The Info List - Bert Kaempfert

Berthold Heinrich Kämpfert, (16 October 1923 – 21 June 1980), better known as Bert Kaempfert, was a German orchestra leader, music producer, arranger, and songwriter. He made easy listening and jazz-oriented records and wrote the music for a number of well-known songs, including "Strangers in the Night" and "Moon Over Naples".


1 Biography 2 Collaborations 3 Death 4 Influence 5 Memorials 6 Discography

6.1 U.S. singles 6.2 Albums

7 Notes 8 External links

Biography[edit] Kaempfert was born in Hamburg, Germany, where he received his lifelong nickname, Fips, and studied at the local school of music. A multi-instrumentalist, he was hired by Hans Busch
Hans Busch
to play with his orchestra before serving as a bandsman in the German Navy
German Navy
during World War II. He later formed his own big band, toured with them, then worked as an arranger and producer, making hit records with Freddy Quinn and Ivo Robić. In 1961, he hired The Beatles
The Beatles
to back Tony Sheridan for an album called My Bonnie. The album and its singles, released by Polydor Records, were the Beatles' first commercially released recordings. Kaempfert's own first hit with his orchestra had been in 1960, "Wonderland by Night". Wonderland by Night, which was recorded in July 1959, couldn't get a hearing in Germany. Instead, Kaempfert brought the track to Decca Records
Decca Records
in New York, who released it in America in 1959 (or fall 1960); with its haunting solo trumpet, muted brass, and lush strings, the single topped the American pop charts and turned Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert
and Orchestra
into international stars. Over the next few years, he revived such pop tunes as "Tenderly", "Red Roses for a Blue Lady", "Three O'Clock in the Morning", and "Bye Bye Blues", as well as composing pieces of his own, including "Spanish Eyes (Moon Over Naples)", "Danke Schoen", and "Wooden Heart", which were recorded by, respectively, Al Martino, Wayne Newton, and Elvis Presley. For Kaempfert, little may have brought him more personal satisfaction than Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
recording his "L-O-V-E". As a producer, Kaempfert also played a part in the rise of The Beatles when he signed a Liverpool-based singer named Tony Sheridan, who was performing in Hamburg, and needed to recruit a band to play behind him on the proposed sides. He 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
John Lennon
and the instrumental "Cry for a Shadow", co-written by Lennon and lead guitarist George Harrison. Kaempfert's recording of the Beatles, even as a backing band for Sheridan, provided an impetus to their subsequent success, even though none of the Kaempfert-recorded sides resembled the music for which they became famous. On October 28, 1961, a man walked into the music store owned by Brian Epstein
Brian Epstein
to ask for a copy of "My Bonnie", recorded by the Beatles (but, actually credited to Tony Sheridan). The store did not have it, but Epstein noted the request and was so intrigued by the idea of a Liverpool band getting a record of its own out, he personally followed up on it. This event led to his discovery of the Beatles and, through his effort, their signing by George Martin to Parlophone
Records after getting clear of any contractual claim by Polydor. Many of Bert's tunes became better known as hits for other artists:

"Strangers in the Night" (with words by Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder), was originally recorded as part of his score for the 1966 film A Man Could Get Killed. It became a #1 hit for Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
in 1966. This was followed a year later with another hit for Sinatra, "The World We Knew (Over and Over)". "Wooden Heart", sung by Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
in the film G.I. Blues
G.I. Blues
was a hit in 1961. Joe Dowell's cover of "Wooden Heart" became a big hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
on August 28, 1961. Bert arranged this traditional German folk song for the Presley movie. His instrumental "Moon Over Naples", when given words by Snyder, became "Spanish Eyes", originally a hit for Al Martino
Al Martino
and also recorded by Engelbert Humperdinck, Presley, and many others. "Danke Schoen", with words added by Kurt Schwabach and Milt Gabler, became Wayne Newton's signature song. "L-O-V-E", with words added by Milt Gabler, was a hit for Nat King Cole. "Almost There", which reached No. 67 on the U.S. charts but No. 2 on the U.K. charts, was recorded by Andy Williams. His 1962 movie theme from the film 90 Minuten nach Mitternacht (Terror After Midnight), with lyrics added by Herb Rehbein and Joe Seneca, became a pop ballad called "Love After Midnight", recorded by both Patti Page
Patti Page
(1964) and Jack Jones (1966). A jazzier number called "A Swingin' Safari" was the initial theme tune for the long-running TV game show The Match Game, used on the NBC version from 1962 to 1967. Billy Vaughn's cover of "A Swingin' Safari" also hit the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 13 in the summer of 1962. Another 1962 single, "That Happy Feeling", became well known as background music for children's television programming, most notably that of Sandy Becker
Sandy Becker
on his daily WNEW-TV (now WNYW) show in New York between 1963 and 1967. The LP entitled A Swingin' Safari
A Swingin' Safari
was heavily influenced by South African kwela style music, containing versions of "Zambesi", "Wimoweh", "Skokiaan", and "Afrikaan Beat", as well as the title track, which made Kaempfert an early exponent of world music. Many of the tracks were later used in the 1969 film An Elephant Called Slowly. "Tahitian Sunset" was sampled extensively by the lo-fi dance artists Lemon Jelly
Lemon Jelly
as their track "In the Bath".

