Bandleader Bert Kaempfert

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on March 17, 2002

When did bandleader and composer Bert Kaempfert last record and for whom?

—Tom T., Connecticut


Kaempfert released more than 30 albums on Decca from 1959 to 1973. After leaving that label, he recorded for Polydor and MCA. He described his big band sound as "music that doesn't disturb you." The legendary big band leader who wrote such hits as Strangers in the Night, Danke Schoen, and Spanish Eyes died of a stroke while on vacation in Spain at the age of 56 in 1980. He was survived by his wife, Hanne, who died in 1988, and two daughters, Doris and Marion. Born in Hamburg, Germany, Kaempfert studied piano as a child and attended the Hamburg Conservatory of Music. In 1961, he produced a session for singer Tony Sheridan that featured the then-unknown Beatles as backup singers. After that session, he recorded two Beatles' songs, Ain't She Sweet and Cry for a Shadow.