Bavarian Yodeling Songs and Polkas

dscn5278-800x774One thing I learned last year whilst doing this blog is that Oktoberfest starts in the middle of September and just barely runs into October.  This year it starts on Saturday (Sept 17th) and goes on until October 3rd.  So in the spirit of Oktoberfest, I bought this record.  It was $3.00.  oktoberfestgirls_2015_c_normal

Last year, I did two posts regarding Oktoberfest.  They were pretty informative and as a result, I really can not think of much to add.  Obviously the big festival is in Munich.  If you do not want to go back to the old links, the first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 in October-proper to honor Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.  In the subsequent years, the festival was moved up to September to allow warmer weather.  The festival was also enlongated. Had to make those Marks, baby.

Revellers salute with beer after the opening of the 179th Oktoberfest in Munich

Link to Oktoberfest post from last year

Link to Second Post from last year

Post of Ten Pole Tudor w/ “Wunderbar”

This album is a collection of folk music from Upper Bavaria, which is centered by Munich, the home of Ocktoberfest.  These songs run from yodels and polkas, mostly with singing but some instrumentals as well.  What else can be said other than you can almost smell the beer farts listening to this record?dscn5279-800x776

For a sample, I decided to go with a few tracks so if you are looking to add a soundtrack for your Oktoberfest activities, you have some tunes to choose from.  So from this album, here is “High On The Mountain Peak”, “Slap Happy in Gotzing”, “Bavarian Polka”, and “De Gumpesel”.

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As far as the record goes, meh.  I mean I get what it is about after two songs.  Also , a bit pricey for my taste. But anyway. here they are for your Oktoberfest amusement.

Walter Eriksson- Country Dances from Scandinavia

DSCN3674This was $3.00.  I can’t believe I bought this on my own accord, before I thought about doing this blog. I am not sure what steered me towards this album,what I thought it was, and what I thought I would get out of it. Please note that I took the pictures on this post.

Walter Eriksson Wepage

I am almost two weeks into it and have to point out that January has been a month of weak records.  There are  bunch of things I have held on to, having originally set them up for earlier months only to pull them for various reasons, most likely quality. I think this month, I wanted to clean house for better or for worse.

Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen

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I spent a year in Scandinavia.  2004 in Copenhagen, Denmark to be exact.  At the time, I was going out with a girl from Malmo, Sweden.  The company I worked for also had offices in Stavanger and Kristiansand,Norway.  It was a fun time and I enjoyed it although I did not really make it out of those cities.  The Scandinavian countries are a funny lot.  They all speak the same different language and use the same different kroner for currency.  They also all hate each other.

Kristiansand
Kristiansand

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This record would appear to be a collection of polka tunes from Sweden. At least it was recorded in Sweden.  I am not sure why they went with Scandinavia over Sweden, but hey what do I know?  Featuring Walter Eriksson and Andrew Walter on a double accordion assault, this album goes thru a collection of tunes , two of which being traditional.

Stavanger
Stavanger

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I really could not pick a sample very easily so after a few listens, I came down to two songs.  Not sure why I favor this one but here is the traditional “Halsingborgs Polka.DSCN3675

Meh.

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Frankie Yankovic- The All Time Great Polkas

DSCN2179This was a 80 cents.  Sooner or later, I had to post a Polka album so why not from one from the “America’s Polka King”?frankieyankovic1

Frankie Yankovic, born in 1915, was the best known purveyor of Slovenian style Polka.  Born to Slovene immigrants in Davis, West Virgnia, his family moved to the Cleveland area in order to flee the law, who had knowledge of his father’s bootlegging activities.  After learning accordion at a young age, he began his career on radio and at local functions.  Over time, he would release over 200 albums which I imagine all sounded pretty similar.  He sold 30 million records, had at least two Gold singles that I could find, and won a Grammy for the now defunct Polka category.  Until his retirement in 1994, Yankovic was playing up to 300 shows a year.  He would die in Florida in 1998 at the age of 83.

Frankie’s Webpage with a Biography which expounds on the above

Here is an interesting story I found out about Yankovic.  Not only did he fight in WWII, he was at the Battle of the Bulge.  While fighting, his group of about a dozen soliders got separated from the rest of the force.  When they were found by his platoon, his group had nearly frozen to death.  Yankovic suffered frostbite to his feet and hands.  It was so bad that doctors wanted to amputate in order to prevent gangrene from setting in.  This would mean the end of Yankovic’s career and so he adamantly refused.  After a steady regiment of penecilin and other drugs, color began to come back and eventually, he was able to move his appendages again.  For therapy, he played accordion in the hospital.  When he got out of the hospital, he was assigned to special services which let him perform for troops, including performing for General Patton and his Third Army.

Also, it should be noted that while Frank Yankovic is no relation to Weird Al Yankovic, the two have performed together. Below is a grainy, yet excellent clip of the two: Frankie Goes to Hollywood. At the end of it, they perform the 1986 Grammy nominations for song of the year.

DSCN2180This album is a collection of some of his biggest numbers recorded live from his WEWS-TV show in Cleveland.  Included are “Beer Barrel Polka”, “Just Because”, “Tic Tock Polka” and “Hu-La-La-La-La”.  I admit while this is technically very good, it all starts to sound the same to me. My apologies to al the polka fans out there.

For a sample, I went to “Pennsylvania Polka”.  Sound familiar?  It was played at the start of every day, ad nausea, in Groundhog Day.  Of course, that was the point of the movie.MI0001396462

While I admit that this is a high point of Slovenian style music, a much as I try, I can not fully get behind polka.  I have to sadly say Meh.  But I do have a new found respect for Yankovic after learning about his WWII action.