"I want to make music for everyone. It must be enjoyed by all. Otherwise it is pointless."
Includes four bonus tracks: the previously unissued I Stay With You and Somewhere In The Sky plus Pussy Footin' and Hold Back The Dawn.
Sound Engineer: Peter Klemt
Concept & Text: Bert Kaempfert Music, Hamburg
Translation: Angela Schumacher
Design: LOGICON HAMBURG
Polydor 533 906-2 (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.
Strangers In The Night
In 1965, Bert Kaempfert was commissioned by the American film company Universal Pictures to compose the music for "A Man Could Get Killed" - a comedy film about a gang of crooks. Set in Portugal's capital Lisbon, the film's main ingredients were a diamond robbery, secret agents and a romance: two of the leading roles were taken by Melina Mercouri and James Garner.
The present disc, recorded in 1966, includes the two main themes from the film: But Not Today, heard during the Main Title, and of course Strangers In The Night, the love theme, which was entitled Beddy-Bye in the film score.
But Not Today is proof enough that Bert Kaempfert was not only capable of writing a lovely film melody but that he knew how to capture a Spanish-Portuguese touch, even adding a dash of Greece as a tribute to the unforgotten Melina Mercouri.
In those days, Bert Kaempfert could scarcely have foreseen that his love theme Strangers In The Night would become an international super-hit within an amazingly short time and that it would, to this day, take its place among those songs which have received the most awards.
Bert Kaempfert's publisher, Hal Fein, instinctively knew the true value of this song which he offered to Frank Sinatra who immediately recorded it and so made his great comeback. After only a few weeks, Frankieboy's vocal and Bert Kaempfert's orchestral versions took the charts by the storm and even ousted the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys from their places at the top of the international hit parades.
In Germany alone Fremde in der Nacht was available contemporaneously in four different vocal versions, and in 1967 this composition was named the "Hit of the Year" by the German copyright society GEMA.
Over the years Bert Kaempfert not only received numerous gold awards for Strangers In The Night but was showered with other prizes, such as the "Golden Globe." As recently as 19990 the evergreen was honoured with a fourth "BMI Award." The press commented: "Bert Kaempfert's songs are still recordbreakers! The American copyright society BMI has registered four million radio performances of Strangers In The Night, which works out as a non-stop broadcast of 22.8 years!"
But it is not only these two film melodies which are worth a mention. I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Mexican Shuffle and Tijuana Taxi were also enormously successful; Bert Kaempfert's Milica, also known as Sweet Maria, was a hit in the USA particularly; and finally his Two Can Live On Love Alone was chosen by the Anita Kerr Singers for their album entitled BERT KAEMPFERT TURNS US ON.
In addition to the title on the original album, the present compact disc contains four compositions by Bert Kaempfert as a special bonus. The sensational recent discovery of numerous previously unreleased recordings by Bert Kaempfet and his orchestra will certainly thrill his fans! Among them are I Stay With You (recording date unknown) and Somewhere In The Sky from 1966. Also included here are two recordings from the LP HOLD ME (1967): Pussy Footin' - a particular favourite with American radio stations at the time, and Hold Back The Dawn - which, sung by Gloria Lynna and Baby Washington, was very popular in the USA in its day.