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Udo Jürgens

Schlager german deutsch austrian deutschsprachig

    Udo Jürgens (born Udo Jürgen Bockelmann; 30 September 1934 – 21 December 2014) was an Austrian-Swiss composer and singer of popular music whose career spanned over fifty years. He won the Eurovision Song Contest 1966 for Austria, composed close to 1,000 songs, and sold over 100 million records. In 2007 he additionally obtained Swiss citizenship.

    He is credited with broadening German-language pop music beyond the traditional postwar "" (hit song) in the 1950s by infusing it with a modern pop appeal and French style. His compositions and arrangements attracted fans of all ages. Until his death at age 80 he continued to fill venues in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

    In 1952 Udo Bolan, as he was called then, formed the Udo Bolan Quartet In Klagenfurt, Austria appearing regularly at the Café Obelisk in Klagenfurt with Englishman Johnny Richards on drums, Klaus Behmel on guitar and Bruno Geiger on Bass. The quartet played regularly at various dance and jazz venues and also broadcast on Radio Alpenland and the British Forces Radio network produced by Mike Fior.

    In 1950, he won a composer contest organized by Austria's public broadcasting channel ORF with the song "Je t'aime". He wrote the 1961 worldwide hit "Reach for the Stars", sung by Shirley Bassey.

    In 1964, he represented Austria for the first time at the Eurovision Song Contest 1964 with the song "Warum nur, warum?", finishing sixth. The UK participant, Matt Monro, was impressed with the melody and covered the song (with English lyrics by his manager Don Black) as "Walk Away," which reached number four in the UK Singles Chart and number 23 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

    Jürgens' song "Sag ihr, ich lass sie grüßen" came fourth in 1965's contest, and on his third try he won the Eurovision Song Contest 1966 in Luxembourg with "Merci, Chérie", which became an English-language hit for Vince Hill, another cover by Monro, and one of Jürgens' most recognized compositions. Jürgens' version alone sold over one million copies, and he was awarded a gold disc by Deutsche Vogue in 1966.

    In the following years, he wrote the songs, like "Griechischer Wein", "Aber bitte mit Sahne", "Mit 66 Jahren", and — one of his biggest successes — "Buenos Días, Argentina", which he performed together with the Germany national football team in 1978.

    In 1977, he invited The Supremes to appear as guests on his televised and recorded gala concert. The Supremes (Mary Wilson, Scherrie Payne, and Susaye Green), who were on a brief farewell tour of Europe at the time, performed two of their own hits, "You Are the Heart of Me" and "You're My Driving Wheel", as well as a duet with Jürgens' "Walk Away" in English.

    In 1979, he released a disco album entitled Udo '80. It produced a hit song "Ich weiß was ich will". This song was also released as a 12 inch disco single in an extended remix for discothèques.

    On 2 December 2007, the jukebox musical "Ich war noch niemals in New York" ("I've never been to New York") opened in Hamburg's Operettenhaus. It weaves songs by Jürgens into a familial storyline, similar to the treatment of ABBA songs in "Mamma Mia!", the musical it succeeded at the venue.

    Since 2015, Udo Jürgens holds the worldwide-record as the artist with the longest presence in the charts ever - more than 57 years from his first entry 1958 till 2015.

    On 21 December 2014, Jürgens died of acute heart failure in Münsterlingen, Switzerland at the age of 80. With Austria's success at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, the first since Jürgens' success in 1966, Jürgens expressed his interest in performing in the interval of the next contest. With his death, the organisers of the 2015 contest in Vienna paid tribute to him with a tribute day on 20 May and a tribute act at the beginning of the Grand Final.

    Studio albums
    1965 Portrait in Musik
    1966 Françoise und Udo
    1967 Was ich dir sagen will
    1967 Portrait in Musik II
    1967 International
    1967 Chansons
    1968 Udo Jürgens
    1968 Mein Lied für dich
    1968 Udo
    1969 Portrait International
    1969 Udo '70
    1970 Udo '71
    1971 So weit die Züge geh'n
    1971 Jonny & Jenny
    1972 Ich bin wieder da
    1973 Es ist Zeit für die Liebe
    1973 International 2
    1973 Jonny & Jenny - Alle Kinder dieser Welt
    1973 New World of Udo Jürgens
    1974 Udo heute
    1974 Meine Lieder
    1975 Griechischer Wein - Seine neuen Lieder
    1975 Griechischer Wein
    1975 Udo '75 - Ein neuer Morgen
    1976 Meine Lieder 2
    1977 Meine Lieder '77
    1977 Lieder, die auf Reisen gehen
    1978 Buenos dias, Argentina
    1978 Nur ein Lächeln
    1979 Die Blumen blüh'n überall gleich
    1979 Udo '80
    1981 Willkommen in meinem Leben
    1981 Leave a Little Love
    1982 Silberstreifen
    1983 Traumtänzer
    1984 Hautnah
    1985 Treibjagd
    1986 Deinetwegen
    1988 Das blaue Album
    1989 Ohne Maske
    1990 Sempre Roma
    1991 Geradeaus!
    1993 Café Größenwahn
    1995 Zärtlicher Chaot
    1999 Ich werde da sein
    2002 Es lebe das Laster
    2005 Jetzt oder nie
    2008 Einfach ich
    2011 Der ganz normale Wahnsinn
    2014 Mitten im Leben

    Udo Jürgens has published photos.