This is a Swiss  version of  Ted Herold´s “Hula Rock” that I bought in a Bücher-Brocky in Luzern some years ago. I don´t think it has the right sleeve but that´s how I found it. Teenager illustration by unknown cartoonist Paul Leber



“Heiße Musik” (Hot Music) is very charming ersatz-rock´n´roll from the film “Mädchen für die Mambo-Bar” (Girls for the Mambo-Bar).

Cool title, I wish I could see that film some time…

( Teenager cartoons by Paul Rosié, a East-German cartoonist that I will write about  in length some other time. From “Geprügelte Worte”, Eulenspiegel Verlag, 1958 and “Taschen-Eulenspiegel” magazine, Eulenspiegel-Verlag, 1961)


ALICE BABS, Twiedlie Die, 1955

Another close contender for weakest German rock´n´roll song considering the embarassing deterioration of such a cool Rhythm & Blues song.   LaVern Baker recorded Tweedle Dee for Atlantic in 1954. It was her first hit , reaching #4 on Billboard´s R&B chart and #14 on its Pop chart.

The swedish singer Alice Babs is backed by Werner Müller and the Rias-Tanzorchester, Berlin which makes it a German song I guess. Why do I collect these records if I think they´re so bad? I know it´s a contradiction. I listened to the 50´s rock´n´roll records of Peter Kraus, Ted Herold, Paul Würges and Billy Sanders when I was a teenager in the early 80´s and I liked them. It is weak rock´n´roll but it´s all we had here in old Deutschland. Our grandfathers had tried to conquer the world and had worshipped the most evil man of the 20th century. How could we be cool?

In the 50´s a lot of the same people that had cheered Hitler on were still around and in power (again). This German rock´n´roll still carries that repressive feeling of being in the company of all those old people on its back.

No offense to Alice Babs but listen to “the original Tweedle Dee-girl” LaVern Baker (2:55):

At least the Swedes were allowed to swing in the 40´s:

ALICE BABS, Twiedlie Die, 1955

SONJA ZIEMANN, Lied ohne Worte, 1957

“Rock´n´Roll-Blues” is the description of the song  Lied ohne Worte (song without words) that is written on the label.  Actually there are quite a few words in that song and very little rockin´ let alone blues. It´s not a bad song though but it is sung by the German actress, dancer and singer Sonja Ziemann and actors don´t make good rockers. And vice versa. At least right now, at the top of my head no good “rocker-actors” names come to my mind.

This is a Austrian record from a German film that takes place in Switzerland.

Just so you know where exactly that is:

(Illustrations by Jack Woolhiser, Jr. from Look and Learn German by Herbert Lederer,  Dell Publishing, 1964)

Yes, we all do sprechen Deutsch even though some of us have a hard time trying. And then of course there were also some minor historic changes in Germany since 1964.

Here are some scenes from the film  Zürcher Verlobung (The Zurich Engagement) starring Liselotte Pulver, Paul Hubschmid, Sonja Ziemann and Max Schmeling:

The little Berlin boy “Pips” is played by the young Roland Kaiser, who would later become a popular Schlager singer.

In the film “Die grosse Starparade” Sonja Ziemann is  wearing a Russian outfit and  singing about Arizona: “Mein roter Bruder wohnt in Arizona und morgen reit´ich zu ihm hin.” (My red brother lives in Arizona and tomorrow I´ll ride over to meet him.)

The comrade in Arizona has got a daughter called Ramona that she likes kissing very much. I´m not making this up, this is what she´s singing:

Wow, even African dancers and drums in “Starparade”…

SONJA ZIEMANN, Lied ohne Worte, 1957

PIRRON & KNAPP, Hausmasta Rock, 1956

This is my favourite song of this week´s selection because it´s the wackiest. A parody-version of  Rock Around The Clock by Pirron & Knapp, two  Austrian comedians, sung in a Austrian dialect that is very hard to understand even for me. It´s hilarious the way they sing about how a guy  is wearing out a lot of girls dancing rock´n´roll…

I´ve been meaning to post this for a long time but I´ve always hoped to find a  sleeve for it. I´ve seen EP´s by Pirron & Knapp with cartoon sleeves and I have another one that was drawn by the German cartoonist Sepp Arnemann.

