COPENHAGEN BEAT-Danish Garagerock 65-66
         King Beat KB1

     1965 was the year the Danish beat culture really started. You began to see dance clubs everywhere, and beat magazines like Hit, Beat and Top Pop spread information about this new kind of music all over the country. Hundred of small bands were formed, inspired by the big English artists and Danish bands like the Hitmakers and the Defenders.
      Every little suburb town had 15-20 bands of their own, and never before were so many obscure championships like “the Danish Kinks” and “the Danish Rolling Stones” held.
      The sound was called “pigtråd musik” (barbed wire music), a name invented in the early sixties. Garage rock would be a better name for these bands that copied the more raw groups like the Pretty Things, etc. 1965 was also the year when small record labels began to challenge the major labels. They often released only a few singles ‘cause one thing was for sure - Danish rock didn’t sell anything. At parties it was okay to dance to the Danish bands, but when it came to record bu ying people only bought English records. Recording studio conditions weren’t that good either; there were only about five real professional studios available, so the records were often recorded in cinemas, row clubs and ordinary villa cellars.
      Here are 16 Danish garage classics from small labels. Many of these are now extremely rare and sought-after. Perhaps the songs aren’t excellent musically, but every song has that magic touch of enthusiasm from an era when everyone could join in and play their socks off!
Japanese press   Stop the music/Hit Makers   '66


      The Music Corner label was established by harmonica virtuoso Svend Olaf Møller near the music store of the same name he owned with his father, Karl Møller. Father and son were already well known by 1963-64 for their production of the legendary Holler-amplifier, which many pigtråd bands used. It was natural for the son to start a record label, as so many pigtråd musicians visited his shop every day. Besides the five beat singles included on this album the label also released an EP by flamenco guitarist Christioan Sievert, plus three singles by Daniella (Bente Madsen), Sussi Holm, and the Meldgaards, on which Ole Erling worked as a backing musician. Though Music Corner stopped it’s business in 1965 the Holler Recording Studio continued operations for a couple of years.


The Bristols got some publicity during 1964-65 when they worked as the backing group for the “outrageous” Gunilla Thorn from Malmø, Sweden. This is their only record. As the story goes the group’s lead singer gave Mick Jagger a copy of the record after a Rolling Stones concert in Copenhagen in 1965!


The Blackpools were an R’n’B group from Søllerød in the north part of Copenhagen. They formed in 1963 with John Harding as lead singer. After he went to the Beethovens in January 1964 their rhythm guitarist took over on vocals. The group became well known following a beat performance in the Danish porn movie, “Jeg en kvinde” (I’m a Woman). The band had some chaotic personnel changes during their five year existence - they served as a recruiting band for the Beefeaters, an R’n’B band that “stole” Tom Methling and singer Peter Thorup, and later on singer Max Nielsen, from the Blackpools.


A band formed in 1964 in Valby at a youth club called Lykkebo. The members built their own guitars there, as did Vanløse band the Clidows, which also spent some time at the same club. In September 1964 they recruited the Clidows’ lead singer Ib Monrad, and on the 27th of September, 1965 they won the “Kinks of Denmark” contest at the Boulevard Theater. They won this recording along with 500 kr. (ca. 75 US$). Music Corner didn’t like the group that much but made a couple of demo recordings in order to maintain their part of the agreement.

Swingin’ Five:

The Swingin’ Five formed in 1963 in Frederiksberg. Some of the members had earlier played in local jazz bands, so they played some old jazz and swing numbers along with Cliff Richards/Shadows tunes. The self-composed “Little Zula” is a beat song and is one of the best records from Music Corner. They broke up in 1966 and some of the members continued playing in other bands. Jan Jacobsen became well known in the duo Jan & Renee in the seventies, Ib Jensen in Jensen & Co. And Torben Jensen is now better known as “Boogie” Torben.

King Beats:

The King Beats were the Pretty Things of Amager (a Danish island), which can easily be heard on this single. It was the only pigtråd release from the Crescendo label, owned by concert pianist Ewald Boilesen. The label did of course release a great amount of classical music, but it also released a bunch of rock singles during the years 1959-65 - including efforts by the Melvis Rock Band, Jens & Peter, and Henrik Burton & the Boozers. The King Beats only played in Copenhagen, except for a couple of gigs in Malmø and Lund (Sweden). After a two-year existence the group broke up in 1966.

The Caravans:

The Caravans were an “old” distinguished orchestra formed in 1963, with roots leading back to the dance orchestra Tage Kørnings Quartet. They recorded two titles for SRE in 1965. During their first years the group had some personnel changes, for example Teddy Edelmann, the Scarlet’s John Friis, and Kaj Kristensen played with the orchestra. In these years the Caravans grew from a rock’n’roll band into a real R’n’B band. Their manager, Søren Rune Elstrøm, had them signed to SRE. Shortly after the SRE recording they received a contract with EMI, for whom they recorded three singles during 1965-67. Of these “I Want Candy” and “I’ll Be Doggone” are quite good, but don’t live up to the raw power of their debut single - this due to the lack of blessed R’n’B singer, Per Nøhr.


The Silverbeats from Tåstrup formed in 1963. The band played frequently at the “Gode Hans,” a farm in a Tåstrup suburb that served as a teen hangout. In 1965 they recorded two songs for Focus, which wasn’t actually a record label at all but rather some sort of a demo-record service where groups paid to record. The record was only sold at the band’s local gigs. The Silverbeats broke up in 1967 and Carl-Otto Andersen and Søren Vind-Knudsen formed the Kitneys.


An R’n’B outfit formed in Glostrup at the end of 1964. In autumn ’66 they won the Pigtråd Grand Prix contest at the Restaurant Siesta in Glostrup, and the prize was this recording for Kirola. Music teacher Sven Djurup founded Kirola in order to make records on music teaching. So the Raws’ record is the only beat recording from Kirola. The contests’ other winners, the Eagles from Hvidpvre, appeared on the B-side. The Raws played around Copenhagen and broke up in 1970.

Big Boss Men:

The Pretty Things of Værløse formed in 1965. They won DSU’s North-Zealandish Championship In Beat Music 1966 in Ganløse Kro, where this live recording is from. The recording was done by Ole Elm and Søren Nielsen. Elm, who had played in a Jutlandish band called the G-Men, recorded the records’ A-side by himself, which was a country & western song. The Big Boss Men broke up in 1967 and the Kornum brothers formed Steppin’ Out.

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