because they have a record or a friend or an artist that they used to like 40 years ago and they put the name in a search machine.

    And then most of the music explains itself. And I love Lavender Coffin! What a cool much wilder version of that song. If it actually is from Berlin, as I presume it is, it is probably the most authentic rock´n´roll record ever recorded in Germany. At least as far as I ever heard. And it is pretty much a rhythm & blus/(pre-)rock´n´roll record. Like you wrote, the shouts are similar to a Gene Vincent recording.

    And thanks for pointing out the story of black G.I.´s in Germany. The article that I took these photos from is actually about the prostitution of German women who deliberately moved to this smalltown or village where all these G.I.´s were stationed to earn some money, without literally mentioning the word once though. Prostitution was tolerated it says, to save the rest of the German women from harassment. The article makes an effort to steer away from racism but certainly is inconsistent and bigoted. The German public was very racist and still is to a degree today. I guess I should post the whole page.

    As you wrote we owe black culture all of the cool 20th century music and I guess you can say that Lavender Coffin is the beginning of rock´n´roll in Germany. Even the Germans owe this first ever such recording, as far as I know, to an African-American.

  3. Boursin says:

    “Lavender Coffin” was covered in 1949 by black swing legend Lionel Hampton, and white swing legend Tex Beneke, but it was originally an R&B record by Fat Man Robinson, an alto saxophonist from Boston.

    If you have a suitable stylus, you can record 78s by playing them at 45 and speeding it up 1.73333 times (78 divided by 45) in the software…

  4. Ron says:

    Hi Andreas

    I follow your blog, and like the music you put on.
    Also old 78 rpm music I like very much.
    Here is a suggestion when you don’t can spin 78 rpm record on your turntable.
    You can play them on speed 45 or 33 1/3 and record normally on the computer.
    In Audacity is a conversion speed option!! so you can go to 78 rpm.! from the 45 or 33 rpm.
    This gives a much better result then recording by microphone I think.
    restauration of the sound ,don’t do this in Audacity!
    Use a good software as Audition/Cool Edit, or Sound Force or DC7.
    Other wise you get a bathroom effect in the music.
    Better not to restaurate !! then bad restauration.

    Keep the records playing!
    The Netherlands

  5. mischalke04 says:

    Dear Ron,

    thanks a lot for your tips on recording. Boursin also suggested that and I know that the quality of the MP3´s can be improved (and not only of the78 rpm records).
    I will try to re-record them as soon as I get to it. I only own about 30 shellack records total but I think it´s worth it with the ones I posted.

    Best wishes

  6. Colonel says:

    Whats the Name of your very cool Philips-Speaker? :)

  7. mischalke04 says:

    I don´t know the name. It´s a portable record player. The speaker is the top of it. I guess it´s from the mid-60´s.

    Ich mach mal auf Deutsch weiter. Also, wie gesagt, ich weiss nicht, wie das Gerät heisst, da steht nichts drauf, außer Diamond. Allerdings besitze ich mehrere Monoplattenspieler und die von Philips sind die Besten. Selbst nach fast 50 Jahren spielen die noch gut und das, obwohl es echte Einweggeräte sind, nur dafür gemacht, das Teenager sie in wenigen Jahren runterrocken.

  8. Katja says:

    DIE Adresse in Berlin für Schellack und Umwandlung in MP3 ist http://www.antikbuero.de/. Ich hab einem Freund von da deinen Link geschickt, denn ich finde Lavender Coffin verdient eine bessere Bearbeitung. Das Stück ist genial und da lässt sich bestimmt mehr rausholen

  9. mischalke04 says:

    Vielen Dank! Ich hab zwar den Trick mit dem Aufnehmen auf 45 und dann umwandeln auf 78 mal probiert, aber professionelle Hilfe könnte ich echt gebrauchen.
    Über diese Berliner Version von Lavender Coffin habe ich übrigens unlängst auch auf deutsch in der Berliner Wochenzeitung Jungle World geschrieben.

  10. Marco Deinert says:

    Hallo Herr Michalke. Ich bin der Sohn von Werner Deinert. Mittlerweile ist mein Vater verstorben und ich versuche sein Werk von damals zusammen zu tragen. nicht alle Platten haben die vielen Jahre überlebt, daher meine Frage, ob Sie die Lavende Coffin`verkaufen würden. Ich würde mich sehr freuen, von Ihnen zu hören.

    Marco Deinert

  11. mischalke04 says:

    Ehrlich gesagt, möchte ich die Platte nicht verkaufen.

  12. haben Sie meine Mitteilung zu Jimmy Jimson (Biogr.) erhalten???

  13. mischalke04 says:

    Leider nicht. Ich wäre an Informationen zu Jimmy Jimson sehr interessiert.

  14. dann fragen Sie mich! Dannenberg

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