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.



My girlfriend dragged me to a Tango class once but we both didn´t really get into the music and the moves too much. I love dancing though,  it was just the wrong dance.

Maybe we should have joined a Striptease class?

I don´t know anything about the artists behind this French Tango EP and bought it for the sleeve obviously. The music is regular Tango music as far as I can tell and I guess you can do both the tango and a striptease to the Striptease Tango…


ELISA GABBAI, “Chetz” Tango and Cha Cha

In October 2009 I spent two weeks in Cyprus together with the staff of Jungle World. Each year Jungle World goes to another country to produce an issue about the country while we stay there. This year it was Cyprus. I wrote my column that week about my record digging in Cyprus and also contacted local cartoonists to include in our Cyprus issue. We had a lot of fun and spent a great time on the island.

This record I found in a little thrift store that I stumbled upon when I was taking a walk in the area where we stayed. Pretty much a residential area right by the sea. It was off-season and I was surprised that the store was open at all. I bought this record because of the cartoon sleeve. I don´t know anything about it, besides that it is from Israel.

Last weekend marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Cyprus is still divided into a Turkish and a Greek area. Israel has a wall that separates the Palestinians and the Israelis. So in a strange way this is my contribution to the fall of the wall – to the fall of all walls.

The female singer is singing two really nice songs in Hebrew. I bet somebody out there knows who she is and can translate the titles of the songs. Please, does anybody know?



Update Sept 23, 2010: Close to a year after I posted this,  reader Tam just sent in this solution:

This record seems to be an early 60′s commercial gift from a company named „Chetz“ which apparently was a representative company for various insurance companies. The songs kinda glorify the company like a never ending radio jingle. Pretty funny!
God knows how this esoteric record found its way to Cyprus.
The main interesting value is the fact the songs are performed by Elisa Gabbai, a great and almost forgotten Israeli singer, who had her 15 minutes of glory in Germany in the 60′s

Here’s the same song in Hebrew:

Hope I poured some light over this little mystery.

Thanks Tam, you did indeed!