August 31, 2008

"Danke Schoen"

How do you explain Wayne Newton's POWER over millions? It's th' MOUSTACHE ... Have you ever noticed th' way it radiates SINCERITY, HONESTY & WARMTH? It's a MOUSTACHE you want to take HOME and introduce to NANCY SINATRA!

- Zippy the Pinhead

From the Wikipedia entry:

"Danke Schoen" is a 1962 song first recorded by Bert Kaempfert, however it gained its fame in 1963 when American singer Wayne Newton recorded his version of it. The music was composed by Bert Kaempfert, with the lyrics written by Kurt Schwaback and Milt Gabler.

The song was released when Wayne Newton was 21 years old, and his youthful timbre at the time is sometimes mistaken for that of a female singer by those unfamiliar with the song.

This is a polished, swingin' performance from 1963, I'd say:

And this next video is pretty frickin' sad. For one thing, it's too bad Newton stopped using the swingin' 1963 arrangement. Without the swing, "Danke Schoen" really comes off as being hokey. And I'd say the "youthful timbre" is a thing of the distant past! It's a shame. Newton has taken the whole bloated Elvis-cartoonish-self-parody thing and made it his own, at least here:

Wayne Newton is 65. Frank Sinatra didn't sound like that (as far as I know) really until the late, late 1980s (1987, 88), when he would have been 72. And I don't think Wayne Newton smoked as long (if he ever did at all) as Sinatra did. He certainly has breathed his fair share of secondhand smoke in all those lounges and concert halls. And he's probably performed "Danke Schoen" live, what, thousands of times?

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