Tempelhof Swing

Wer Lust hat kann mit uns am Ostermontag, 25 April, auf dem Tempelhofer Feld Swing tanzen. Swingtanzbare Musik kommt direkt vom Plattenteller.  Decken, Getränke und Verpflegung bitte mitbringen. Wenn ihr am Eingang Columbiadamm auf  Kreidezeichen auf dem Boden achtet,  findet ihr uns leicht.

Berlin Tempelhof Airport has a long history starting in 1923. In 1933 Berlin´s first concentration camp was established in this place. After Tempelhof Airport was massively reconstructed in 1936 by the Nazi governement, thousands of forced laborers worked there in air armament. Of course Tempelhof was also the base of the legendary  Berlin Airlift, the Allied mission to fly food and supplies to blockaded West Berlin in 1948-1949. The airport closed in 2008. Today it is a public park.

We´ll be dancing in Tempelhof park on Easter monday. To commemorate the US history of  the airport, here´s a 45 used for radio broadcasts. Betty Madigan together with Dick Hyman and his band advertise for WAF – Women in the Air Force.

“So rememer young ladies: if the life of the WAF appeals to you, talk with your local Air Force recruiter. Get in on the ground floor of the space age!”


BETTY MADIGAN WITH DICK HYMAN AND HIS BAND, I`ll Never Say Never Again/  Tears ON My Pillow, 1958

TANZ-ORCHESTER, Manches “Nein” heißt “Vielleicht”, 1931

Last week, while searching for German postwar swing records in a thrift store I came across these smaller 8 inch records. I´m not into tango music and I´m not going to start collecting records from the 1930s, but the names of the songs made me curious. The records are in poor condition –  at least they were cheap, only  1 euro. At home I was happy to find out that these tangos are quite  light-hearted, even funny. The song Manches “Nein” heißt “Vielleicht” suggests that sometimes “no” means “maybe”, because a lady who cares about her outward appearance is shy about the “yes”.

Ralph  Benatzky, who wrote the song, became  famous for his musicals that combined more traditional with new 1920s jazz rhythms. His most famous play “Im weißen Rössl” (1930) was banned by the nazis because of its jewish co-authors and marked as “enartet” because it made fun of traditional values and because of  a saucy bathing scene. Benatzky left Berlin in 1932,  first to Switzerland and later for Hollywood.

TANZ-ORCHESTER MIT REFRAINGESANG, Manch “Nein” heisst “Vielleicht”, 1931

„ Manches „Nein“ heißt „Vielleicht“/ Und „Vielleicht“ heißt „Gewiss“, oder so/ Denn die Dame von Welt, die auf´s Äußere hält, bis auf da mit dem „Ja“/ Man kaschiert sein Gefühl, teils aus Scheu, teils kokett, oder so/  Kurz, in dem Augenblick, macht der Ton die Musik“

Tri -Ergon, a system to record sound directly on film, was invented in Berlin in 1919. Fox Movietone later used it among other sytems for one of  the first talking films, Friedrich Wihelm Murnau´s Sunrise (1927). The Tri-Ergon record label produced a wide variety of records in the 20s and early 30s. The smaller 8 inch records were the cheapos.

TANZ -ORCHESTER MIT REFRAINGESANG, Ich hab´ kein Herz seit 24 Stunden, 1931

Pictures from a program of  the Berlin Wintergarten music hall from May 1931, that  I bought some years ago in a thrift store. Actually it´s a small mgazine filled with photos and little articles about Berlin nightlife. The cover and one more illustration are signed by BALKIE,  a cartoonist the Internet has no knowledge of. I really like his style and wish I could find more information about the artist.

ARGENTINISCHE TANGO-KAPELLE, Heut tanz´ ich nur mit dir, 1930

On more cheap 8 inch tango record, this one is on the Derby label. The local Berlin Derby label was an economy label that also produced  regular 10 inch records. Before I  “researched” a bit on the Internet, I didn´t know economy labels existed in the 1920s. But of course the recording industry was already huge,  so of course some businesses tried to sell cheaper versions of  hit records.

As was common practice with cheapo labels, the names of the artists didn´t appear on the labels but often well-known artists were playing on the recordings.  The musicians of the “Argentinean Tango Band” were most likely  local Berliners. The original of Heut tanz´ ich nur mit dir (today I´ll only dance with you) was written by famous Berlin composer  Will Meisel.

