Gloomys, The

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1961-62) as The Gloomy Moon Skiffle Band

- Heinz Harde (aka Heinz-Gert Hüsken) --  guitar, vocals

- Joerg Kulla -- bass, vocals
- Peter Manikowski -- drums, percussion
- Mike Sanden -- lead vocals 


  line up 2 (1962-64) as The Gloomy Moon Singers

- Heinz Harde (aka Heinz-Gert Hüsken) --  guitar, vocals

- Joerg Kulla -- bass, vocals
- Peter Manikowski -- drums 
- Mike Sanden -- lead vocals 

NEW - Andy Schoenfeld (RIP Nov 1997) -- guitar, vocals

NEW - Frank Zander -- guitar, vocals


  line up 3 (1964-66)  

NEW - Harald Friedrich -- rhythm guitar, vocals

- Heinz Harde (aka Heinz-Gert Hüsken) --  guitar, vocals

- Jöerg Kulla -- bass, vocals

- Peter Manikowski -- drums

- Andy Schoenfeld (RIP Nov 1997) -- guitar, backing vocals


  line up 4 (1966-68) as The Gloomys

- Heinz Harde (aka Heinz-Gert Hüsken) --  guitar, vocals

NEW- Heinz-Joachim "Heimchen" Krebs -- guitar, organ,   

   backing vocals

- Jöerg Kulla -- bass, vocals

- Peter Manikowski -- drums, percussion

- Mike Sanden -- vocals


  line up 5 (1968-71)  

NEW- Michael Auerbach -- drums (replaced Peter Manikowski)

- Heinz-Joachim Krebs -- guitar, organ, vocals

- Jöerg Kulla -- bass, vocals

- Mike Sanden -- vocals



- Gloomy Moon Skiffle Group

- Gloomy Moon Singers

- Heinz Harde (solo efforts)

- Ricky Shayne





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Daybreak

Company: Columbia/EMI

Catalog: SMC 74360

Country/State: Berlin, Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: cut lower right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6

Price: $125.00


When folks think about German music it seems to revolve around Krautrock, or polkas.  Forgotten in that equation is the fact West Germany had a thriving rock scene throughout the 1950s and 1960s.  Yes, it was heavily influenced by British and American bands, but there were literally thousands of West German pop and rock bands 


The early 1960s found West German bands following their British counterparts in discovering skiffle. Formed in 1961 in Berlin, The Gloomy Moon Skiffle Group jumped headlong into the skiffle scene, gaining their first recognition when they won second place in the city's 1961 Goldene Waschbrett (Golden Washboard) talent contest.  (For anyone who cares about rock trivia, the winning band were The Lords.)   The resulting attention saw the band signed as a house band for the Berlin Riverboat Club (which in spite of its name, was actually located in an anonymous, modern looking building in Hohenzollerndamm, within sight of the Berlin wall).  Skiffle carried the band for a couple of years, but responding to changing public tastes, by 1964 they'd drop their skiffle repertoire in favor of beat, renamed themselves The Gloomy Moon Singers.  With help from Riverboat Club management the band bought electric instruments and stage equipment, subsequently signing a contract with Decca where they released a pair singles, followed by a on-shot release for Telefunken's Special Elite label:



- 1964's 'Zieht euch warm an' b/w 'Wenn Du Willst (Decca catalog number D 19 551)

- 1964's 'Du hast mire Geschworen' b/w 'Kein andres Macher hat Augen so wie Du'  (Decca catalog number D 19 555)

- 1965's Keep On Dancing' b/w 'Hang On Sloopy' (Special Elite catalog number F 4037)


