MORITÄT VON MACKIE MESSER, DIE

Latest update on 04/06/2019

Artist: Kurt Gerron
Author: Bert Brecht/Kurt Weill
Year: 1928

Meaning The Criminal Record Of Mack The Knife. Written on special request by main actor Harald Paulsen to warm up te audience for his breathtaking entrée. That honour went to 'Ausrufer' Kurt Gerron during the 'Uraufführung' in Berlin, accompanied only by a street organ. Die Dreigroschenoper was based on an 18th century play by John Gay: The Beggar's Opera, first staged in 1728. In fact, Brecht wrote his political Three Penny Opera to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the English original. The Beggar's Opera was London's first commercial hit, running almost continuously all through the 18th century, as it was based on the intriguing stories of highwaymen and cutpurses. Clergy and Tory politicians failed to counter its success. The more they even tried to, the more popular it got.

Covers:

1928:

Harald Paulsen [first version on record (Homocord), portrayed MacHeath (Mackie Messer) that same year in the very first stage show in Berlin's Theater am Schiffbauerdamm.]

1929:

Bert Brecht [with Theo Mackeben's Jazz Orchestra]

1930:

Kurt Gerron [with the Lewis-Ruth band]

1930:

Lotte Lenya [Kurt Weill's wife and the Jenny in the Uraufführung]

1931:

Ernst Busch [in film version]

1931:

Florelle [as La Complainte de Mackie]

1933:

George Heller [as The Legend Of Jackie Messer, first time on Broadway]

1950:

Kurt Preger

1954:

Gerald Price [new Broadway version as The Ballad Of Mack The Knife, adapted by Marc Blitzstein]

1955:

Louis Armstrong [first as Theme From The Threepenny Opera, re-issued in '59 as Mack The Knife in the watered-down Marc Blitzstein version]

1956:

Billy Vaughn [idem]

1956:

Richard Hayman & Jan August [idem]

1956:

Les Paul [idem]

1956:

Sonny Rollins

1957:

Cathérine Sauvage [in a new French adaptation by Boris Vian]

1959:

Bobby Darin [n°1 US as Mack The Knife]

1959:

Caterina Valente

1960:

Ella Fitzgerald

1960:

Jimmy Smith

1963:

Pete Seeger [as Mack The Bomb]

1963:

Peggy Lee

1964:

Sammy Davis Jr.

1965:

Connie Francis

1985:

Sting & Dominic Muldowney [on Kurt Weill tribute Lost In The Stars]

1986:

Frank Sinatra

1991:

Young Gods

1992:

Ute Lemper

1993:

King Kurt

1994:

Lifestyle [as Here We Go; featuring the voice of Louis Armstrong]

1994:

Lyle Lovett [in film Quiz Show]

1994:

Nick Cave [in second Weill tribute September Songs]

1994:

Psychedelic Furs

1996:

Marianne Faithfull

2000:

Jimmie Dale Gilmore

2000:

Brian Setzer

2001:

Robbie Williams

2004:

Westlife

2008:

Helmut Lotti

2014:

Dr. John [most as Mack The Knife]

2019:

Rickie Lee Jones

Alex Ross in The Rest Is Noise (Picador - 2007) notised how Weimar culture exhibited an unhealthy fixation on the figure of the serial or sexual killer. The German press had a field day covering cases like Georg Karl Grossmann's (the 'Bluebeard of the Silesian Railway'), Karl Denke's (the 'Monster of Münsterberg'), Fritz Haarmann's (the boy killer of Hannover) and Peter Kürten's (the 'Vampire of Düsseldorf'). In a way, a likewise fascination for dubious masterminds red carpeted the 'Aufstand' of a guy like Hitler.

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