Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ben Best - Happy Christmas Party

Here's an album I downloaded on December 4, 2006 at 8:31 PM from a blog entitled Roman's Easy Listening & Instrumental Corner. Roman Schmahl, owner and proprietor, has been scouring the vinyl bins throughout Germany to bring you the best in German music for the better part of four years.

But who the heck is Ben Best and why can't the almighty Google find anything by him? Witness relocation? Dead? In seclusion? Doesn't exist? If you guessed the last one, you're correct.

According to Roman and several anonymous commenters, Ben Best was actually an alias (along with Kay Webb, believe it or not) for Hamburg's answer to Lawrence Welk - Frank Valdor. Valdor had a great recording career with easy listening music in Germany for the better part of two (possibly three) decades.

Not much comes up on Valdor either on Google. Several incomplete discographies, some links to sharity sites offering other Voldar albums, and a Facebook account under Valdor's name. Considering I don't have a Facebook account (nor a MySpace account) and never will, I won't be dashing off a PM to Frankie...

So what does that leave us? The best of Ben Best and his happy Christmas party...

This album contains 22 songs! It sounds massive but if you consider each song is around 1:30 on average, you're still around 30 minutes total length.

As for the sound, imagine a cross between Ray Conniff with hints of the Now Sound throughout. A little heavy on the standard German carols but overall, it's a great album - a definite change of pace. Very cool music. Any album that has a swinging version of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" is okay in my book.

Be sure to check out Roman's corner - lots of good stuff as well as other Christmas related goodies! Thanks for sharing this Roman and sorry this review comes two years after you posted it.

THIS JUST IN - We had a request posted in the comments section from someone who wanted me to repost the album since the link didn't work at Roman's blog. This is considered poor form to take credit from someone else who did all the work originally.

However, Roman posted his own comment and granted me permission to post HIS album here at our site (thanks Roman):

Ben Best - Happy Christmas Party (Roman's)

Another short review on a Wednesday - what gives?

I'm trying to wrap up loose ends here on several different projects (including my annual Christmas CD to family & friends) while tending to my youngest daughter, doing laundry for the entire family, and all with a back in spasm. Forgive me for not bowing as I leave...



yojimbo said...

Hey Capt... I only just discovered your blog and must say it's stolen hours of my time tonight! Great stuff.

Hey, I'm interested in this The Best of Ben Best recording, but it's long gone from Roman's site(I even checked the internet archive for his site). Any chance of seeing it shared on the Yuleblog this season?

Either way, thanks!

Roman said...

Hi Capt!
What a great blog you have! How can you make all these reviews and post so many good music in so little time? I wish I had more time, I got so much vinyl left to rip... Anyway, thanks for your review, and if you want to share your download of Ben Best, please go ahead. I most likely won't find the time to upload it on time this year...
Many greetings, merry Christmas and a happy new year from Germany! :o)