Charlotte Rank, Ding Dong Rock, 1958

Charlotte Rank is an Austrian Jazz singer who only made a handful of records in the 50s before she went back into private life. A mention of her being “A true local Vienna Girl” is one of the only informations I could find.  In the late 1940s Lotte Rank started performing together with the orchestra of famous Austrian  jazz musician Johannes Fehring, with whom she also recorded a nice version of  “Cow Cow Boogie”. Fehring also recorded two rock´n´roll 45s for Heliodor in ´56 and ´57. Apparently Charlotte Rank  still performs from time to time in Vienna.

And what a looker she was!

It seems that songs that contain the word “rockabilly” ( like Guy Mitchell´s “Rock-a-billy”) in the title or the lyrics tend to be actually considerably less rockin´. The original version of  “Ding Dong Rockabilly Wedding” was recorded by Libby Dean in 1957 for Savoy, a Rhythm & Blues label and backed by the Ray Charles Singers. While Charlotte Rank´s version might not be rockabilly music, it´s still rather surprising to find any reference to the word in a German song when it wasn´t even all that common in the U.S. at the time.

For some reason so far “Ding Dong Rock” has slipped Bear Family Records otherwise pretty complete list of German rock´n´roll re-releases.

Here is this cute little ditty digitized  for the first time…

CHARLOTTE RANK, Ding Dong Rock, 1958

CHARLOTTE RANK, Der Gedanke schon allein, 1958

OLLI + ULF, Red Hot, 1978

This 45 relates to the Dirty Dogs in that it is also from Hamburg , it also came out in 1978 and it is also kind of a parody of Rock`n`Roll. The most striking thing about this record is that Olli is the now famous German comedian Olli Dittrich. Olli was a Rockabilly! And he recorded this when he was 20 years old!

Red Hot is a Rockabilly classic and I don`t have to use wikipedia or the Internet to know that it was written and recorded by Billy “The Kid” Emerson for Sun records in the early 50s when Sam Phillips was establishing the label. Billy Lee Riley covered “Red Hot” in 1957 and made it one of the rawest Rockabilly songs of all time! That same year Bob Luman recorded the song for Imperial and it was my favorite version when I was a little teenage Rockabilly in 1980. This is the kind of knowledge that got stuck with me from that time. Where is all the math, physics and biology?

This record is odd in many ways. They dressed funny but I don`t think the music was supposed to be funny. They chose some really cool Rockabilly songs but the music is not cool. And not Rockabilly. Maybe they didn`t take themselves too seriously.

Now I get it…

OLLI + ULF, Red Hot, 1978

OLLI * ULF, Tennessee Waltz, 1978

FRANK ROTHE, Jungle Rock, 1976

“Jungle Rock” is another classic Rockabilly song recorded by Hank Mizell in 1958. It didn`t hit the charts in the 50s but Charly records re-released it in 1976 and it became a hit in England and a Teddy Boy anthem.

Everything good about the original is missing in Frank Rothe`s cover version. Being a Pop-singer he just had to fail at this raw Rockabilly song. The German lyrics make it still kind of fun to listen to.

FRANK ROTHE, Jungle Rock, 1976