Alternatively I´ll post some close-up´s from a cartoon by Sepp Arnemann from his book “Lach mit!” (Norddeutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, 1951). The book has a foreword by famous German comedian Heinz Erhardt.

PIRRON & KNAPP, Hausmasta Rock, 1956


If you were still in doubt about the quality of this weeks rock´n´roll records this should set you straight. Not only is this a rock´n´roll medley, a particularly weak format, it is also played on the accordeon by some old guys. The accordeon would´ve been cool if they were from Louisiana but Germany?

Die Farbe der Liebe originally recorded by Paul Kuhn, is a cover of A White Sport Coat by Marty Robbins and Hula-Baby,  the German cover version of Hula Love by Buddy Knox, was a hit for Peter Kraus.

( Cartoon by Wigg Siegl from the book “Mixed Pickles” published by Heyne-Taschenbücher, 1961)

Then again Rebel Rouser is kinda rockin´ on the accordeon…

DIE AKKORDEON-MELODIKER, Patricia. Der Legionär, Die Farbe der Liebe, 1959

DIE AKKORDEON-MELODIKER, Hula-Baby, Vielleicht in 3,4,5,6 Jahren, Rebellen-Rock, 1959

PAUL WÜRGES, Weit im Süden in New Orleans, 1960

Just to show that there actually was some good German rock´n´roll in the 50´s here´s   Paul Würges cover version of Freddy Cannon´s Way Down Yonder In New Orleans.

Bear Family Records re-released his 50´s sides in 1980: Paul Würges mit seinen Rocking All Stars – Der deutsche Bill Haley. I bought that LP when it came out ( along with a Billy Sanders LP)  and really loved it then and I still do today. It includes one of the rare cases of a German cover version of  a rockabilly classic: Billy Eldridge´s  Let´s Go Baby from 1959.  Paul Würges must have heard it in one of  the GI-clubs that he played in the South of Germany.

Paul Würges original 45´s are quite hard to find and fetch high prices if they turn up on Ebay. I found this beat-up copy in a thrift-store some years ago and took it just because it was cheap and I will probably not get another copy that easily…

PAUL WÜRGES, Weit im Süden in New Orleans (Way Down Yonder In New Orleans), 1960

THE ROCK AND ROLL BAND, Außer Rand und Band, 1956

Around the same time that I got the odd Tutti Frutti record,  I also found this. I was a 14-year old rockabilly fan in 1980 and was already  searching the thrift-stores and flea-markets. This record was a dissapointment. It seemed to be the real stuff that people listened to in Germany in the 50´s: weak instrumental ersatz-rock´n´roll recorded by a professional orchestra for the department store chain Neckermann. Square.

Außer Rand und Band was the German title of the first rock´n´roll film Rock Around The Clock from 1956,  that caused riots in the theatres and on the streets even in Germany.

“… you never know, what they´re going to do!”

( Cartoon by Fritz Wolf from the Anthology “Kleine Stricheleien, Praesentverlag Heinz Peter, 1959)

Nothing can be heard on this medley of Bill Haley´s hits that would make anybody think of inciting a riot, but another 30 years later I really dig this. It´s kind of sweet how this group tried to wring out some hot and fast teenage music from their war-damaged souls…

THE ROCK AND ROLL BAND, 1. Rock-A-Beatin-Boogie – 2. Giddy Up A Ding Dong – 3. Shake, Rattle and Roll, 1956

THE ROCK AND ROLL BAND, 4.Rock around the clock- 5. Teach you to rock – 6. A-B-C-Boogie, 1956