Kaempfert's orchestra made extensive use of horns. A couple of numbers that featured brass prominently, "Magic Trumpet" and "The Mexican Shuffle", were played by both Kaempfert's orchestra and by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, whose initially Mariachi
style, in fact, evolved towards the Kaempfert style as the 1960s progressed.[citation needed] The Brass covered "Magic Trumpet", and Kaempfert returned the favor by covering Brass compadre Sol Lake's number "The Mexican Shuffle". The latter tune evolved into a TV ad, The Teaberry Shuffle. Many of his hits during this period were composed and arranged with the help of fellow German Herb Rehbein, who became a successful bandleader in his own right. Rehbein's death in 1979 shook Kaempfert deeply. Both Kaempfert and Rehbein were posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1963 jazz trumpeter Bobby Hackett
Bobby Hackett
recorded a complete album with 12 Kaempfert compositions, Bobby Hackett
Bobby Hackett
Plays the Music of Bert Kaempfert. It has now been re-released in the United States under the Sony Records label in the Collectable Jazz
Classics series, along with the album Bobby Hackett
Bobby Hackett
Plays The Music of Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
on a "2-in-1" CD. In 1967 jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain
Pete Fountain
recorded the album Pete Fountain Plays Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert
in Hamburg, Germany, with musicians from Kaempfert's orchestra. It featured Kaempfert's signature hits. In 1967 the Anita Kerr
Anita Kerr
Singers released the LP Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert
Turns Us On!, a tribute to Kaempfert, featuring the standard hits. In 1968 jazz trumpeter Al Hirt
Al Hirt
recorded the album Al Hirt
Al Hirt
Plays Bert Kaempfert. It too featured Kaempfert’s major hits. His success as a composer was reflected in five awards received from BMI in 1968 for "Lady", "Spanish Eyes", "Strangers in the Night", "The World We Knew", and "Sweet Maria". In 1970 Johnny Mathis
Johnny Mathis
issued a double-LP album set, Sings the Music of Bacharach & Kaempfert, for Columbia. 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. The same year Kaempfert composed the score for the war film You Can't Win 'Em All, starring Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis
and Charles Bronson. By the 1970s, sales of Kaempfert's music had dropped off somewhat, 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 orchestra, beginning in 1974, with a successful appearance at London's Royal Albert Hall. Collaborations[edit] Kaempfert used many musicians who were available in Germany
and other parts of Europe, including many of the same players who played for James Last, Kai Warner
Kai Warner
and Roberto Delgado. He featured such top soloists as trumpeters Charly Tabor, Werner Gutterer, Manfred Moch and Ack van Rooyen, trombonists Åke Persson and Jiggs Whigham, and sax/flute player Herb Geller. Drummer Rolf Ahrens supplied the characteristically simple but steady beat, often playing just a snare drum with brushes. Another contributor to Kaempfert's music was guitarist/bassist Ladislav "Ladi" Geisler, who popularized the famous "knackbass" (crackling bass) sound, using the Fender Telecaster Bass
Fender Telecaster Bass
Guitar, which became the most distinctive feature of many Kaempfert recordings — a treble staccato bass guitar sound in which the bass string was plucked with a pick and immediately suppressed to cancel out any sustain. It was Geisler who lent his guitar amplifier to The Beatles
The Beatles
for their recording session with Tony Sheridan, after the band's own equipment proved to be inadequate for recording purposes.[1] Death[edit] Kaempfert died suddenly on 21 June 1980, at the age of 56, following a stroke at his home on Majorca, shortly after a successful appearance in Britain. Influence[edit]

