Rue des Radis
THE RAMBLERS: RECORDINGS FROM A POST-WAR BRUSSELS
De Ramblers, het Ramblers Dansorkest, or in English The Ramblers Dance Orchestra, is one of the most famous Dutch dance orchestras from the last century. Doctor Jazz Magazine reissued some post-war recordings made in Brussels, when the band performed for the allied soldiers in Brussels. The Ramblers in Brussel (1945 - 1948) - Rue des Radis (DJ 007 )
In years of dance-going, I have heard and danced to the music of America's finest orchestras, but it is my opinion that your orchestra plays the most danceable musical arrangements I have ever heard. Your "presentations" are the equal of the superior arrangements of Fred Waring's orchestra, which plays fine choral arrangements but does not play dance music. ( Edward F. Kennedy, special advisor of the American Military Service in Bavaria (Germany)) in a leter to Theo Uden Masman, the leader of the band (ca. 1949) ( in Tuney Tunes April 1949)
The Ramblers in front of the American Force Networks studio in Munich ( ca. 1949) ( photo: T.T.63 april 1949)
Founded in the mid 1920s out of the Resonance Seven the Original Ramblers developed into one of the leading dance bands in Europe before the second World War. The band became known for its Decca recordings with great jazz artists like Coleman Hawkins in 1935 and 1937.
The rhythm section of The Ramblers: f.l.t.r.: Wim Sanders - Theo Uden Masman - Jac. Pet - Kees Kranenburg ( in Tuney Tunes April 1949)
The Ramblers Dansorkest was one of the regular radio bands for the V.A.R.A. networks and played, except jazzy dance tunes, also popular music which brought it some great hits like the Zuiderzee Blues and song like Wie Is Loesje? or Meneer De Baron Is Niet Thuis. During the Second World War the band continued to play its music, not only in The Netherlands, but also in Belgium. Thanks to the pre-war radio programs, the music of the Ramblers became very popular in Belgium ( two members of the band were actually Belgian: Marcel Thielemans and André Van Der Ouderaa) and in 1942 the band was invited for a series of concerts in the major cities of the country, like Brussels and Antwerp. These concerts were a great success!
De Ramblers at one of its first performances in The Netherlands after the war: Maastricht 1946 ( photo CD-booklet: The Ramblers in Brussel (1945-1948)
A year later a new tour was scheduled and Decca invited the band to several recording sessions, where they recorded tunes like Au Revoir ( = Farewell Blues - its signature theme for a long time); Chasse á Coure ( = Hindernisrennen - better known as Steeple Chase) and Orient Express. When the war was over, now 65 years ago, the Ramblers were invited to play for a two month gig in Brussels in The Officers Club situated in the former Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit - for years a popular club in Brussels founded by Jean Omer. I wrote about it before when I talked about Jean Robert's career. Part of the Ramblers Orchestra - f.l.t.r.: Bert Grijs - Pierre Wijnobel - Rinus v. d. Broek - Marcel Thielemans - Ferry Barendse ( photo: Tuney Tunes 63 ( April 1949))
When the two months gig was over they continued to play for the US soldiers in Brussels around Rue Des Radis, a street in the Brussels entertainment centre. The Ramblers Orchestra made its first records after the period of German occupation in Brussels for Decca and these records are now reissued in a great album entitled The Ramblers In Brussel - Rue des Radis, published by the Doctor Jazz Magazine. Photos from a so-called Miss Rambler-avond ( = Miss Rambler-evening)( ca. 1947) (photo Tuney Tunes 39 (April 1947))
When its leader, Theo Uden Masman returned to The Netherlands October 1945 he had to visit the so-called Eereraad Voor De Kleinkunst, a comité to clear and punish musicians who had performed or collaborated for the Germans; The Ramblers weren't allowed to play in public for a few months. A Tuney Tune article, a Dutch popular music magazine from April 1949 reads about this period: Over de verrichtingen tijdens de bezettingsjaren en haar onaangename nasleep ( zuivering!) is destijds in de pers veel aandacht besteed, zodat we hierover kort kunnen zijn. ( = About its activities during the German occupation and the unpleasant effects ( the clearance), have been extensively discussed in the press – so let’s make it short). Due to these clearances in its homeland, the Ramblers could perform more easily in Belgium in 1945, the first post-war year en zich enigzinds (konden) uitleven in Amerikaanse muziek ( = and could play the US repertoire). Paul Acket, who wrote the Tuney Tunes article, then a modest music journalist, later a famous producer, labels the concerts of the Ramblers in Le Boeuf sur le toit for the US Officers Club in post-war Brussels as one of its best: De eerste na-oorlogse triomfen oogstten Masman en zijn orkest in ditzelfde land en wel in de Amerikaanse officiersclub "Le Boeuf sur le toit" in Brussel. Its first public performance in The Netherlands was on the 1st of January 1946 at Tivoli in Utrecht in the centre of the country and soon after that, the weekly broadcasts for the VARA-radio started. The Ramblers ( ca. 1949) ( photo: Tuney Tunes 63 ( April 1949))
On the album you can find two dozens of tracks - all recorded in Brussels ( except the bonus track: Rue des Radis, which was recorded in Het Hof van Holland in Hilversum, June 1946) between 1945 and 1948. Most of these recordings haven't been reissued up to now and were only available in Belgium in the Decca Swing Series - they belong to the best post-war recordings made by this famous dance band. After these recordings in Brussels the Ramblers Dance Orchestra continued to play for the allied forces, like concerts at the Haus der Kunst in Munich and radio broadcasts like Bouncin in Bavaria for the A.F.Networks in Munich at five o' clock in the afternoon. Its signature tune became the Ramblers recording of Bouncin' in Bavaria. The sax section f.l.t.r.: Tommy Helweg - Wim Poppink - Tinus Bruyn - Fred van Ingen - Kees Bruyn ( photo: Tuney Tunes 63 ( April 1949))
In years of dance-going, I have heard and danced to the music of America's finest orchestras, but it is my opinion that your orchestra ( = Theo Uden Masman's Ramblers) plays the most danceable musical arrangements I have ever heard. Your "presentations" are the equal of the superior arrangements of Fred Waring's orchestra, which plays fine choral arrangements but does not play dance music. ( Edward F. Kennedy: special advisor of the US Military government in Bavaria ( Germany)(1949)