Showing posts with label Fifties. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fifties. Show all posts

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Rhapsody in blue - Leonard Bernstein

As you can gather from this blog, my collection focuses on pop music, but I do enjoy a bit of classical music now and then. Whether George Gershwin's compositions are actually classical music is another debate, because his work borders on the modern and has even been turned into pop songs by the likes of Kate Bush and Fun Boy Three.

Anyway, whatever: this single was interesting enough to warrant a place in my collection. It's an outtake from an album that presents 'Rhapsody in blue' and 'An American in Paris', released in 1959 by Philips in the Netherlands. This single cuts 'Rhapsody in blue' in two and presents the two parts on a 7" single, to be played on 33 rpm, in order to offer the full 16 minute work.

My collection: 7" single no. 6294
Found: Plato, Leiden, May 30, 2020
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Rhapsody in blue (part 1)' / 'Rhapsody in blue (part 2)'

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Im Wartesaal zum grossen Gluck - Walter Andreas Schwarz

German singer Walter Andreas Schwarz was born on June 2, 1913. In 1956, he was one of two performers representing Germany during the first ever Eurovision Song Contest. His placing is not known, but it is rumoured that he finished second. The song was released as a single but commercially, it was not very successful. Other notable records were not released.

Schwarz went on to become a successful author of novels and especially radio dramas. One of his last contributions was an adaption of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' in 1990 and 1991. In 1985, he appeared – along with many other former German representatives – in the interval act of the German national final, which was a medley of all German entries until that year. For many years, he lived in London before he moved back to Germany. He died on April 1, 1992 in Heidelberg.

When you listen to this song, you can hear how different music for Eurovision Song Contests was at the time. It is one of the many attractions of getting a collection of Eurovision singles together.

My collection: 7" single no. 6287
Found:, received May 26, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Im Wartesaal zum grossen Gluck' / 'Fur 300 Francs'

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Uh jeg ville ønske jeg var dig - Birthe Wilke

Birthe Wilke was born on March 19, 1936. When she was in her teens, she won a talent competition at the National Scala Theatre in Copenhagen, sang as soloist with Bruno Henriksen's Orchestra at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, made her first recording, and was named "Denmark's Doris Day" and recorded 'Que sera sera' in 1956. She participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957 where she sang 'Skibet skal sejle i nat' ('The ship is leaving tonight') with Gustav Winckler. They ranked third of 10 competitors at the end of the voting, and stunned television audiences with a 13-second long kiss at the end of their performance.

Birthe returned to the Contest two years later with the song 'Uh jeg ville ønske jeg var dig' ('Oh - I wish I were you'). This time, she finished in fifth place. In 1961, she won the award for best singer at the first international song festival in the Gdansk shipyard hall, the forerunner of the Sopot festival and Intervision Song Contest. In 1966 she retired from public life, but made a short-lived return in 1973. In addition to her recording successes, she participated in radio, television, advertising and commercial film.

My collection: 7" single no. 6189
Found:, received November 12, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Uh jeg ville ønske jeg var dig' / 'Augustin'

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Heimweh auf grosser Fahrt - Freddy Quinn

Freddy Quinn was born as Franz Eugen Helmut Manfred Nidl on September 27, 1931 in Niederfladnitz, Austria. His popularity as a singer soared within the German-speaking world in the late 1950s and 1960s. Quinn's Irish family name comes from his Irish born salesman father, Johann Quinn. His mother, Edith Henriette Nidl, was an Austrian journalist.

He was "discovered" in St. Pauli, Hamburg, and was offered his first recording contract in 1954. Two years later he represented Germany at the first Eurovision Song Contest in Lugano, Switzerland with the atypical song, 'So geht das jede Nacht', about an unfaithful girlfriend who dates many men. He did not win, and the full results of the contest were never released so his placement is not known. This EP features four tracks by Freddy, and 'So geht das jede Nacht' is one of them.