Over the next two years the band returned to the club circuit, playing throughout Germany, along with dates in Austria and Spain.   By 1967 the band, now featuring rhythm guitarist Heinz Harden (who'd previously recorded some early-'60s solo sides), lead guitarist Heinz-Joachim Krebs, bassist Jöerg Kulla, drummer Peter Manikowski, and singer Mike Sanden had reinvented themselves as The Gloomys.   Signed by Columbia/EMI, they released their debut LP the same year.  Produced by Ralph Siegle Jr. who also wrote several of the songs,1967's "Daybreak" featured a mixture of four Krebs originals and eight interesting covers, including a pair of Tim Hardin numbers (If I Were a Carpenter' and 'The Lady Came From Baltimore').  Musically the album wasn't particularly original, placing the ban in the same category as Merseybeat also-rans like Freddie and the Dreamers, or Gerry & the Pacemakers.  The Hardin covers added an element of American folk influence, while their cover of The Supremes 'Com See About Me' saw them dipping their collective toes into a Germanic version of blue-eyed soul.  As lead singer Sanden was actually quite impressive.  Yeah, his accented vocals were noticeable, but you quickly grew accustom to it and at least to my ears, he actually had a far better voice than The Lords' Ulli Gunthe.  Moreover, these guys were actually pretty good musicians, capable of generating some decent pop and rock numbers - anyone doubting that need only check out the Krebs original 'King and Queen').  


- Built on a haunting keyboard and acoustic guitar powered melody, I'll readily admit 'Daybreak' started the album with a surprisingly impressive slice of pop.  The horn orchestration may have been a tad heavy, but it was one of those songs that crept into your head at unexpected moments and wouldn't leave, which is probably why it was tapped as a single   rating: *** stars

- The up tempo 'Calling Mayfair 5-0-16' was even better.  True, this wasn't going to win any awards for lyrics, but it was easily as good as anything most British pop bands were churning out during the same timeframe.  Sanden turned in one of his best vocals on this one.  The song also showcased the band's tight harmony vocal skills.   rating: **** stars

- The first of two Tim Hardin covers, their take on 'If I Were a Carpenter' didn't stray far from the original which meant it was pretty catchy.  Highlights included Jöerg Kulla bass and (can't believe I'm saying this), a nice flute solo.   rating: **** stars

- The first disappointment, the ballad 'West End Station' sounded like a lame attempt to tap into the same market that found 'Eleanor Rigby' so attractive.  Personally I found it far too sappy to be of any use ...   rating: ** stars

- With a breezy, horn propelled melody 'Words Written on Water' was a decent slice of top-40 pop.  Probably too MOR for many folks, it was still fairly commercial.   rating: *** stars

- The second Hardin cover, 'The Lady Came From Baltimore' was nice enough, but just a bit too country-tinged for my tastes.   rating: ** stars

- The first of four Heinz-Joachim Krebs originals, 'Queen and King' was a pounding slice of blue-eyed soul with some dynamite vocals and Krebs on organ.  One of he album highlights ...   rating; **** stars

- The band's cover of The Supremes stuck pretty close to the original arrangement, but there was something fascinating in hearing Sanden and the rest of the band singing the song in falsettos.  Neither Sanden, nor the rest of the group sound particularly comfortable in that range, but they somehow managed to power through the song.   rating: *** stars

- Another Krebs original, 'Run Into My Heart ' sounded like a mid-'60s Merseybeat ballad.  It was pretty enough, but by 1967 must have already sounded quite dated.  The end of the song had an interesting drum meltdown.   rating: ** stars

- 'On a Friday's Night' stuck with the Merseybeat feel, though this one was an up tempo rocker.  Unlike most of the songs on the album, this one had absolutely no orchestration.   The band still managed to acquit themselves well.    rating: *** stars  

- Even though it was a sappy ballad, 'Have a Happy, Happy Time' was ultimately saved by the insidiously catchy title refrain and some nice jangle rock guitar.    rating: *** stars  

- A cover of J.D. Loudermilk's 'It's My Time' was simply too country-ified for anyone's good and adding a coronet solo to the arrangement didn't exactly up the song's rock quotient.    rating: ** stars  

- The final Kreb's original, 'It Was O So Easy' was a moody, mid-tempo rocker that showed some real talent and gave you a feel for what these guys could have done with a bit of creative leeway.  Nice melody; nice jangle guitars; nice vocals ... easily one of the best songs on the album.   rating: **** stars

- I think The Troggs had the original hit, but this version of the saccharine 'Hi Hi Hazel' wasn't any worse ...   The song's always struck me as sounding like an antacid commercial.   rating: ** stars


As mentioned above, the album spun off a single in the form of:




- 1968's 'Daybreak' b/w 'Calling Mayfair 5-0-16' (Columbia C 23 694)


Admittedly, with the possible exception of the original 'It Was O So Easy' there wasn't anything particularly creative, or artful on this one, rather it was music as a commodity.  That said, it was done with more care and enthusiasm than you found on score of better known (and better selling) releases and if they'd included one or two more originals I probably would have given it four stars.  You also had to wonder what would have happen had this set had been recorded by an English band ...


