Chris Howland


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London-born Chris Howland became a popular disc jockey in Germany after hosting a Hamburg program for the British Forces Network. That led to a film, television, and recording career during which he became a schlager singer of some renown in Germany. Fraulein collects 28 Columbia recordings from the late '50s and early '60s, plus the 1957 London Records hit "Japanisches Abschiedslied," which Howland performs with Kay Cee Jones. All of the recordings are sung in German except for two in English, "The Rain Falls on Ev'rybody" and a cover of Robin Luke's "Susie Darlin'," neither of which, ironically, is as engaging as his German-language cuts. Howland is an affable if not technically accomplished vocalist, but most of his material is good-natured and not too demanding, consisting mostly of teen pop songs and German-language covers of American hits such as Bobby Helms' "Fraulein" and Frankie Avalon's "Venus." More unusual is a vocal version of Pérez Prado's instrumental hit "Patricia" (Ray Peterson cut the vocal version for the U.S. audience). Howland's early-'60s recordings move away from light rock and teen pop toward traditional pop with cabaret flourishes and humor. Include Howland on the list of artists like Johnny Duncan and Gus Backus who became much more popular outside their own country.

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