Now, I love that gal – heart and soul/ But I dig Jazz! … and she loves Rock´n´Roll!
Found this crazy 45 in the cheapo bin of a local second-hand record store last week, for one measly Euro. No idea how it ended up there, but it sure is a killer.
Issued by the Jaro label in 1959, at the hight of the Beatnik-craze, this was Woody Byrd´s sole 45. Jaro was a subsidiary of Top Rank International. This seems to be the label´s first release. Both sides were also issued on Top Rank in New Zealand. Jazz vs. Rock and Roll would have fit perfectly on the Welcome to the Beat Generation – comp that came out in the late 90s. Despite its cool combination of jive talk, swingin´ jazz music and rock´n´roll guitars, the song has never been re-released. At least I couldn´t find it. Maybe it´s too much of a real novelty break-in record, to be of interest to rock´n´roll fans. Much less jazz fans.
Or maybe it´s just too silly…
The title of the flip is a bit misleading. Chop Sticks Cha Cha Cha is a latin-tinged Rhythm & Blues tune with a cool saxophone solo…
My baby and I, had a fight last night/ She said I´m wrong, but I know I´m right/
Now, I love that gal – heart and soul/ But I dig Jazz!/ …/ and she loves Rock´n´Roll!/…/
She said I´m square and just don´t swing/ I said get hip baby and dig my scene/
Oh me oh my what a rigamarole/ cause I love Jazz!/ …/ and she digs Rock´n´Roll/…/
It was a wild scene all the way/ …/ two radios were blasting night and day/ …
I´d be coolin´Jazz on my Christmas set/ …/ Then she tuned in some crazy quartet!/ …/
(Turn it off! Turn it off!)
We were so confused, we didn´t know what to do/ So we just decided, that they both would do/
And now we get our kicks today,/ whenever we hear that cool cat say:/
(„A one, and a two and a…“)
Found this flexi-disc last week, while on a trip to Tbilisi, Georgia, together with the staff of Jungle World. Our special Georgia issue hit the newsstands today. I turned out great! Thanks Jungle World for always taking me with you.
I bought about twenty Russian flexi-discs at Dry Bridge fleamarket, but only got to hear them when I came back home to Berlin. Imagine my surprise, when I suddenly heard a German voice on this record…
Apparently, this was a souvenir record geared at German visitors to Georgia in the 1970s. I think there is also a English version of it. The very thin blue russian Melodija Flexi has two songs. The first is by Georgian vocal instrumental ensemble Orera. Along with Dielo, Orera were the most famous pop groups of Georgia during the Soviet era. I guess the vocalist is Nani Brevadze. I have no clue yet, who performs the second song or what the name of the song is.
I´ve loved the drawing style of Hans Jürgen Press since I was a child, so I recognized it immediately when I saw the album cover of this 10″. The clear, slightly broken lines, the big noses and the light-hearted humor are typical for this outstanding German artist. Probably because it was not directed towards children, the design is not as overcrowded with detail as his usual work. There is a well hidden small signature in the far upper right corner. Just as well hidden as the clues that Press was known for placing in his picture puzzles in The Adventures Of The Black Hand Gang.
The album is a showcase of the Philips label instrumental pop catalog, ca. 1955, in combination with a “bar” concept: added background noise, chatter, clapping, glasses clanking, interrupted by the Polychord organ of Conni Amberg. It´s like a radio play without the speakers – you hear only the background sounds.
My favorite track is a medley of Margie, Nola and Dardanella by Svend Asmussen and his orchestra. Danish jazz violinist Svend Asmussen died last year at the age of 100. In the 50s, Asmussen was influenced by the violinist Stuff Smith, but this medley sounds more like the guitar wizardry of Les Paul…
I like this version with the added clapping better than the original version. You can listen and compare it here.
Initially, I didn´t want to post the whole album, because I thought it was boring. Then, after listened to it for a while, I found it to be strangely soothing. I guess, I´m into elevator music now…
I bought these two very similar 45s, credited to a Harold M. Kirchstein, at a local second-hand record store. Both have white labels, are hand-decorated with Victorian die-cut Santa Clauses and wrapped in plain paper sleeves. The one with the small hole has the words Liebe Weihnachtsgrüsse, Harold M. Kirchstein and the speed 33 1/3 written in red marker. The other one with the large hole says Frohe Weihnachtsgrüsse, plus the name and the same 33 1/3 speed. The first thing you´ll find is the name. Harold M. Kirchstein (1906 -1993) was better known in the world of popular music as Henri René. I own a few of René´s 45s backing Eartha Kitt.
