Archive for October, 2014

Georg Kreisler (1922 – 2011) was an Austrian (jewish) singer-songwriter, cabaret artist, satirist and author, basically known for his black humored and cynical songs – especially for the ‘everblack’ “Tauben vergiften”. wrote about Georg Kreisler:
“Performer Georg Kreisler has charmed audiences and critics on both sides of the Atlantic. And even as he enters his ’80s, he still remains ageless.
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Georg Kreisler is a living legend. His hundreds of songs, numerous plays and books and other writings are just as popular with today’s generation as they were 50 years ago when he first wrote some of them.

In fact, the multitalented octogenarian enjoys somewhat of a cult status in the German-speaking world. Not only has his work found its way into cabaret programs and literary events, but it is also quoted frequently or recited on talk shows and in everyday conversations.

“I’m very glad that some of the things I’ve written have found their way into daily conversations,” Kreisler says. “It’s a little bit of a marvel to me.” Hundreds of young singers try their hand at interpreting his clever and witty songs — the genre that Kreisler himself acknowledges is his forte. “I often get commissions to write plays,” he says, “however, they usually end up asking me to include a song or two, which is fine. I guess that is what I do best.”

Escaping the Nazis

Born in Vienna in 1922, Kreisler actually started his stage career in New York where his family had immigrated in the 1930s to escape the Nazis. Young Georg had already started his musical education in Vienna, studying piano and violin and taking theory lessons. “My piano teacher saw that I was not that interested in developing a technique on the instrument,” he says. “She was right. I really wanted to become a conductor.”

The first years in the States were tough ones, says Kreisler, and while he continued to pursue a career as a conductor, he ended up giving piano lessons and coaching singers in order to help his family make ends meet. In 1942, he was drafted into the U.S Army, where he worked as a translator and interpreter. It was during this time that he wrote a musical review for fellow soldiers that included many of his own songs. The show was so successful he ended up touring different regiments with the program.

Financially, things didn’t get easier after the war when Kreisler set out on his cabaret career in New York. “There were a number of hungry years,” says Kreisler, “I had a boss who stood at the door and controlled with a stopwatch how many laughs I was getting. If you got less than two a minute, you lost the job. That doesn’t happen in Europe — they don’t think so commercially.”

Returning to Europe

After playing several New York clubs and touring other large U.S. cities, Kreisler enjoyed a four-year run at a New York venue called the Monkey Bar. During this time, he made several overtures to Hollywood, but realizing his attempts were futile, he decided in 1955 to return to Europe and try his hand at writing in his mother tongue.

“When I started writing German, I had to learn it all over again,” says Kreisler. Although he had already written extensively in English, it was, he says, through this rediscovery of his native language that he uncovered his talent for verse and rhyme.

European audiences responded to him with greater enthusiasm than their American counterparts had. “In New York if you do one good show then you’re invited back, but if the next one’s not up to it, then you are out,” he says. “There were lots of obstacles in Europe that were not problems in New York. There is a lot of censorship (in Europe) and they tended not to care about commercial success,” he says.

Courting controversy

Still, Kreisler was never free of controversy, nor did he try to avoid it. Many of his songs were actually banned from radio and television. His song “Please Shoot Your Husband,” for instance, was banned in the U.S. on the grounds that the title was immoral. Sometimes reactions in Europe were not entirely dissimilar. Some audience members left performances in disgust. Kreisler recalls one such incident where a woman left after hearing his very witty song that describes the desperate frustrations of a professional triangle player. “The woman screamed, ‘I won’t have a member of my philharmonic orchestra insulted like that’ and left.”

Kreisler’s cabaret didn’t stop at orchestral musicians or domestic affairs; it also took on the big themes. Politics and world affairs were often in the firing line. “Everything I write, I write out of the time I live in. So everything I write is political,” says Kreisler, who adds, “I think we live in a terrible time. I write comedy but it is a comedy that criticizes the time we live in.”

Austria, too, has been a target of Kreisler’s humor. Although he has been back in Europe for over 40 years, Kreisler has retained his American citizenship.

In 1996, he published an open letter in a German newspaper addressed to a number of Austrian dignitaries. In it, he acknowledged receipt of official government birthday greetings on the occasions of his 50th, 60th, 65th and 70th birthdays from Austria, but commented that he had long been puzzled for two major reasons: First, having lost his citizenship through no fault of his own in 1938, he is not an Austrian citizen. He was not prepared, he wrote, to have to apply to have it back. Why, he inquired, was it not simply returned to him without question? Second, the cultural authorities in Austria had not only failed to furnish any support during the 40 years of his artistic career, they had, if anything, actively obstructed it. Kreisler was, therefor, declining in advance further official congratulations on the occasions of his 75th and subsequent birthdays.”


1 Wenn ihr lachen wollt 3:33
2 Wo kommt das Weinen her 3:09
3 Im Warenhaus 4:06
4 Der Fliegergeneral 2:50
5 Allein wie eine Mutterseele 3:00
6 Der Tag wird kommen 3:04
7 Das Ferienheim 3:30
8 Sie sind so mies 3:36
9 Wenn die Mädchen nackt sind 3:14
10 Wenn alle das täten 5:18
11 Zu leise für mich 3:05
12 Oper, Burg und Josefstadt 2:36
13 Reden 2:07
14 Die Gewohnheit 2:24
15 Humoreske 2:28
16 Du hast ja noch dein Grab 4:58

The album “Allein wie eine Mutterseele” was recorded June/July 1974 (1 to 10) and Spring 1971 (11 to 16). The tracks 11 to 16 are the A-Side of the LP “Literarisches und Nichtarisches”

Georg Kreisler – Allein wie eine Mutterseele (1974)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Helmut Qualtinger (born October 8, 1928 in Vienna, Austria; died September 29, 1986 in Vienna) was an Austrian actor, writer and cabaret performer.

He initially studied medicine, but quit university to become a newspaper reporter and film critic for local press, while beginning to write texts for cabaret performances and theater plays. Qualtinger debuted as an actor at a student theater and attended the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar as a guest student.
Beginning in 1947, he appeared in cabaret performances. In 1949, Qualtinger’s first theatrical play, “Jugend vor den Schranken”, was staged in Graz. Up to 1960, he collaborated on various cabaret programmes with the nameless Ensemble (Gerhard Bronner, Carl Merz, Louise Martini, Peter Wehle, Georg Kreisler, Michael Kehlmann).

Qualtinger was famous for his practical jokes. In 1951, he managed to launch a false report in several newspapers announcing a visit to Vienna of a (fictional) famous Inuit poet named Kobuk. The reporters who assembled a the railroad station however were to witness Qualtinger, in fur coat and cap, stepping from the train. Asked about his “first impressions of Vienna”, the “Inuit poet” commented in broad Viennese dialect, “It’s hot here.”

The short one-man play “Der Herr Karl”, written by Qualtinger and Carl Merz and performed by Qualtinger in 1961, made the author known across German-speaking countries. “Herr Karl”, a grocery store clerk, tells the story of his life to an imaginary colleague – from the days of the Habsburg empire, the First Austrian Republic, the Austrofascist regime leading up to the Anschluss (annexation) by Nazi Germany, World War II and finally military occupation by Allied forces in the 1950s, seen from the perspective of a one who is a prototypical opportunist. Qualtinger’s portrayal of the petit-bourgeois Nazi collaborator came at a time when “normality” had just been restored and Austrians’ involvement in the Nazi movement was being downplayed and “forgotten”, making many enemies for the author, who even received anonymous threats of murder.

Beginning in the 1970s, Qualtinger frequently performed recitals of his own and other texts, including excerpts from Karl Kraus’ “Die letzten Tage der Menschheit” (“The Last Days of Mankind”). These recitals were highly popular and resulted in several records being published.

Here´s an excerpt of these recitals, presenting 50 scenes from originally 220 scenes:

Karl Kraus – Die letzten Tage der Menschheit (Helmut Qualtinger)
(192 kbps, cover included)

General critical consensus holds Mahalia Jackson as the greatest gospel singer ever to live; a major crossover success whose popularity extended across racial divides, she was gospel’s first superstar, and even decades after her death remains, for many listeners, a defining symbol of the music’s transcendent power. With her singularly expressive contralto, Jackson continues to inspire the generations of vocalists who follow in her wake; among the first spiritual performers to introduce elements of blues into her music, she infused gospel with a sensuality and freedom it had never before experienced, and her artistry rewrote the rules forever.

“Newport 1958”  is a wonderful album with recordings of the Newport Jazz Festival 1958.

