Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Today In Oldies 10/13/2010

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Everything Oldies presents Oldies news hot & fresh!

Where In The World Is.......Nena?

The number of hit songs in the U.S. sung in foreign languages could be counted on one hand.  Nena is on that very short but distinguished list, but her only hit in the States was a massive one, and globally, she remains a big hitmaker. 

Born Gabriele Susanne Kerner in Hagen, Germany, Nena was in training as a goldsmith following high school when she began her magnetic attraction to music.  She joined a band called The Stripes in 1979.  They had one modest European hit but no lasting success and were gone by 1981.  In 1982, she moved with her boyfriend to West Berlin, where they formed a band they decided to name after Nena.  Their first single was a smash in Germany.  Next stop......global domination! 

Nena's first album hit stores in 1983.  Its first single translated into English as "99 Air Balloons".  The group's record label deemed that not "catchy".  So the title became "99 Red Balloons".  The original German version, "99 Luftballoons", was played prominently in America at the same time.  Regardless of language, the song was an unmistakable international smash, hitting #1 in the UK, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and #2 in the U.S.  The music video accompanying the song was also a staple on MTV.  Could lightning strike twice for Nena in America?

The answer turned out to be no, with "99 Luftballoons" being Nena's one and only hit in the U.S.  Internationally, however, the group continued to make plenty of hits until their breakup in 1987.  Nena then took a break from the music business and re-emerged in the 1990's as an artist and European TV personality.  Her recordings were primarily aimed at children, and she hosted two successful German television shows.  She returned to adult-based pop in 2002, with a 20th anniversary album of newly recorded versions of her own songs.  She has released a consistent stream of hit albums and singles in Europe while also branching out into other areas.  Her voice can be heard in the German-translated version of the hit feature film Eragon.  In 2007, she became a co-founder of the Neue Schule Hamburg, a school founded on the Sudbury model where students make their own schedule.  She has also written her autobiography, Willst du mit mir gehn (Do You Want To Go With Me?), giving her account of various life events.  

And now, relive the AMERICAN highlight of Nena's life..............in her native tongue AND ours.  Apparently, German women weren't fond of shaving their armpits in those days :-)

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Burning Question of the Day

Which R&B legend did the sax solo on Foreigner's 1981 hit "Urgent"?

Check back tomorrow @ Everything Oldies for the answer, and leave a Comment with your best guess!

Yesterday's Burning Question (and Answer) of the Day

The 60's classic "Wild Thing" by The Troggs was written by Chip Taylor.  His niece is currently one of the world's biggest female movie stars (and married to one of the world's biggest MALE movie stars).  Who is she?

Answer: Angelina Jolie......Chip Taylor's brother is actor Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie's father! 


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