My collection: 7" single no. 6122
Found: Ebay, received June 12, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Heimweh (Memories are made of this)', 'Sie hiess Mary-Ann (Sixteen Tons)' / 'Rosalie', 'So geht das jede Nacht'

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Li´ per li´ / Piove...! - Teddy Reno

Released in 1959, this single features cover versions of two wellknown songs of that time: Li' per li' (also covered by Teddy Scholten and Willy Alberti that year) and 'Piove', the song made famous by Domenico Modugno when he represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Teddy Reno was born as Ferruccio Merk Ricordi in Trieste on July 11, 1926. The Italian singer and actor started his career in the Fifties and took part in several San Remo Music Festivals in Italy. In 1948 he founded one of Italy's first record companies, CGD (i.e. Compagnia Generale del Disco), which he later sold to Ladislao Sugar. In the 1960s he focused his career on discovering and producing new talents, mainly through the Festival degli sconosciuti (Festival of the Unknowns) which he created in 1961. Some or Reno's discoveries at the Festival include The Rokes, Dino and Rita Pavone, whom he married in 1968.

My collection: 7" single no. 6098
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Li' per li'' / 'Piove...!'

Monday, 3 June 2019

I love Paris / Volare (Nel blu dipinto di blu) - The 'Go' Sound of the Kirby Stone Four

Domenico Modugno's 'Nel blu dipinto di blue' - better known as 'Volare' is one of the Eurovision Song Contest's best known songs ever, and it has been covered by many different artists including David Bowie and the Gypsy Kings. Collecting all those cover versions is not something I will attempt, but whenever I see a cheap one, I won't leave it behind.

And so I picked up this single by the Kirby Stone Four, apparently made in the Netherlands or Belgium. It wasn't even listed on yet, so that makes it rarer than most singles. As for this version, you will probably enjoy it. It's quite amazing to hear this kind of music sixty years after its original release.

My collection: 7" single no. 6097
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'I love Paris' / 'Volare (Nel blu dipinto di blu)'

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Eurovision mit Hazy Osterwald - Hazy Osterwald-Sextett

Rolf Osterwald was born in Bern (Switzerland) on February 18, 1922. He began his career as a pianist. Starting in 1944, he led his own ensemble and recorded right through to the Seventies.

This EP is an interesting one for Eurovision fans, because it is a potpourri of several Eurovision songs from the Fifties. It is not very easy to find an EP like this six decades later, so I am pretty glad to have ordered this one along with a handful of other 7" singles recently. You will recognise a few melodies if you know your Fifties Eurovision stuff...

My collection: 7" single no. 6016
Found:, received March 13, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Potpourri: Oui, oui, oui - N'beetje - Die Gitarre und das Meer - Side Saddle - Irgendwoher - Sing little birdie' / 'Potpourri: Passion Flower - Augustin - El Millionaro - Der 3. Mann - Piove'

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Piove (Ciao ciao bambina) - Domenico Modugno

While we're in a winning Eurovision mood, it's good to revisit some old goodies - and since I've bought a few good ones yesterday, I can really present to you a rare gem. Domenico Modugno represented Italy a few times in the very first decade of the Contest. In 1959 he sang the song 'Piove (Ciao ciao bambina)'. I bought a copy of this single four years ago.

Yesterday in Leiden I was in a shop that had a few coloured vinyl singles stuck to a window. Blasphemy of course, but what can you do... I spied with my little eye and saw this copy of 'Piove'... on clear vinyl! I was shocked, but didn't hesitate: I ripped it off the window, stuck it in a white sleevee and took it home.

My collection: 7" single no. 6071
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Piove (Ciao ciao bambina)' / 'Ventu d'estati'

Friday, 17 May 2019

Giorgio - Lys Assia

A day before another edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, let's go back in time - way back, in fact. Lys Assia was the Contest's first winner, back in 1956 and she reappeared on that stage two times: in 1957 and 1958. While I haven't found a single of her 1957 entry yet, I did find another copy of her 1958. Yes, I already owned a single of 'Giorgio', but the one I found recently comes with a picture sleeve and two more tracks. Obviously I had to have this one.

My collection: 7" single no. 6061
Found: Record fair, Den Haag
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Giorgio', 'Du gabst mir ein paar Blumen' / 'Louella', 'Die Sterne von Venezia'

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Refrain - Lys Assia

It doesn't happen very often that I buy a single that I have been looking for for years, but today is such a day. I started collecting Eurovision Song Contest winners a few years ago, and I managed to buy them all on vinyl - at least until they stopped releasing winning songs on vinyl in 1995. The only one I was still missing was the very first winner of the Contest: Lys Assia's legendary 'Refrain'.

