strekkbukse again

okay, i slightly got it wrong. the whole explanation i gave for nora brockstedt's "strekkbukse" didn't quite fit with its actual meaning - but chris from the go-go club social was kind enough to mail me an explaination for the song:

"This is such a good track! Its sung in dialect about two farmer girls who buy a pair of latex stretch trousers. The day then comes when Nora wants to use the trousers to go to a party to find a man, but 'Gunhild' the other girl is gone, and so are the trousers! Crisis! (As Nora says... one is not attractive with ill fitting trousers!)...How true!"

thanks a lot!

if you wanna listen:
nora brockstedt - strekkbukse


nora brockstedt week (day 7)


finally it's your birthday and you turn 85 years old today. i wish you all the best - may health and happiness stay with you for several more decades!

personally i wish for a huge website in your honour - and a 'complete recordings' boxset with extensive liner notes. i'd gladly spend a huge amount of money on that.

and for all you out there here is one more song. it's also taken from the "tjejer" compilation and it's called "jag trodde" ("i thought"). as far as i know it's a swedish song and it's a little more rock'n'rolly.

nora brockstedt - jag trodde (1950s?)


nora brockstedt week (day 6)

it just won't stop - though it's only one day left until nora brockstedt's 85th birthday...

this time i picked a song called "hei mister banjo", originally written in english by freddy morgan and norman malkin in 1955. once again google is not too helpful - and i guess it's about time that someone builds a huge website (containing a full discography, please!) for this icon of norwegian pop culture.

so i guess nora brockstedt's version of the song (which may also be called "hej mister banjo" or "hey mister banjo") was recorded shortly after the original version. of course it's sung in norwegian - and of course it's absolutely lovely. download it!

nora brockstedt - hei mister banjo (1950s?)


nora brockstedt week (day 5)

if you felt like yesterday's latex song was too offending you get something less provoking today. this time nora brockstedt teams up with norwegian singer per asplin (who is not pictured left, instead i only found a picture of nora and alf prøysen) for a song called "hitsiti hotsiti" - which (i think at least) means nothing specific but is a nursery rhyme.

no further information about this song - google is absolutely unable to find a single piece of information in this case. maybe i got a wrong title? anyway: i guess the song was recorded in the 1950s or early 1960s - and it's really cute.

nora brockstedt & per asplin - hitsiti hotsiti (1950s)


nora brockstedt week (day 4)

today nora brockstedt gets a little naughty with a song called "strekkbukse" (which translates into "leggins" or "stretch pants"). unfortunately it's very difficult to find out anything about this song as you only get very few results if you google it.

basically it only says that the song is included on a compilation album called "tjejer" (which means "women", cover artwork on the left) - and that makes things even more, hmmm, mysterious.

well, "tjejer" (which is quite an entertaining album) actually only includes swedish songs - and "strekkbukse" should be a norwegian song. though i'm not absolutely sure about that because several norwegians i played this track to weren't able to understand the lyrics properly.

but the song seems to deal with this: nora comes to a boutique and spots a "strekkbukse" - at the very same time a prostitute spots it. so both of them have a little fight about who will be buying it. nora wins, takes her new "strekkbukse" home - and then finds out it's not half as nice as it looked in the shop. nice story! and great song! i think it's even my favourite song by nora brockstedt.

if you're able to add some kind of information or correct things - leave a comment!

nora brockstedt - strekkbukse (1950s?)


nora brockstedt week (day 3)

it's the third day in the nora brockstedt week - and this time it's getting a little more classical with an english languaged song. "a-tisket a-tasket" originally was a nursery rhyme from the 19th century and then was developed into a pop song in 1938 by al feldman and ella fitzgerald. according to wikipedia the ella fitzgerald recording even made it into the grammy hall of fame in 1986.

nora brockstedt recorded her version (which is also sung in english) for a swedish ep in 1957. i actually found it on a kind of private compilation called "female audioprozac" put together by blogger doctor superhelga in late 2006. the whole album is still available for download and highly recommended as the title really keeps its promise.

nora brockstedt - a-tisket a-tasket (1957)


nora brockstedt week (day 2)

less talk today, let's get straight to the music: for the second day in the nora brockstedt week i picked a song from 1962 which is called "æille så nær som a ingebjørg". it was written by bjarne amdahl and alf prøysen and the title translates into something like "everyone else but ingebjørg". in a heavy rural accent nora sings about a wedding which everyone is extremely happy about - except ingebjørg. she doesn't dance with the crowd, doesn't believe the groom's promises and probably knows something that no one else would know about. so it's left to your fantasy which kind of relationship ingebjørg has with the guy...

