Musical Chairs

After caring so much about the works of other artists here, I figured it´s about time I  also showed  some of my own stuff.  Eine deutsche Version dieses Comics findest du hier.

This album is probably the earliest Star Club re-issue compilation. All the groups featured on it have played at the Star Club, but only a few are live recordings like Little Richard´s Good Golly Miss Molly.  It´s nothing compared to “Jerry Lee Lewis live at the Star Club” ,  still one of the best rock´n´roll live albums ever recorded. That album has been re-issued recently on 180 gr vinyl by Bear Family Records. Yeah, Bear Family is finally doing vinyl again! If  you´re a rock´n´roll fan and if you don´t already own it, get it now. It´s one of the albums that you can take to your grave.


Actually this is almost too good to be posted here. It´s  a fantastic LP and I was surprised when I searched for it on the internet and found, that it has never been re-released (apart from Hummel-Twist that appeared on a bunch of comps such as the Beat on The Krauts Im Star Club Hamburg LP Vol.2 that Dionysus/Romulan re-released in the 90´s and on one of Bear Family´s  Tausend Nadelstiche CDs) at least to my knowledge. There´s no reason why this music should not be heard by as many people as possible. But please let me know if I´m wrong. If this ever saw a proper re-release,  I´ll delete it immediately. This album definitely deserves one. Posting music of this caliber (and format!) will be an exception here and I´ll return to my usual beloved garbage pickings next week: the music that doesn´t need to be heard by as many people as possible…

I bought the album 10 years ago in pretty excellent condition (so please take the time to look at my supersized scans) and initially I only wanted to post one track of it , Hully Gully, because Troy pointed out in one of his recent comments that the Hully Gully song seems to have been a trigger for violence when played in the Beatles Star Club era. Toni Cavanaugh´s version is pretty free and wild and has some lightning-fast guitar breaks but it´s not a very aggressive song. The wording “Halli Galli” however, directly derived from the Hully Gully dance craze is still used in Germany. We say: “Da is ganz schön Halli Galli!“, like, there´s some action  going on! Mostly it´s positive but it could also mean a quarrel. Toni Cavanaugh´s Hully Gully  is one of the wildest Hully Gully songs I know:

We´ll what about this outbreak of violence when Hully Gully was played? I don´t know these things, I was born in 1966. I did however grow up in  Hamburg right by the Alster, the beautiful lake that lies in the center of the city. My father and my mother went to the Star Club on one of their first dates. I´ve been living in Berlin for 13 years now and I love Berlin but Hamburg is my home town and will always stay close to my heart. I´ll always be a Hamburger.

Toni Cavanaugh (Orlester Watson Cavanaugh) was born in Indianapolis in 1939 ( the year my mother was born). He landed in Germany in the late 50´s as a US paratrooper and was stationed near Mannheim but soon found himself entertaining the troops on various stages around Germany. After his military time he ended up in Hamburg in the blossoming rock´n´roll scene on the Reeperbahn. In 1960 he was drumming in Tony Sheridan´s group the Jets for a while, who were playing the Top Ten club regularly. He also played with Tony Sheridan in the Star-Combo, kinda the house-band at the Star Club from 1963 to 1964.

In 1962 he had his own group, the Bats. 1964 saw the release of this LP Rock´n Twist Slop Hully Gully with the Liverpool Triumphs.

Side 1 starts of with a rousing versions of

Long Tall Sally (wrongly titled My Babe on both the label and the sleeve) Mashed Potatoe

I´m Talking About You

and a fast saxophone-driven version of  What I´d Say.Hummel-Twist is Tony Cavanaugh´s most well-known song, likely because it was the only one sung in German on this LP. Hummel Hummel Mors Mors is a very old greeting of local Hamburgers. As legend has it, Hans Hummel was a poor worker, a water carrier in the 18th century, who was always teased by little kids, so he replied: “Klei di an´n mors!”(kiss my ass). The greeting is a call and response thing. When I was a kid and we were on a family trip, me and  my brother used to look for passing cars that were also from Hamburg. When we found one, we´d scream “Hummel Hummel” and sometimes they would scream back “Mors Mors” to our greatest delight.

The lyrics to Hummel-Twist go like this:

Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, ich bin ein Ausländer/Don´t you know , ich sprech´kein Deutsch/ My mother told me, don´t you go/ Hummel Hummel, ich weiß nicht, was das heisst/Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, yeah yeah, Mahlzeit!/…/ Hummel Hummel Humel Mors Mors, mein Mädel hat zu mir gesagt: Wenn du kommst nach Deutschland mein Kind, man sagt: Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, sagt jeder Hamburger/Ich bin ein Ausländer, ich möchte deutsch lernen, Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, JAAA!/…/Hummel Hummel mors Mors, ich bin ein Ausländer/Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, ich weiß nicht, was das heisst/ Hummel Hummel, Hummel Hummel, Hummel Hummel/ Hummel Hummel … Mors MorsIch weiß nicht, was das heisst…Aaah!…Is´egal!…Wie geht´s?

