They had two daughters, Marion and Doris. Kaempfert's first hit with his orchestra was " Wonderland by Night ". Recorded in Julythe song could not get released in Germany, so Kaempfert took the track to Decca Records in New York, which released it in America in the fall of With its haunting solo trumpet by Charles Tabor, muted brass, and lush strings, the single topped the American pop charts and turned Bert Kaempfert and Orchestra into international stars.
Kaempfert's orchestra made extensive use of horns. In his capacity as record producer, Kaempfert played a part in the rise of The Beatles.
Sheridan had been performing in Hamburg, and needed to recruit a band to play behind him on the proposed tracks. Kaempfert auditioned and signed the Beatles, and recorded two tracks with them during his sessions for Sheridan: " Ain't She Sweet " sung by rhythm guitarist John Lennon and "Cry for a Shadow" an instrumental written by Lennon and lead guitarist George Harrison.
The album and its singles, released by Polydor Recordswere the Beatles' first commercially-released recordings. On October 28,a man walked into the Liverpool music store owned by Brian Epstein and asked for a copy of "My Bonnie", a song recorded by the Beatles but credited to Tony Sheridan. The store did not have it, but Epstein noted the request.
He was so intrigued by the idea of a Liverpool band releasing a record that he investigated. That event led to his discovery of the Beatles and, through his efforts, their signing by George Martin to Parlophone Records after Kaempfert helped them avoid any contractual claim from Polydor. It featured Kaempfert's signature hits. InJimi Hendrix included the melody of " Strangers in the Night " in his improvised guitar solo for his famous guitar-burning version of " Wild Thing " at the Monterey Pop Festival.
It too featured Kaempfert's major hits. Many of his hits during the s were composed and arranged with the help of German Herb Rehbein, who became a successful bandleader in his own right.
Rehbein's death in shook Kaempfert deeply. It consisted of a total 21 tracks in a heavyweight gatefold picture sleeve. The Kaempfert tracks were done in his arrangement style, and the Bacharach tracks were done in the American's unique upbeat style. By the s, sales of Kaempfert's music had declined, but he continued to record.
His version of the Theme from Shaft was admired by composer Isaac Hayes [ citation needed ] and remained popular with audiences. He expanded the musical scope of his band and recorded in a wide variety of styles.
He also began to play live concerts with his orchestraStrangers In The Night - Bert Kaempfert - Bert Kaempfert In London (CD), beginning in Strangers In The Night - Bert Kaempfert - Bert Kaempfert In London (CD), with an appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Kaempfert is sampled in Strangers In The Night - Bert Kaempfert - Bert Kaempfert In London (CD) song " One Week " by the Barenaked Ladies. The song's lyrics also declare that "Bert Kaempfert's got the mad hits".
Kaempfert used many musicians who were available in Germany and other parts of Europeincluding many of the same players who played for James LastKai Warner and Roberto Delgado.
Drummer Rolf Ahrens supplied the characteristically simple but steady beat, often playing just a snare drum with brushes. An acoustic bass played a simple pattern in unison with this staccato electric bass, which created a unique sound. It was Geisler who lent his guitar amplifier to The Beatles for their recording session with Tony Sheridanafter Strangers In The Night - Bert Kaempfert - Bert Kaempfert In London (CD) band's own equipment proved to be inadequate for recording purposes.
Kaempfert died suddenly on 21 Juneat the age of 56, following a stroke at his home in Majorcashortly after a successful appearance in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Elvis Presleyshortly after his discharge from the Army in Marchhad begun filming G. Blueshis fifth theatrical picture. Recorded by the "Big E" for the film, it rose to number one in the U.
Both recordings had English and German lyrics. Kaempfert's sound had more bite to it than many of the so-called "easy listening" acts of the day; Geisler played bass with a heavy hand, aggressively plucking the strings, giving the music a subtle rock and roll essence missing in the works of other light orchestras. Despite a dynamic lineup of players, Kaempfert rarely performed for audiences. Kaempfert originals "Now and Forever" and "Afrikaan Beat" inspired by his fascination with the rhythms of the dark continent hit the middle region of the charts later in the year.
While enjoying his string of hits, Kaempfert nevertheless took his day-to-day job seriously; in addition to producing Polydor's artists, he kept his eyes and ears open for new talent. Norwich, England singer Tony Sheridan had performed in Hamburg's Top Ten Club since with various backing bands, including The Beatles during their spring '61 stay. Kaempfert checked out Sheridan's show in June and hired John, Paul, George and drummer Pete to back Tony in the studio; "My Bonnie" which took nearly three years to become a hit was one of several tracks, released that fall on Polydor in Germany and the following April on Decca in America as Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers.
Writer credit on the label for the traditional song designated Sheridan and "Bertie. Bert returned to the American charts in the spring of '62 with "That Happy Feeling," penned by esteemed drummer Guy Warren of the West African coastal republic of Ghana. A remake of the Sid Tepper-Roy C. A minor little tune on the soundtrack called "Beddy Bye" received a lyrical uplift from Snyder and turned into "Strangers in the Night," a career triumph for Frank Sinatra number one single and album and Grammy winner.
So, yeah, we've all been listening to Bert Kaempfert songs for years without always realizing it. He made records for Decca later MCA untilracking up a Strangers In The Night - Bert Kaempfert - Bert Kaempfert In London (CD) of top-selling albums long after the singles sales had slowed.
He finally embarked on tours with his band and starred in several concert specials for German television, with and without longtime friend Freddy Quinnbetween and Though he didn't realize it at the time, Bert's final perfomance took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London in June of He'd purchased a beautiful home on the Mediterranean island of Majorca years before and that was where he had a stroke and passed away at age 56, suddenly and unexpectedly with his wife by his side, a few days after returning from the concert.
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