This song was originally written in the 1940s by Paul Buckhard for a stage musical, Der Schwarze Hecht (The Black Pike). In 1949 it became a European hit for Lys Assia, who later won the first ever Eurovision Song Contest with "Refrain" in 1956. In 1953 the British producer, Norrie Paramour asked trumpeter Eddie Calvert to make a solo record. Despite being released as the B-side of the single "Mystery Street," this song caught on and it became the first UK #1 to be recorded at EMI's Abbey Road studios.
This remained UK #1 for nine weeks, a record in the UK for an instrumental. The second longest lasting UK #1 instrumental, 'Wonderful Land' by The Shadows (#1 for eight weeks) was also produced by Norrie Paramor.
In the US, Eddie Fisher's version topped the US charts and reached #9 in the UK, thus making it the first song to chart as both instrumental and vocal in the UK.
Eddie Calvert came to hate this song. According to 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, in the '70s he said, "Hearing 'Oh Mein Papa' is like having a 6-inch nail jammed through my head."
Mike Campbell from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played the slide guitar on "Sixth Avenue Heartache." There is a connection here - Wallflowers lead singer Jakob's dad, Bob Dylan, played with Tom Petty in The Traveling Wilburys.