That is, until today. I found a copy on Discogs from a Belgian dealer, and after haggling just a little bit I managed to get my hands on this one. It may not be the best copy ever - the pushout centre is missing and there is no picture sleeve, although I suspect this one was released in a record company sleeve anyway - but it is mine.

My collection: 7" single no. 6021
Found:, received March 21, 2019
Tracks: 'Refrain' / 'Arrivederci Roma'

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Sea of love - Phil Phillips & the Twilights / Marty Wilde

Phil Phillips' most famous song, "Sea of Love", peaked at the top of the US Billboard R&B chart and number 2 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959.The song was soon covered by Marty Wilde in the UK, and he had a top 10 hit with the song over there too.

In 1989, the movie 'Sea of Love', starring Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin and John Goodman was released. The soundtrack album featured both versions of the song - and they were eventually released as a single too. This is the UK pressing of that single, released in 1991.

My collection: 7" single no. 5748
Found:, received 10 November 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Sea of love' (Phil Phillips & the Twilights) / 'Sea of love' (Marty Wilde)

Friday, 13 April 2018

Little girl - Marty Wilde

More Marty Wilde fun with these two singles of 'Little girl'. If I am to believe the labels of these singles, they are both promotional discs. However, it probably is only the white label one that is the true promotional 7" single; the yellow label one only has a 'for demonstration use only' sticker glued onto it - a simple way to change a commercial record into a 'rare' promotional one.

Anyway, these two singles were the other two of the four American 7" singles I bought in one go a few months ago, along with the two 'Bad boy' singles. Here's hoping tomorrow's record fair in Utrecht will give me a few more of these beauties.

My collection: 7" single no. 5885 & no. 5886
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 11, 2017
Cost: 3 euro each
Tracks: 'Little girl' / 'Your seventeenth spring'

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Bad boy - Marty Wilde

It doesn't happen very often that you find rare American singles you've been searching for as a bargain. But that's exactly what happened in November, when I was at the Record Fair in Utrecht. One dealer had four American singles of Marty Wilde, at just 3 euros each. What's more, they were in great condition as you can hear on this first disc. I actually found two versions of this one, with slight label variations as you can see.

'Bad boy' appeared on the US Epic label with a different B-side when compared to the UK version, featuring 'Teenage tears' instead of 'It's been nice'. In the UK, 'Teenage tears' was the B-side of Sea of love.

My collection: 7" single no. 5883 & 5884
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 11, 2017
Cost: 3 euros each
Tracks: 'Bad boy' / 'Teenage tears'

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

No one knows - Marty Wilde

Only two days until Marty Wilde performs live in London, celebrating 60 years in the music business. And this single, 'No one knows', comes almost from the very beginning of his career.... it was released in 1958. Unlike other singles around that time, this one wasn't a hit.

The song was written by Hecht and Maresca, and previously recorded by Dion and the Belmonts. That version actually reached number 19 in the American singles charts.

My collection: 7" single no. 5870
Found:, received October 25, 2017
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'No one knows' / 'The fire of love'

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Oh-oh, I'm falling in love again - Marty Wilde

Released in 1958, 'Oh-oh, I'm falling in love again' was one of the earliest Marty Wilde singles ever released. At this stage, singles were still being released as 78 rpm discs as well, but while I'm still after those, it was good to find this little gem.

Marty Wilde and his band the Wildcats recorded this track which was originally released by Jimmie Rodgers who had a hit with it in the USA. Marty's version failed to chart but he still managed to have five top 10 hits in 1958 and 1959. 

My collection: 7" single no. 5836
Found:, received May 16, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Oh-oh I'm falling in love again' / 'Sing boy sing'

Listen to the song

Friday, 12 May 2017

Heel de wereld - Corry Brokken

Tomorrow night is Eurovision night for the 62nd time, so it is appropriate to post something Eurovision before the fun starts. The Netherlands won't win this year - again - so I might as well post something from the old days when we still had winning artists.

Corry Brokken won the Contest in 1957 with 'Net als toen'. I can't post about that one because I already have. However, she also competed in 1958. That single has proved elusive during the past five or so years. Believe me, I was looking everywhere: Ebay, Discogs, record fairs... the lot. And suddenly, earlier this week, I thought I might as well type in 'Corry Brokken Heel de wereld kopen' (kopen being Dutch for 'buy') in Google and see what happened. And there it was... a link to a Dutch web store, selling a copy of this single for a ridiculously low price. I ordered it right away and received the single today, just in time for a little Eurovision celebration.

My collection: 7" single no. 5827
Found: Klaver vijf webstore, received May 12, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Heel de wereld' / 'Weet je'

Listen to the song

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Oui, oui, oui, oui - Jean Philippe

France has been in the spotlights over the past few days due to their elections, but it's good to know that the French seem to have decided they will choose light over darkness, progress instead of isolation. That is, if Marine Le Pen actually does lose in the end, which seems so likely but it hasn't happened yet. Let's hope the French will be wiser than the English this time.

In that light, it's nice to listen to a French song from almost sixty years ago. The title is very positive indeed: 'Oui oui oui oui' competed in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1959. He became third during the edition that was hosted in Cannes after France's win the previous year with André Clavau's Dors mon amour.

My copy unfortunately comes without a picture sleeve, but it is still a historic piece.

My collection: 7" single no. 5796
Found: Catawiki, received February 25, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Oui oui oui oui' / 'Ce serait dommage'

Listen to the song

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Piove (Ciao ciao bambina) - Willy Alberti

Dutch singer Willy Alberti was born on October 14, 1926. He began recording professionally in the early Fourties. He became increasingly popular in the 1950s, when he had a string of hits beginning with a cover version of 'Nel blu dipinto di blu' in 1958. Alberti was successful as a singer of Dutch schlagers as well as Italian repertoire.

In 1959, he recorded a cover version of 'Piove (Ciao ciao bambina)', just like 'Nel blu...' originally performed by Domenico Modugno. The song was a big success in the pre-Top 40 year 1959: it peaked at the top of Dutch charts, printed in music magazines at the time.

My collection: 7" single no. 5743
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Piove (Ciao ciao bambina)', 'Li per li' / 'Una marcia in fa', 'Tuo'


Piove (Ciao ciao bambina) - Domenico Modugno

Domenico Modugno represented Italy in the 1959 Eurovision Song Contest for the second time, a year after he made a world hit with Nel blu dipinto di blu. This time, he wrote 'Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina)' ('It's raining (Bye, bye baby)') together with Eduardo Verde. The song is a dramatic ballad, with Modugno telling his lover that he knows their relationship is about to come to a close. He asks her for one more kiss and then tells her not to turn back as she walks away from him, because he still has feelings for her.

At the Contest, the song was not too successful. At the close of voting, it had received 9 points, placing 6th in a field of 11 competitors. There are, however, several cover versions of this song, including one by the Yee Tin Tong Mandolin Band from Hong Kong which charted over there.

My collection: 7" single no. 5742
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina)' / 'Ventu d'estati'


Sunday, 22 February 2015

Nel blu dipinto di blu - Domenico Modugno

The Eurovision Song Contest has a rich history of famous winners, but there are a few songs that have become classics without even winning. The best example of this comes from the first few years of the contest: Italian singer Domenico Modugno performed the song 'Nel blu dipinto di blu' in 1958 during the third edition of Eurovision after winning the San Remo festival with the same song. At the close of voting, it got 13 point and became 3rd out of 10 competitors.

Following commercial success in Italy, where it sold almost a million copies, the song was also released in the United States and in the rest of Europe. In the United Kingdom, Modugno's single was released on 23 August 1958, together with eight other versions recorded by international artists. The single obtained global acclaim, becoming an international hit. However, somewhere along the line the song became better knows as... 'Volare'.

This single is an Italian pressing, presumably from 1958, on blue vinyl. I don't know, but it might be a real collector's item.

My collection: 7" single no. 561
Found:, received February 14, 2015
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Nel blu dipinto di blu' / 'Lazzarella'

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