Jackson was at the peak of her career, and she gave a stunning performance at this show, lifting such songs as “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands,” “Lord’s Prayer,” “Evening Prayer,” “I’m on My Way,” “Walk over God’s Heaven” and “His Eye is on the Sparrow” to glorious heights. It’s not only one of the great live gospel albums, it’s simply one of the great gospel albums.


Mahalia Jackson – Newport 1958
(256 kbps, cover art included)


Georg Kreisler (18 July 1922 – 22 November 2011) was an Austrian–American Viennese-language cabarettist, satirist, composer, and author. He was particularly popular in the 1950s and 1960s. From 2007 he lived in Salzburg, Austria, with his fourth wife, Barbara Peters. He died there on 22 November 2011 “after a severe infection,” according to his wife Barbara.

Kreisler went to high school in Vienna, where he studied music theory, and learned to play violin and piano. In 1938, he was forced to flee with his parents due to increasing Nazi restrictions on Jews. In 1941, he married Philine Hollaender, daughter of Friedrich Hollaender and Blandine Ebinger. In 1943, he became an American citizen. He enlisted in the Army, and was stationed in Europe. He wrote songs for soldiers in Britain and France with the help of Marcel Prawy. After the war, he went to Hollywood and worked on movies with Charlie Chaplin. He performed at nightclubs and bars. In 1947, he was rejected by the record companies because his songs were “Un-American”, especially songs with titles such as “Please Shoot Your Husband”. In 1955, he returned to Europe, first to Vienna, then Munich in 1958, Berlin in 1976, Salzburg in 1988, Basel in 1992, and back to Salzburg in 2007.

Kreisler is considered a master of language. His songs are characterized by black humour and uncompromising criticism of society and politics. This caused him many difficulties and also contributed to appearance prohibitions in radio and television.
Despite producing several hundred original songs Kreisler may occasionally have used ideas and material from other artists in his work. His song “Die Hand” shows strong similarities to Tom Lehrer’s “I Hold Your Hand in Mine”, first recorded by Lehrer in 1953 on the album Songs by Tom Lehrer. Lehrer’s recording predates by several years any documented recording or performance of that song by Kreisler as well as Kreisler’s return to performance in German-speaking countries in 1955. Kreisler’s “Taubenvergiften im Park” (first released as “Frühlingslied“) has strong similarities to Lehrer’s “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park”. Kreisler and Lehrer each deny copying from the other; so far no one has succeeded in establishing which song was written first.

“Kreislers Purzelbäume” was released in 1975 and was honoured with the “Deutscher Schallplattenpreis 1976”.


A1 Das Lied von der Wirklichkeit 2:08
A2 Danse Macabre 3:37
A3 Am Totenbett 5:27
A4 Eine kleine Gutenachtmusik 4:49
A5 Kapitalistenlied 2:00
A6 Schnitzler in Hollywood 3:07
A7 Das Beste 2:53
B1 Nebenan 3:44
B2 Wenn’s nicht wahr ist 2:55
B3 Der Beamte 3:39
B4 Sonntagsspazier 3:47
B5 Beobachtung 3:09
B6 Gnädige Frau 3:14
B7 Zufall auf den Wiesen 2:12

Georg Kreisler – Kreislers Purzelbäume (1975)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Floh de Cologne were formed in 1966 as a political and anarchic collective of students from the University of Cologne. The group included Gerd Wollschon (voices, keyboards), Markus Schmidt (violin, bass), Hans-Jorg “Hansi” Frank (drums & keyboards) and Britta Baltruschat (voices).

Musically their style can be considered as a mixture between avant-folk, sound experimentations, free rock and narratives. In 1974, after the split of the “ohr” label, the formation got back to “Pläne” for several recordings until the end of the 70’s.

The album “Tilt” was released in 1975 on the Pläne label.


A1 Tilt 1:00
A2 Und trittst Du In Das Leben Raus 4:29
A3 In Dem Arbeitsamt 2:59
A4 Gräfin Thyssen, Onkel Herbert Und Etwas Zum Abwischen 2:24
A5 Kohlrock 2:33
A6 Hey Johnny 1:53
A7 Bravo-Schicksalsstory 4:19
B1 Es Steht Ein Haus In Schwäbisch-Hall 3:06
B2 Verfassungs-Honky-Tonky 4:31
B3 Nachruf Auf Karl 3:17
B4 Zug Der Zeit 7:20

Floh De Cologne – Tilt (1975)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

In the history of popular music, there are a relative handful of performers who have redefined the content of the music at critical points in history – people whose music left the landscape, and definition of popular music, altered completely. The Kingston Trio were one such group, transforming folk music into a hot commodity and creating a demand – where none had existed before – for young men (sometimes with women) strumming acoustic guitars and banjos and singing folk songs and folk-like novelty songs in harmony.

