Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rest in Peace Joe Bittner

Joe Bittner passed away on December 22 at the age of 56. Joe was part of the DCS Shooters and lead them to some of their best scores in trap shooting. Joe was always there with a helpful hint and enjoyed the time with the "guys". He was a generous donor to the Boxhorn Gun club and if you are there sometime look for his name on a placque thanking him for the voice activated trap station.

Joe participated in the Breast Cancer Awareness shoot held at Boxhorn this year because his dear friend Hans has a daughter that has been battling this horrible disease. Click Here to see some pictures of that event.

The funeral will be held at Harders Funeral home, 18700 W. Capitol Drive, on Saturday December 27, 9 am -- Service 11 am. Click Here to go the the Milwaukee Journal announcement and you will be able to sign the guestbook located at the website.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Freddy Breck dies of cancer at 66

My friend, Maria Olliges, just sent me an e-mail with a link to this story on Smago. If you cannot read German, it reports the death of singer, Freddy Breck, at the age of 66. He died of cancer on December 17.


Freddy Breck had an appearance in Milwaukee at the Red Carpet Inn in 1986 (see picture on right) and was most famous for his hit Rote Rosen. I remember the show he put on and he was a fabulous entertainer. He was not only a great singer, but quite a talented comedian and had all the people laughing with his dialect impersonnations. He will be missed in the Volksmusik world.

I received an e-mail also from Ted Hierl, who has been the top German Radio host broadcasting from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for many years. Ted knew Freddy Breck personally and received a call from Freddy's wife, Astrid. Freddy Breck starred at the Heritagefest in New Jersey many times and Ted with his wife, Hilde, have many fond memories of their time with him.

If you would like to see a clip of Freddy Breck performing his biggest hit, Rote Rosen, click on the link below on YouTube.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Frohe Weihnachten from Oberallgau Musikanten

This e-mail comes from the Oberallgau Musikanten. If they look familiar to some of the Milwaukee people, that is because they teamed up with the Widdersteiner in 2007 at German Fest in Milwaukee.

Eine schöne Weihnachtszeit und alles Gute fürs neue Jahr 2009 wünschen euch die OBERALLGÄU MUSIKANTEN

Michl, Stefan und Hansi


Monday, December 15, 2008

Bartholomew is BACK

Those of you who were regular listeners to the Stimmung Stunde while it was on the air in Milwaukee remeber the delightful antics of Bartholomew, Santa's 2nd favorite elf. He had many adventures and seemed to be giving poor Tim a headache every week.

Well, Bartholomew has reappeared for the Christmas season on the TKPN podcast network. Here is a link to his adventures this year. For audio click here; TKPN Podcast #16.

Also, below is a little video brought to you from the past.

Alpentrio Tirol appear in California on New Year's Eve

I just received the following newletter from the Alpentrio Tirol. Please note that they will be appearing in the states for New Year's Eve at the Alpine Village in Torrance, California

Alpentrio Tirol News Dezember 2008

"Weihnacht in den Bergen" und "Das Abendgebet der Berge" in AUSVERKAUFTE KIRCHEN!

Die gewaltige Rückmeldung der Fans und der Presse über diese außergewöhnlichen und besinnlichen Kirchenkonzerte bestätigen das Alpentrio erneut.
Besonders sind die Konzerte in Korbach und Osterode zu erwähnen!

Vielen Dank an alle Fans, die diese Kirchenkonzerte besuchen.
Ohne euch wären solche Erfolge nicht möglich!


Das Alpentrio wird zu Weihnachten 3mal im Fernsehen zu sehen sein:

21.12.2008 20:00 MDR "Herbert Roth Gala" aus Suhl

23.12.2008 19:00 BR "Melodien der Berge" Zillertaler Weihnacht

26.12.2008 09:00 MDR Morgenstund mit Alpentrio Tirol

Silvester in L.A.

Das Alpentrio Tirol wird Silvester in Los Angeles auftreten!

Bei der New Year´s Eve Performance im Alpine Village werden bekannte Klänge zum Jahreswechsel gespielt.
Natürlich würde sich das Alpentrio freuen einen Fan aus Europa in Amerika zu treffen.

Frohe besinnliche Weihnachten

Frohe besinnliche Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr wünscht das Alpentrio allen Fans und Geschäftspartnern.

