Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.


• Jack Turner recordings available here.
• Update on Les Randall acetate.
• Thanks to Bob more info on Bill Harris.

Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Will Glahe on London

Will Glahe and his Orchestra and Chorus - Schweizer Kanton - Polka (1957), London 45-1755

WIll Glahe and his Orchestra and Chorus - Liechtensteiner Polka (1957), London 45-1755

In the new year, another nice find of bobsluckycat has found its way onto this blog. Will Glahé is also familiar with many listeners in the USA, being the "King of Polka" there for several years. This record, released on London Records, is from 1957 and was one of his last big hits.

Born on February 12, 1902 in Elberfeld, Germany, Will Glahé began to make personal appereances in the 1920s in Cologne while studying. He played accordeon and piano and soon became a favorite with the listeners at the cafés. In addition, he also worked as a session musician for German record labels. In 1929, he became a member of the Dajos Béla Orchestra as one of the formations' two pianists and three years later founded his own orchestra, which became the house band of the Delphi Palace in Berlin. That same year, he started recording for the Gloria label and switched to Electrola one year later. Eventually, he would go on to record for Columbia. The 1930s saw him becoming one of the most popular and succesful orchestra leaders and accordeon players (along with such artists as Heinz Munsonius or Albert Vossen).

In 1936, Glahé had his first big hit with "Rosamunde." This up-tempo polka piece was composed by the Czech Jaromir Vejvoda and was also gaining much popularity in the USA under the title of "Beer Barrel Polka." During this days, his repertoire was heavily influenced by folkish polkas, which became often big sellers in Germany. Though, the Big Band sound was also part of his career and was played by him and his orchestra regularly.

After World War II, Glahé found much succes in the USA with his polka hits and became known as "Polka King." In 1947, he signed with Decca/London Records and travelled over the Atlantic several times. Through the years, he appeared with such artists as Glenn Miller, Fats Domino, Patti Page, Pat Boone, and many others. Today's choice came from November 1957, which was the last hit for Glahé. "Lichtensteiner Polka" reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. From the 1960s onwards, he recorded many LPs featuring renditions of old hits, new songs and classics of different musical genres. Glahé died in 1989.

No comments: