Bill Ramsey (singer)

Bill Ramsey (William McCreery Ramsey, born April 17, 1931 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is a German-American jazz and pop singer, journalist and actor famous for his German-language hits.[1][2]


William McGreery Ramsey, called Bill, was the son of a teacher and an advertising manager for Procter & Gamble . In his youth, he sang in a college dance band. He began to study sociology and business from 1949 to 1951 at Yale university in New Haven and sang jazz, Swing and Blues in the evenings. His greatest influences were Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and Louis Jordan. Due to the Korean War, compulsory military service was again introduced in the USA and Bill Ramsey served with the U.S. Air Force in Germany. During this time period, he appeared in clubs like Jazz Cellar in Frankfurt and was discovered by an employee of AFN and hired to entertain troops. There Ramsey advanced to executive producer and had, although still in service, more time for appearances at festivals. As of 1953, he appeared with, among others, Ernst Mosch, Paul Kuhn, Kurt Edelhagen and James Last. The jazz pianist and music producer Heinz Gietz organized an appearance with Hessischer Rundfunk for Bill Ramsey in 1955. There he did Playback – recordings for the musical film love, dance and 1000 hits with Peter Alexander and Caterina Valente. Upon his discharge from the military he continued his studies in America and returned to Frankfurt in 1957.

Producer Heinz Gietz took Ramsey under contract in 1958 and in the same year his first single with Polydor was released. It was a small but respectable success and launched the style, with which ”the man with the black voice” would land hits in the future. The music was oriented on the hits of that period Anglo American pop music. Among Ramsey’s hits published in the 1950s and 1960s were German-language cover versions of Hank Ballard, The Beatles, Fats Domino, Ivory Joe Hunter, Roger Miller, Elvis Presley, Jimmie Rodgers, Andy Williams, Sheb Wooley and others. In addition, numerous originals, which were composed almost exclusively by Heinz Gietz. The ironical texts of Kurt Feltz or Hans Bradtke often commented current events. Ramsey and Gietz signed to Columbia label EMI Group in 1962, where they would continue their success. Amid the 1960s as Beatmusik changed the market, Bill Ramsey was a regular in the German Charts. His popularity provided numerous appearances in film and television, where he was seen as a singer and in comedy roles. In the second half of the 1960s Ramsey took up predominantly English-language songs and dedicated himself again to jazz and blues. In this musically varied decade he presented Operette, Musical and Beat songs as well as a LP with Children’s songs. Ramsey changed to Heinz Gietz’ record company Cornet in 1966, and later in the same year to Polydor. He appeared on different labels in the 1970s.

Ramsey had innumerable television appearances, played in 28 films and toured through Europe, the USA, and North Africa. He presented the television shows Hits for Schlappohren (1971) and Talent Shed (1974 to 1980), among others. He was a lecturer for many years at Hamburg University for Music and Performing Arts. Ramsey appears regularly as pop and jazz singer, mostly in duet with the guitarist Juraj Galan, with whom it released several albums. The duo's LP Live in the House of Commons won the German record critics prize. Bill Ramsey is a commentator every Friday on Radio HR2’s Swingtime.[3] In 2008 and 2009 he was on tour with Max Greger and Hugo Strasser as Swing legends. Ramsey lived occasionally in Zurich, later in Wiesbaden and since 1991 with his fourth wife Petra in Hamburg. He became a German citizen on October 17, 1984. His wife is a doctor, and works as his manager.

Discography (selection)


