…Love That Bert Kaempfert (1968)
Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra

  1. Caravan (Duke Ellington/Juan Tizol/Irving Mills)
  2. Lonely Is The Name (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Carl Sigman)
  3. Again (Lionel Newman/Dorcas Cochran)
  4. Steppin’ Pretty (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  5. I Should Care (Paul Weston/Axel Stordahl/Sammy Cahn)
  6. Just As Much As Ever (Charles Singleton/Lawrence Coleman)
  7. The First Waltz (Bert Kaempfert)
  8. My Love For You (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  9. The Glory Of Love (Billy Hill)
  10. The Sheik of Araby (Ted Snyder/Francis Wheeler/Harry Bache Smith)
  11. Every Time I Dream Of You (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Richard Ahlert)
    Bonus Tracks
  12. Only A Fool (Would Lose You) – Vocal Version (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Richard Ahlert)
  13. Lonely Is The Name – Vocal Version (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Carl Sigman)

Trumpet solos by Manfred “Fred“ Moch / The Botho Lucas Choir (12 and 13)

1 – 11 issued as Decca DL 4986 (mono) and Decca DL 74986 (stereo)
1 – 11 issued in Europe as Polydor 184 131
1 issued on single Decca 32241
2 issued on single Decca 32329
7 issued on single Decca 32283
1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 issued as EP Decca DL 734527
12 and 13 issued on single Decca 32935

Remember when you first heard the Bert Kaempfert sound? … Bert takes any kind of song – new or old – and makes it his own. As a hit composer himself, he respects the original work of his fellow composers. So a Bert Kaempfert arrangement gives the basic melody its due. Yet, somehow, the song emerges with a new gloss on it, and this collection points that up beautifully. … Whether you be a new fan or an old admirer prepare to echo the affection and respect for talent that’s summed up in the phrase, LOVE THAT BERT KAEMPFERT.”

Despite its title – which harks back to the compilation 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be WrongLove That Bert Kaempfert is one of the few Bert Kaempfert albums that sadly found little love. Like That Latin Feeling and A Man Could Get Killed, this is one of the only Kaempfert albums from the sixties that, remarkably, did not chart.

For the most part, it’s the typical program of “old favorites” mixed with new originals. But Love That Bert Kaempfert is that sort of Kaempfert rarity: a misfire. The disc mysteriously seems to be missing one original: side one oddly amounts to only a little over 13 minutes of playing time. The program itself seems to be a bit of a question mark as well: only one original was crafted for a singer and one piece that’s credited solely to Bert Kaempfert (an oddity in the post-“Strangers in the Night” world of the Kaempfert-Rehbein writing team).

Love That Bert Kaempfert kicks off with one of the very few nods to modishness the bandleader made, apart from his later concession to – or appropriation of – disco themes. Nicely tuning in to the Duke Ellington-Juan Tizol jazz standard “Caravan,” Kaempfert amps up the original’s exotica with a fuzz guitar accent (likely referencing Frank Sinatra’s cover of Kaempfert’s “The World We Knew”) and a hint of the druggy riff that charges daughter Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking.” Notably, “Caravan” became a hit, reaching number ten on the Easy Listening chart.

Following “Caravan” with the string-heavy “Lonely is the Name” is a bit of a programming jolt but it takes listeners from one familiar tune to this album’s best-known tune.

A none-too-subtle variation of “Strangers in the Night,” this misery waltz is likely from the pen of Herbert Rehbein, who excelled at such downbeat themes. With lyrics by Carl Sigman (who wrote the words for “The World We Knew” and “My Way of Life”), “Lonely is the Name” became a number 12 Easy Listening hit in 1968 for singer Sammy Davis Jr.

Singer Ivo Robić also covered the song that year (with German lyrics written by others) as “Einsam wirst du sein,” recorded with Bert Kaempfert’s orchestra.

