Karas was an Austrian who played the zither. He was playing in a Vienna tavern when British director Carol Reed heard him and decided to have him score and play for the soundtrack of the film he was then shooting in Vienna, The Third Man. This was a brave decision by the director as Karas had absolutely no experience in composition or film scoring.
This was the first #1 in the USA for an Austrian.
Karas followed up with an album of his own pieces and other Viennese songs on Decca. He used his earnings from the film and recordings to buy a wine bar in Grinzing called "The Third Man."
In the UK, this was titled "The Harry Lime Theme" after the main character in the film.
Bob Hardy from Vergennes, VtI have a Telefunken 78 rpm "Das Harry Lime Thema, Nr, A10856 Zither solo by Anton Karas, flip side Der Cafe, Mozart Waltz. also played by Anton Karas. Platter looks good to me. Any interested parties, please contact me. Bob Hardy. Vergennes, VT 05491
Terry from KnutsfordI remember 1949 when everyone in the street was whistling the 'Third Man' theme along with the 'Twelfth Street Rag', both in the hit UK parade at the time.
Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumI already loved this song when I saw the film for the first time, it's very top and I still love it now. A great song and a great film, a joy forever.