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Charlie And His Orchestra I Got Rhythm Vol.2 (CD)

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(Harlequin) 22 tracks German Propagana Swing 1941-1944 During the Second World War... more

Charlie And His Orchestra: I Got Rhythm Vol.2 (CD)

(Harlequin) 22 tracks


German Propagana Swing 1941-1944
During the Second World War both the Allied and the Axis Powers used radio for propa-ganda purposes - be it to inform and educate the population and to build up the morale of their own fighting troops, or else in order to influence, dis-inform or demoralise the enemy. Propaganda broadcasters used custom-made records in addition to commercial recordings and live performances. In Germany flat disc records were discovered in 1940 as a propa-ganda medium; but only about 250 titles were produced and the print-run was apparently rather small - possibly no more than 50-100 copies per record.

They were never available commercially and only distributed to radio stations and prisoner of war camps. Some of the copies still in existence in 1945 were deliberately destroyed as rumour had it that anyone found in possession of such could be shot on the spot. It is not surprising therefore that the German propaganda records have become extremely high-priced collectors items today. They are surrounded by myth because so very few people actually heard them, let alone own them. And those who participated in the actual recording sessions had little in-clination to talk about this in later years. Only recently have parts of the recording files been rediscovered.
Although some of the earlier records were anonymous, the only artist credit shown on the labels was Charlie And His Orchestra. The true identity of "Charlie" was first revealed by London-born Norman Baillie-Stewart. Baillie-Stewart had sympathy for the Germans and
Germany; in 1933 he was detained in the Tower of London - the last Englishman to be imprisoned there. Upon his release he returned to Germany and became an English-language broadcaster from Berlin's RUNDFUNKHAUS to Britain.

In his autobiography, Baillie-Stewart identified one Karl Schwedler as a crooner who was given permission to travel to neutral coun-tries and countries that had been recently occupied, for the purpose of collecting the latest Anglo-American dance music. This music was then arranged for radio broadcasts, where Schwedler would sing in English, accompanied by a swing band. Although on a few recordings the original lyrics would be used (for instance Elmer's Tune, or / Got Rhythm), the normal routine was to perform only the first chorus as written, and then continue with a tampered version featuring mainly anti-British, but also anti-Semitic and later anti-American and anti-Soviet skits on wartime policies and politicians. Some were indeed topical songs celebrating Axis victories. The general themes for each song were outlined by the Reichspropagandaministerium.

A special team of lyricists and writers, occasionally including Baillie-Stewart, would work out a German-language propaganda version of the song which was then handed over to the official interpre-ters of the Foreign Office for translation into English. Some of the propaganda songs use a language which sounds even more offensive today than at the time they were written....

Article properties: Charlie And His Orchestra: I Got Rhythm Vol.2 (CD)

Charlie And His Orchestra - I Got Rhythm Vol.2 (CD) CD 1
01 Nice People
02 Thanks For The Memory
03 Indian Love Call
04 The Sheik Of Araby
05 Let's Put Out The Lights
06 Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
07 Lilli Marleen
08 Elmer's Tune
09 Picture Me Without You
10 I Double Dare You
11 Macpherson Is Rehearsin'
12 I Can't Give You Anything But Love
13 Daisy
14 Stardust
15 Submarines
16 United Air Man
17 I Got Rhythm
18 And So Another Lovely Day Is Over
19 Roll On The Blue Funnel
20 Under An Umbrella In The Evening
21 Calling Invasion Forces
22 Atlantic Wall (Incomplete)
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Tracklist
Charlie And His Orchestra - I Got Rhythm Vol.2 (CD) CD 1
01 Nice People
02 Thanks For The Memory
03 Indian Love Call
04 The Sheik Of Araby
05 Let's Put Out The Lights
06 Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
07 Lilli Marleen
08 Elmer's Tune
09 Picture Me Without You
10 I Double Dare You
11 Macpherson Is Rehearsin'
12 I Can't Give You Anything But Love
13 Daisy
14 Stardust
15 Submarines
16 United Air Man
17 I Got Rhythm
18 And So Another Lovely Day Is Over
19 Roll On The Blue Funnel
20 Under An Umbrella In The Evening
21 Calling Invasion Forces
22 Atlantic Wall (Incomplete)