Bye Bye Blues (1966)
Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra

  1. Bye Bye Blues (Dave Bennett/Chauncey Gray/Frederick Hamm/Bert Lown)
  2. Remember When (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Edward Snyder/Charles Singleton)   
  3. When You’re Smiling (Mark Fisher/Joe Goodwin/Larry Shay)
  4. Tahitian Sunset (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  5. Once In A While (Michael Edwards/Bud Green)
  6. Steady Does It (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  7. It Makes No Difference (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Milt Gabler)
  8. You Stepped Out Of A Dream (Nacio Herb Brown/Gus Kahn)
  9. Wiederseh’n (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Milt Gabler)
  10. I’m Beginning To See The Light (Duke Ellington/Harry James/Johnny Hodges/Don George)
  11. Melina (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  12. Out Of Nowhere (Johnny Green/Edward Heyman)
    Bonus Tracks
  13. Chocolate Sundae (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Milt Gabler)
  14. The Roseland Waltz (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Milt Gabler)
  15. If There’s A Way (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Jim Radclife/Buddy Scott)
  16. Steady Does It – Alternate Version (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)

Trumpet solos by Manfred “Fred“ Moch

1 – 12 issued as Decca DL 4693 (mono) and Decca DL 74693 (stereo)
1 – 12 issued in Europe as Polydor LPHM 84 046 (mono) and Polydor SLPHM 184 046 (stereo)
1 and 2 issued as single Decca 31882
11 issued on single Decca 32241
1, 2, 4, 7 and 10 issued as EP Decca DL 7-34359
13 – 16 archival tracks unreleased at time of recording

Bert Kaempfert’s musical genius is again at work, breathing new life into the old standards and creating fresh, original compositions. This is the Kaempfert touch, unique in the present-day recording field and destined to keep him for a long, long time at the top of the musical ladder. So sit back and relax and let yourself be entertained. Hello gladness, and BYE BYE BLUES.

This sequel to the after-hours mood of Three O’Clock in the Morning seemingly revels more in nostalgia than previous Kaempfert efforts, as though looking back (on better times?) was the point. Even the Decca record’s cover presents a photo that looks like it belongs to the previous decade. What brings it back to the present – at least to the mid-sixties present – is the sound and feeling of Bert Kaempfert.

The album derives its title from the German bandleader’s (surprise) hit revival of “Bye Bye Blues,” a song that dates back to 1926 and long since a jazz and popular favorite. Les Paul and Mary Ford made the song a hit in 1952 and a decade-and-a-half later, Kaempfert somehow made it a hit again (reaching number 54 on the Hot 100 and number five on the Easy Listening chart). The Kaempfert touch is unmistakable here and clearly what made the song a repeat success.

Kaempfert’s effervescence is also present on the remainder of the familiar program, with “When You’re Smiling,” “Once in a While,” “You Stepped Out of a Dream” and “Out of Nowhere.” But he shines brightest on the distinctive gloss he strikes on Duke Ellington’s “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” a likely nod of gratitude and appreciation for Ellington’s characteristic take on the German composer’s “Danke Schoen” in 1964.

The remainder of Bye Bye Blues is beautifully rounded-out with a half-dozen diverse and worthy originals – notably all co-credited to Kaempfert’s musical partner Herbert Rehbein (among others). Highlights include the two pieces of exotica, “Tahitian Sunset” (also featured as part of the 1974 concert issued on the 1975 album Bert Kaempfert Live in London and the lovely “Melina.”

Interestingly, “Melina” was recorded in Hamburg while the Melina Mercouri-James Garner film that Kaempfert and Rehbein would eventually score, A Man Could Get Killed, was being filmed in Lisbon. There is no obvious connection between this “Melina” and that Melina’s film, but the possibilities are tantalizing. Perhaps it was a template for what the composers planned for the film.

Certainly, another highlight here is “Steady Does It,” one of those Kaempfert big-band groovers like “Cerveza” or “The Bass Walks.” The far-too little-known song was also covered as “James” – for some reason – by Billy Vaughn as the flip side to his funky 1966 cover of a Coke jingle called “Things Go Better.”

Surprisingly, the catchy “Remember When (We Made These Memories)” never really caught on with many others. Publisher Hal Fein had Charlie Singleton and Eddie Snyder write lyrics for it and gave it to Wayne Newton, who scored a hit with it in 1965 (number 69 on the Hot 100, number 15 on the Easy Listening charts). But few remember “Remember When” today. So much for memories.

Kaempfert’s Decca labelmate Brenda Lee also featured “Remember When” on her 1966 album, also titled Bye Bye Blues. For Lee, the song had particular relevance: several years earlier, she traveled to Germany to record a number of songs in German – all coordinated, arranged and produced by Bert Kaempfert himself!

Producer Milt Gabler added lyrics to both “Wiederseh’n” and “It Makes No Difference,” the latter which he also produced for vocalist Marian Montgomery in a swinging jazz arrangement that has a nice kick to it. Nothing came of Montgomery’s cover, but in 1967, singer Vic Damone scored one of his last hits with “It Makes No Difference,” reaching number 12 on the Easy Listening charts.

“Loaded with taste and creativity,” wrote Billboard of Bye Bye Blues, “they freshen such greats as ‘When You’re Smiling’ and ‘You Stepped Out Of A Dream’ with exceptional styling.”

High praise indeed. But one can’t help but notice that the aforementioned nostalgia is behind this album’s substantially favorable notice.

Bonus Tracks

Included among this disc’s bonus tracks are “Chocolate Sundae” and “The Roseland Waltz,” both recorded during the album’s sessions but not issued until the 1999 Taragon CD of Bye Bye Blues.

“If There’s A Way” was recorded by Kaempfert after the Bye Bye Blues sessions were completed, but never issued at the time. The instrumental was first issued on the aforementioned Taragon CD, but vocal versions preceded that release: first by Robert Goulet (1967) and later by Johnny Mathis (1970 – arranged by Herbert Rehbein).

“Steady Does It – Alternative Version” is issued here for the first time.