Side 1 ends with a version of  Money that sounds similar to a lot of  versions from Star-Club groups, BUT this has a great drum and saxophone sound! This sounds like it was recorded live and it was!

Side 2 starts with Jezebel,

then the aforementioned awesome Hully Gully, Slippin´and Slidin´ (again wrongly titled We are slopping. Yea, there are a lot of mistakes on this record…),

and a funny little number called Twiullyop, a mix of the words  twist, hully gully and slop. Otherwise a pretty straight beat stomper:

The album closes with a soulful rendition of  Tell Me, Baby.

In 1965 Toni Cavanaugh got a deal with Teldec and recorded four songs in German backed by  the “Beat Brothers”, among them Kingsize Taylor, Howie Casey and some members of the Blizzards from Stade, a small town near Hamburg.

Toni Cavanaugh continued to play with various groups in Germany  into the 70´s, but finally went back to the states, leaving the music business behind altogether. He died in a nursing home on November 5th,  2005.

Like other African-American expatriate  rock´n´rollers such as  Rocky Roberts in Italy and the great Harold Nicholas in France, Toni Cavanaugh left some very fine recordings in Europe. It´s time that they are paid a little more tribute to.

MICHAEL & THE FIREBIRDS, Lass Sie geh´n ( She´s Not There), 1965

michael & the firebirds 148 515sHaro sent me the sleeve to the Michael and the Firebirds 45 that I posted earlier this year here. This is their second single on the  Star Club label. The A-side is a great German cover-version of the Zombies hit She´s Not There. The B-side is a Michael & The Firebirds original. One year later their vocalist Michel Kogler got famous as the voice of the million-seller Black is Black by the manufactured Beat group Los Bravos. Kogler wrote the music and the lyrics to Black is Black. After his time in Los Bravos Michael Kogler tried his luck recording several records under the name of Mike Kennedy in the early 70´s but failed to chart.

Anyway this is excellent German Beat music! I love the Zombies and I love She´s Not There and this is a great German version of that song…

MICHAEL & THE FIREBIRDS, Lass Sie geh´n ( She´s Not There), 1965

MICHAEL  & THE FIREBIRDS, Make Me Happy, 1965

For all you aural gourmets out there this was recorded with a slightly bigger Bit-rate than I usually do. Courtesy of Haro from Partenheim!

7´´ Star – Club Single 148 515 STF – Stereo – 1965 – D – ” Michael & The Firebirds ” ! Band : ” Michael & The Firebirds “ Label – Nr. : Star – Club 148 515 STF – Stereo Matritz – Nr. : AA 148 515.1 F / AA 148 515.2 F Musikverlag : Minerva Music Land : Deutschland ( Germany ) Erschienen : 1965 Zustand : Platte und Cover sehr gut erhalten ( VG+ / VG+ )Besonderheit : Zweite 7´ Single – Ausgabe dieser doch damals wenig beachteteten Band, die aber für meine Begriffe sehr gute Musik ( Beat ) gemacht hat ! Single – A Side : Lass Sie geh´n ( She´s Not There ) 2´24 ( Rod Argent / J. Nicolac ) Single – B Side : Make Me Happy 2´12 ( R. Lindt / P. Ström / G. Tilgert ) Group : ” Michael & The Firebirds ” –