On a purely commercial level, from 1957 until 1963, the Kingston Trio were the most vital and popular folk group in the world, and folk music was sufficiently popular as to make that a significant statement. Equally important, the original trio – Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds, and Bob Shane – in tandem with other, similar early acts such as the Limeliters, spearheaded a boom in the popularity of folk music that suddenly made the latter important to millions of listeners who previously had ignored it. The group’s success and influence transcended its actual sales. Without the enviable record of popularity and sales that they built up for folk music, it is unlikely that Columbia Records would ever have had any impetus to allow John Hammond to sign an unknown singer/guitarist named Bob Dylan, or to put Weavers co-founder Pete Seeger under contract, or for Warner Bros. to record the Greenwich Village-based trio Peter, Paul and Mary.

The Kingston Trio’s first stereo album. “At Large”, was also the first LP on which they adopted the more sophisticated recording techniques that would characterize their subsequent records, including multiple overdubs and separate recordings of the different players of vocals and instrumentation. It shows in the far more complex sound achieved by the trio throughout this album, with voices and instruments more closely interwoven than on their earlier studio recordings and achieving control over their volume that, even today, seems astonishing.
The group also sounds very energized here, whether doing Calypso-style numbers like Bob Shane’s “I Bawled,” soaring bluegrass-style harmony numbers such as “Corey, Corey,” or the gossamer-textured “All My Sorrows.”
The hits “M.T.A.” and “Scarlet Ribbons” helped propel “Kingston Trio At Large” to the number one LP spot, but it was the rest of the album – including “Early in the Mornin'” (a skillful adaptation of the song best known to most of us by its opening line, “What do you do with a drunken sailor”) and “The Seine,” which anticipates the later trio’s classic “Take Her Out of Pity” – that helped keep it at the top spot for 15 weeks, an amazing feat for a folk album. Dave Guard’s banjo playing, in particular, shines throughout this album, and it was beginning here that Guard was to exert a separate influence on a whole generation of aspiring folk musicians and even one rock star (Lindsay Buckingham) with his banjo.

Kingston Trio – At Large (1959)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Floh De Cologne was a collective unit of creative musicians and actors, who continually dared to take chances, provoke and surprise their audience via a blend of rock, satire, political statements and theatre. The band was formed 20 January 1966 in Cologne, Germany and disbanded in 1983.  

“Prima Freiheit” is a live recording from the “Junges Forum der Ruhrfestspiele” in 1978.       


A1 Ich kenne ein Land 3:16
A2 Ich steh´ so rum 3:07
A3 Ballade vom Studenten aus den kleinen Verhältnissen 5:28
A4 Zwischenspiel 7:57
B1 Eddi, der Bär 7:27
B2 Was ist der Fortschritt 3:54
B3 Prima Freiheit 9:54

Floh De Cologne – Prima Freiheit (1978)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

“Ich habe sehr gut verstanden, (…) warum der Brecht immer darauf
bestand, “Bevölkerung” zu sagen statt “Volk”. Natürlich ist so eine
Losung “Wir sind eine Bevölkerung” unbrauchbar, die zündet überhaupt
nicht.” – Heiner Müller

01 Dritte Wahl – NVA
02 Sandow – Schweigen und Parolen
03 Die Skeptiker – JaJaJa
04 Ichfunktion – Faschist
05 Feeling B – Ich such die DDR
06 Schleim-Keim – Ata,Fit,Spee
07 No Exit – Pionier sein fetzt ein
08 Die Art – Sie sagte
09 Fucking Faces – Versteinerte Gesichter
10 Herbst in Peking – Bakschischrepublik
11 Iron Henning – Der kleine Trompeter
12 Müllstation – Alte Schweine-Neue Welt
13 Die Art – I love You (Marian)
14 Sandow – Born in GDR
15 Die Skeptiker – DaDa in Berlin
16 Fluchtweg – Rotarmistenlied
17 L’Attentat – Ohne Sinn
18 Ichfunktion – Europa

Auferstanden aus Ruinen – Der Soundtrack zur Wiedervereinigung
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Schroeder – Hurra! (1984)

The band probably originated with members of the music projects “Die jeilen Träumer” and “Zarah Zylinder”. The political rock clown band first appeared in 1975 under the name “Uli Hundt and Schroeder”, and was renamed shortly afterwards as Schroeder Roadshow. They offered biting ironic and political texts as well as an eclectic musical style. The band attacked more or less everything, including themselves.

