FATS AND HIS CATS, Hello, 1962

Fats and his Cats from Frankfurt were a very active live band, in fact they were one of the groups that played at the Star Club the most. By the mid-60´s  all of the “Cats” were in their 30´s.  Initially they had started as a conventional dance band but then they caught the rock´n´roll-bug in the late 50´s and began to play the G.I.-clubs around the south of Germany. They first recorded for the  small Carina and Linda Labels and until they were picked up by CBS.

Fats and his Cats stayed together long enough to catch the second wave of the rock´n´roll revival in the 80´s. Their band leader Otto “Fats” Ortwein died in 1990. Bear Family records has re-issued the complete 60´s output of Fats and his Cats.

As opposed to most of the cover versions they played live “Hello” is a Fats and his Cats original. Like Fats says in the intro: ” Now Fans, we made a number… our own… and we like to play it today, first time… especially for you … and we call it:  Hello.”

FATS AND HIS CATS, Hello, 1962

Fats got his nickname for his great impersonations of Fats Domino (it´s all over their second single on Linda “Mr. Domino”/”Tick Tack”). Here is Fats doing another impersonation of one of his favourites: Louis Prima.

FATS AND HIS CATS, Gigolo, 1962

12 Comments on “FATS AND HIS CATS, Hello, 1962”

  1. masked marauder says:

    Yep! great and underrated german pioneers from way back when prae-kraut still was a wet dream and all we had off-reeperbahn were the fabulous indo-bands. Historically the most important note about “Hello” is, that The Rattles covered it on their very first 45 in ’63.

  2. mischalke04 says:

    I´m glad someone is still reading my blog after my long absence. Thanks for the hint on the Rattles cover version. I´ve got Fats & his Cats second 45 on the Linda label too and will post it next week along with some more stuff I have prepared.

  3. Elke Giulieri says:

    Do you have any info about the other members of the band. I dated the Drummer. I left Germany in 1980 and would like to hear more.

    Thanks, Elke

  4. mischalke04 says:

    Dear Elke,

    I´m sorry but I don´t know more than what I wrote in my article.

    Greetings from Berlin

  5. masked marauder says:

    Just found a quite recommendable comp of Fat’s LP tracks on record-fiend.blogspot.com Scroll down the alphabetical list on the right to “f”. password is the name of the blog

  6. descendant says:

    my grandfather was the guitarist when they still had a keyboard. he lives in the states now

  7. Rick Cunningham says:

    To “descendant”
    Who are you.I’m Rick Cunningham.I was the first guitarist that Otto (Fats) ever hired,( 1965 till1967)Ferry Radic was the second ( took my place when I left )Thomas Ottwein (Fats’ son)
    took Ferry’s place then took over the band when Fats passed away.

  8. Tammy says:

    It’s good to see there is more and more being posted about this group online than ever. My grandfather is the sax player Herbert Zimmer who is in the center in the picture above. He’s still around, in his 80’s now. Hasn’t played in probably 40-50 years. When I decided to take up the sax in grade school he shipped me his old alto to the states and got me started. In high school we went to visit and he bought me my tenor for Christmas. I still play, but mainly at home or with a local community band when schedule permits. It is partly to him that I contribute my profound love of music. I have an extensive collection of more modern American music, but Fats & His Cats “Die Singles” has a nice spot on the shelf and on my server. Opa is living peacefully with Oma in Schwabach.

  9. Rick Cunningham says:

    Hi,Tammy.I meet Herbie in early 1960 while I was still in the US Army,stationed in Frankfurt.
    The other band members in the photo are Artur Frowein(the other saxaphonist)Werner
    Sandhof,keyboard,Walter Spangenberg,Drums, and of course,Otto. I’m not sure Herbie
    would remember me but tell him I said hi and I hope he is doing good.There are two pictures
    of me with the band mixed up in some of the sites for Fats and his Cats. One is with Paul Flanze on drums and the other is with Walter Spangenberg on drums. Arno Neuman also played drums
    during the time I was with the band.

  10. Rick Cunningham says:

    Hi again,Tammy.If you would like some photos of the band send me your e-mail address.
    Mine is gtrman03@comcast.net. I live in Houston Texas.

  11. Norman Ford says:

    I heard and danced to Fats & his band many times while in the Army stationed in Pirmasens, Germany in the late fifties. He played at the Atlantic Club, a favorite spot for the GI’s as well as the local young people. Rock-N- Roll was very popular in Germany then. Didn’t hurt that Elvis was stationed in Germany at the same time.

  12. Ellsworth says:

    I loved going to the enlisted men’s club to hear Fats play in Darmstadt 1961-63.

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