Margot Hielscher

Ein Mädchen aus Berlin

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Bear Family is known around the world for its high-quality reissues of American roots music, but it also has a prodigious catalog of releases that cater to the German market. Ein Mädchen aus Berlin is one such title, devoted to the recordings of German actress and pop vocalist Margot Hielscher. Her first hit, "Frauen Sind Keine Engel," was recorded in 1943 after Hielscher was already established in the film industry, and it met with immediate success. Other hits include "Anette (In Paris...Irgendwo)," a superb adaptation of "Frère Jacques" with a Baroque string section and an elaborate vocal group arrangement, and "Für Zwei Groschen Musik," all of which are included on the anthology. Unlike many of Bear Family's collections of German schlager, Hielscher's disc does not contain many German versions of American hits ("Tee Zu Zweien," or "Tea for Two," is one exception). A long medley from her 1949 film Hallo, Fräulein! and a separate performance of "Der Swing, Swing, Swing" find Hielscher working in the realm of big-band jazz and swing, but most of her recordings are traditional pop songs with orchestral accompaniment. The only English-language performance is Hielscher's rendition of the Andrews Sisters' hit "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön," but American listeners may recognize the melody of the French folk song "Sur Le Pont d'Avignon" as the basis of Joe Dowell's 1961 hit "The Bridge of Love." The anthology covers the years 1943-1967, with a thick 44-page booklet (in German) filled with photos and memorabilia, and a discography with detailed session information.

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