Musically their main focus was saxophone-heavy rock, but with elements from many other styles. Political messages were ambiguous, though the band were on the political left. They also wrote ballads, such as “Tanz mit mir hinaus” and “Wir sind die Brüder der romantischen Verlierer”. They worked with Wolf Maahn as producer, Wolfgang Niedecken, and Christian Wagner (solo producer).

One studio album is called “Live in Tokyo”, although they have never appeared in Tokyo.

When Uli Hundt and Rich Schwab left in 1984, the band cut the “Roadshow” from their name. They also appeared twice in the “Rockpalast”: in 1982 as Schroeder Roadshow, and in 1985 as Schroeder.

Through all the changes in the band they continued to be active on the political rock festival scene. One of the biggest of these was the 1986 festival in Burglengenfeld, against the atomic reprocessing plant in Wackersdorf; in front of 120,000 spectators the band lined up in two parts, some performing as “Die Firma” and the others as “Uli Hundt und die Betablocker”.

Then the band went quiet, recording no more LPs, until the comic artist Brösel’s “Werner” comic was brought to life when he lined up with his Horex Motorbike “Red Porsche Killer” on a specially closed motorway against the Porsche of his friend. Then the recording of the band’s appearance at the accompanying festival, in front of 200,000 spectators, became Schroeder’s last album, and their last appearance was a year later at Werner’s Revival party – until their late revival in 2008 which saw the release of another studio album.

Schroeder – Hurra! (1984)
(128 kbps, front cover included)

Sung in English by Sylvia Anders, a German actress and musical comedy star, the recording documents one of the most brilliant (and overlooked) musical and personal collaborations of the twentieth century: that of EISLER & BRECHT.
Anyone asked today to name a left-wing German composer who collaborated with BRECHT would surely think first of Kurt Weill. Weill, though, only worked with BRECHT for a short time, and the collaboration didn’t really please either man. BRECHT’s truer partner – and the truer – radical was HANNS EISLER. (Gregory Sandow). During his lifetime, EISLER (who was one of Schoenberg’s favorite pupils) created a massive body of work, but these songs – written to inspire and enlighten a world gone mad with alienation and rampant greed – are his most immediate and successful musical contributions. EISLER’s collaboration with BRECHT began in Germany between the World Wars, fueled by their radicalism and by their belief that music should teach optimism and struggle. The two wrote songs on the spur of the moment for workers’ rallies and political cabarets: ‘If anything new occurred, the first one to telephone me was BRECHT saying, ‘We really must do something about that right away.’ They continued to work together steadily throughout the 40’s in what they called their ‘years in exile’ in Hollywood – a city that, as the songs document, they both found hatefully corrupt – and finally in East Germany in the 50’s where they both settled after EISLER was expelled from the United States for his political beliefs.
The seventeen individual songs on this album classify as agitprop; they are political, anti-Nazi, proworker, pacifist, but their stirring sentiments and clear-eyed melodic and rhythmic appeal make them art songs as well. Best are ‘The German Miserere,’ ‘There’s Nothing Quite Like Money’ (with its biting refrain, ‘Money is our aphrodisiac’), ‘Song of a German Mother,’ ‘Easter Sunday,’ and the rousing ‘Solidarity Song,’ which was written in the Thirties and still has resonance today. Also included are the Seven Hollywood Elegies, bitter, nasty miniatures about the corrupt ‘paradise’ of southern California. German cabaret artist Sylvia Anders has a classically trained voice, which she uses like a surgeon’s scalpel to dissect Brecht’s lyrics. –Stephany von Buchau, High Notes

Sylvia Anders is a consistently compelling, sensuously and satirically powerful interpreter of both the words and the sinuous musical lines. She is a German actress based in Hamburg but, singing in English, is doubly idiomatic. Among the cheerily bitter titles are: ‘The Rat Men,’ ‘Song of a German Mother’ (of a Nazi), and ‘The German Miserere.’ Because they are so skillfully theatrical, the songs transcend their grim topical origins-especially when sung, as here, with such voracious mockery. –Nat Hentoff, The Progressive

(256 kbps, front cover included)