Thursday, April 20, 2006


Bobby Helms, Fraulein.

While "Fraulein" was written by Texas composer Lawton Williams about a girl he once knew in a German neighborhood of Houston, the song's success in the late '50s via Bobby Helms' interpretation likely was owed to a good deal of nostalgia by former GIs, dozing away in suburban marriages, remembering their time in Germany during the war and its aftermath. That said, Germany in the late '40s doesn't seem like the most romantic of places, to put it mildly.

The song became a monster hit--as of a few years ago, Helms still held the all-time record for weeks on the Billboard charts with a single song: 52 consecutive weeks, or one solid year of "Fraulein."

Helms (best known for "Jingle Bell Rock") catered to Pacific Theater GIs with his next single, "Geisha Girl," inspiring an answer record from Jimmie Skinner called "I Found My Girl in the Good Ole USA."

Recorded in Nashville on November 15, 1956, with Tommy Jackson (fiddle), Farris Coursey (drums), the awesome Hank Garland on guitar, Owen Bradley (p) and possibly Bob Foster on steel. Released in early '57 as Decca 30194. Find here.

More on GIs and Frauleins.

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