Kaempfert is both sampled and referenced in the hit song "One Week" by the Barenaked Ladies. A lyric in that song states that "Bert Kaempfert's got the mad hits." Jimi Hendrix
Jimi 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 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.[2]


Bert-Kaempfert-Platz, in the Barmbek
district of Hamburg, Germany, is named in his honour.[3] Discography[edit] Note: titles are for European releases. U.S. releases have other titles. U.S. singles[edit]

"Cerveza" (U.S. #108, Music Vendor, 1959, his first U.S. chart single; re-charted U.S. #73, 1961) "Wonderland by Night" (U.S. #1, 1961) "Tenderly" (U.S. #31, 1961) "Now and Forever" (U.S. #48, AC #14, 1961) "A Swingin' Safari" (1962) "Afrikaan Beat" (U.S. #42, AC #10, 1962) "That Happy Feeling" (U.S. #67, 1962) '"Livin' it Up" (1963) "Holiday for Bells" (1963) "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" (U.S. #11, AC #2, 1965) "Three O'Clock in the Morning" (U.S. #33, AC #10, 1965) "Moon Over Naples" (U.S. #59, AC #6, 1965) "Bye Bye Blues" (U.S. #54, AC #5, 1966) "Strangers in the Night" (AC #8, 1966) "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" (U.S. #100, AC #6, 1966) "Hold Me" (AC #37, 1967) "Talk" (AC #39, 1967) "Caravan" (AC #10, 1968) "The First Waltz" (AC #30, 1968) "Mister Sandman" (AC #12, 1968) "(You Are) My Way of Life" (AC #17, 1968) "Jingo Jango" "Games People Play" (AC #30, 1969) "The Maltese Melody" (1969) "Someday We'll Be Together" (AC #27, 1970) " Sweet Caroline
Sweet Caroline
(Good Times Never Seemed So Good)" (AC #24, 1971) "Love Theme" (1970) "Only a Fool (Would Lose You)" (1972)


April in Portugal (1958) Ssh! It's Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert
& His Orchestra
(1959) Combo Capers (1960) Wonderland by Night (1960) The Wonderland of Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert
(1961) Dancing in Wonderland (1961) Solitude (1962) Afrikaan Beat and Other Favorites (1962) With a Sound in My Heart (1962) A Swingin' Safari
A Swingin' Safari
(1962) That Happy Feeling (1962) 90 Minuten nach Mitternacht (1962) Dreaming in Wonderland (1963) Living It Up (1963) Christmas Wonderland
Christmas Wonderland
(1963) That Latin Feeling (1964) Blue Midnight (1964) Let's Go Bowling (1964) The Magic Music of Far Away Places (1964) Love Letters (1965) Bye Bye Blues (1965) Three O'Clock in the Morning
Three O'Clock in the Morning
(1965) A Man Could Get Killed
A Man Could Get Killed
(1966) Strangers in the Night (1966) Greatest Hits (1966) Hold Me (1967) The World We Knew (1967) Bert Kaempfert's Best (1967) Bert Kaempfert/ Pete Fountain
Pete Fountain
(MCA Double Star Series DL 734698) (1967) Love That Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert
(1968) My Way of Life (1968) Ivo Robic singt Kaempfert-Erfolge (with Ivo Robic, 1968) Warm and Wonderful (1968) One Lonely Night (1969) Traces of Love (1969) The Kaempfert Touch (1970) Free and Easy (1970) Orange Coloured Sky (1971) Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert
Now! (1971) 6 Plus 6 (1972) Yesterday and Today (1973) To the Good Life (1973) Greatest Hits Volume 2 (1973) The Most Beautiful Girl (1974) Gallery (1974) Live in London
(1974) Love Walked In (1975) Forever My Love (1975) Moon Over Miami (1975) Kaempfert '76 (1976) Safari Swings Again (1977) Tropical Sunrise (1977) Swing (1978) In Concert (with Sylvia Vrethammar, 1979; also released as a video) Smile (1979)


^ Lounge Legends, The Original Masters of Lounge, zaterdag 26 November 2011, In Memoriam- Ladi Geisler
Ladi Geisler
- (27 November 1927 – 19 November 2011) http://loungelegends.blogspot.com/2011/11/in-memoriam-ladi-geisler-27-november.html[permanent dead link]. ^ The Spinning Image, Monterey Pop Year: 1969 Director: D.A. Pennebaker Stars: Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, The Mamas and the Papas, The Who, Ravi Shankar, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Country Joe and the Fish, Hugh Masakela, Canned Heat, Eric Burdon and the Animals; Genre: Documentary, Music http://www.thespinningimage.co.uk/cultfilms/displaycultfilm.asp?reviewid=142 (Uploaded March 14, 2012); P*Funk Review, Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
Black Experience, 'Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
Collection' (A Slight Review) -- “12) Wild Thing (7:41), Monterey Pop Festival, Monterey, Ca. June 18, 1967]; This was yet another song that Jimi came to hate, but he always seemed to put an interesting spin on the song when he played it live. First of all, he always seemed to have an extended intro to the song and here the segue from The Star Spangled Banner
The Star Spangled Banner
is perfect. Then he usually seems to play it slower and FUNKIER than on the radio version of the song. Finally the totally unexpected segue into Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
is always surprising.” "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-03-14.  (Uploaded March 14, 2012) Who Sampled, Jimi Hendrix, Wild Thing, Live at Monterey Experience Hendrix 1970 http://www.whosampled.com/sample/view/96723/Jimi%20Hendrix-Wild%20Thing_Frank%20Sinatra-Strangers%20in%20the%20Night/ (Uploaded March 14, 2012). ^ Plaque appended to street nameplate

External links[edit]

www.kaempfert.de (in English) Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert
discography www.classicthemes.com

v t e

Bert Kaempfert

Studio albums

Christmas Wonderland


"Wonderland by Night" "A Swingin' Safari" "That Happy Feeling" "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" "Strangers in the Night"

v t e

People associated with the Beatles


Neil Aspinall Dave Dexter Jr. Geoff Emerick Mal Evans Glyn Johns Bert Kaempfert Freda Kelly Jeff Lynne Magic Alex Ken Mansfield George Martin Giles Martin Phil McDonald Ken Scott Norman Smith Phil Spector Alistair Taylor Chris Thomas Ken Townsend Peter Vince


Peter Bennett Sid Bernstein Al Brodax Peter Brown Lee Eastman Brian Epstein David Geffen Dick James Allen Klein Joseph Lockwood Larry Parnes Allan Williams


Eric Clapton The Dirty Mac Donovan Bob Dylan Johnny Gentle Nicky Hopkins Johnny Hutchinson Mick Jagger Brian Jones Jim Keltner David Mason Tommy Moore Chas Newby Jimmie Nicol Harry Nilsson Peter and Gordon Plastic Ono Band Billy Preston Ronnie Scott Ravi Shankar Tony Sheridan Rory Storm
Rory Storm
and the Hurricanes Andy White


Tony Barrow Alan Clayson Ray Coleman Ray Connolly Hunter Davies Peter Doggett Walter Everett Larry Kane Mark Lewisohn Ian MacDonald Philip Norman Alan W. Pollack Nicholas Schaffner Bruce Spizer Derek Taylor

Girlfriends / wives

Nancy Lee Andrews Jane Asher Barbara Bach Pattie Boyd Olivia Harrison Astrid Kirchherr Cynthia Lennon Linda McCartney Heather Mills Yoko Ono Francie Schwartz Maureen Starkey

Parents / guardians

Mona Best Alfred Lennon Julia Lennon Jim and Mary McCartney George Smith Mimi Smith


Tony Anthony Peter Blake George Dunning Horst Fascher The Fool Robert Freeman Bill Harry Jann Haworth Michael Lindsay-Hogg Alejandro Jodorowsky Bruno Koschmider Richard Lester Ruth McCartney Murray the K Ed Sullivan Saul Swimmer Ivan Vaughan Jürgen Vollmer Klaus Voormann Lord Woodbine Bob Wooler David Wynne Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Roby Yonge

v t e

Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song


"Town Without Pity" Lyrics by Ned Washington, Music by Dimitri Tiomkin (1961) "Circus World" Lyrics by Ned Washington, Music by Dimitri Tiomkin (1964) "Forget Domani" Lyrics by Norman Newell, Music by Riz Ortolani
Riz Ortolani
(1965) "Strangers in the Night" Lyrics by Charles Singleton, Eddie Snyder, Music by Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert
(1966) "If Ever I Would Leave You" Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe (1967) "The Windmills of Your Mind" Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Music by Michel Legrand (1968) "Jean" Music & Lyrics by Rod McKuen
Rod McKuen


