Three O’Clock In The Morning (1965)
Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra

  1. Three O’Clock In The Morning (Julián Robledo/Arr.: Bert Kaempfert)
  2. Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella (Sammy Fain/Irving Kahal/Francis Wheeler)
  3. The Moon Is Making Eyes (Bert Kaempfert/Milt Gabler)
  4. Take My Heart (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  5. A Nightingale Sang In Berkely Square (Manning Sherwin/Eric Maschwitz)
  6. Rainbow Melody (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  7. You You You (Du, Du, Du, lass mein kleines Herz in Ruh‘) (Lotar Olias/Walter Rothenburg)
  8. Nothing’s New (Helmut Brüsewitz/Milt Gabler)
  9. If I Give My Heart To You (Jimmie Crane/Al Jacobs/Milt Gabler)
  10. Rose Of Washington Square (James Frederick Hanley/Ballard MacDonald)
  11. Let’s Go Home (Bert Kaempfert/Charles Singleton/Eddie Snyder)
  12. The White Cliffs Of Dover (Walter Kent/Nat Burton)
    Bonus Tracks
  13. Go My Way (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)
  14. Drummer’s Dream (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein/Milt Gabler)
  15. Serenade (Calling All Brass) (Bert Kaempfert/Herbert Rehbein)

Trumpet solos by Manfred “Fred“ Moch

1 – 12 issued as Decca DL 4670 (mono) and Decca DL 74670 (stereo)
2 – 12 issued in Europe on LOVE LETTERS, Polydor LPHM 84 022 (mono) and Polydor SLPHM 184 022 (stereo)
3 issued on single Decca 31812
8 issued on single Decca 31778
1, 2, 5, 7, 9 and 10 issued as EP Decca DL 7-34334
13 – 15 archival tracks unreleased at time of recording

It’s not too hard to account for Bert Kaempfert’s prairie-fire popularity. His music is contemporary. It belongs to today. Alive, vibrant, trumpet-oriented – it is abundantly affluent in not one, but many intriguing new sounds.

And his music is exciting. With the very first note, no matter how softly played, one instantly senses an electric charge of excitement. The excitement builds as the musical theme unfolds – and lingers on in the air after the record has finished.  

When Blue Midnight’s single “Three O’Clock in the Morning” cracked the American Top 40 in June 1965, Decca rush released this album later that month – at the very same time the label issued the single “Moon Over Naples” from the previous The Magic Music Of Far Away Places (an album issued two months before). Confused? No doubt, record buyers of the day were too.

This album, also called Three O’Clock In The Morning, recycles its title track from Blue Midnight and adds 11 new tracks, a typical mix of Kaempfert originals and covers. Except for the title track (swapped out for “Moon Over Naples”), all the tracks on the American album Three O’Clock In The Morning were issued in Europe in 1965 as Love Letters.

The oldies include such familiar notables as “A Nightingale Sang In Berkley Square,” “Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella,” “You You You” (a 1953 hit for The Ames Brothers), “The White Cliffs Of Dover” and, of course, “Three O’Clock In The Morning.”

The latter was a popular orchestral and jazz favorite by Argentinian composer Julián Robledo. In addition to being specifically referenced in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby (and heard in the 1974 film version), it has been previously covered by the orchestras of Paul Whiteman (1922) and Ted Lewis (1930) – both were hits – as well as jazz players Dizzy Gillespie (1953), Oscar Peterson (1956) and Dexter Gordon (1962). Singer Lou Rawls also had a minor hit with the song in 1965.

Producer Milt Gabler gets no less than three co-writing credits here – four, if you count one of this disc’s bonus tracks – including the playful “The Moon Is Making Eyes” (the flip side of Kaempfert’s “Moon Over Naples” single), “If I Give My Heart To You” (as “Jimmy Brewster” – a Top Ten hit for Connee Boswell on Decca in 1954) and the Helmut Brüsewitz/Milt Gabler original “Nothing’s New” (covered by Connie Francis on a 1979 release, but likely recorded years earlier).

Kaempfert’s jazzy “Let’s Go Home” is a swinger in the mode of “The Bass Walks” and one of more than a few highlights of this likely all but forgotten album. But of all the generic and uncredited cover photos Decca slapped on Kaempfert records – never as elegant as their European counterparts on Polydor – none is as beautiful or evocative as the cover to Three O’Clock In The Morning.

Three O’Clock In The Morning peaked at number 42 on Billboard’s Top LPs in September 1965, three spots lower than the long-charting Blue Midnight. Oddly, though, considering the effort to get yet another Kaempfert record out, no other singles were issued from the album other than its recycled title track.

Bonus Tracks

This presentation of Three O’Clock In The Morning offers an appropriate three bonus tracks: “Go My Way,” from the original album’s sessions, but not issued until the 1997 Taragon CD release of Three O’Clock In The Morning; and “Drummer’s Dream” and “Serenade (Calling All Brass),” both originally recorded as part of the Bye Bye Blues sessions, but not issued until the 1999 Taragon CD release of that particular disc.

Both “Go My Way” and “Drummer’s Dream” fall neatly in to the Basie bag Kaempfert so often liked to play in, while “Serenade” has hints of the church of New Orleans jazz in its heavenly brass swells. All three beautifully spotlight Fred Moch’s trumpet and make welcome contributions to the Bert Kaempfert repertoire.