Living It Up! (1963)
Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra

  1. Gentleman Jim (Bert Kaempfert)
  2. In The Mood (Joseph C. Garland)
  3. Dutch Treat (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  4. Tipsy Gypsy (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Milt Gabler)
  5. Don’t Talk To Me (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Milt Gabler)
  6. Fluter’s Holiday (Bert Kaempfert)
  7. Give And Take (Bert Kaempfert/Lutz Templin)
  8. Candlelight Café (Danke Schoen) (Burt Kaempfert/Kurt Schwabach/Milt Gabler)
  9. Two On A Tune (Bert Kaempfert/Milt Gabler)
  10. Living It Up (Bert Kaempfert)
  11. Easy Going (Bert Kaempfert)
  12. Tricky Trombone (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
    Bonus Tracks
  13. Danke Schoen (Bert Kaempfert/Kurt Schwabach/Milt Gabler)
  14. The Bass Walks (Burt Kaempfert)

1 – 12 issued as Decca DL 4374 (mono)/DL 74374 (stereo)
1 – 3 and 5 – 12 issued in Europe as Polydor LPHM 46 399 (mono) and Polydor SLPHM 237 599
1 and 4 issued as single Decca 31463
7 and 8 issued as single Decca 31498
5 and 14 issued on single Decca 31532
13 from album LET’S GO BOWLING, Polydor LPHM 46 457 (mono) and Polydor SLPHM 237 657 (stereo)
1, 4, 8 and 14 issued as EP Decca ED 2766
1, 2, 5, 8, 11 and 12 issued as EP Decca DL 7-34160

This album is your invitation to LIVE IT UP with Mr. Kaempfert, whether you prefer to do it by dancing or listening to the accompaniment of his lively and lovely interpretations…

Plucky instrumentals not-so-subtly pitched toward the bougie crowd, Living It Up! is a nicely spirited collection of Kaempfert originals and the big-band jazz standard “In the Mood,” done up in what Billboard then rightly called “the distinctive Kaempfert style.” There’s an added kick of jazz throughout that makes this one really swing. 

Living It Up! is pleasingly dominated by Kaempfert originals, some in collaboration with Milt Gabler (“Tipsy Gypsy” and the delightful sparring of “Two on a Tune”), Lutz Templin (“Give and Take”) and Herbert Rehbein (“Dutch Treat,” “Tricky Trombone” and “Tipsy Gypsy,” a lovely feature for Rehbein’s violin).

The spunky and unmistakably Kaempfert-esque “Gentleman Jim” was issued as a single, but surprisingly never got the attention it deserved. Likewise, the Kaempfert-Rehbein torch ballad “Don’t Talk to Me” was issued as the flip side to the Mancini-like non-album single “The Bass Walks” (included here). Those two never charted either. But “Don’t Talk to Me,” with lyrics by Milt Gabler, was later covered on albums by Vikki Carr (1964), Wayne Newton (1965) and Jack Jones (1967).

Of course, this Kaempfert record is surely best known as the home to the original version of “Danke Schoen.” Originally known as “Candlelight Cafe” (and billed as such on the original LP), the song was retitled “Danke Schoen” when producer Milt Gabler added his positively inimitable lyrics.

“Danke Schoen” became a hit for singer Wayne Newton and not only became the singer’s signature song, the song made history as one of Bert Kaempfert’s most enduring popular standards.

Decca issued Kaempfert’s instrumental of the song – not as “Candlelight Cafe” but rather as “Danke Schoen” – on a single (backed with “Give And Take”) that remarkably never charted. Meanwhile, Kaempfert’s European record label, Polydor, issued an alternate version of “Danke Schoen” (included here) – as “Danke Schön” – on a single (Polydor 52 157) that was eventually included on the 1964 Kaempfert European singles compilation Let’s Go Bowling.

While Living It Up! mixes the jazzy joyousness of the previous Kaempfert record, That Happy Feeling (1962), with the more moody elegance of the following Lights Out, Sweet Dreams (1963), it surprisingly did not perform as well as either of those records. Living It Up! reached number 87 on the Billboard chart.