In the 1970s Heinrich Riethmüller (1921-2006) got to be known by millions of Germans when he appeared regularly on television in the Dalli Dalli quiz show. Without noticing  German kids were also familiar with Riethmüller because he was responsible for directing many  German soundtracks and voiceovers of Disney films.

As indicated on the back of the sleeve Heinrich Riethmüller recorded at least seven more 45s for the Austrian Amadeo label. He can be heard playing the electric piano on these two automobile related songs: Grüne Welle (A lucky streak of being given the green light at crossings) and Romanze für 12PS (PS = horsepower, so I guess it´s veeeery slow romance).




CORNEL-TRIO, Verlieb´ dich nicht am Nordpol, 1951

Recently I bought a stack of 78 rpm records and have really fallen in love with some of the tunes I “found” on them.  They were 50 cents a piece, so they are not in good shape but I still played some of them in our last radio show and even played them at a little  DJ Trümmerswing dance recently. The German swing records went over surprisingly well with the dancers.

I know, there are many serious German record collectors out there who know much more about 78rpm records than I do, but then again, there are no German music-bloggers that write about them.  So I might as well write what I know.

These records and artists were successful locally, but mostly went unnoticed in the rest of the world. Unless you know German, you will still not find much info about them today.  Most of these songs have been re-issued on CD, but I don´t think the quality of my records should hurt anybody´s business. There are fine re-issues of  Rita Paul, Peter Cornehlsen & the Cornel-Trio and Ilja Glusgal available. Even the most blatent CD-rip-off-blogs claim it, but in this case I really mean it: if you like these tunes,  despite the horrible quality of my recordings, go out and buy the CDs.

“Verlieb´ dich nicht am Nordpol” by Peter Cornehlsen and his Cornel-Trio  (also known as the Corni-Trio, Cornel-Quartett, Cornel-Quintett und Coronels) backed by Kurt Henkels and his orchestra, has been one of my new favourites recently. Kurt Henkels was Eastern-Germany´s king of swing.  The song was originally written by Michael Jary for the 1951 film “Die verschleierte Maja” (The Veiled Lady), one of the first big (West-) German musical production after the war.

“Don´t fall in love at the North Pole, because it will even freeze hot love!”

CORNEL-TRIO, Verlieb´ dich nicht am Nordpol, 1951

I found some photos of the movie in a article in Neue Illustrierte newspaper Nr. 26, June 6, 1951:

Filmed in Hamburg.


ILJA GLUSGAL, Wenn der Ki-, wenn der Ka-, wenn der Kuß nicht wär, 1949

German pop music probably never sounded more American than in the years right after WWII. American style swing music was discouraged in Nazi-Germany, surpassing the censors only when disguised as “Deutsche Tanzmusik”. Lots of  “German Swing Music” was published in Nazi-Germany, but nothing really wild was recorded until after the war, stuff like Kurt Henkels ultra-fast Swing Heil from 1949.  But by the mid-50s the schmaltzy “Heimat music” took over, killed most of the swing music and suger-coated the timid attempts to play  rock´n´roll  in Germany.

This might not be the really wild and fast type of swing music, but German music never got to be more swingin´ than Ilja Glusgal backed by Walter Dobschinski and his orchestra.

“Without the ke-, ka-, kiss, what would couples do?”

ILJA GLUSGAL, Wenn der Ki-, wenn der Ka-, wenn der Kuß nicht wär, 1949

From the same year, this picture from Paprika magazine, published in Berlin. The young dream girl of 1949:

ILJA GLUSGAL, Sensation am Broadway, 1951

Ilja Glusgal often performed with the Cornel-Trio. Here, backed by Walter Dobschinski and the Tanzkapelle des Berliner Rundfunks, he´s covering Doris Day´s 1951 hit record Lullaby Of Broadway. From the movie of the same title, starring Doris Day and Gene Nelson.

The lyrics in the Doris Day´s version are rather light hearted:

The band begins to go to town/ And everyone goes crazy/ You rock-a-bye your baby round/ ‘Til everything gets hazy/ Hush-a-bye, I’ll buy you this and that/ You hear a daddy saying/ And baby goes home to her flat/ To sleep all day

The German version of the song by Ilja Glusgal tells a differnt story:

In New York  at midnight on Broadway/  There´s a sensation on Broadway/ The crowd is captivated, the police is helpless: A naked girl!/ Everybody is shouting: Sweet Baby! Liebling, you´re adorable!/ He wants so protect her and take her home/  She says: “No way,  I have to stand here without a dress – I´m advertizing for lingerie!”

Yea, I know the recording sounds awful, but that´s the condition my copy is in…

ILJA GLUSGAL, Sensation am Broadway, 1951

From roughly the same period, some images from Paprika magazine Nr.7, 1949. The magazine combined a variety of  pin-up photos, cartoons and essays.

BULLY BUHLAN, Ein Mann mit knarrenden Schuhen, 1948

Today only old people might remember his name, but in the late 40s and early 50s Bully Buhlan was Germany´s most popular pop singer and Berlin´s most famous son.

“Ein Mann mit knarrenden  Schuhen” – a man with squeaky shoes – explains why a couple will have a perfect marriage, because the wife will always know when her husband is approaching. The squeaky shoes are really practical, especially when she´s with another man…

BULLY BUHLAN, Ein Mann mit knarrenden Schuhen, 1948

Dutch reader Ron suggested I post some of the b-sides. This one I acctually  ignored and never listened to,  because the title sounded like boring Schlager music. Stupid. The Cornel Trio is almost all swingin´:

CORNEL-TRIO, Die Rose vom Wörther See, 1948

From a British “Men Only” magazine from 1952:

Non-squeaky crepe soles were the rage in the early 50s:

I love these little hand drawn ads. Graphic designers still knew how to draw:

Hand drawn lettering and cartoon in this ad:

CORNEL-TRIO, Ein verliebter kleiner Affe, 1955

The lovely Cornel-Trio led by Peter Cornehlsen with a cute swinging song about a little monkey who is in love with a giraffe.

CORNEL-TRIO, Ein verliebter kleiner Affe, 1955