Vielen Dank für die großartige Unterstützung das ganze Jahr über!


Alpentrio Tirol – Büro Martina Astenwald
Management Alpentrio Tirol
Fürstenweg 191 · A-6020 Innsbruck
Telefon +43-512-294737 · Fax DW 4
Mobil Büroleitung +43-664-2004141


Friday, December 5, 2008

Osthoff Resort Old World Christmas Market

The Osthoff Resort will be holding an Old World Christmas Market starting December 5 - 14. Get in the Holiday mood by taking a ride out to Elkhart Lake to this fabulous event. It is held outdoors in a huge heated tent with lots of vendors and unique gifts available.

The Osthoff Resort's 11th annual traditional European Christmas Market, reminiscent of the centuries-old German Christkindlesmarkt, features authentic gifts, toys, ornaments and food specialties from international and regional artisans in timber booths adorned in fresh greens and thousands of twinkling white lights.

DirectionsMapquest Link

Driving Directions to The Osthoff from:Milwaukee

Take I-43 North out of Milwaukee
Veer left to Exit #97, which turns into Hwy 57 North to Plymouth
Turn Left onto Hwy 23 West
Exit onto Hwy 67 North
Turn left onto Hwy 67 North
Follow Hwy 67 North into Elkhart Lake
Turn left at the four-way stop onto Rhine Street
Turn left onto Osthoff Avenue

Phone: 1-800-876-3399 or 920-876-3366

Monday, December 1, 2008

Weihnachts Show presented by Robert Deglau

Saturday night was the Weihnachts Show presented by Robert Deglau of Continental Showcase. A big thank you to Robert for inviting Elmar & I backstage before the show so we could meet the performers personnally. We already knew Armin Stoeckl from 1-1/2 years ago in Lake Villa German Music Festival held the last weekend of June each year that is hosted by Armin Homann, but it was nice to talk to Max Lechner and Birgit Pless. Max told us about the last time he was in Chicago and had a serious heart attack that hospitalized him. Therefore this will be his farwell performance on this tour and then go into retirement, concentrating on managing Armin Stoeckl's career.

The show was a 2 part program. The first part featured popular schlager and heimat lieder performed by all three entertainers. First was Max Lechner and he sang several songs composed by Robert Jung. Max charmed the audience with many old favorites and many were singing along with him. Next, Birgit Pless sang both new and old favorites, more the schlager type of song. Then Armin Stoeckl came on stage and surprised everyone with his beautiful deep tones. Recently, Armin won the Deutsche Rock & Pop award and performed his popular Lady Manana along with popular songs. Then the very talented band played some music while the performance made a costume change.

The second half of the show was the Christmas program. Again, Max Lechner started off the show and soon had the whole audience singing along with him. When Birgit Pless appeared in her cute little Santa outfit you saw all the men stretch their necks to get a better view. She sang her popular Christmas song entitled Weihnachtsrose. When Armin Stoeckl came on stage she made sure that he looked a little more festive. She had a pair of Santa boxer shorts for him that actually matched her outfit very well and topped him off with a Santa hat.

At the end of the show the 3 performers lead the audience in a medley of favorite old Christmas songs and even got Armin Homan and Robert Deglau to join them on stage. And of course, the last song was Silent Night (Stille Nacht).

After the show the 2 man band played music for the dancing pleasure of the audience. As always the German performers made themselves very available for pictures, audigraphs, and just chating with the fans. It was a very nice evening and a nice way to start off the Christmas season. We hope that Robert Deglau will be able to continue to bring German entertainers to Milwaukee.
Below you will find a slide show of pictures taken both during the show and afterwards. If you want to download any of these pictures, just go to the Slideshow website and download them for free.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Marianne Trivalos

Sadly, Marianne Trivalos, passed away on Monday November 24. I took the photo on the left this year at German Fest here in Milwaukee. I thought it was so nice to see 3 generations all actively engaged in sharing their heritage with visitors to the fest. Marianne was very proud of her daughter, Heidi, and granddaughter, Maria, and they were always at her side. They will miss her deeply, but most of all her dedicated husband, Dick, will miss her most. They were married for 51 years. You seldom saw one without the other close by. They did almost everything together. Please click here to read the death notice on line at the Journal Sentinal and sign the guestbook with your memories of Marianne.

