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KEK in the 1940es
Company start with Anders Dyrup
Allan Stephensen Story about KEK
Trygve Hernæs Remembering Karl Emil Knudsen.
Adrian Bentzon about KEK
Man of great intuitions...the first releases
KEK intervjuad av Erik Raben
Ivar G. Jonsson
190 år med Mona og Anders
Arnvid Meyer om KEK
KEK Museum
Non members about KEK
Nordisc KEK's own record shop
"Da den moderne jazz kom til Danmark"
Bent Ove Haandstad
in memoriam

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 Storyville Records.

Allan Stephensen (as mailed to Jerry Valburn on October 19th, 2003.)
Allan Stephensen