Beschreibung : Hier eine sehr gut erhaltene original deutsche 7´ Star – Club Single im blauen Standard – Cover mit Bild von ” Michael ( Kogel ) ” auf der Coverrückseite. Auf der A. Seite erklingt die deutsche Cover – Version ” Lass Sie geh´n ” des Welterfolges ” She´s Not There ” der ” Zombies “,ceiner englischen Top – Beat Band der 60er Jahre. Die B. Seite ist mit einemcSong der Band selber bestückt ” Make Me Happy “, der ebenso gut eingespielt worden ist. Zu ” Michael and the Firebirds ” kann man folgendes schreiben undzwar wurde er am 25 April 1944 in Berlin mit dem Namen ” Michael Kogel “ geboren. 1964 tauchte er mit seiner Band in Köln im Glaspalast, einem Beat –schuppen in Köln – Ehrenfeld, auf. Dort wurde er von dem Kölner Musik –Produzenten ” Nils Nobach ” entdeckt und der produzierte auch die erste 7´Single der Band, die auf dem Ariola – Label unter der Nummer 10 960 AT( Mono ) mit einer tollen Bildhülle, die die Band komplett zeigt, erschien und zwar war auf der A. Seite ” Der Knüller Mausi Müller ” ( deutsche Version des US Top – Hits ” Abigail Becher ” von ” Freddie Cannon ” ) zu hören sowie auf der B. Seite ” Wir sind eine Dancing Band ” ( einem deutschen Stimmungssong der von der Band verbeatet worden ist ). Leider war diese Platte ein wenig erfolgreicher Wurf in Deutschland, sodaß gerade diese Single in gutem Zustand mit dem original Cover als sehr selten anzusehen ist. Auch der Produzent ” Nils Nobach ” brachte ” Michael Kogel ” 1966 mit der spanischen Band ” Los Bravos “ zusammen, die damals einen guten Sänger suchten und er hatte Glück das er mit der Band den Song ” Black Is Black ” einspielte, den er selber komponiert und getextet hatte und wie wir wissen, wurde der Song Weltweit ein Riesen Erfolg. Alle Aufnahmen, die dann von ” Los Bravos ” bis Ende der 60er Jahre erschienen, wurden mit dem Top – Sänger ” Michael Kogel ” aufgenommen und waren teilweise auch sehr gute Erfolge. Später stellte sich dann raus, das niemand von der bekannten Band ” Los Bravos ” an den Aufnahmen zu ” Black Is Black ” selber mit gewirkt hatte, sondern diese mit englischen Studio – Musikern gemacht wurden, nur der Sänger ” Michael Kogel ” war echt. Nachdem sich die Band in Spanien Anfang der 70er Jahre auflöste, brachte Michael unter dem Künstlername ” Mike Kennedy ” noch einige Platten auf den Markt, die aber vor allem in Deutschland wenig Beachtung fanden !

Haro ( Partenheim )

THE CARAVELLS , Let`s dance Hully Gully, 1963

This British duo played at the Star Club and released this nice 45 for the German Vogue label. The Hully Gully is the theme but I think  Shake the Piano is the better song here…


THE CARAVELLS , Let`s Dance Hully Gully, 1963

THE CARAVELLS , Shake the Piano, 1963

DIRTY DOGS, Lose Control, 1978

While in Erlangen I took an hour off and went to a second hand book and record store near the train station.

That´s were I found this 45 by the Dirty Dogs from my hometown Hamburg. I knew I had to buy this when I saw the band members cool biker outfits (click on the picture to make it bigger). Apparently the guys used to play in Beat bands in the Star Club era. Ten years later they must have remembered how much fun it used to be to just “rock out” when they were teenagers. But being better musicians and older and wiser they ruin it. On the back sleeve it says that they play Rock`n`Roll the way it used to be played in the 50s.

“Lose Control” starts off with screaming girls, barking dogs and a voice that shouts(at the dog): “Mando! Mando! Das is Kacke hier! Echt, du! Mann, das kann doch nicht sein… Lass das.” (Mando!Mando! That´s shit here! Really! Man, that can`t be… Stop it.) but then the piano sets in and they turn into “Sha Na Na” meets “AC/DC”. The B-side sounds like “Status Quo” with strings. A Rock`n`Roll parody . Punk had to happen.

Still fun to listen to…

DIRTY DOGS, Lose Control, 1978

DIRTY DOGS, Come Alive, 1978

GÜNTER TESCH, Meinst du wirklich?, 1970

Among incredibly strange records, outsider records or whatever you want to call them, religious records have a special place. First because they are not made for commercial reasons, they are the most “hardcore” independent releases. And second because very few of them are good. I buy these kind of records out of curiosity. If I don`t know an artist or label my interest is sparked and for 50 cents I can give a record a chance. Of course a lot of these records are “bad”. That´s why the serious collectors of any genre, who picked through everything before I did, left these records behind. Defining what is “good” or “bad” is a scientific question but the fact is, most religious records are dead boring.

I picked up this record by Günter Tesch before I found his book “Hinter den Kulissen”(Behind the Scenes). On the record you can hear is some slight rocking backing the preaching, but nothing that reveals, that Tesch actually played in a Beat band before he started singing religious songs.


That´s basically the story of the book. He doesn´t say what his group was called ( I guess he played in the Tonics) but he describes the beat scene in Hamburg, the Reeperbahn, the Star Club and the Top Ten in the 60´s quite vividly.

Of course he focuses on the highlights: “Rhythm! Beat! Ecstasy! Colourful impressions of the world of the stage. Swinging and full of suspense. In the language of our times. Free of Illusions and realistic. Meeting celebrated idols, loose girls, tough guys and drug dealers. And then he meets Jesus Christ…”

In the end he sells his Beat outfit, cuts his hair short and destroys all of his records to be free for god. Following Cliff Richard and Little Richard this was a German rocker who converted to god. The result is rather tame but compared to the majority of German religious music of the time this was way ahead.

GÜNTER TESCH, Meinst du wirklich?, 1970