One of the best things about doing this blog, apart from getting nice comments from you my dear readers of course, is getting reactions from people directly involved with the music I post here. So far nobody has complained or asked me to put down music but supported my efforts.
Last Wednesday I got one such mail from Pivo Deinert, nephew of Werner Deinert. He found the video of Jimmy Jimson and the Werner Deinert orchestra that I had posted on YouTube. He informed me that his uncle had died on Tuesday. He was 78 years old. Pivo Deinert is a musician himself and though not into jazz, pretty much grew up accompanied by the music of his uncle. Sadly he didn´t own any of his records apart from a compilation LP and the MP3 I made from Jimmy Jimson´s Lavender Coffin.
Actually I do only have this record but I wanted to help. One reason why I couldn´t make the deadline last Thursday was that I still didn´t know how to record the 78 rpm records that I wanted to post. I also wanted to go even further back in time than the 50´s rock´n´roll records that I posted last time. I found these six records from 1949 together in a thrift store two years ago and they were pretty cheap, around 2 Euros each. Normally I don´t buy 78 rpm records but these looked too cool. I didn´t know anything about the music though and honestly I still don´t know anything about swing music.
When I posted the flip side of this record, a cover version of Lionel Hampton´s Lavender Coffin by Jimmy Jimson backed by Werner Deinert and his orchestra in September 2008 I took the sound file of the video and turned that into a MP3. Naturally that didn´t sound too good. I still don´t have a record player that plays 78 rpm records that connects to my mixer, amplifier or computer but now I finally found a really simple, even primitive , way of recording them. I put a microphone directly in front of the speaker.
I know that´s still not a satisfying way to record them and to do these forgotten songs some real justice I hope to record them in a better quality some time but the MP3´s that I made with the microphone actually do sound pretty decent. There is a lot of background noise, but that´s how they sound when played on the record player.
So here are the two sides of the Werner Deinert record. Side A ist a Jimmy Jimson, probably a black G.I. stationed in Berlin at the time, backed by the Werner Deinert Orchestra.
(Photo from a article about 6000 black G.I.´s stationed in Wildflecken, Bavaria and the German Frauleins that befriended them, Neue Illustrierte , July 1951)
Werner Deinert´s son discovered my video of the song on YouTube and showed it to his father but he didn´t seem to remember and shrugged it off: “Yea, that was one of those recording sessions”. Pivo wrote that his uncle used to talk about the difficult recording techniques in those days. To regulate the amount of reverb while recording in a church, they lifted the long drop curtain to get more reverb when they played the solo parts.
Mohrchens Boogie, written by Werner Deinert, is a nice swinging instrumental song.
As I wrote two years ago:
Lavender Coffin is the swing classic written in 1949 by Shirley Albert and made famous by Lionel Hampton. This version was released on the local Berlin label Metrophon. I`m not a swing expert so I don`t know much more except that this ROCKS!
Even more than the Hampton version!
Swing Heil was an actual greeting used by German Swing fans in the 30´s and 40´s to mock the Nazis Sieg Heil. Only after the war was it possible to make the saying into the title of a song. The song itself is a pretty nice cover version of Sy Oliver´s up-tempo classic Swing High.
Du hast ja keine Ahnung (You have no idea) sung by Rita Paul is more interesting musically. It´s a swinging tune that has Rita doing some scat-style singing in German, really cool.
She played in some films and was a member of the Insulaner, a political Cabaret group. By the end of the 50´s her career was stagnating. She married a scientist and moved to the US. although she mostly resigned to being a mother and housewife she managed to appear in three US films and even recorded during that time. After returning to Germany she was unable to match her former success but continued to perform in nostalgic TV programs into the 70´s. She still lives in Berlin.
Du hast ja keine Ahnung also appeared on the East-German, i.e. East-Berlin Amiga label as did many of Rita Paul´s early recordings. In the late 40´s and early 50´s the iron curtain seems to have been considerably softer.
More swing music from Berlin. Frühling in Texas is very much inspired by the Andrews Singers. Cool lyrics about springtime in Texas and the cowboys having a ball with no cops and no tax authorities around.
Instead of a copyright statement the label states: Issued with the approval of the intelligence of the military governement . Meaning the US military in Berlin.
Another issue of Kobold magazin, if you pleeeze?:
Kobold magazine, No. 7, 1949, printed in Berlin-Tempelhof
“Something the American advertisement illustrator allows women, a German cartoonist demands for men”. Ilustration by H. Lucas
Illustration by Hans H. Hoppe for a satirical poem about modern art by Hector:
Berufsverkehr (traffic), Cartoon by Heinz Musculus
Springtime in Texas…
I didn`t know how to record this any other way because I can`t plug my old record player that plays 78 rpm records into my computer. A slight departure from my usual 45s-only policy but it`s still a single! I bought this in the little thrift-store in my street for 2 euros. “Lavender Coffin” is the swing classic written in 1949 by Shirley Albert and made famous by Lionel Hampton. Here it`s sung by a Jimmy Jimson and backed by Werner Deinert and his band. At least that`s what it says on the label. It was released on the local Berlin label Metrophon, probably in the early 50s. I`m not a swing expert so I don`t know much more except that this ROCKS! Even more than the original Hampton version!
The B-side is a instrumental called “Mohrchen`s Boogie” written by Werner Deinert himself, that I didn`t record because it was a lot of work recording only one song this way.
I did however convert the audio track of the video of Lavender Coffin into this mp3…
And these are my “new” tracks: