Lolita-Schlager Erinnerungen mit Lolita

This was $2 and purchased for use during Oktoberfest, which is on going this week. Over the last two years of doing Oktoberfest posts on this blog, I have really covered most every detail about the festival which started in 1810 in Munich to celebrate the marriage of the future King Ludwig to the Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.  Apparently she was also on the short list of possible brides for Napoleon.  Anyway, I would suggest you check out some the past posts to learn more fun facts about this festival.

Link to a search of Oktoberfest posts on this blog 

Well, I guess I should just straight up point out that this next artist is nor German and is in fact Austrian.  Do not want to get accused of trying to pass this off German or for lumping Austria and Germany together.  But as I did not do my research before selecting this album, we are moving full steam ahead with this record by Edith Enzinger, better known by her stage name, Lolita.  Born in ST Polten in 1931, Lolita had her only Gold Record in 1959, “Seeman” or “Sailor” in English.  Not only did it sell well in German speaking parts of Europe, it sold well in Japan went to #5 in US making at the time one of the few successful records in the US not recorded in English. She remained popular in Austria and Germany. She would pass of cancer at age 79 in 2010.

Since this came out in 1973 on Polydor International, I am guessing that this is a greatest hits compilation.  Well, it is pretty good.  All the songs are in the schlager style that I have been espousing for the last week.  Lolita had a pretty good voice.  A few of these songs really hit it out of the park.  The rest are still pretty good.

For a sample, I decided to pick “La Luna’ and “Was Ein Mann Alles Kann” or what can a man do.  I am not sure if this means what can a man do about a certain situation or what can a man do for me, mainly because I saw Raw last weekend.

Good little record.  Satisfactory.

Bert Kaempfert- The Best of Bert Kaempfert

This double record set was $5.  I bought this some time ago , maybe even two Labor Days ago so I might have got 20% off .  So here I am, writing posts for September  at the same time as I am recording songs for  October, all the while it is in reality August and I am awaiting Harvey which by the time you have read this, will have already passed.  Perhaps I should add these current events to more timely posts.  Well, this is in retrospect, I guess.  The benefits to me of being ahead of posts as opposed to writing these day to day outweigh keeping these timely.

So with Oktoberfest currently going on and after a few days of more conventional German music, here is a regular fixture to this blog, Bert Kaempfert with a greatest hits compilation.  Not much to say about this.  Two albums of some of his more popular compositions as well as arrangements.  Not only it is impressive just how many great songs Kaempfert had a hand in composing.  The cover songs  on this show just how gifted an arranger he was.

For samples, I went with” The World We Knew (Over and Over)”.  Why not Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” as I always seem to post this one?  Well, I already posted it last month.

Satisfactory

Caterina Valente- More Schlagerparade

This was $2.  I got this for this Oktoberfest spree we are having but if not for that, I would have bought this anyway as I really like Caterina Valente.  She is a great performer, all around.  As of this writing, I am at home on a Friday awaiting Hurricane Harvey, which is expected to bring heavy rains to the Houston area and by the time of reading this, well most likely be an after thought.   On the plus side, I am getting paid today, so in an odd equation of substitution, I am getting paid to write this post today.

International sensation Valente has had smash hits all over the world.  It was her embrace of the schlager that endeared her with German audiences.  This record, from Decca in 1960 , is a US album of German songs and a follow up to her earlier Schlagerparade.  The album notes Valente’s popularity in “her native Germany”.  This is in error as she was born in Paris to Italians.  Despite this, this is a pretty good album, showcasing Valente’s massive talent.

For a sample, there were a couple of choice to choose from but in the end I went with “Auf Ja Ma Maika” and “Ein Bisschen Pompadour”.

Great little album.  Satisfactory.

Heino- Wir Lieben die Sturme

This was $2.  Look at that face with the glasses.  How could one resist?  I think this was the record the drove me to commit to half a month of German content for Oktoberfest. Which is the last thing on my mind right now as at the time of this writing, we are nervously awaiting Tropical Storm/Hurricane Harvey, who right now looks like he will ruin my weekend.   But hey, that was then.  This is now.  (Ed Note- Sorry to be flippant about an event that ended up to be really hard on a lot of people in town, but I leave this unchanged to reflect the true mood I had going in to the storm).

Heino, born in Dusseldorf in 1938, is a singer of popular German music or schlager as it is known.  You may have seen this word on my blog before.  If not, you will see it again this month fo’ so’. Anyway, exophthalmos gave Heino his trademark glasses.  His baritone voice gave him his success which translated into over 50 million records sold.  He is still active and lives in what has to be one the coolest town names in Germany, Bad Munstereifel.

In 2013, he made news by releasing an cover album of rock, rap, house, and other modern music.  This lead to disgust from some of the bands he covered.  I imagine this is the equivalent of Pat Boone singing heavy metal (which he has done).  Anyway, a slew of bands criticized the move but I am not sure if is because of the music or if it because the singer quoted a line from a Hitler Youth rally out of context around the same time (that part of the world still really cares about that sort of thing).  The sources I read on the matter are a bit inconclusive.

Either way, the album was a hit, and Heino still continues to be the king of schlager. But please note that the band in the first video is not Rammstein. And whatever thoughts the band might have had about him at the time, it was not enough to stop Heino from joining them on stage.

Really good article from Spiegal regarding this album and German’s secret love of schlager.

Anyway, here is this, which Google translates into “We Love The Storm?”, is a compilation album, I believe, which may have originally been released in 1969. With 13 songs, it is a compilation of Heino’s first two albums.  Pretty decent stuff. I mean, it is the schlager that I have been talking about.

For a sample, I went with “Wilde Gesellen” which translated to Wild Friends and sounds something like out a western. I also went with “Schwer Mit Den Schatzen Des Orients Beladen” which Google translates into Heavy Loading With delights of the Orient. Well, I am sure the translation is off but you get the gist of it.

Good little album.  Satisfactory.

Jo Stafford- Sings American Folk Songs

This was all of $1.  When I bought it, there was some tie in or something notable about the record, but whatever that was escapes me now.  It does have a bunch of good folk tunes on it.  Today, as I write this, the Great 2017 eclipse happened, which by now must seem like a distant memory to most.

Truly a historical day in Houston if one likes looking a clouds.

Well anyway, here is this by singer Jo Stafford (1917-2008).  Born in what is not a dirty word, Coalinga, California, Stafford was a singer who started in a group with her sisters before joining the Pied Pipers and then parlaying this into singing with Tommy Dorsey. She went solo in 1944 and her biggest hit was 1952’s “You Belong To Me”.  She retired in the mid-60’s with a few pop ups here and there until her death of heart failure at age 90.

During her solo career, many of Stafford’s works were backed by the Paul Weston Orchestra. Stafford and Weston would marry in 1952 and remain in union until Weston’s death in 1996.  The two did perform in a comedy routine, at first for friends and then for a bigger audience.  As two incompetent lounge performers Johnny and Darlene Edwards, the duo released five records.

This record was a 1962 re-release of an earlier record by Stafford.  The original released came out tin 1948, making it one of her earlier solo recordings.  Two years later a second version came out adding two songs.  Then in 1962, this came out with an additional 4, bringing the total to 12. With these songs conducted and arranged by her hubby, Weston, it should be noted that although these are conventional songs, none of these are conventional arrangements.  And I think that is what gives the album its charm.  Consequently, Judy Collins lists this album as highly influential in terms of her getting into folk music.

Lot of good choices on this album.  I really liked “Cripple Creek”, “Single Girl” ,and my perennial favorite, “Poor Wayfaring Stranger”.  However, I decided to go with “Sourwood Mountain”.

Good record.  Satisfactory.

Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66- Herb Alpert Presents…….

This was only a dollar.  Probably got a discount on it, bringing it down to 80 cents.  For shame.  Such a great little album.  You may have noticed that I have been starting the month with artists who have frequently graced this blog.  This is not by accident.

This was the first album from keyboardist Sergio Mendes and his ensemble, Brazil ’66.  Released in 1966, it featured smash hit “Mas Que Nada” which in all probability was the first Portuguese song to hit it big in America.  Good little album with a bunch of real good tunes including “Going Out Of My Head” and the Beatles “Day Tripper” which I believe I posted on an earlier blog entry.

I was really surprised how big a sound Mendes got from such a small ensemble which also featured Lani Hall on vocals, Bibi Vogel on backup vocals, Bob Mathews on bass, Jose Soares on percussion, and Joao Palma on drums.

I could have gone many directions with this but decided to go with “O Pato”.

Great little album.  Satisfactory.

Kenny Rogers and The First Edition- Rollin’

Starting another month of Donkey Show with this record I got for $2.40.  A lot of good songs on this.  So we are into September. Plus it is Labor Day, so when you read this, I am at home doing nothing (or perhaps getting even further ahead in writing this blog).  That is if we still have a country when this post comes out.  Let’s see how this month plays out. I am good and ahead of the game as far as post writing goes.  However, still erring on the side of brevity so if you have any questions, I would suggest Google.

This record is from The First Edition, a band formed in 1967 from members of The New Christy Minstrels who wanted more freedom from a constricting repertoire .  Led by Kenny Rogers, who played bass and vocals, and Terry Williams, guitar and vocals, as well as Mary Arnold on vocals and occasional actor Micky Jones on drums, the band had some decent hits including “I Just Dropped In” and ” Ruby” blending the worlds of psychedelic pop and country together.    I did not realize this but when the band disbanded in 1976, there was some doubt as to if Rogers could maintain a solo career.

Well, during the height of their fame, they had their own TV Show, Rollin, produced by CTV in Canada.  As a counterweight to the Sonny and Cher Show with decidedly more rocking acts, the show began to paint the band as TV personalities rather than musicians, to the ire of certain band members.  Anyway, it ran from 1971 to 1973 with generally good ratings.

This album, released in 1973, features songs from the show as perfromed by the group.  There are songs that feature individual vocal performances by Rogers, Williams, Arnold, and guirist Jim Hassell, as well as an instrumental rocking piece on keyboards by Gene Lorenzo, Bach’s “Joy (Jeso, Joy Of Man’s Desiring), an arrangement that had been a hit for Apollo 100.  Pretty decent stuff.  A whole lot of Beatles’ content.

Well, from this record, here is the band with “Get Back”.  Also, might as well give Kenny some spotlight with “The Long And Winding Road”.

Probably could have done with some original content, but this perhaps defeats the purpose of this record, which is satisfactory.

VA-Fonzie Favorites

Ayyyy… Don’t sit on it.  I am not sure when I bought this but one day, while goign thru records in my pile, I noticed this.  $4 I paid for it.

Yes Arthur Fonzarelli, better known as the Fonz, was a minor character on the sitcom Happy Days before exploding into a national sensation and a main protagonist.  Played by Henry Winkler, who in real life was the complete opposite of his TV persona, Fonzie was the 1970’s adaption of 1950’s cool.  He was definitely one of my favorites as a kid and much to my parent’s chagrin, probably led to the ongoing friction I have with authority figures (which is quite funny given that it was a family TV show).

Here is a fun fact that I learned while writing this post.  Originally, the role of Fonzie was supposed to go to Ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz, based on the strength of a similar one time part he played on the TV show Adam 12. However, as Dolenz was 6 foot, producers wanted the character to be at the same level as other characters, and so the 5-6 Winkler was cast.  Poor Mickey.

So here is an album put out to capitalize on the Fonz’s popularity.  It consists of mostly 50’s songs, the Happy Days’ theme song, and three novelty songs.  The back of the album has a fold out easel so the cover can be used a picture. The 50’s songs are pretty good an run a good range from The Everly Brothers to The Coasters, to Little Anthony and the Imperials to the original theme song “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets. There is also an impressions track with expressed instruction for you to learn all of Fonzie’s favorite phrases.  This cam out in 1976 at a manufacturer’s suggested list price of $5.99 as advertised on TV and radio.

Of course for posting purposes, I am going to go with two of the novelty tunes.  First off, in what is quite strange, we have “The Fonzarelli Slide” which features the Fonz making an appearance at James Buchanan High with the Sweathogs from another 70’s hit, Welcome Back Kotter.  Although for the record, the impression of Horshack at times sounds more like Jerry Lewis.  Anyway, here it is as a strange time capsule of 70’s television.  It is credited to Frank Lyndon who I am guessing did all three Fonz impressions on this album.

Also, I went with a slightly more saner and straighter novelty number, ” The Fonz Song” by the Heyettes? .  Also to put something on that was not a joke, here is Lee Dorsey and “Ya Ya”.

The 1950’s hits are actually pretty good and I found the novelty songs entertaining.  Satisfactory.

Harry Belafonte and Nana Mouskouri- An Evening with Belafonte/ Mouskouri

This record was one I see a lot of when I go looking for records.  That usually means in must have been a popular record when it came out .  So when I finally found it for a dollar, I knew it would not go any lower so I jumped on it.

I knew a lot about Harry Belafonte but virtually nothing about the other singer, Nana Mouskouri.  Well, Mouskouri, whose name I am know hating to type out, is one of the most famous international singers of all time.

Born in Chania on the Greek isle of Crete in 1934, Mouskouri has released over 200 albums as well as singles in multiple languages.  She has also been parodied by such luminaries as Benny Hill, Ronnie Barker, and SCTV’s Andrea Martin. She retired to Switzerland in 2008.  She also gave up her pension after the Greek financial crisis of 2010.  Perhaps this led her to return to show business the following year. I believe she is sporadically active here and there.

According to the liner notes, Belafonte saw Mouskouri while working in Athens in 1960 and helped her gain fame across the ocean in the US of A.  Mouskouri’s career at the time was taking off in Europe ( Wikipedia credits Quincy Jones in 1962) Anyway, their first performance together was in 1964.  The two would tour together thru 1965 and 1966. Wikipedia also states that Belafonte convinced Mouskouri to remove her trademark black rimmed glasses during her performance.  When she tried it, she hated it so much that she nearly quit the tour.  As a result, Belafonte relented.

This record, released by RCA Victor in 1966, features the pair of singers, singing songs in Mouskouri’s native tongue, Greek.  Ten songs, four solos by each singer and two duets. All the songs have song writing credits so I do not know if these were just songs that were popular in Greece at the time.  Despite Belafonte being the bigger star at the time, this album is all Mouskouri. Belafonte’s singing is slightly subdued on this effort. This is a little less fair to Belafonte as he is singing in a foreign tongue. I also believe Belafonte was being respectful, allowing Mouskouri more of the spotlight.

Anway, for samples, I went with Mouskouri’s “Dream” and the duo’s “Irene”.

Good stuff.  Satisfactory.

Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Orchestra- Saturday Night Fiedler

This record, normally $6, was bought during Half Price Book’s Memorial Day Sale so with discount, it came out to $4.80.  Call it inflation, but I have realized an increase in second hand records over the last year.  So I am in the ethical quandary of either raising my spending limit to $6 or lying about the prices of records.  Anyway, I got this on the suggestion of sorts from my friend Scott.

Yes, my friend Scott told me about this record as this as well as the Ethel Merman disco album (posted on this blog in 2014 I believe), were in his father’s record collection.  So when I found a copy, I took it up to legendary Houston spot Dan Electro’s, (where Scott is also a co-owner) and we gave the record a spin.  It was insisted by Scott that we listen to both sides.

This led to a pretty decent conversation regarding pop orchestras, in which I theorized that pop performance, for the most part will get scant attention and effort from classical symphonies that perform them.  This is based on articles I have read for this blog from conductors of orchestras focused solely on pops.  Oddly enough, I ran into a woman later than night whose mother was in the Houston Symphony.  She confirmed what I had thought, that pops was just something they were contractually obligated to play and that is where it ends (although I had 10 minutes of what may have been the second most asinine conversation of recent times to get this answer).

As Scott would say, this was probably Arthur Fiedler’s ultimate album.  The liner notes were written on June 9, 1979.  A month later Fiedler wound die of cardiac arrest.  He had been in failing health for some time.  Part of me wonders if he would have liked something more traditional to end his career with.  The other part of me thinks that this is probably as good as any way for the most famous pop conductor to go out on.

Anyway, this record, recorded live at Symphony Hall in Boston Mass, features long standing pops conductor Fiedler and his Boston Pops with their take on the disco craze of the time.  Fiedler always did have a knock for translating current popular music in the orchestrated form. This record came out while the genre of disco was in decline.  But here it is, regardless.  Side one contains a medley of songs from the disco high watermark moment, the movie Saturday Night Fever. The second side contained a disco-esque arrangement of to Bach classic’s, “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” and “Air for the G String”.  Interesting stuff.

For a sample, I went with the latter, which I think Scott really liked anyway, simply titled “Bachmania”.

I do not like posting Fiedler’s record due to the high amount of auto correct I get on his last name but decent enough album.  Satisfactory.