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"Halloh! Du süsse Frau!" .... Leo Monosson & Ben Berlin & his Orchestra en français! (1930)

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Published on Dec 27, 2010

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The song "Halloh! Du süsse Frau" is the "leitmotiv" from the musical picture "Die Drei von der Tankstelle" starring Lilian Harvey, Willy Fritsch, Heinz Rümann, Oskar Karlweis, Kurt Gerron and Olga Tschechowa. It is my personal favourite but it less remembered today as the songs "Ein Freund, ein guter Freund" and "Liebling, mein Herz lässt dich grüssen" became more famous. As a French version of the movie was made as well, the songs became equally popular in France.

This record features the orchestra of Ben Berlin with popular singer Leo Monosson with French versions of both "Halloh ! Du süsse Frau" (Pourquoi sous le ciel bleu partez-vous seule?) and "Erst kommt ein grosses Fragezeichen" (Les mots ne sont rien par eux-mêmes). Both are great renditions of these classic songs - illustrating the talent of both Berlin and Monosson. Unfortunately their careers were cut short in 1933 when the Nazis came to power.

The movie version of "Halloh! Du süsse Frau!"an be found here :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri0sPJ...

"Die Drei von der Tankstelle" (US title : Three good friends) was a revolutionary musical that influenced musical making greatly as music was used as a part of the movie's action (as opposed to musical numbers stopping the movie dead in its tracks). And the leading characters were not kings, queens or princes but relatively normal people who had been hit by the great depression.

The female lead, Anglo-German Lilian Harvey (1906-1968) was undoubtedly the greatest European movie star at that time. She would star simultaneaously in German, French and English versions of her movies. Together with Willy Fritsch she was the "dream couple" of German cinema - Henri Garat, being his equivalent in French productions. She also starred with Charles Boyer and Laurence Olivier in his first movie (The temporary widow/Hokus Pokus - 1930). With a popularity reaching from Lisbon to Istanbul several American studios tried to lure the star to Hollywood... In fact the Ufa Studios in Babelsberg (near Berlin) were more worried about keeping Lilian Harvey under contract than about loosing Marlene Dietrich to Paramount...

In 1933 she left for Hollywood but her movies made at Fox (and one for Columbia) proved to be a disappointment. Furthermore her fiancé - the director Paul Martin - was only given oen movie to direct and was miserable in Hollywood. After walking out of "George White's Scandals (which made Alice Faye a star)- Lilian Harvey returned to Germany in 1935, starring in Schwarze Rosen/Les roses noires/Black Roses (aka Did I betray?). She continued to make succesful movies for UFA until 1939 ("Glückskinder/Les gais lurons" and "Sieben Ohrfeigen" most notably). Increasingly ill at ease in Germany she left for France in 1939 where she starred in 2 further movies : "Sérénade" and "Miquette".

As war came to France she went to the USA and settled down in Hollywood hoping to continue her career. She never filmed again. She did work for the red cross as well as in the theatre. After the war she toured Europe for a while and went to live on the French riviera where she opened a shop. She occasionally starred in plays but her name was forever connected with the early 1930's, when she really was "das süsseste Mädel der Welt" (the sweetest girl in the world). Today her song "Das gibt's nur einmal"/"Seraît-ce un rêve?"/"Just once for all time" continues to charm film fans and record collectors. She died in 1968.

When the nazis came to power in 1933, Oskar Karlweis, musicians W.R. Heymann and Robert Gilbert, director Wilhelm Thiele and character actor Kurt Gerron left Germany... Kurt Gerron died in Auschwitz in 1944. The movie was forbidden in Germayny in 1937. After the war it was succesfully re-released (a remake was made in the mid-fifties keeping the songs but lacking all the charm the original had).

The video features sheet music and pictures of Lilian Harvey, Willy Fritsch and Henri Garat as well as a sequence from "Die Drei von der Tankstelle" featuring Lilian Harvey and Oskar Karlweis.

About the record :

Polydor
23571 / mx. C 40244

Berlin,
1930

The record is in very good condition for its age - a minor gripe being a slight whistling noise in the second part. I have two copies of this record, both have the same defect.

This record was recorded with an Ortofon Om78cartridge and stylus. The equalization (Westrex) and restoration was done as truthfully as possible

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