Monday, February 23, 2009

50 Years Of "Kisses In Der Nacht"

It's back to 1959 today where our heroes are still in Germany after last week's look at the Stuttgart videos. While in Hamburg, Armstrong and the All Stars shot a scene for the film Die Nacht Vor Der Premiere. They performed one number, "Kisses In Der Nacht," writtten by Lothar Olias and Hans Bradtke. The song isn't exactly a piece of gold--you can drive a truck through some of the open spaces--but Armstrong always gave his best to all material, making terrible songs sound good and making great songs incredible. Thus, he performs the slow melody with a beautiful, soulful quality with his trumpet. Then he sings--in German! He still swings, scats and mugs a bit, putting it over like it's "Blueberry Hill."

But after a Danny Barcelona drum break, the band turns the tune into an uptempo romp, everyone getting a chance to solo and Pops really riding high towards the end. Because the band is miming to a pre-recorded track, they ham it up a bit which is fun visually, but the music is seriously powerful. Here's the entire six-minute clip:


Here's a little more information about the the comedic actress you see enjoying the music, courtesy of my new friend from Germany, Sebastian Claudius Semler: "Concerning the leading actor Marika Rökk: Born in Hungria, she was very famous in Germany, gaining her first fame during the mid-30s for the legendary UFA movie productions during the Nazi years, especially in expensive and illustrative muscial productions as singer and dancer. She later was often critisized like other famoues actors from other countries - like Zarah Leander from Sweden or the still living + still active 105-years-old Johannes Heesters from the Netherlends - that they voluntarily came to Germany and supported the Nazi propaganda machine with the UFA productions, which had their own, very political objectives during the war years; but that's another story. In 1959 she was already in her mid-forties and - for those years - already a bit old for playing a sexy dressed dancer. And she really doesn't look like Madonna at the age of 45... HER interpretation of Küsse in der Nacht in the movie says much about the tune was meant by the composers, it has a cha cha rhythm and is merely a dancing number. However, it belongs to the worst tunes Armstrong ever was forced to play..."

Thanks Sebastian for the information and I hope everyone enjoyed the footage. Sorry for the lack of blogs last week; the pregnancy is slowing down the missus with each passing day and I'm doing more and more to keep the household afloat...and to keep her happy! Thus, I fell behind on writing, e-mailing, phone calls, you name it. But I have some windows to work this week and I'm planning on pumping out three or four new ones so keep checking back for more Pops!

1 comment:

Lars-Erick Forsgren said...

WOW!
I never heard that one before!