ARGENTINISCHE TANGO-KAPELLE, Heut tanz´ ich nur mit dir, 1930

ARGENTINISCHE TANGO-KAPELLE, Auf einer kleinen Bank im Park, 1930

A single page probably from another program, that I “found” in the May 1931 Wintergarten program, with a poem by Erich Kästner and nice photo of  contortionist Barbara La May.

DJ TRÜMMERSWING bei Ron Telesky!

DJ Trümmerswing spielt Nachkriegsswing auf 78 Umdrehungen. Am 10. Februar ab 18 Uhr bei Ron Telesky, der Kanadischen Pizzeria in der Dieffenbachstrasse 62 in Kreuzberg. Es knackt und es knistert,  es gibt heisse Pizzen und vielleicht wird sogar getanzt….

Berlin Beatet Bestes On The Radio Tonight!

Wer schnell ist, kann uns  heute abend wieder von 10 Uhr 30 bis 12 im Radio hören auf 88.4 Mhz, oder im Internet streamen über Pi-Radio. Heute abend spielen wir nur schräge und swingene Nachkriegsschallplatten (1947-1955), alles original auf 78 Umdrehungen. Knister, Knister…

Signierstunde bei Modern Graphics

Morgen, am Sonnabend den 22. Januar 2011, signiere ich ab 15 Uhr bei Modern Graphics in der Oranienstrasse 22 in Kreuzberg, meinen immer noch neuen Bigbeatland-Band 2. Und wie immer schmeisse dazu auch ein paar kleine Schallplatten auf einen kleinen Plattenteller.

Kommt doch vorbei, ich würde mich freuen.

Werner Müller und seine Heubodensänger, Sportpalast-Twist, 1964

A while back I posted a bunch of Werner Müller´s rockin´orchestra sides. Last week at the charity shop I got his Sportpalast-Twist, a Berlin twist song if there ever was one.

Built in 1910 the Sportpalast was Berlin´s first multi-purpose arena. At the time of its opening it was the largest such facility in the world. Max Schmeling boxed there. Social-Democrats, Communists and Nazis held conventions there. Goebbels held his famous “Total War speech” there. After the war many rock groups played there, among them: Bill Haley, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. It was torn down in 1973 and replaced by a high-rise appartement complex.  Today it is still a eye-sore, dubbed by Berliners  the “Sozialpalast”.

The Sportpalast-Twist is a twist version of the Sportpalastwalzer, that was first performed in 1923 at the “Sixdays” cycling event. The whistles heard throughout the song, were established by “Krücke”, a Berlin bloke who made a name of himself by his funny antics. Initially he loudly whistled the chorus from the audience and by doing so helped establish the song. In the subsequent versions of the song the whistles were deliberately built-in. The “Sixdays” run is still being held in Berlin, turning in about 75.000 visitors  each year.

Fittingly “Noch ein Tor” (One more goal) is a twist song with a football theme. My record didn´t have a sleeve so I took this little image from the great FC 45 site. If you´re into football and football related music, they have gathered the best collection of  football records I´ve ever seen.

Werner Müller und seine Heubodensänger, Sportpalast-Twist, 1964

Werner Müller und seine Heubodensänger, Noch ein Tor, 1964

BERNHARD FRANK, Über die Brücken von Venedig, 1965

küsse-labelAs you might have noticed, I´ve taken a little break from this site lately, because…  because I felt like it. After all, it is a lot of work scanning and digitizing the records and it´s not like they absolutely need to be heard anyway. My main ambition still is to put material (mostly obscure German records that are easy to grab for everybody at flea markets and thrift shops)  on the Internet for the first time. But for now, nobody really seems to want to take over that job, probably because obviously this stuff is not worth most serious record collectors time. So here I am again…

Well, sometimes I do find records that are not so bad, or even great like this one. Bernhard Frank is not unknown to followers of this blog,  I´ve posted a bunch of  records by this forgotten Berlin musician in the past. Like I´ve said many times, he only wrote good songs. These two schlager-beat tunes might not stand the test of hardcore beat fans but I  love them. The ballad on the  flip side “Über den Brücken von Venedig” (Over the bridges of Venice) is a beautiful organ driven love song, while “Küsse von mir” (Kisses from me) is a fine easygoing schlager-beat stroller.


Interpop and Derby were two small Berlin sister labels that produced mostly pop and schlager records in the early to mid-60´s. Like Bernhard Frank they seem to have vanished into nowhere…

BERNHARD FRANK, Über die Brücken von Venedig, 1965

BERNHARD FRANK, Küsse von mir, 1965