Bent Fabric (born Bent Fabricius-Bjerre in 1924 in Denmark) is a Danish pianist and composer who has been fondly remembered for his international hit “Alley Cat” during the 60s music era. He formed his own band after the Second World War, in his native Denmark. He became nationally famous with his own instrumental piece “Omkring et Flygel” in 1961. It was released the following year internationally, re-titled in English as “Alley Cat.” In the US (where it was issued on Atco Records) it became a Top 10 hit that year. Fabricius-Bjerre released other singles but none of them reached the level of success as “Alley Cat” did. He also had done several film scores even before his international success occurred. Even up to the 21st century, Fabricius-Bjerre still figures actively in the industry, having worked with a new breed of critically-acclaimed musicians in his native Denmark. In 2006, “Jukebox” and “Shake” hit high on the Danish charts. Fabricius-Bjerre released a compilation album Kan du kende melodien in 2005.
Who is Bent Fabric?
Bent Fabricius-Bjerre, internationally known as Bent Fabric, is a Danish pianist and composer born on December 7, 1924 in Frederiksberg, Denmark. Fabricius-Bjerre began his musical journey after the World War II, forming a jazz ensemble and starting his own label, Metronome Records in 1950.
Bent Fabric’s success with “Omkring flygel” aka “Alley Cat”
Fabricius-Bjerre had his career break when he gained a hit in Denmark with the song “Omkring et flygel” (literally “Around a Piano”) in 1961. Using the alias “Alley Cat,” his song was finally released worldwide on Atco Records and it became a big hit in different countries such as Germany (#49) and Australia (#1) and in the U.S. (#7). On the Billboard 200, the million-selling LP of the same name made at #13 and was given a gold disc status. Fabricius-Bjerre also gained an award as the Best Instrumental act at the Grammy Awards as well.
In 1963, further recordings were released which encountered marginal successes on the national chart such as “That Certain Party” (#117), “Chicken Feed” (#63) and “The Happy Puppy” (#102).
His later years
In the following decades, Fabricius-Bjerre channeled his energy as a film scorer up to the recent years. In 2005 in his native Denmark, Kan du kende was released, a compilation album featuring his most well-known film and TV scores. Also, he released the album Jukebox which made him visit the charts once again with “Jukebox” and “Shake.” These singles peaked at #3 and #10 respectively in 2006. A dance remix of “Jukebox” was released in 2006 which reached #7 on the US Dance/Club Play charts. The album was later re-issued in the US which included his well-known material.
Fabricius-Bjerre had a gala performance held at the Royal Danish Theatre on December 6, 2009. Happened on the day before his 85th birthday, the event was a theatrical concert where he performed 24 of his songs along with the graduates from the Danish Academy for Musical Theatre as fellow performers.