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The first form of German pop music is said to be cabaret, which arose during the Weimar Republic in the 1920s as the sensual music of late-night clubs. Marlene Dietrich and Margo Lion were among the most famous performers of the period, and became associated with both humorous satire and liberal ideas. Wenn die beste Freundin (1928) was an early lesbian-themed song. Like in France and Holland cabaret was entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance, and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue — a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting at tables (often dining or drinking) watching the performance.

When the Nazi party came to power in 1933, they started to repress this intellectual criticism of the times. Cabaret in Germany was hit badly. (Bob Fosse's film, Cabaret (1972), based on the Christopher Isherwood novel, Goodbye to Berlin, deals with this period.). Although during the War political cabaret was prohibited the German movie industry at UFA in Berlin delivered new stars who filled the gap. Most famous is Swedish singer Zarah Leander. In 1942, in the midst of a burning war, Zarah scored the two biggest hits of her recording career- in her signature deep voice, she sang her anthems of hope and survival; Davon geht die Welt nicht unter and Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder gescheh'n.

After the war Germany’s society was busy with rebuilding it’s society. Musically they seek a way to mix old styles like Oom-pah and Volksmusik to a new form of amusementmusic called Schlager. Typical schlager tracks are either sweet, highly sentimental ballads with a simple, catchy melody or light pop tunes. Its lyrics typically center on love and relationships, and feelings. Although schlager is sometimes not been taken serious by the surrounding European artists it is this music style that gives Germany a unique and can be found in the heart of almost any German musician.



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