Max Raabe seems like a man who fell through a crack in time —and landed on his feet in the Weimar Republic. As a cash-strapped music student, the singer founded his own orchestra and performed the songs of his favorite era at social gatherings and in bars. Since then, he and the twelve members of his "Palast Orchester" have toured Japan, China, and the USA, filling major concert halls. A highpoint of Raabe's career was a concert at Carnegie Hall in November of 2007, where an audience of 2,800 gave a standing ovation. Raabe's original idea was simple and hit a market niche — at the time there was not a single orchestra that played the repertoire of the 1920s and '30s in original arrangements. So the state-certified opera singer went for the beloved style of a famously exuberant, all too short-lived period and became an entertainer instead of delving into the high art form for which he was trained. In 1992 the baritone hit the charts with "Kein Schwein ruft mich an" (Nobody calls me). From then on, his repertoire grew, as well as his orchestra and the venues they played. Max Raabe was born into a farming family in Lünen in 1962. His talent was detected early at the local church choir and he continued to train his voice at a catholic boarding school. There he met the pianist Christoph Israel, who became his best friend and collaborator: to this day he writes all the songs and joins every tour of the Palast Orchester. After high school, Raabe took private singing lessons in Berlin, financed through menial jobs. In spite of his lack of money, he began cultivating an elegant 1920's appearance, buying second hand clothes with the look of the era. "At home, it was nobody's fault that I became interested in the music of this time," he says. An ancient shellac record he found in his parent's music chest was the trigger.