My Way Of Life (1968)
Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra

  1. (You Are) My Way Of Life (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Carl Sigman)
  2. Mister Sandman (Pat Ballard)
  3. Welcome To My Heart (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Lee Pockriss/Paul Vance)
  4. Memories Of Mexico (Alfonso Esparza Oteo/Felipe Bermejo Araujo)
  5. Manhattan After Dark (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  6. You Are There (Harry Sukman/Paul Francis)
  7. Malaysian Melody (Bert Kaempfert/Harry Rehbein)
  8. Fascination (Fermo Dante Marchetti)
  9. On My Lonely Way (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Charles Singleton/Gloria Spolan)
  10. Soul Time (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  11. Ridin’ Rainbows (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  12. Stompin’ At The Savoy (Benny Goodman/Chick William Webb/Edgar Sampson/Andy Razaf)

1 – 12 issued as Decca DL 75059 (stereo)
1 – 11 issued in Europe as Polydor 184 188 (stereo)
1 and 7 issued as single Decca 32379
2 issued on single Decca 32329

Musician . . . magician. The words even sound alike. And they can mean very much the same thing when you’re talking about Bert Kaempfert…Creator of an exciting and distinctive “big band sound”, it immediately stamps any recording as his…Happily for all of us, Bert Kaempfert has found his way of life in making music for our pleasure.

If Bert Kaempfert’s way of life is anything like his music, then it’s smart yet romantic, sweet though swinging, elegant yet fun-loving and altogether stylish and personable. My Way of Life beautifully balances the exotic with the evocative, dreamy waltzes with big-band swingers and favored oldies with exciting originals.

Seven of the album’s 12 tracks are Kaempfert-Rehbein originals, traversing everything from the exotic (the title track, and the ever-alluring “Malaysian Melody”) and the evocative (the lovely “Manhattan After Dark”) to the waltzes (“Welcome to My Heart” and “On My Lonely Way”) and the positively playful and singularly Kaempfert-ian (“Soul Time” and “Ridin’ Rainbows”).

While a single of the lush “(You Are) My Way of Life” was issued and even charted, the record’s flip side, “Malaysian Melody,” has endured as one of Kaempfert’s most memorable and best-known melodies. In 1969, Frank Sinatra had a Top 40 hit with “My Way of Life” while Shirley Bassey, who also recorded the song, would have a hit several years later with “Diamonds are Forever,” a song which bears striking similarities to Kaempfert’s original.

Sinatra’s spirit also hovers over this record’s “You Are There,” Harry Sukman’s theme to the actor’s 1967 film The Naked Runner. Sinatra’s version of the tune originally appeared in the film and as the flip side to his hit single cover of Kaempfert’s “The World We Knew,” also from 1967. Perhaps Kaempfert’s cover of it here was his way of saying thanks for all the hits.

The program’s proclivity toward waltzes includes the 1905 favorite “Fascination” (a 1957 hit in Germany for Nat King Cole), the far too-little known “On My Lonely Way” and the dreamy “Welcome to My Heart,” which was also covered by Dean Martin in his inimitable style (with a strings-heavy arrangement by Ernie Freeman) for his 1968 album Gentle on My Mind.

Composer, arranger and bandleader Herbert Rehbein also recorded his own versions of this record’s ”(You Are) My Way of Life,” “Welcome to My Heart,” “”Manhattan After Dark,” Malaysian Melody” and “On My Lonely Way” for his 1969 Decca album …And So To Bed (The Love Music of Bert Kaempfert).