more new york then hollywood, but definitly berlin: die knef

i don’t know if hildegard knef could be considered a good citizen – i guess she couldn’t care. but she certainly had a wide experience in the field – growing up in germany in the 1930s and 1940s, having no citizenship in a berlin after ww II, being american, then british – and i have to admit i did not research if she became later again german.

so like many german artist of the 20th century she wasn’t german. which is one of many links she has with marlene dietrich. and they were actually close friends: there is a telling scene, recorded on film, when dietrich is getting out of the airplane first time she arrives in berlin after the war: first to greet her are the mother – and hildegard knef. yes, the friendship of these two women is very fascinating – so alike and so different…

but we get into the biography of ms knef at a later stage. yes, be warned – there will be quite some knef coming up. yeah, i always had a thing for her – even way back as a kid. a lot to do with that voice.

for this post i would like to point out especially one record of hers – and it is funny since R just pointed it out – roughly a year ago i did post something about that great record of cole porter covers. and now it is time again to put up another great record of cole porter songs. yes, hildegard knef worked with cole porter – by his request. and she sung many of his songs – in english. but even better: also in german. even better because the lyrics have been translated congenially by mischa mleinek, an author so far unknown to me. but his translations are fantastic. and in one case even better then the original. yes, there was a hint here about that song. in the original it is called laziest gal in town – but in german it is so much better. and then ms knef is also the perfect interpreter for cole porter songs – well, i could now write a lot about why and all that, but then i suppose it is much better you listen for yourself. so get her record träume heissen du, lovingly ripped from vinyl, here.and should you still be in doubt: this is a great record. yes.


and well, this recording has been reissued on cd – including also a lot of versions sung in english. as a little teaser here the english version of fever:

yes, i did already mention that i am quite an admirer of her work – therefore you’ll get some more. because it really swings, and because it shows that ms knef was a very good writer of lyrics herself – i have to admit on this record i especially like the rather sad songs. little vignetten, which bring it in the short span of a song perfectly to the point: high class pop music. and it points into the direction of more words (and yes, also more music) by her… get ich seh die welt durch deine augen here.


and now i wonder how long it takes for irmgard to leave a comment…

4 Responses to “more new york then hollywood, but definitly berlin: die knef”

  1. RYP Says:

    WUNDERBAR! Vielen Dank!

  2. sunbathinglizard Says:

    gern geschehen – und es ist mir eine ehre!
    und: das ist erst der anfang! ha!

  3. RYP Says:

    Ich freue mich schon auf die Fortsetzung!

    Sonntägliche Grüsse aus dem Ruhrgebeat.

  4. sunbathinglizard Says:

    aber sicher – zuerst gibt esnoch einen kleinen umweg – wie immer… und naja, offensichtlich bin ich dieser tage ein wenig langsamer mit blogging – well, i’m getting old and i need the money. ; )

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