Year Title Chartposition (DE) Label/Catalogue no.
1958 Yes, Fanny, ich tu das
So ein Stroll in Tirol
Polydor NH 23 738
1958 Wumba-Tumba Schokoladeneisverkäufer
Casa Bambu
4 Polydor NH 23 883
1959 Er war vom konstantinopelitanischen Gesangsverein
Polydor NH 24 002
1959 Souvenirs
Mach keinen Heck-Meck
1 Polydor NH 24 037
1959 Caldonia
Big Fat Mama
Columbia C 21 261
1959 Hier könn' Matrosen vor Anker geh'n
Go Man Go
Polydor NH 24 090
1960 Go Man Go (englisch)
Rockin' Mountain
Polydor NH 66 812
1960 Telefon aus Paris
Gina, Gina
39 Polydor NH 24 211
1960 Jeden Tag 'ne andre Party
Die Welt ist rund
Polydor NH 24 330
1961 Pigalle (Die große Mausefalle)
Café Oriental
6 Polydor NH 24 428
1961 Telefon fra Paris (dänisch)
Pigalle (dänisch)
Polydor NH 22 974
1961 Immer zieht es mich zu ihr (mit Peter Alexander)
Missouri Cowboy (mit Peter Alexander)
10 Polydor NH 24 437
1961 Zuckerpuppe (aus der Bauchtanz-Truppe)
Das Mädchen mit dem aufregenden Gang
5 Polydor NH 24 553
1961 Das Leben ist doll
Ich habe beides ausprobiert – kein Vergleich
45 Polydor NH 24 616
1962 Nichts gegen die Weiber (mit Bibi Johns)
Mach ein Foto davon
25 Polydor NH 24 663
1962 Old Jonny war ein Wunderkind
Hilly Billy Banjo Bill
47 Polydor NH 24 774
1962 Brauner Señor Mexicano (mit Peter Alexander)
Keine Zeit und kein Geld (mit Peter Alexander)
Polydor NH 24 915
1962 Ohne Krimi geht die Mimi nie ins Bett
Flotter Dampfer
3 Columbia C 22 197
1962 Mimi Needs A Thriller When She Goes To Bed
Sailors Need A Girl In Every Port
Columbia F 4948
1963 Maskenball bei Scotland Yard
Hallo, Boss, Hallo
8 Columbia C 22 333
1963 Sagst du alles deiner Frau? (mit Chris Howland)
Zwei alte Freunde (mit Chris Howland)
Columbia C 22 397
1963 Parlez-vous Francais?
51 Columbia C 22 456
1963 Molly
Feuerwasser und Liebe
Columbia C 22 512
1963 Es gibt doch immer wieder Ärger (mit Peter Weck)
Na na, nanu? (nur Peter Weck)
Electrola E 22 515
1964 Bossa Nova Baby
Wer heißt hier Jonny?
14 Columbia C 22 635
1964 Ein bequemer Arbeitnehmer bin ich nicht
Käpt'n Brown von Clipper 107
Columbia C 22 689
1964 Ein Student aus Heidelberg
Schöne Mädchen haben's gerne
21 Columbia C 22 701
1964 Zicke Zacke Hoi
Wenn ich Geigen hör', muß ich weinen
Columbia C 22 842
1965 Chug-a-lug
Was kann denn ich dafür
Columbia C 22 884
1965 Bin nur ein Tramp
Kiss me Candy
Columbia C 22 888
1965 Crazy Cowboy Grand Hotel
Unter Wasser
Columbia C 23 012
1966 Fat Man (& The Jay Five)
What You Gonna Do Now Girl (& The Jay Five)
Cornet 3012
1966 Hollywood-Schaukellied
Le Tour de France
Polydor 52 699
1966 Yellow Submarine
Such dir was Liebes
Polydor 52 725
1967 Limonade wär' besser gewesen
Wenn die großen Krokodile nicken
Polydor 52 770
1967 Body Building Bill aus Boston
No, no – nicht so!
Polydor 52 874
1968 Otto ist auf Frauen scharf
Verlieb' dich nicht in ein Hippie-Mädchen
Polydor 53 043
1968 Piccadilly Circus
Die Welt, die ist kaputt
Polydor 53 066
ca. 1968 Blue-Eyed Lady (& The Jay Five with Bruno Spoerri)
Early in the Morning (& The Jay Five with Bruno Spoerri)
Heco S 45 007
1969 Gesellschaftsspiele (als William Ramsey III.)
Ein zauberhafter Sommer (als William Ramsey III.)
Polydor 53 130
1969 Sing ein kleines Lied vom Frieden (als William Ramsey III.)
Bye, bye, Sadie (als William Ramsey III.)
Polydor 53 155
1970 Haschisch Halef Omar
High And Happy
Cornet 3165
1993 Probier's mal mit Gemütlichkeit (Dschungelbuch Groove)
Probier's mal mit Gemütlichkeit (Dschungelbuch Groove Jungle Club Mix)
Theme from Panic At The Jungle
ZYX Music 706012



