“I want to make music for everyone. It’s meant to give people pleasure.
If it doesn’t, it’s failed in its purpose.” (Bert Kaempfert)
Long before the Liverpool sound even existed, it was Bert Kaempfert who, with My Bonnie, made the Beatles into recording stars – as early as 1960 preparing the ground for Paul McCartney, John Lennon & Co.: phenomenal international career: they had the benefit of his knowledge, his skills and that creativity which he so undogmatically imparted.
The list of the solo artists who scored success after international success with Kaempfert’s inimitable compositions reads like a Who’s Who of light music: Frank Sinatra, Al Martino, Dean Martin. Ella Fitzgerald und Shirley Bassey. Sarah Vaughan und Peggy Lee. Nat “King” Cole, Herb Alpert, Johnny Mathis. Brenda Lee, Caterina Valente, Andy Williams, Nancy Wilson – to name but a few.
Quite simply, they all felt at ease with the melodies this Hamburg composer and arranger created, melodies as light and unforced as their construction was inspired. Whether intentionally or not, he clearly knew how to reproduce in his music the nature of the person he was: likeable, unassuming and restrained – yet, at the same time, infectious, expressive and brimming with joie de vivre. In short, melodies that do you good.
The biography of the man whose ideas occupy a firm place in the annals of music history began more than eighty years ago in a working-class district of Hamburg.