In Hamburg, Germany, anyone can dial 4166 and hear hit records of the week. Most startling selection: Louis Armstrong playing and croaking a catchy 4/4 time ditty called Mack the Knife:
Oh the shark has pretty teeth dear
And he shows them a-pearly white,
Just a jackknife has Macheath dear
But he keeps it out of sight . . .
The appearance of this song as an American jazz hit marks the end of a remarkable odyssey; Mack the Knife, originally the prologue of Kurt Weill's famed Threepenny Opera, was first heard in Berlin 28 years ago. It also marks a remarkable revival, on...