"I want to make music for everyone. It must be enjoyed by all. Otherwise it is pointless."
Polydor 513 244-2 (deleted)
The “BERT KAEMPFERT COLLECTION”
During 25 years of cooperation with POLYDOR, Bert Kaempfert arranged, composed and produced a countless number of songs. From 1961 until shortly before his death in 1980, close to 40 LP productions with and by Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra were released in Germany alone under the Polydor label.
These albums contain more than 460 productions of his own beautiful compositions together with evergreens and world standards.
Polydor considers it a duty to re-release the more popular albums with the original track listing – and in the approximate sequence – on the 10th anniversary of the death of this exceptional composer and bandleader. At the same time, the facilities of the modern CD-technique are of benefit to reproduce the original recordings.
When this album was released in 1967, Bert Kaempfert was already well down the road leading to success. As bandleader-arranger-composer, he had finally established himself world wide. For example, on the margin of one of his own scores, composer Henry Mancini left the instructions, “With Bert Kaempfert’s drum brush,” and Nelson Riddle wasn’t above demanding the “Bert Kaempfert Sound” from his own musicians, when he felt it necessary. This year saw Frank Sinatra climbing the American charts with the new Kaempfert composition “THE WORLD WE KNEW (OVER AND OVER)” and Al Martino found himself sharing the top spots on hit lists across the world with his own, and Kaempfert’s instrumental version of “SPANISH EYES” (“MOON OVER NAPLES”). And here were also three Kaempfert LPs to be found, “THE WORLD WE KNEW,” “BERT KAEMPFERT – GREATEST HITS” and “HOLD ME.”
“HOLD ME,” a production that proves the many faceted expertise of Bert Kaempfert. Everybody who adores Bert Kaempfert’s typically swinging and sometimes humorous style of interpretation will be more than satisfied with “MARJORAM,” “PUSSY FOOTIN” and “SO WHAT’S NEW.” At the time, all these numbers were warm favorites on US radio.
“HOLD BACK THE DAWN,” a very melodic composition from Bert Kaempfert was especially loved, particularly the vocal versions from Baby Washington, and Gloria Lynne. With “LADY,” Jack Jones stole the charts and later many stars were to include this number in their repertoires.
The best dance numbers are “LOVE FOR LOVE,” “IT’S THE TALK OF THE TOWN” and “ROSE ROOM,” unlike the masterful “TAKE SEVEN,” composed in 7/4 time; even the musicians had to be careful not to fall out of step during this recording. As always, well loved standards are given fresh life without losing their authenticity.
In this year the European and American public were able to experience the, until now, ‘Invisible Mr Hitmaker’ on television:
August 1967 saw the launching of German color television, during the 25th annual Broadcasting Exhibition in Berlin. Amongst the crowd of international stars was Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra. The Gala-Show took place within the framework of a Eurovision broadcast.
During previous years Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra had received many invitations to appear in front of the American public. Unfortunately this was never possible, due to the fact that the work permits, necessary for foreigners, were to all intents and purposes, practically impossible to attain. In addition, the unions demanded that for every foreign musician who appeared, an American one had to be compensated. These conditions combined to make it financially impossible for any promoter to consider organizing a concert tour for the numerically imposing Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra.
Despite this, it proved possible in the end, to engage on the Jackie Gleason Show, the then most popular show in the US. The show was scheduled once a week, during peak viewing time and was broadcast from ‘coast to coast.’ Bert Kaempfert took only four of his own musicians along with him, drummer Rolf Ahrens, his bass guitarist Ladi Geissler, bass player Karl-Heinz (Kuddel) Greve, and solo trumpeter Manfred Moch. The rest of the team were substituted by the excellent Jackie Gleason-Big Band, as well as a strings section and a choir. Given Bert Kaempfert’s ability and talent for writing arrangements, the rehearsal time of only one day was more than enough to allow this improvised ensemble to present the American public the typical Kaempfert sound with two medleys of his most successful hits.
Bert Kaempfert is the only German composer and bandleader of entertainment music that has achieved not only notable, but really huge success. Right up until today his music enjoys worldwide respect and continues giving pleasure to many across the world.
(Text translated from German by Ewen Campbell)