"Daybreak" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Daybreak   (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 

2.) Calling Mayfair 5-0-16    (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 

3.) If I Were a Carpenter  (Tim Hardin) - 

4.) West End Station   (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 

5.) Words Written on Water  (Leon Carr) - 

6.) The Lady Came From Baltimore   (Tim Hardin) - 

7.) Queen and Kind   (J. Krebs) -  


(side 2)
1.) Come See About Me   )Brian Holland - Eddy Holland - Lamont Dozier) - 

2.) Run Into My Heart   (J. Krebs) -  

3.) On a Friday's Night   (J. Krebs) -  

4.) Have a Happy, Happy Time   (Tom Dooley) -

5.) It's My Time (Jo D. Loudermilk) - 

6.) It Was O So Easy   (J. Krebs) -  

7.) Hi Hi Hazel  (Martin Coultere) - 





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Gloomys II

Company: Columbia/EMI

Catalog: 1C 052-28406

Country/State: Berlin, Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 344

Price: $150.00


Released in 1971, the cleverly-titled "Gloomys II" served as a compilation pulling together a somewhat haphazard collection of earlier 'A' and 'B' side singles (including four 45s from the 1968 timeframe), and miscellaneous studio tracks. The majority of the twelve tracks presented the band as a top-40 pop band with more than their share of nods to contemporary American and English hit-makers including the likes of The Bee Gees (remember they were born in the UK), Tom Jones, an occasional nod to Ray Davis and the Kinks, and a wide array of Merseybeat bands. Those comparisons occasionally get a little too close for comfort as the lead-off song 'Jolly Joker' where prime songwriters Ralph Siegal Jr. and Michael Kunze blatantly ripped off The Spencer Davis Group's 'Gimmie Little Lovin''.  Musically the collection was evenly divided between top-40 pop and top-40 ballads.  To be totally honest, nothing here was particularly original, or striking and you occasionally got the feeling these guys were simply following popular musical fads rather than making an attempt to carve out their own path. (Judging by the velvet pants displayed on the front cover, they were also pursuing fashion trends.)   Many of the pop songs were gimmicky, while many of the ballads were over-the-top sappy.  In fact, its one of those albums that's fun to play spot-the-influences (Bee Gees on 'The Wedding', bubblegum bands on 'Katy, My Future Telling Lady').   Those criticisms aside, most of the songs were fun with stellar performances from lead singer  Mike Sanden and the rest of the band which by 1968 featured a line-up of drummer Michael Auerbach, multi-instrumentalist Heinz-Joachim Krebs, and bass player Jöerg Kulla.


"Daybreak" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Jolly Joker    (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 3:36

As discussed above, tracks like the lead-off 'Jolly Joker' reflected a massive jump in terms of musically sophistication.   Yeah, they were lucky The Spencer Davis Group didn't sue the crap out of them for stealing the opening riff from 'Gimmie Some Lovin'' and the lyrics were still rather sophomoric (remember English wasn't their native language), but no matter what you thought of the words, kicked along by Heinz-Joachim Krebs' stabbing organ fills, the song absolutely rocked with one of those rollicking melodies that you couldn't shake out of your head.   Fantastic way to open the album.  rating: **** stars

2.) Chinchilla Lady   (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 3:48

No idea what the title meant (perhaps they were trying to portray the image of a woman wrapped up in furs?), but 'Chinchilla Lady' was a smooth, radio-ready pop song that should have appealed to anyone who liked The Association.   I didn't even mind the horn arrangement.   rating: **** stars

3.) David and Goliath   (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 2:48

An earlier single, 'David and Goliath' sounded like something Herman's Hermits might have recorded - a gimmicky, but very commercial pop song with a top-40ish melody and some sweet harmony vocals.  The track was tapped as a single.    rating: **** stars