Instrumental versions of “Lonely is the Name” were also recorded by Jackie Gleason (1968), Billy Vaughan (1968), composer Rehbein on his album …And So to Bed (1969) and Detroit Tigers pitcher (!) Denny McLain (1968) at the organ in a lounge-y quintet.

The rest of the album returns listeners to more familiar Kaempfert territory with such vintage chestnuts as “Again,” “I Should Care,” “The Glory Of Love,” “The Sheik Of Araby” and “Every Time I Dream Of You.” Also here is a new recording of “Just As Much As Ever” – a hit for Nat King Cole, co-written by frequent Kaempfert collaborator Charlie Singleton – which Kaempfert had previously recorded in 1961 for the Afrikaan Beat and Other Favorites album.

The trumpet feature “The First Waltz” is classic Kaempfert, recalling such earlier fare as “Mexican Road” (from 90 Minutten Nach Mittennacht – not included here as Decca never issued the soundtrack album in the U.S.) as well as early-years Tijuana Brass. It also hints at the coming “Memories of Mexico.” Considering “The First Waltz” is credited solely to Kaempfert, it’s likely this one sat on the shelf for a few years. It was the album’s second single and briefly reached number 30 on the Easy Listening chart.

Other Kaempfert-Rehbein originals include the Basie-esque “Steppin’ Pretty,” “Every Time I Dream of You” and the positively dreamy “My Love for You” (introducing a subtle vibraphone into the mix), which richly deserves a lyric it never got.

“Kaempfert,” wrote Billboard of Love That Bert Kaempfert, “skillfully mixes such vintage numbers as ‘Caravan’ with his own materiel (‘Lonely Is the Name,’ ‘Steppin’ Pretty’ and ‘Every Time I Dream of You‘) in a smooth and relaxing manner. There are no rough edges.”

“Middle-of-the-road master Bert Kaempfert,” said Cash Box, “here offers a set which is certain to take its place with his other hit LP’s. On this one, the famed conductor/composer/arranger and His Orchestra play five Kaempfert-penned ditties, including “Lonely Is The Name,” and “The First Waltz,” and six tunes by others, including “Caravan,” “The Glory Of Love” and “The Sheik Of Araby.” Lots of solid good music sounds on this LP. Watch it rise.”

Bonus Tracks

Four years after the release of Love That Bert Kaempfert, Decca issued the non-album single “Only A Fool (Would Lose You),” backed with “Lonely Is The Name” – credited solely to Bert Kaempfert. (By then, Decca had largely abandoned the “And His Orchestra” moniker – as it likely seemed pretty uncool at the time.)

The single was issued in February 1972, at about the same time as Led Zeppelin’s “Rock And Roll,” Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer,” and Jackson Browne’s “Doctor My Eyes.”

“Only A Fool (Would Lose You),” originally from the 1969 Kaempfert album Traces of Love, and “Lonely Is The Name,” originally heard on this disc, were re-recorded several years later with the Botho Lucas Choir for this single release. Both melodies strongly suggest the hand, heart and direction of Herbert Rehbein.

Lovely as it is, though, this single evinces music-makers who really did not understand (or get?) its audience.

The addition here of the choir’s angelic, whispery vocals hark back to a music that was several decades out of step with the times. This sort of “easy listening” was nothing like the popular music that bore that genre brand back then. It’s, well, another misfire. The only evidence of the period here is the electric-bass line on both tunes that, knowingly, sounds nothing like the Kaempfert band’s by-then famed – but already-dated – “Knackbass.”

“Traditional MOR of the high-Kaempfert calibre [sic],” wrote Cash Box of the “Only A Fool” vocal version at the time, “spotlighting his fine chorus. Super-smooth.” Not surprisingly, the song never charted. Both vocal versions of “Only A Fool” and “Lonely Is The Name” were previously included as the last two tracks on the European compilation Bert Kaempfert: The Polydor Singles Collection 1958/1972.