The first years
Karl Emil was
born at "Rigshospitalet" in Copenhagen on Sunday, June 16, 1929 named partly
after his father Emil Knudsen who during the German occupation of Denmark
(April 9th, 1940-May 4th, 1945) had joined the resistant movement. He was
informed on to the Nazis and imprisoned in "Vestre Fængsel" in Copenhagen.
Only a few weeks before the allied forces freed Denmark, still in prison
Emil died from a stroke. He is now resting - among others of many
nationalities - in a memorial park "Ryvangen" in the outskirts of
Copenhagen. It took hard on the then 16 years old Karl Emil, of course. More
than ever he attached himself to his mother, the only real "family" he now
had and his deeply felt devotion for her lasted for the rest of her days.
Karl Emil was raised in a small town, Dianalund in the eastern part of
Mid-Zealand as the only child of his parents. In the age of six he began
here at the municipal local school. He behaved well, was good at it and six
years later he easily took his undergraduate examination. Karl Emil
continued school in the nearby town of Høng and after one more year he
passed his preliminary examination. This gave access to continue at high
school, now in the town of Rungsted located in North-Zealand. “Stengaard
Kostskole” was a highly estimated boarding school and living there -
probably without much fun around, he concentrated on his books and three
years later he got his GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in
the line of mathematics. Rungsted, by the way, is located in a very
attractive area of the coastline opposite Sweden, called the "Whisky-belt",
obviously invented by people not living there themselves.
In 1946 Karl Emil went to Copenhagen to attend studies at "Polyteknisk
Læreanstalt." His aim was an academic degree in "technical construction",
cand. polyt. it is called. After a few terms, however, he became seriously
ill and had to postpone his studies. After his recovery Karl Emil finally
got his diploma with distinction but his mother could only give him little
financially support the last year of his studying so he was quite ecstatic
when he got himself a part time job with “The Copenhagen Telephone Company”
(K.T.A.S.). He worked as an apprentice and became a "trouble-shooter"
primarily servicing the company’s business related customers.
It is now 1950, a decisive year for Karl Emil in every possible way. He
later married Erna who brought with her a small son, Frans, from a previous
marriage and they settled in a nice apartment at Ermelundsvej in Gentofte
located in the Northern outskirts of Copenhagen. This was Karl Emil's first
real home of his own. Most - if not all - of the furniture Erna brought with
her. Karl's contribution to equip their new home? His beloved collection of
jazz 78's, a record player and a tape-recorder, of course!
Now this burning interest in our music soon brought Karl Emil himself into
the record business. "Why not combine hobby and business?" he apparently
often asked himself. From thought to action. He gave up his job at the phone
company and devoted all of his time establishing what was to be known as
Allan Stephensen (as mailed to Jerry Valburn on October 19th, 2003.)