"Whistling Away the Dark" Lyrics by Johnny Mercer, Music by Henry Mancini (1970) "Life Is What You Make It" Lyrics by Johnny Mercer, Music by Marvin Hamlisch (1971) "Ben" Lyrics by Don Black, Music by Walter Scharf (1972) "The Way We Were" Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Music by Marvin Hamlisch (1973) "I Feel Love" Lyrics by Betty Box, Music by Euel Box (1974) "I'm Easy" Music & Lyrics by Keith Carradine
Keith Carradine
(1975) "Evergreen" Lyrics by Paul Williams, Music by Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand
(1976) "You Light Up My Life" Music & Lyrics by Joseph Brooks (1977) "Last Dance" Music & Lyrics by Paul Jabara
Paul Jabara
(1978) "The Rose" Music & Lyrics by Amanda McBroom
Amanda McBroom


"Fame" Lyrics by Dean Pitchford, Music by Michael Gore (1980) "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" Music & Lyrics by Peter Allen, Burt Bacharach, Christopher Cross, & Carole Bayer Sager (1981) "Up Where We Belong" Lyrics by Wilbur Jennings, Music by Jack Nitzsche & Buffy Sainte-Marie
Buffy Sainte-Marie
(1982) "Flashdance... What a Feeling" Lyrics by Irene Cara, Keith Forsey, Music by Giorgio Moroder
Giorgio Moroder
(1983) "I Just Called to Say I Love You" Music & Lyrics by Stevie Wonder (1984) "Say You, Say Me" Music & Lyrics by Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie
(1985) "Take My Breath Away" Lyrics by Tom Whitlock, Music by Giorgio Moroder (1986) "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" Lyrics by Franke Previte, Music by John DeNicola & Donald Markowitz (1987) "Let the River Run" Music & Lyrics by Carly Simon/"Two Hearts" Lyrics by Phil Collins, Music by Lamont Dozier
Lamont Dozier
(1988) "Under the Sea" Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Music by Alan Menken
Alan Menken


"Blaze of Glory" Music & Lyrics by Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi
(1990) "Beauty and the Beast" Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Music by Alan Menken (1991) "A Whole New World" Lyrics by Tim Rice, Music by Alan Menken
Alan Menken
(1992) "Streets of Philadelphia" Music & Lyrics by Bruce Springsteen (1993) "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" Lyrics by Tim Rice, Music by Elton John (1994) "Colors of the Wind" Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, Music by Alan Menken (1995) "You Must Love Me" Lyrics by Tim Rice, Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber (1996) "My Heart Will Go On" Lyrics by Wilbur Jennings, Music by James Horner (1997) "The Prayer" Music & Lyrics by David Foster, Tony Renis, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa (1998) "You'll Be in My Heart" Music & Lyrics by Phil Collins
Phil Collins


"Things Have Changed" Music and lyrics by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
(2000) "Until..." Music and lyrics by Sting (2001) "The Hands That Built America" Music and lyrics by Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge
The Edge
& Larry Mullen Jr.
Larry Mullen Jr.
(2002) "Into the West" Music and lyrics by Annie Lennox, Howard Shore
Howard Shore
& Frances Walsh (2003) "Old Habits Die Hard" Music and lyrics by Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger
& David A. Stewart (2004) "A Love That Will Never Grow Old" Lyrics by Bernie Taupin, Music by Gustavo Santaolalla
Gustavo Santaolalla
(2005) "The Song of the Heart" Music and lyrics by Prince Rogers Nelson (2006) "Guaranteed" Music and lyrics by Eddie Vedder
Eddie Vedder
(2007) "The Wrestler" Music and lyrics by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
(2008) "The Weary Kind" Music and lyrics by Ryan Bingham
Ryan Bingham
& T Bone Burnett (2009)


"You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" Music & Lyrics by Diane Warren (2010) "Masterpiece" Music & Lyrics by Madonna, Julie Frost and Jimmy Harry (2011) "Skyfall" by Adele
Adkins and Paul Epworth (2012) "Ordinary Love" by U2 and Danger Mouse (2013) "Glory" by Common and John Legend
John Legend
(2014) "Writing's on the Wall" by Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes (2015) "City of Stars" by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (2016) "This Is Me" by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (2017)

Complete List (1960s) (1970s) (1980s) (1990s) (2000s) (2010s)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 95148779 LCCN: n92048736 ISNI: 0000 0001 1452 417X GND: 124068294 BNF: cb139554176 (data) MusicBrainz: 9d0828bc-702d-4c89-b66f-4954958b8e11 NDL: 001154812 BNE: XX984826 SN