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Christmas Music Guru
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  • Register:09/07/2005 11:04:22

Date Posted:06/18/2009 05:33:57Copy HTML




 



Bert Kaempfert has the distinction of being the first artist featured in my In The Spotlight series, and it’s for one simple reason: he has the very first two songs that I would have chosen to add to the Yule Log soundtrack if I had decided to add a fourth hour to the program in 2006 when we did our 40th anniversary audio restoration for WPIX. And you can be sure that if ultimately a fourth hour is ever added by me in the future, they will indeed be the first.


These two great songs are "Jingo Jango" and "Holiday For Bells," and they come from Bert’s classic 1963 LP, Christmas Wonderland. They are both original compositions that Mr. Kaempfert wrote himself, along with another great original song on the album, "Children’s Christmas Dream." I have always felt that these Kaempfert originals were tailor-made, quintessential songs for the Yule Log broadcast and that it was a downright shame that they were never a part of the program.

 

If you are not familiar with the music of Bert Kaempfert, then you’re in for a real treat; and after hearing these two great songs, I think you’ll agree with me that they would have indeed been an absolute perfect fit for the Yule Log:


 Click Here ~ "Jingo Jango"



Click Here ~ "Holiday For Bells"


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Bert Kaempfert: Jingo Jango & Holiday For Bells

Date Posted:06/18/2009 10:09:03Copy HTML

Thanks Chip for posting "In The Spotlight" section. I'm looking foward to future postings on the YuleLog artists and their songs. How about The Singing Angels?
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Re:Bert Kaempfert: Jingo Jango & Holiday For Bells

Date Posted:06/18/2009 07:43:05Copy HTML


Thanks Frank, I'm glad you like the new category.

With regard to your suggestion, bear in mind that the goal of this category is to highlight music that was not a part of the Yule Log soundtrack  -- especially songs that I would consider top candidates to be added to the program if a fourth hour  is ever added in the future.

Thanks again for your feedback Frank, and nice to see you back on the board! 

Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Bert Kaempfert: Jingo Jango & Holiday For Bells

Date Posted:06/18/2009 08:17:18Copy HTML

Hi Chip,

The first Christmas song I remember ever hearing from Bert Kaempfert was "Toy Parade" which is also on "Christmas Wonderland.  Would that be considered by you as a top candidate too?

Thanks
Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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Re:Bert Kaempfert: Jingo Jango & Holiday For Bells

Date Posted:06/18/2009 09:08:09Copy HTML


Yes Susan, absolutely; Toy Parade would be the fourth Bert Kaempfert song on the list after Children's Christmas Dream, which would be my third choice. However, since the maximum number of songs I would choose from any individual artist for this fourth hour would be two, ultimately it would be Jingo Jango and Holiday For Bells that would be used for the soundtrack.

Christmas Wonderland  boasted an incredible 5 songs that were either written or co-written by Bert Kaempfert. The other one not mentioned yet was the title song from the LP, Christmas Wonderland, which would be the fifth song on my list.

Excellent question Susan, thanks. 

Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Bert Kaempfert: Jingo Jango & Holiday For Bells

Date Posted:06/21/2009 04:56:34Copy HTML

Hello Chip,

I love the idea behind this new category. This is a great idea! After listening to these two selections, I must agree with you that Bert Kaempfert is a great choice for being the first artist highlighted here. I heard of Mr. Kaempfert before and have listened to some of his music. I never had the opportunity, though, to listen to his album, Christmas Wonderland. I hope to be able to find it on eBay or Amazon.com sometime soon.

I came across Mr. Kaempfert and his music in reading about The Beatles. As well as being a great composer, arranger and orchestra leader, Mr. Kaempfert was a producer for Polydor records in Germany. He worked with several artists, one in particular was Tony Sheridan. Sheridan was an English-born singer who performed at the Top Ten Club in Germany and had quite a huge following amongst the German kids and young adults. Sheridan would record with whoever was his backing band at the Top Ten Club at that time. In April 1961, Mr. Kaempfert had the distinction of being the first producer to work and record The Beatles in a professional setting. Several tracks were recorded, most with Sheridan and The Beatles as the backing band. Some with The Beatles as the lead. The big hit was "My Bonnie (Lies Over The Ocean)" with Sheridan as the lead.

