Nilsen Brothers

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Chart positions
Explanation of the data
Tom Dooley
  DE 1 December 01, 1958 (40 weeks)
Tom Dooley II
  DE 40 10/01/1959 (8 weeks)
The cowboys from the Silver Ranch
  DE 20th 09/01/1960 (16 weeks)
  DE 22nd 09/01/1961 (4 weeks)
Popeye tango
  DE 50 01/01/1962 (4 weeks)
But you only exist once for me
  AT 9 05/15/1967 (16 weeks)

The Nilsen Brothers are a German hit trio that became known to me with evergreens like Tom Dooley and But you are only given once . Members today are Josef (called "Pepe") Ederer, Marco Ettisberger and Ralph Cottiati.


The original Nilsen Brothers - Pepe (actually Josef; initially under the name "Pep") Ederer (* 1932), Gerd Gudera (* 1933) and Walter Leykauf - all came from a village in Upper Palatinate. They appeared as amateur singers at smaller and larger events and also won a young talent competition organized by Bavarian Radio . They were then recommended to Peter Frankenfeld for his TV show Toi, Toi, Toi . After their performance in Hamburg they received contract offers from several record companies, which eventually led to a commitment to the Cologne label Electrola . Their first single with the German version of the Kingston trio hit Tom Dooley was produced in autumn 1958 and reached the German charts in December 1958, where Tom Dooley rose to number one. The title was represented in the machine market charts for 36 weeks, the youth magazine Bravo noted Tom Dooley in its hit list Musicbox from December 1958 to July 1959 for 28 weeks, twelve times as number one. The Nilsen Brothers also sang their hit song in the comedy film Immer die Mädchen .

By 1961, the Nilsen Brothers recorded ten singles with Electrola, including records with Boy Berger and Angèle Durand . The title recorded with Angèle Durand The Cowboys from the Silver Ranch led to another hit parade (1960, # 20). Other hit parades were Tom Dooley II (1960, 40th), Sacramento (1961, 22nd) and Stielaugen-Tango (1962, 50th). With the title But you only exist once for me , composed by Ederer , the Nilsen Brothers only entered the charts in Austria (1967, 9th). After the record deal with Electrola expired, there were only short engagements with Ariola , Decca and Philips . It was not until 1965 that the small Duisburg record company Populates signed a long-term contract that led to over ten single productions. In addition to his record releases, the trio has also appeared in numerous films.

In 1969 the Nilsen Brothers settled in Switzerland. After Ederer had started to publish solo records in 1970 and to work as a composer and producer and Leykauf had also gone his own way as a singer Patrizius , the trio withdrew from the public in 1972 and instead founded a production company. In 1975 Leykauf finally separated from the Nilsen Brothers and was replaced by Marc Holder. Later comeback attempts failed, in 2005 the trio released their own compact disc with the title Never Forget Your Dreams , which contains, among other things, new versions of But you are only once for me and my darling, I still love you today .


Vinyl singles

From page Catalog no. published
Tom Dooley / Wenn 21053 10/1958
Too Young (& Boy Berger) / (Boy Berger: Don't Say Good Bye) 21051 001959
A thousand stars shine / Who knows where the wind will blow us 21071 001959
Fanagalo / All roads lead home 21165 05/1959
Tom Dooley II / We fell in Tijuana 21237 07/1959
Linda / One came through 21384 01/1960
Joe Brown, the clown / El Matador 21493 05/1960
The cowboys from the Silver Ranch (& A.Durand) /
(R.Gildo / V.Bach: singing - swinging)
21543 08/1960
Independence Cha Cha / Hold on to the kangaroo 21705 01/1961
Sweetheart / Sacramento 21842 05/1961
Popeye Tango / Nobody knew her name 45223 12/1961
Three roses, three carnations, three orchids / Shooting galleries Polka 45361 06/1962
Why didn't I stay / Gaby no longer lives with me 100890 001979
Today I still love the whiskey / A love doesn't die in a day 103753 001982
John Kerry / Brownie 19479 12/1963
Rimini bikini baby / The red vino 345720 05/1964
My love for you / Once you will be with me again 6003222 001972
Two guitars - one sweetheart melody /
But you only exist once for me
3001 001965
But you only exist once for me / you know why 30001 001965
It's never too late / without you 3012
My love - my loyalty / Maria, Maria 3038 001968
Bring me luck, chimney sweep / But I must never lose you 3049 001968
The main prize / You can't have everything 3061 001968
You can buy hippie melody / roses 3065
13 green benches / time is money 3072
Hazy Honey / The most beautiful day 3074
One day I'll be with you again / A tear stays here 3077
The most beautiful girl / the old gypsy 3081
One day I'll be with you again / A tear stays here 2041068
The most beautiful girl / the old gypsy 2041177 001971

Vinyl music albums

title Catalog no. published
This world is so beautiful Popular 6010 ≈ 1970
But you only exist once for me Marifon 47871 1978


  • Frank Laufenberg: Rock & Pop Lexicon . Econ Taschenbuch Verlag 1998, ISBN 3-612-26207-6 , Volume 2, p. 1095.
  • Julio Mendívil: A musical piece of home. Ethnological observations on German hits. transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2008, ISBN 978-3-89942-864-3 , pp. 111-112.
  • Christian Müller: The BRAVO - musicbox , Volume I 1956–1969, self-published 2000

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Charts DE Chartsurfer