KAI WARNER (1926-1982)

Kai Warner was the stage name of Werner Last (27 October 1926 – 9 July 1982), a German bandleader and musician, and the brother of James Last and Robert Last.

Born in Bremen, Warner took piano lessons from Ernst Weelen and received theory instruction from the Max Reger and Engelbert Humperdinck student Richard Bulling.

After the war, Werner Last appeared as a trombonist along with his brothers Hans (bassist, later known as James Last) and Robert Last (drummer) in Bremen music halls and in the American clubs in the vicinity of Bremerhaven. At this point, he was discovered by the composer and manager Friedrich Meyer and hired for the newly formed dance orchestra of Radio Bremen.

The Last brothers became well known as members of the Last-Becker Ensemble. Warner Last found his first success as an arranger. After the disbandment of the Bremen dance orchestra in 1948, he played for a time in a 12-man band, then went to seek his fortune in the USA. Before this, he married the 18-year-old Hjördis Harlow, an American of Norwegian descent. From this marriage came two sons, Steven and Warner.

In the USA, Warner had to make his living as a casual labourer for several months before he was admitted into the New York musician’s union. As a trombonist, he belonged to several renowned big bands. As well, he studied music theory at New York University with Schillinger professor Rudolf Schramm.

In 1958, Warner Last returned to Germany and arranged numerous film scores. In 1966 he signed a contract as a producer with Polydor; he discovered and produced Renate Kern. As Kai Warner, he started his own orchestra, which included many musicians who played with James Last (such as his brother Robert Last, who had already played drums on the earliest James Last sessions). In 1975, Kai Warner switched from Polydor to Philips.

Besides his LPs like Pops For Minis, Happy Together, Goldtimer 1 and 2, his name is forever linked with the Go-In series, which continued later on Philips under the name Go-In Party.

Other albums: So In Love, Love Songs, Romantic Songs, Wer recht in Freuden tanzen will, Warner Plays Wagner, Golden Violins, Volkslieder Festival, On The Road To Philadelphia, Swingin’ Johann, Salsoul Explosion, A Glass Of Champagne, Dance To The Beatles, Zum Tanz Marsch Marsch, Polka wie noch nie, Oriental Nights, It’s Country Time, and naturally the Christmas album Christmas Party.

He also made several recordings with his Kai Warner Singers, a mixed choir made up of six women and six men often accompanied only by a rhythm section, like Ray Conniff used to do it in his 70s albums. He died in Hamburg aged 55.

Recordings by Kai Warner you can hear at Instrumentals Forever:

