Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This is Max Raabe & the Palast Orchestre. They are a current modern German band that performes the 1920's arrangement of songs from the pre-war German cabarets. They perform all over the world and I believe this performance is from Caneige Hall in NYC.

Bei Mir Bist du Schön"
How Sholom Secunda (1894–1974) gave away the rights to his popular classic...for a song

There is a popular myth that when the Andrews Sisters released their hugely successful recording of Sholom Secunda's "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön" in 1938, the composer's mother was so distraught, she fasted for a week to expiate her sins.
The reason for her distress? Only two months earlier, her son had sold the rights to the song for a mere thirty dollars!

Of course, the composer had no idea the song would become such a hit. Written in 1932, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön" (translation: "To Me You Are Beautiful") was part of a Yiddish operetta called I Would If I Could, written in 1932 by Abraham Bloom, with music by Secunda and lyrics by his writing partner, Jacob Jacobs.
I had sold hundreds of songs for thirty dollars and was happy to get the money for this one. Jacobs and I split 50–50.”

Released by Decca Records, it became the Andrews Sisters' first major hit record.
Even Americans unfamiliar with Yiddish bought the song in droves. Undaunted by the title, they requested the recording or sheet music using such approximations as "Buy Me a Beer, Mr. Shane" or "My Mere Bits of Shame." However it was pronounced, the song was an enormous success.

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