4.) The Wedding   (Prieto - Jay) - 2:49

Given the title I was expecting 'The Wedding' to be a big, sappy, and irritating ballad.  Instead, kicked along by some nice Jöerg Kulla bass, it was a bluesy-ballad that reflected more than a touch of Bee Gees influence.   Nice.  rating: *** stars

5.) Katy, My Future Telling Lady   (Peter Match - St. Prager) - 2:08

Pure bubblegum, 'Katy, My Future Telling Lady' would have sounded right at home on one of those Katenetz-Katz LPs (1910 Fruitgum Company, Strawberry Alarm Clock, etc.).   One of the album's most commercial pop tunes.   rating: **** stars

6.) The World Goes Round and Round   (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 3:49

'The World Goes Round and Round' close side one with another hyper-romantic Bee Gees-styled ballad.  This time around Sanden even sounded like he was trying to mimmick the Gibbs Brothers patented vocal stylings.  rating: *** stars


(side 2)
1.) Treat Her Like You Wanna Be Treated   (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 3:14

Another 1968 single, if there was ever a song written with an eye to being lip synched on a television show, the giddy 'Treat Her Like You Wanna Be Treated' would be in the running.   Mindless late-'60s pop.   rating: *** stars

2.) Singin' the Blues   (Melvin Endlsey) - 2:46

Hum, The Gloomys take a stab at Stax ...   Can't say it was particularly impressive, but at least it made for a change in direction.   rating: *** stars

3.) When My Door Squeeks   (Krebs - Neumann) - 2:38

Kicked along by some barrelhouse piano and a vaudevillian feel, 'When My Door Squeeks' sounded like they were trying to clone a bad New Vaudeville Band tune.  Hideous.   rating: * star

4.) Winds of Change   (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 2:56

Released as a 1968 single, 'Winds of Change' was a smooth, heavily orchestrated ballad with a touch of social commentary (albeit it was largely limited to the title track being repeated over and over and ove with varying degrees of sincerity).  Pretty melody with some nice martial drumming from Michael Auerbach.  rating: *** stars

5.) Sooner of Later   (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 2:45

The pop-psych tinged 'Sooner or Later' had previously seen daylight as the flip side to he 1968 'Winds of Change' single.  At least the opening section, with a nod to psychedelia, was one of their most original efforts.   That feeling didn't last too long as the song quickly morphed into a pop number, though it exhibited quite a bit of energy.  Imagine a small kid hyped up on sugar and you'll get a feel for Mike Sanden's lead vocal.   rating: *** stars

6.) Day-O   (traditional - Bearb - Krebs) - 2:45

I certainly wasn't  expecting anything from a cover of the chestnut 'Day-O' ...   And out of the blue, their updated arrangement of the song was great.  Imagine prime Roger McGuinn and the Byrds soaked in tequila and turning their attention to this tune.   Who would have ever imagined a folk-rock version of the song could be such a blast.  Love the harmonica solo and the goofy background sounds.   rating: **** stars


As mentioned, the album included a string of 1968 singles:

- 1968's 'Winds of Change' b/w 'Sooner of Later (Columbia catalog number C 23 763)

- 1968's 'David and Goliath' b/w 'Westland Station' Columbia catalog number C 23 903

- 1968's 'The World Goes Round and Round' b/w 'When My Door Squeakers (Columbia catalog number C 24 002)

- 1968's 'Treat Her Like You Wanna Be Treated' b/w 'Day O' (Columbia catalog number1C 006-28 410)


Both Gloomys LPs are worth checking out, but this one's the stronger of the two.  Quite difficult to track down ...




The band continued releasing non-LP singles through 1971 at which point they apparently called it quits.

- 1970's 'Pretty Jane' b/w 'In My Dreams' Hansa catalog number 10 422 AT)

- 1970's 'Tomorrow I Will Marry' b/w 'Let Me Dream' (Hansa catalog number 12 908 AT)

- 1970's 'I'm a Bum' b/w 'Let Me Dream' (Hansa catalog number 14 738 AT)

- 1971's 'Mary-Ann' b/w 'So Long My Love' (Hansa catalog number 14 882 AT)