A Hard Day’s Night
A Taste Of Honey
A Very Precious Love
A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Aber am Abend da spielt der Zigeuner – In Manuels Taverne – Hey Rock And Roll
Alley Cat
Als op Capri de rozentuinen bloeien – Zonnig Madeira – Veel mooier dan het mooiste schilderij
Als sterren flonk’ren – Een heel klein huisje met een tuintje – Ik heb een huis met een tuintje
Am stillen Herd in Winterszeit (from ”Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”)
American Pie
Anchors Away
Arrivederci Roma
Bahama Mama
Beautiful Sunday
Beg Steal Or Borrow
Black Bottom – Margie -Somebody Stole My Gal – I’m Sitting On Top Of The World
Black is Black
Blue Bayou
Blue Hawaii
Can`t Buy My Love
Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe
Can’t Help Falling In Love
Capri Serenade
Carolina In The Morning – Ain’t She Sweet – Virginia
Carribean Summer
Carry Me Back To Old Virginia – Dream – Sentimental Journey
Cast Your Fate To The Wind
Chanson d’amour
Come Back Home – You Can Get It If You Really Want – Sally
Cuando Sali De Cuba – Love Is Blue – Young Girl
Dance The Kung Fu
Dancing On The Shore
Dancing On The Shore
Days Of Wine And Roses – Hold Me – Lights Out
De postkoets – Hotsjek – Flip de fluiter
Delilah – Congratulations – A Banda
Detroit City
Dir Töne Lob (from ”Tannhäuser”)
Dirty Ol’ Man
Do You Ever Think Of Me – Whispering – Siboney
Doctor’s Orders
Dolannes Melody
Don Diri Don – La-La-La – Quando M’Innamoro
Don’t Go To Reno
Dreaming Desert
Eens zal de Betuwe – Breng eens een zonnetje – Ik ben verliefd op een keukenmeid
Einzug der Gäste auf der Wartburg (from ”Tannhäuser”)
El Garbanzo
Eva Marie
Everybody Needs Somebody – Candida – Cracklin Rosie
Face To Face – In Old Mexico – Ich hab’ die Liebe verspielt in Monte Carlo
Flower-Power-Kleid – Arrivederci Hans – Lieber mal weinen im Glück
Fly Butterfly
For Once In My Life
Fuchsgraben Polka
Funky Harem (bonustrack)
Get Back
Golden Earrings (& Tommy Reilly)
Good Bye Is Not Forever
Hallelujah – ‘s Wonderful – Happy Days Are Here Again
Hang On Sloopy
Happy Cowboy
Happy Together
Harlekin – Der Mond vom Fudschijama – Mama
Hawaiian War Chant
He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother
Heart Of Gold
Help Me Make It Through The Night
Hey Jude
Honey Honey – Wären Tränen aus Gold – Ring Ring
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love – Salome – Yes Sir That’s My Baby
I Kiss Your Hand Madame – Handsome Gigolo
I Love You Baby
I Only Have Eyes For You
I Shot The Sheriff – Rock Your Baby
I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now
Ich bin verliebt in die Liebe – Lookin’ Out My Back Door – Sophia Loren
Ich hab’ geträumt das Gluck kam heut’ zu mir – Oh wann kommst Du – What Have They Done To My Song Ma
Ich kauf’ mir lieber einen Tirolerhut
Ich leb’ nur für dich allein – She – Sundown
If I Loved You – Ramblin’ Rose – Happy Heart
If I Only Had Time – Meine Welt ist schön
If It’s All The Same To You  (& Tommy Reilly)
I’ll Be Seeing You – Strangers In The Night – Spanish Eyes
I’ll Be There – Und Wenn ein neuer Tag erwacht
I’ll Remember Summer
I’m A Believer
I’m Coming Home
I’m Not Crying
I’m So Thankful
In A Persian Market
It Had To Be You – Diane – Makin’ Whoopee
It’s Country Time
Ja mir san mit’m Radl da
Jamal (Young Love)
Lady Madonna
Larisa’s Theme
Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Let’s Have A Party
Lieber Maler male mir – 99 99 Prozent – Wärst du doch in Düsseldorf geblieben
Liechtensteiner Polka
Lied an den Abendstern (from ”Tannhäuser”)
Lingering On
Lisbon Antiqua
Little Susu
Lotar’s Theme
Love In Bloom
Love Is Here To Stay
Love Is In The Air
Love Me Tender
Love’s Theme
Magic Is The Moonlight
Mame – Five Minutes More – Hello Dolly
Mem’ries Of Napoli
Mexican Road
Middellandse zee – Marigot – Deep in mijn hart
Mister Sandman – Play A Simple Melody – C’est magnifique
Montego Bay
Moonlight And Roses
Morgendlich leuchtend in rosigem Schein (from ”Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”)
Moscow By Night
My Bonnie Is Over The Ocean
My Cherie Amour
My Happiness – Blueberry Hill
Now I Know
On The Road To Philadelphia
One Way Wind
Over 25 jaar – Op de woelige baren
Penny Lane
Pensionärs Polka
Petite fleur
Poppa Joe
Ramona – My Heart Stood Still
Ring Of Fire
Rio Rita – Ma He’s Making Eyes At Me – Toot Toot Tootsie
River Song
Rivers Of Babylon
Rose Marie – Me And My Shadow
Ruby Don’t Take Your Love Town
Sabre Dance (Säbeltanz)
Samson And Delilah
San Antonio Rose
Saturday Rolling Around
Sealed With A Kiss
Seasons In The Sun
Secret Love
Sentimental Me
Shame Shame Shame
Sheik Of Araby
Show Me The Way To Go Home
Show Me The Way To Go Home – Ay Ay Ay – Farewell Blues
Silence Is Golden
Singing The Blues
Snoezepoes – Door de nacht klinkt een lied – Dag schatteboutje
So lang’ es Liebe gibt – Ein Tag im September
Somethin’ Stupid
Something – Du bist anders – Goodbye My Love
Sometimes Cowgirls Get The Blues
Sommernacht – Wenn du mal einsam bist – Gold auf der Strasse
Spanish Eyes
Spanish Harlem
Spanish Love Song
Stardust – Creole Love Call
Steuermannslied (from ”Der fliegende Holländer”)
Strike Up The Band – Charleston – When The Saints Go Marching In
Sun Of Jamaica
Suzanne Suzanne
Sweet City Woman
Sweet Sue – Who’s Sorry Now – Some Of These Days
Sweetheart – Un Rayo de Sol – Soolaimon
‘t Was een zomernachtsfeest – Bloesem van seringen
Take It Easy altes Haus
Tea For Two – My Melancholy Baby – The Birth Of The Blues
Tender Feeling
The Beat Goes On
The Belly Dancer
The Entertainer – Theo wir fahren nach Lodz
The Gambler
The Girl On The Billboard
The Most Beautiful Girl
The Most Beautiful Girl – Charly – Seasons In The Sun
The Sheik of Araby
The Touch Of Your Lips
Theme from ”A Summer Place”
Then He Kissed Her
There’s Yes Yes In Your Eyes
Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer – Midnight In Moscow – All My Loving
Today Tomorrow And Forever
Tonight – Nur ein Kuss Maddalena – The Night Chicago Died
Treulich geführt ziehet dahin (Brautchor) (from ”Lohengrin”)
True Love – Around The World
Um Um Um Um Um Um
Venus Waltz
Warum willst Du weinen – Es geht mir gut Chérie – Der Mann auf dem Zehnmarkschein
Waterloo – Be My Girl – My Boy Lollypop
We Can Work It Out
Wein und Brot des letzten Mahles (from ”Parsifal”)
Wenn der weisse Flieder wieder blüht – My Bonnie Is Over The Ocean – Down By The Riverside
What A Wonderful World – Traurigsein lohnt sich nicht
When Day Is Done – Take Me In Your Arms – Auf Wiederseh’n My Dear
When Joey Comes Around
When Will I See You Again
When Your Lover Has Gone
When You’re Smiling – Say It With Music – If You Knew Suzie
Winter’s Spring
Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond (from ”Die Walküre”)
Wir tanzen wieder Polka
With A Little Help From My Friends
Wonderful World Beautiful People
Wooly Bully
Yester-Me Yester-You Yester-Day
You Can Get It If You Really Want
You’re The First The Last My Everything
Zuiderzee blues – Zuiderzee ballade – Een dansliedje deint