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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Week 24 - More WWII Propaganda

The Nazis weren’t to keen on jazz or anything fun for that matter (although the SS did have cool uniforms) but in order to try and woe the brits into their fold Goebbels started radio broadcasting specifically aimed at them. In setting new premises for double moral standards, even for the Nazis, they started re-recording popular jazz standards with new lyrics in hoping to lure new recruits into their wicked ways. The lyrics was usually rants against the allied forces, jews and the despair of not seeing things the Nazi way. These tracks were mostly recorded by Charlie & His Orchestra (Vol. 1, is still downloadable at WFMU's Beware of the Blog!), as there are two cd:s readily available of their complete recordings we went digging a bit deeper into the archives and came up with three recordings you wont find there.
Lale Andersen

The very first swinging propaganda song done was this version of 'Onward Christian Soldiers' by an unknown assembly band, five weeks after the outbreak of the war in 1939, mocking the british soldiers for marching off to die for protecting the international conspiracy of jews. Lale Andersen was known as Engel der Soldaten during the war. She was the woman who launched the song Lili Marlene (which is on one of the Charlie cd:s) in 1941 but Goebbels found it to have a “cadaverous smell” and Hinkel thought it to be “defeatist chirping” so eventually the Nazis forbid her to sing it and perform on stage ever again. After that the song became even more popular on the Allied side. Lale ended her career with a participation in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961 (13th place with 3 points) , dying in Vienna in 1972. She never recorded any propaganda song nor could she be called a propaganda artist. We just find her to be a fascinating woman in a troubled time and with a remarkable career, unjustly forgotten these days, so here’s a rare recording by her, with an unknown band, before falling gracefully from grace with the Nazis.

The last song was done in 1944, mainly aimed at American soldiers for being dumb enough to fall for the Englishmen luring them into the war. Not that it helped. So what did these broadcasts really sound like? Find out the answer to that next week as we listen in on that funny man William Joyce – an Englishman gone astray in Germany.

15. British Soldier Song (Onward Christian Soldiers)
16. Lale Andersen and Orchestra – Under An Umbrella in the Evening
17. Calling Invasion Forces – I Want To Be Happy

Earlier entries in "Fakes & Propaganda": Week 21 - Week 22 - Week 23