1‐CD Digipak with 36‐page booklet, 34 tracks. Total playing time approx. 79 min.
*To commemorate the event of the beginning of building the Berlin Wall on August 13, 1961, Bear Family releases this extraordinary compilation of historical recordings!
*On the 60th anniversary of the construction of the Wall, Bear Family looks back on the escalation of the Cold War from the perspective of the Western Allies with audio samples.
*The construction of the Wall within Germany by the GDR regime also deepened the gap between East and West internationally.
*Producer Marc Mittelacher uses 34 hand‐picked recordings from the years 1949 ‐ 1962, including historic voice recordings, to describe the emotional state and viewpoint, especially of the US Americans.
*In addition to well‐known songs and performers, the CD album provides true rarities and some German‐language recordings.
*Audio documents illustrate the role and function of AFN, the U.S. military station in Germany, during the Cold War.
*The luxuriously designed edition appeals to both, those interested in history and music collectors, and aims to do its part to commemorate a historic event and low point in the confrontation between the political power blocs.
*Music expert Bill Dahl from Chicago has written the stirring liner notes from a USAmerican’s
perspective on the events in Berlin.
*The fine booklet includes many rare photos and illustrations.
Cold War Memories
The arms race between East and West had already begun toward the end of World War 2. In order to end the war in the Pacific and to avoid a loss‐making invasion of Japan, the US military demonstrated its power by dropping two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ‐ for the Soviet Union and its vassal states a clear signal of US military strength. The demarcation line between the Soviet and Western Allied occupation zones stretched lengthwise through Germany, which thus became the deploying area for a military conflict that was growing more likely. In order to stop the unbroken flow of refugees from the GDR to the West, and on the instructions of the Soviet Union, work began on August 13, 1961 on
the Berlin Wall and the fortification of the 1378 km long German‐German border. The Cold War experienced another stage of escalation. In Berlin, Soviet and Western Allied tanks faced each other directly.
To document the feelings of the people ‐ here from a Western Allied point of view ‐ we go back to 1949 and the foundation of two German states under the control of the USA and the Soviet Union. With the politically manifested division of Germany, the preliminary history of the construction of the Wall began. What did it feel like to be locked up and locked out? On the other hand, what was the Communist hunt in the West like? What did the G.I.s in Germany expect and feel? Here are the answers!
Songs, music and sound documents
We’ve gathered mostly American but also English and German recordings on the subject, backed up by historical audio documents that include radio recordings, newsreel soundtracks, John F. Kennedy’s CONELRAD statement, and the now‐famous quote from a press conference where G.D.R. head of state Walter Ulbricht spread the lie “No one has any intention of building a wall.” For their part, a series of excerpts from 1961 AFN (American Forces Network) broadcasts from Berlin document the culture and feel of the era and provide insight into the station’s propaganda function as well.
Musically, we go back to 1949, when both German states were founded ‐ documented here by the first recording of the GDR national anthem. The beautiful melody may evoke ”Eastalgic” feelings, but here it is meant to stand as a memorial to the events. The communist hunt taking place in the U.S. at the same time is underscored by songs from Little Jimmy Dickens, The Kavaliers, and Lulu Belle & Scotty. Comedy was a propaganda ace up the USA’s sleeve. Thus, countless so‐called novelty records were released on the subject. We have selected the catchiest ones, including Dickie Goodman’s ‘Berlin Top Ten’, Spencer & Spencer’s ‘Russian Band Stand’. Bo Diddley addresses ‘Mr. Khrushchev’ directly. In 1961, rock ‘n’ roll was still ”in”, as evidenced by ‘Rockin’ Behind The Iron Curtain’. Miss Toni Fisher
hits the nail on the head with ‘West Of The Wall’.
In addition, other Cold War themes are touched upon, such as espionage, the feared nuclear missile attacks, and the threat of World War III, which was just averted. There are a few German recordings as well. Marlene Dietrich, for example, still has a suitcase in Berlin and the dance orchestras of Kurt Edelhagen and Hazy Osterwald deal with the subject instrumentally, while jazz greats like Dave Brubeck and Benny Goodman find themselves at the ‘Brandenburg Gate’ and in the ‘Mission To Moscow’. From a purely musical point of view, just a fine music selection, but embedded in a serious and threatening political background.
A great piece of German history ‐ a great piece of world history!
01 AFN Radio Intro – Frolic At Five (November 17, 1961)
02 They Locked God Outside The Iron Curtain‐ Little Jimmy Dickens
03 Radio Excerpt – Construction Of The Berlin Wall, August 1961
04 Berlin Top Ten ‐ Dickie Goodman
05 Ich hab’ noch einen Koffer in Berlin ‐ Marlene Dietrich
06 Excerpt from U.S. Newsreel – Russians restrict passage of Amercians to East Berlin
07 Russian Bandstand ‐ Spencer & Spencer
08 Na Zdrowje ‐ Hazy Osterwald Sextet
09 Berlin Melody ‐ Kurt Edelhagen & His Orchestra
10 Brandenburg Gate ‐ Dave Brubeck Quartet
11 Fallout Shelter ‐ Peter Scott Peters
12 JFK Endorses CORNELRAD ‐ John F. Kennedy
13 Russia, Russia (Lay That Misile Down) ‐ Prescott Reed
14 Movie Trailer – Rocket Attack U.S.A.
15 Rocket Racket ‐ Dickie Harrell
16 Russian Roulette ‐ Lester Lanin & His Orchestra
17 I’m No Communist ‐ Lulu Belle & Scotty
18 Get That Communist Joe ‐ The Kavaliers
19 Russian Lullaby ‐ Vido Musso & His Orchestra
20 Agnes (The Teenage Russian Spy) ‐ The Dellwoods a.k.a. The Sweet Sick‐Teens
21 The Spy ‐ The Original Checkmates
22 Dance Legless, Russian ‐ The Moontrekkers
23 Excerpts from U.S. Newsreel –
East Berliners Jump To Freedom And Cross The Berlin Wall To Escape
24 West Of The Wall ‐ Toni Fisher
25 Koko‐Mamey ‐Moe Koffman Quartet
26 Russian Roulette ‐ The Zanies
27 Excerpts from AFN Radio Berlin (November 17, 1961)
28 Mr. Krushchev ‐ Bo Diddley
29 Watch World War III (On Pay TV) ‐ The Crown City Four
30 Mission To Moscow ‐ Benny Goodman Orchestra
31 Rockin’ Behind The Iron Curtain (single version) ‐ Bobby Marchan & The Clowns
32 Auferstanden aus Ruinen (The Original National Anthemof the GDR) ‐
Solistenvereinigung des Deutschlandsenders, Helmut Koch & das Rundfunk‐
33 Walter Ulbricht ‐ Excerpt from press conference, East Berlin, June 15, 1961
34 AFN Radio Berlin – Closing (November 17, 1961)