Marianne was very involved in the German-American community for many years. She and her husband, Dick, were among the original German Fest directors when it started 28 years ago. But she had held the position of Secretary in the German-American Societies for over 25 years before that. Many of you probably remember her from the Saturday morning German classes and are greatful to her for having taught you the German language where she was both a teacher and principal. She was always there with a helping hand as a member of the Bayerischer Vergnuegungs Club.

Our family will miss seeing her out in her garden in the summer and we will no longer be able to wave to her as we drive by. But most of all we will miss her smiling face at the Bavarian Inn making sure the Pretzel booth ran smoothly. Marianne we will miss you!!!

Funeral arrangements are as follows.

Sunday November 30, 4 pm to 7 pm service

Becker Ritter, 140 W. North Ave, Brookfield, Wisconsin

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Magdalena has arrived

It has almost been a week since little Magdalena Ann made her appearance on November 19. She was a healthy 8-1/2 pounds and her proud parents, Mike & Laura, are happy they could bring her home to celebrate her first holiday. This will certainly be a memorable Thanksgiving for the Wagner family. Mike's mom, Grandma Irene, is busy sewing all kinds of cute things for her first grandchild and somehow I think this lucky little girl will soon be in a dirndl. Laura's dad, Grandpa Glen, is hoping that Mike will teach her how to fix cars even though she's a girl.

Little Magdalena Ann has a whole bunch of relatives who are lining up to get a chance to babysit, but for now they will have to be happy to just hold her for a little bit while Laura gets dinner started. This lucky little girl was named after her Great-Great Grandma, who celebrated her 95th birthday this year. She was one of the few that predicted that Laura would have a girl; everyone else thought it was going to be a boy. You should have seen all the stuff she got at the shower that was blue. Luckily a girl can wear baby blue too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Back from Hawaii

Although I have been back from Ted Hierl's cruise to Hawaii aboard the Golden Princess for a few weeks, I finally got my pictures organized. At the bottom of this posting, I have a short slideshow with a sampling of what we saw & did on the cruise. But to see all the pictures and you will go to the Hawaii Cruise page. There are 3 slideshows and instructions of how to download pictures to your computer for free.

Reiner Kirsten put on some great shows. This Schwarzwald native warmed up the audience with some old favorites and introduced them to his new hits. Reiner mingled with the people on the cruise even when he was not performing and soon when you heard him say "Hallo Freunde" there was someone else saying "Hallo Reiner".

The Elstertaler, led by Wolfgang Semmler, again provided 2 show nights of dance music. However one of the highlights was when Semmi sang to his lovely wife, Ilona. He changed the words to the song to address their 12 years together and this year they were married. The Elstertaler really had the place jumping and you can see why Ted Hierl invites them back each year. Andre is a very talented singer and knows what the crowd wants to hear. They also brought with them some of the new hits in Germany and had everyone up on their feet. One morning, Tomas, on the keyboard, joined us for breakfast with this family. Tomas also plays in the new band that accompanies Stefan Mross and it was very interesting getting some inside stories from him.

We were lucky to have a great table of 6 other people to sit with at dinner time. Our table was very mixed with each couple coming from a different state: California, Minnesota, Rhode Island and, of course, Wisconsin. It was fun to hear what everyone had done throughout the day and some of them had some interesting adventures mixing with the locals. There was a table of people from Milwaukee and it was nice to see familiar faces on the cruise as well.

Ted Hierl and his lovely wife, Hilde, deserve a great big thank you for spending countless hours putting together this cruise. There were over 360 people in our group and 88 of them came from Germany. Hilde did all the coordinating and translating that was needed to make things go smoothly. Ted announced that next year's cruise will be going to the Southern Caribbean with the Original Naabtal Duo as the star guests. I have created a new Cruise page with all the details and you can get there by pressing this button . If you want to see the Naabtal Duo in action there are a bunch of links to YouTube so you can get familiar with their music. I will be putting a direct link along the left sidebar of the webpage soon, so if you are thinking of going next year call & reserve your cabin before they are filled up. Please note that if you click on Ted & Hilde's picture you will go to Ted's Webpage where you can listen to his 2 hours Sunday Radio show all week.