Bert Kaempfert — Wonderland By Night

Before The Beatles made their first record for Parlophone Records they’d already made several recordings for the German Polydor label and the man who had first taken them into a recording studio was pianist, orchestra leader, arranger, composer and producer Bert Kaempfert.


Not as well known, perhaps, as Mantovani, Ray Conniff or even James Last. Bert Kaempfert’s Orchestra sold a staggering one hundred and fifty million records which proves Kaempfert’s philosophy. Wanting to make “music for everyone. Meant to give people pleasure [and] if it doesn’t, it’s failed in its purpose“ as he was quoted as saying was spot on.

This twenty-eight track CD is the perfect introduction to Kaempfert and his music. Collecting together the best of his singles output from the late 50s and early 60s. Wonderland By Night was the tune that brought him international fame in 1960. In his home country his versions of Perez Prado’s Patricia and April In Portugal (popularised in the early 50s by Les Baxter)were big sellers.

Morgen (One More Sunrise) and La Vie En Rose are two melodies that have stood the test of time. While Wooden Heart (the Elvis Presley hit based on an old German folk song) sees Kaempfert in foot-tapping jazz mode. But it’s the tracks from the 1962 LP A Swingin’ Safari that sets the orchestra apart from many others. Afrikaan Beat, Happy Trumpeter, That Happy Feeling and A Swingin’ Safari itself are happy, rhythmic tunes that brighten the most miserable days.

If you’re already a fan, this is a CD to keep in the car to pop into the CD player on a long journey. If you’re curious to know what Bert Kaempfert’s music is all about, this is the CD to start you on your journey.


Austin Powell has spent his entire working life in the music business. From being an agent and manager of ‘beat groups’ in the sixties to working for major record companies in the seventies and eighties, he has also held management positions at radio stations in England, Wales and on the Isle Of Man. He continues to act as a consultant to several record companies and artists and presents a weekly 'oldies' show on Monday evenings on 101.8 WCR FM in Wolverhampton.


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