Strangers In The Night (1966)
Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra

  1. Strangers In The Night (Bert Kaempfert/Charles Singleton/Edward Snyder)
  2. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Jimmy McHugh/Dorothy Fields)
  3. But Not Today (Bert Kaempfert)
  4. Time On My Hands (Vincent Youmans/Harold Adamson/Mack Gordon)
  5. Milica (Sweet Maria) (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Milt Gabler)
  6. Mexican Shuffle (Sol Lake)
  7. Show Me The Way To Go Home (James Campbell/Reginald Connelly/Ivor King)
  8. Two Can Live On Love Alone (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Milt Gabler)
  9. Every Sunday Morning (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  10. Boo Hoo (Carmen Lombardo/Edward Heyman/John Jacob Loeb)
  11. Tijuana Taxi (Ervan Coleman)
  12. Forgive Me (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
    Bonus Track
  13. Somewhere In The Sky (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)

Trumpet solos by Manfred ”Fred“ Moch

1 – 12 issued as Decca DL 4795 (mono) and Decca DL 74795 (stereo)
1 – 12 issued in Europe as Polydor 184 053 (stereo)
1 and 3 issued as single Decca 31945
2 and 5 issued as single Decca 32008
13 archival track unreleased at time of recording

In concept and performance, this album adds yet another memorable chapter to the Bert Kaempfert story. His fresh, individual style continues to be a source of unlimited enjoyment to all record fans, regardless of their special musical preference. We cordially extend an invitation to you to join us in exploring more deeply the instrumental wonderland of Bert Kaempfert and treat yourself to yet another rich adventure in tonal enjoyment – the “Bert Kaempfert Sound!”

Strangers in the Night is meant to highlight the two main themes from Kaempfert’s film score to A Man Could Get Killed: “But Not Today” and, of course, the album’s title track. “Strangers” was already a hugely popular hit for Frank Sinatra, but Kaempfert’s instrumental version of the song somehow failed to crack the Hot 100. It did, however, hit number eight on the Easy Listening charts.

The rest of the album, however, seems to want to move away from all of this, as the album’s closer, “Forgive Me,” even suggests. This particular title also proposes a few other unnamed apologies as well.

Herb Alpert would seem to have had the greatest impact on this record. The two met when Kaempfert was in Los Angeles scoring A Man Could Get Killed. Alpert said of the German bandleader at the time, “If it wasn’t for the Kaempfert Sound, with his ‘Swinging Safari’ and other hits, there wouldn’t be any Herb Alpert today.”

With Strangers in the Night, Kaempfert seems to return the compliment – offering joyful covers of such Tijuana Brass hits as “Tijuana Taxi” and “Mexican Shuffle,” as well as the forwarding of trumpeter Manfred Moch, on these and, notably, the album’s title track. Even the lovely “But Not Today” gets a surprising jolt of the Tijuana Brass here.

Alpert would likewise cover Kaempfert’s “Happy Trumpeter” (originally from That Happy Feeling) as “Magic Trumpet” that year and would later cover “The Maltese Melody” (from Warm And Wonderful) as well.

Kaempfert also swings through a seemingly anachronistic set of oldies here, including “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “Time On My Hands” and “Show Me the Way To Go Home,” but excels on a particularly zesty take on the old Guy Lombardo chestnut “Boo Hoo.”

Kaempfert’s “6 Plus 6” formula – an album featuring six covers combined with six originals – yielded a half dozen particularly memorable originals here. Highlights for this listener include the suspiciously soundtrack-y “Milica” (a.k.a. “Sweet Maria”), a 1967 hit for Steve Lawrence, “Two Can Live on Love Alone,” amazingly covered only by The Anita Kerr Singers, and the aforementioned “But Not Today.”  

Surprisingly, “But Not Today” – another prominent theme from A Man Could Get Killed – never found much of an audience. Lyrics were added by the little-known team of Jimmy Radcliffe and Buddy Scott, and the song was only covered by female vocalist Bobbe Norris as the flip-side (!) to the 1966 Columbia single “The World is a Wheel.” Notably, Norris’ cover of “But Not Today,” was arranged by Ernie Freeman, the Grammy Award-winning arranger of Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.”

Kaempfert was nominated for a Grammy Award – his only one – for “Strangers in the Night” as Song of the Year. But he lost that to the group that he himself had discovered, The Beatles, and their immortal song “Michelle.”

Bonus Track

The dreamy waltz “Somewhere In The Sky” lilts on a cushion of voices that hum right into Kaempert’s burnished brasses and a superb feature for trumpeter Manfred “Fred” Moch.

“Somewhere In The Sky” was recorded in 1966 but surprisingly not issued at the time. The song first appeared three decades later on the second volume of the 1996 German CD release Strangers In The Night: Good Life Music Vol. 2.