"I want to make music for everyone. It must be enjoyed by all. Otherwise it is pointless."
Members of the orchestra during The Sixties:
Rhythm – section
Rolf Ahrens – Drums
Kuddel Greve – Bass
Bert Helsing – Guitar
Ladi Geissler – Bass guitar
Hans Bekker – Precussion
Günther Platzeck – Percussion/Keyboards
Harry Grube – Keyboards
Under the direction of Erich Kunisch, Hannover
Under the direction of Joe Menke and Kurt Lindenau
Sound – Engineer
Polydor 523 535-2 (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.
If there’s a better way of “LIVING IT UP” than through the medium of music, it’s yet to be found! And, one of the most popular sounds in music today is the big band – one of the greatest examples of which is the wonderful Bert Kaempfert Orchestra. In addition to personifying today’s big band sound, Bert Kaempfert is responsible, perhaps more than any other single factor, for the renewed interest in the popular orchestra. Conductor-composer-arranger-instrumentalist (clarinet, saxophone, piano, accordion) Bert Kaempfert is responsible for several of the most sizzling recent song hits… among them, the beautiful Wonderland By Night, Afrikaan Beat, and A Swingin’ Safari. Claiming compositions as his first love, Mr. Kaempfert wrote two of the three previously mentioned hits, Afrikaan Beat and A Swingin’ Safari, and his prolific pen is responsible for no less than ten of the melodies performed in this album!
Here is Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra… with an orchestral sound and style that is characteristically ideal for either listening or dancing, and the greatest prescription for “LIVING IT UP” ever discovered.
LIVING IT UP
Following the success of “WONDERLAND BY NIGHT” in 1961, “LIVING IT UP” was yet another Bert Kaempfert contribution to his own special sound. The year was 1963 and the critics were impressed: “Seven LP’s in the States” No other German musician can claim the same!
This two year period witnessed so many Kaempfert hits that Polydor felt obliged to release a special edition under the title “EIN NEUER KLANG EROBERT DIE WELT” – “A NEW SOUND STEALS THE WORLD.”
As extract from the album’s original cover reads: “This LP’s fame is assured and will further contribute towards Kaempfert’s world wide success.” Following his super hit “WONDERLAND BY NIGHT” everything this artist does hits the American charts. His work is so exceptional that insiders now talk about “That Kaempfert sound.”
Along with the album’s title track, the vocal version of “DON’T TALK TO ME,” by Johnny Mathis, was to become famous. But the story goes on, another number, originally titled “CANDLELIGHT CAFÉ,” was on course to become one of the world’s evergreens. Hearing the number for the first time, one of Bert Kaempfert’s friends, lyric writer Kurt Schwabach, began to sing along: “Danke Schön, ich sag’ danke schön…,” Kaempfert’s American producer, Milt Gabler, turned it into “DANKE SCHOEN,” and Wayne Newton took the track into the charts. Within months the song was being played around the globe in more than seventy different versions. And it is still being played today – this classic showtime finale. Listening to the instrumental version’s subtle beginnings, which soon build up until the whole orchestra is in swingtime, then we can only say: thank you, Bert Kaempfert, thank you for such very special music.
For his recordings, Bert Kaempfert engaged the talents of musicians from the NDR Studio Orchestra, the NDR Symphony Orchestra, and the strings section under the direction of Erich Kunisch, Hannover. Despite small variations, this combination was to remain firmly in place during the following years and into the 1980s.
Text translated from German by Ewen Campbell