But it´s not Harold M. Kirchstein or Henri René that is heard on these records. These elaborate Christmas joke records were made by a smart and sophisticated person not so long ago. The small hole 45 even has Henri René written in the outer grooves, plus I – m – re – I. Further the small hole 45 cites the swingin´ Ach, verzeih’n sie meine Dame, Gottlieb Schulze mein Name, a song written by Harold M. Kirchstein and recorded in 1936 by Peter Igelhoff. The lyrics also mention Die Goldene Sieben, one of the top German swingin´ orchestra in the 1930s, co-founded by Kirchstein. Harold M. Kirchstein left Germany in 1937. The whole record musically hints at the German-American story of Henri René. A story that has not been told in full yet. Let´s hear:
Two minutes into his goofy Christmas collage you´ll hear a sample of the Singing Dogs version of Jingle Bells. Frohe Weihnachten und Prosit Neujahr! Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
One last Berlin country & western record in this series. No information available online about the County Pickers. I´d put their privately pressed “Take One – Stereo EP” – a DIY production with hand-made sleeves – in the early 80s. But who knows. This seems to be the first public appearance of the group on the Internet.
The six members of the Country Pickers were: Charly – lead guitar, chorus, 12-string guitar; Eric – vocals, chorus; Evy – Vocal, chorus; Frank – drums; Norbert – guitar, vocals, chorus, organ, string orchestra; Peter – bass, vocals, chorus
I especially love the strangely endearing Springtime in September…
“Die faszinierende, moderne Welt der Bahn im Country-Western-Style. Mit dieser neuen Single präsentiert sich die Deutsche Bundesbahn als das, was sie ist: das moderne Dienstleistungsunternehmen mit Full-Service für Menschen und Güter.”
Vocals imitate the gravel-voice of Gunter Gabriel…
A bit of a mystery record here, starting with the group´s name. Aries Afosheenga on the sleeve, simply Afosheenga on the label, while Rock City, a Berlin rock music guide from 1985 lists them as Aries Afrosound.
And then, what is Afro-European Generation? Is it the title of the record or another name for the band? Further info from Rock City, shines some light on it: ” Steven was born in the star sign of Aries on the Ivory Coast, of Nigerian descent. His music (Afro-European Generation) reflects the life and team play of black and white people. Role models are Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Frantz Fanon.”
Aries band members were: Steve (Voc, conga, g), Kola (voc,b,conga), Yomi (voc,perc,g), René (perc,g), Peter (dr), Conrado (flute, sax), Daniel (tenor-sax), Urban (p-synth). Recorded and mixed at STEVE`S MUSIC SHOP, West-Berlin. Distributed by STEVE`S MUSIKLADEN, Gitschiner Straße 96.
The sleeve´s line-up: Stephen Lawal (voc, g, dr, conga), Kola Adio (b, voc, conga, perc), Tina Warse (tenor sax), Daniel Hermelink (keyboard-piano), Parviz Ghiassian (alto-sax), Barry Anene (g, perc)
Despite its melancholy touch, Way Back To Africa is a laid-back West-African tune, straight out of gloomy 1980s West-Berlin…
The synth is used like percussion on Congaman:
Found this privately pressed 45 at my neighborhood flea market a while back. The seller said it was “kinda punk”. It´s a mish-mash of punk/new wave-influenced ROCK, specific to a lot of local bands in the late 70s and early 80s, when Berlin was punk capital.
Drummer Reinhard “Wurzel” Stey, who wrote both of these songs, came from an older generation of rock musicians. Since 1970, he had played in Panko Musik and later in Tontransport. Stey was also co-founded the first Berlin rock organization. According to rockinberlin.com, he died at an unknown date.
Grunewald forest is the largest green area in the city of Berlin. Still, the chorus of the song goes: ” The forest is much too small/ Concrete everywhere”