Swiss pop vocalist Lys Assia enjoyed great popularity in German-speaking countries, appearing in several European films in the '50s and charting a number of hit records. O Mein Papa is the first of three Lys Assia anthologies Bear Family Records has released, in this case compiling her Teldec recordings from 1949-1958. Many of her biggest hits and most famous songs are included, such as her 1949 recording of "O Mein Papa" that predates by several years the English-language adaptation that became a standard in the United States and England. "Refrain" was the winner of the first Eurovision Song Contest (1956) in which Assia represented Switzerland, and "Mi Casa, Su Casa" and "Arrivaderci Roma" were also hits. The collection features many other interesting but more obscure selections, including "Der Cowboy Hat Immer Ein Mädel," a duet with Vico Torriani on a German cowboy number complete with yodeling. Assia recorded a number of songs with international flavor, as well as her share of German-language versions of American hits. Several of the latter appear on O Mein Papa: "Gelbe Rose Dort in Texas" is a German version of "The Yellow Rose of Texas"; "Tammy" is a German cover of Debbie Reynolds' hit of the same name; "Ich Sage Dir Adieu" is a cover of Johnnie Ray's "Just Walking in the Rain"; and "Melodie D'Amour" is a German rendition of the Ames Brothers' hit with added bird noises. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Assia resisted the commercial call of rock & roll and stuck with pop music into the '60s, as documented on her second anthology, Die Sterne Von Syrakus.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Adams