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A Folk Music Television Show Sentimentalizes Rural Germany (2006)

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During the imminent intermission there will be “Stadl Bread” from a large Oldenburg bakery. Karl Moik lets two women bakers speak: “We have 46 branches around Oldenburg, Bremen, and Wesermarch.” – “And how many stores do you have?” – “46.” – “Wow, that’s a lot. All here in Oldenburg?”

Karl Moik likes the women bakers, they’re single. “And what’s in the bread?” – “Natural sourdough, sunflower seeds . . .” – “Stop! Sunflower seeds, what does that tell us?” – “No idea, I only know something about pumpkin seeds.” – “Yes, precisely, pumpkin seeds. Buy the bread and there’ll be some action tonight. Or just take it along to remember this lovely Stadl evening.”

Karl Moik knows about the purchasing power of the older generation. He has a DVD and a CD, “something real nice and Christmas is coming soon.” They’re available in the foyer during intermission, along with recordings by the performing artists and the “Stadl Bread” from Mayer Bakery, “One for two Euro, three for three – no, two for three, actually – three for five Euro.”

“Fabulous, all these people,” Claudia Jund calls out into the audience.

“Dance with me into the morning, and I’ll stay with you today” she whispers into the ears of older gentlemen.

And now Semino Rossi! “His unique, expressive voice sends velvety shivers over the ladies’ skin.” Here the program is right. While he’s singing, female audience members hand him stuffed animals, flowers, and pralines. He thanks them in his way: “I give you all the roses of this world in the name of tenderness.”

Then “the guy for joy, high spirits, cheerfulness”: Herbert Anton Hilger – better known as Tony Marshall. “Gosh, wow nice to finally be back in Oldenburg. You wish for an audience like this every night, this is unbelievable.”

“Lovely maid, do you have time for me today, hjahojaho. Please say yes, and I’ll be here only for you, ho-jahojaho. We sing tralala and dance hopsasa, let us be happy and enjoy life.”

“Let us be content and drink beer and schnaps and wine. Let us drink, drink another one, because it makes you forget your worries.” – That’s how Tony Marshall sees it.

“A day like today is the best medicine for you” he belts out to the pensioners. “We’ll go all night until tomorrow morning. When the others go off to work, we say good night.”

After two-and-a-half hours it’s all over. Four more shows, then Karl Moik intends to end a career that has spanned decades. His audience will miss him.

Source: Jan Kühnemund and Tim Holhöfer, “Wir tanzen Hopsasa,” [“We Dance Hopsasa”], ZEIT online, November 16, 2006.

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