  • Blume von Hawaii / Viktoria und ihr Husar (with Peter Alexander, Rita Bartos, Margot Eskens, Franz Fehringer, Willy Hofmann, Margrit Imlau, Bibi Johns, Sándor Kónya, Willy Schneider and Herta Talmar) (ca. 1961; Polydor)
  • Evergreens aus dem Schlagerkeller (with Ralf Bendix, Chris Howland and Dany Mann) (1962; Electrola)
  • Die Blume von Hawaii / Viktoria und ihr Husar (with Sonja Knittel, Sari Barabas, Conny Froboess, Jacqueline Boyer, Willy Hagara, Heinz Hoppe, Harry Friedauer, Rex Gildo, Paul Kuhn and the Botho-Lucas-Chor) (ca. 1964; Electrola)
  • Bill Ramsey’s Schlagerparty (1964; Electrola)
  • Sing ein Lied mit Onkel Bill (Kinderparty bei Bill Ramsey) (with Conny Froboess, Paul Kuhn, Ralf Paulsen and the Westfälische Nachtigallen) (1965; Electrola)
  • Bill Ramsey singt Lieder seiner Heimat – Songs from Home (1965; Electrola)
  • Ballads & Blues (with Paul Kuhn) (1965; Electrola)
  • Got A New Direction (& The Jay Five) (1966; Cornet)
  • Sei mein Freund (1972; Columbia)
  • Songs – Brot für die Welt (with Inge Brandenburg und Ingfried Hoffmann) (1974; Schwann)
  • Hard Travelling (with Don Paulin) (1975; Warner Bros.)
  • Die andere Seite – Dedicated to Nat King Cole (ca. 1977; Polydor)
  • On the Spot (with Dieter Reith, Matts Björklund, Jimmy Patrick, Dave King and Keith Forsey) (ca. 1977; Polydor [?])
  • Rückfall (1990; Papagayo)


  • Caldonia and more... (Bear Family Records), including recordings from 1957, 1966 and 1980
  • Souvenirs (1992; Bear Family Records), including recordings from 1958 to 1961
  • Ohne Krimi geht die Mimi nie ins Bett (1994; Bear Family Records), including recordings from 1962 to 1965
  • Ballads And Blues / Songs From Home (Bear Family Records), including recordings from 1965
  • The Other Side – A Dedication to Nat King Cole (Bear Family Records), including recordings from 1975 to 1977
  • On the Spot (Bear Family Records), including recordings from 1977
  • When I See You (mit Toots Thielemans) (Bell Records), including recordings from 1979 to 1980
  • Underneath the Apple Tree (mit Juraj Galan) (Tyrostar), including recordings from 1983 to 1984
  • Rückfall (1990; Papagayo)
  • Getting’ Back To Swing (& The SDR Big Band, conducted by Dieter Reith) (1994; Bear Family Records)
  • Hamburg, keine ist wie du (1999; Bear Family Records)
  • Ballads, Streets & Blues (with Peter Weniger and the Achim-Kück-Trio) (2001; Mons Records)
  • Big Band Boogie (with the Thilo Wolf Big Band) (2002; Mons Records)
  • Send In The Clowns (with Jean-Louis Rassinfosse) (2005; Swingland Records)
  • Here's To Life - Here's To Joe (with the hr-Bigband, conducted by Jörg Achim Keller) (2006; HR-Musik)

Selected filmography


  1. Junker, Detlef; Philipp Gassert (2004). The United States and Germany in the Era of the Cold War, 1945-1990: 1945-1968. Cambridge University Press. p. 447. ISBN 978-0-521-79112-0.
  2. Applegate, Celia; Pamela Maxine Potter (2002). Music and German national identity. University of Chicago Press. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-226-02130-0.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.