After learning of that bit of history, I looked into Mr. Kaempfert's music and learned of his Christmas Wonderland album but again never had the opportunity to listen to it.

Thanks again Chip for this great idea and for sharing some of Mr. Kaempfert's music. I look forward to seeing the other artists you have in mind for this great addition to the board.
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Re:Bert Kaempfert: Jingo Jango & Holiday For Bells

Date Posted:06/22/2009 12:59:46Copy HTML

Thanks Armando, nice to hear you like the new category and that you're looking forward to future artists to be featured In The Spotlight

Most people -- especially younger folks -- are sadly not aware of Mr. Kaempfert's influence and accomplishments in the world of popular music. Aside from his work for Polydor Records with the early Beatles, he also wrote such classics as Strangers In The Night (which later became a #1 hit for Frank Sinatra) and Spanish Eyes (which later became a #15 hit for Al Martino) -- both songs are listed by BMI as having had over 4 million airplays. 

His great hits with his own orchestra included Wonderland By Night (#1 on the Billboard charts for 3 weeks in 1960); That Happy Feeling (used frequently as the theme song for many locally produced children's shows as well as for countless commercials); and my own personal favorite, A Swingin' Safari (which later became a #13 hit for Billy Vaughn as well as the theme song for the long-running game show The Match Game).

So, after tempting your appetite, let's put our man of the hour, Bert Kaempfert, back in the spotlight once again with two of these great aforementioned songs:


  ENCORE: Bert Kaempfert









*[Edit of 10/09/14: Updated YouTube hyperlink for A Swingin' Safari]

Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Bert Kaempfert: Jingo Jango & Holiday For Bells

Date Posted:07/26/2009 03:55:28Copy HTML

Hello Chip,

YOU ARE THE BEST!!! Once again, you have brought to light the details that complete the story. When I was writing my post about Mr. Kaempfert, I knew that I was not presenting a full story. I left details out that were important, but memory failed me again. I didn't want to leave my post as incomplete as I felt I did. I knew there were other compositions he did that were later made famous by other artists (like the aforementioned Strangers in the Night and Spanish Eyes), but he himself had a number one hit with Wonderland by Night. If I am not mistaken, that song knocked out Elvis Presley's It's Now or Never out of the #1 spot on the Billboard charts in 1960. How I could forget that one, I will never know.

Thanks for filling in the blanks on this amazing talent, Chip!

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Re:Bert Kaempfert: Jingo Jango & Holiday For Bells

Date Posted:07/26/2009 10:21:33Copy HTML


You're very welcome, Armando.

And by the way, the song that Mr. Kaempfert knocked out of the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on January 9, 1961 with his hit Wonderland By Night was Elvis Presley's Are You Lonesome Tonight, not It's Now Or Never

Here now is that #1 hit for everyone to enjoy, it has a great trumpet solo by Charly Tabor
:





Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Bert Kaempfert: Jingo Jango & Holiday For Bells

Date Posted:08/08/2009 04:11:29Copy HTML

Thank you for setting the record straight Chip! And thank you for adding the clip of Wonderland By Night. For those who have not heard it before, they will see what a beautiful piece of music this is. For those of us who haven't heard it in awhile, it's a great reminder of this man's talent.

Thanks so much!
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Re:Bert Kaempfert: Jingo Jango & Holiday For Bells

Date Posted:10/16/2009 06:17:05Copy HTML

My copy of Christmas Wonderland (Decca DL 74441 Stereo) has different artwork than the one found here (and elsewhere on the internet)... is that good, bad or no big deal.
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Re:Bert Kaempfert: Jingo Jango & Holiday For Bells

Date Posted:10/17/2009 03:39:30Copy HTML


Jack,

If your cover has the drawing of Santa flying in his sleigh, then you have the reissue cover.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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