nora brockstedt - æille så nær som a ingebjørg (1962)


nora brockstedt week (day 1)

famous norwegian singer nora brockstedt will turn 85 this week - and in her honour you will find a big birthday special right here. from now until sunday (which is her birthday) you'll get at least one song a day.

but first you get a few facts about her life that i (who does not speak norwegian) was able to collect:

nora brockstedt, born nora berg on 20 January 1923, started her career back in 1942 in a prestigious oslo variete called chat noir. inspired by jazz and blues singers like ella fitzgerald and billie holliday she became one of the most successful artists in norway over the next 20 years, both as a solo artist and as a member of the pop group the monn keys. back then she did not only sing in norwegian but also in swedish, english and even icelandic. in 1960 and 1961 she represented norway at the eurovision song contest and during the 1960s she recorded a big bunch of pop and jazz songs, some translated versions of international hits and also quite a few children songs.

i don't know what she's been doing between the 1970s and 1990s - but in 2004 and 2005 she released two new albums. "as time goes by" includes jazz standards like "he's funny that way", "ain't misbehavin'" or "i get a kick out of you", the other album is a christmas record. she still performs live (at least she did only short time ago) - and judging by the most current pictures i guess everyone would love to have her as a grandmother. jan eggum, a famous norwegian singer who's been working on a norwegian music lexicon, calls her "the greatest norwegian pop music artist of all time".

personally i just love nora brockstedt's voice. it's not as big and full like ella fitzgerald's voice but it's still quite special and unique as it reflects so many different facettes. it sounds innocent and mature at the same time, happy and melancholic. even when nora brockstedt was already beyond her 40th birthday she could make you believe she was a young girl. and even though she did not always pick the coolest songs on earth you can tell by her repertoire that the lady's got taste.

the first song here is also her best known i think. it's her 1960 eurovision entry called "voi voi" which marked norway's debut at the eurovision song contest and became fourth. it's not a milestone of deepness but a pleasant little singalong which can put a smile on your face.

nora brockstedt not only recorded it in norwegian but also in swedish and english the same year, later she re-recorded it with bjelleklang and most recently there was a cover (or a song with an extended sample) by norwegian rap outfit the superstars. besides that i know about a different norwegian version by inger jacobsen and a finnish one by brita koivunen. but right now we'll leave it with the nora-versions. here we go...

nora brockstedt - voi voi (1960)
nora brockstedt - voi voi (swedish version, 1960)
nora brockstedt - big boy (english version, 1960)
bjelleklang feat. nora brockstedt - voi voi (2006)
superstars feat. nora brockstedt - voi voi (2005?)

"voi voi" lyrics (with english translation)
a detailed article @ mic.no (in norwegian)

"voi voi" live at the eurovision song contest
superstars feat nora brockstedt - voi voi

double cd @ enjoy.no
downloads @ musicfromnorway.com
downloads @ musikkonline.no


barry sisters

i discovered the barry sisters a few months ago - and ever since then i've been fascinated with their power and passion.

starting as the bagelman sisters they soon changed their name to
barry sisters (they also changed their first names from clara and minnie to claire and myrna) and gained some notable success from the 1940s to the 1960s with yiddish and english swing songs. according to the yiddish radio project they were considered the "yiddish answer to the andrews sisters".

wikipedia states that they made appearances in the ed sullivan show and even toured the soviet union in 1959. sadly myrna already died in 1976 - but claire still performs live. if i get it right you can book her over here (though the picture seems to be a little aged...).

personally i think their yiddish stuff is more amazing (maybe because it's more "exotic") - but there is at least one english song i absolutely fell in love with too. so i thought it might be best to have one english and one yiddish track to give a better overview.

unfortunately it seems to be pretty impossible to find out
which years these recordings are from - and the spellings of the yiddish song titles often vary as they are transcripted from the hebrew alphabet. so "rumania" can also be found as "rumeine", "romanya" etc.
and last but not least: there is another group called the barry sisters - but they are from australia and sound pretty much different.

now: fasten seatbelts and...

barry sisters - rumania rumania
barry sisters - cha-cha joe

freedman catalog (discography)
second hand songs (incomplete list of cover songs)


buy @
israel music