"I want to make music for everyone. It must be enjoyed by all. Otherwise it is pointless."
Includes four bonus tracks: It Makes No Difference, When You're Smiling, Weidersehn and Love Letters.
Sound Engineer: Peter Klemt
Concept & Text: Bert Kaempfert Music, Hamburg
Translation: Angela Schumacher
Design: LOGICON HAMBURG
Polydor 537 469-2 (deleted)
Bert Kaempfert's great breakthrough came in 1960 with his No. 1 hit in the USA, Wonderland By Night, which went on to conquer the world. He was the first German bandleader to be awarded a gold record in the USA. DJs in the American music magazine Cash Box voted his orchestra "Band of the Future."
In 1968 Bert Kaempfert won no less than five of the annual BMI awards in New York in the category of "most played compositions" for Lady, Spanish Eyes, Strangers In The Night, Sweet Maria and The World We Knew.
In 1974 "Mr. Invisible" received triumphant applause at his first two live concerts in London's Royal Albert Hall. At the early age of 56, Bert Kaempfert died of a stroke on 21 June 1980. That his music and compositions have a firm place in international music life is emphasized by numerous posthumous awards. In June 1993 he was elected to "The Songwriters' Hall of Fame" in New York - the first German to receive this most prestigious of all international awards.
Now released for the very first time on compact disc, this album opens with a Bert Kaempfert composition which is counted among the world's greatest hits: Moon Over Naples. Recorded in September 1964 and given the working title "moonlight in Napoli," the piece was intended for the LP entitled THE MAGIC MUSIC OF FAR AWAY PLACES which was only released in the USA. It was not long before the excellent team of lyricists Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder wrote a romantic text - and the melody became known as Spanish Eyes.
The recording by the American Al Martino sold millionfold and became "his" song, making the singer famous in all four corners of the globe. Spanish Eyes took its place among the evergreens. To date there are about 500 versions of the melody, published in highly diversified arrangements - from that for the accordion to a Russian balalaika ensemble complete with domra and bajan.
The other titles in LOVE LETTERS, recorded in February 1965, were released in the USA as a follow-up to THE MAGIC MUSIC OF FAR AWAY PLACES in the album THREE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING and, of course, included this very single (from BLUE MIDNIGHT) which had just become a top-ten hit in the States. This particular production is imbued with the typical "Bert Kaempfert Sound" of the mid-Sixties. The solo trumpet is played by Manfred Moch. A novel timbre is introduced by the use of a melodic guitar with muted strings, as in the Kaempfert composition The Moon Is Making Eyes and the old Lotar Olias hit Du, Du, Du which was a great hit for the Ames Brothers in the Fifties with the Americanized title You, You, You.
Three of the non-Kaempfert compositions come from the world of stage: Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella is a vaudeville song dating from 1928, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square was heard in 1940 in a London theatre production called "New Faces" and was a great success for Glenn Miller and his singer Ray Eberle among others, and Rose of Washington Square was sung by the famous singer and actress Fanny Brice in "Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolic."
The White Cliffs Of Dover, the closing number on the original album, was a song composed to arouse optimism during the Second World War and dedicated to suffering England; it was in its day another great success for Glenn Miller and Ray Eberle.
Three of the bonus tracks included on this CD are taken from the album BYE BYE BLUES dating from 1966. And of course a disc entitled LOVE LETTERS must also include the actual number, here extracted from the album DREAMING IN WONDERLAND and produced in 1963.