German Music: Schlager Singer Heino

Squeaky-clean, conservative and religious, American singer Pat Boone left more than a few scratching their heads in 1997 when he released In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy. The album saw Boone covering hard rock and metal hits like Metallica, Guns N’ Roses and Deep Purple. As if that wasn’t enough, the conservative and religious singer made appearances to promote the album in all-leather outfits, including a dog collar choker necklace. He was 63 years old.

Compare this with German Schlager and traditional singer Heino‘s appeal to a younger audience. In 2013, the then 75 year old Heino released Mit freundlichen Grüßen, a covers album that saw him doing versions of Sportfreunde Stiller, Rammstein and Die Fantastischen Vier, among others. The album went to number one in the German charts. Despite being one of Germany’s best selling singers for nearly five decades, this was his first number one album that went platinum.

Admittedly, Heino’s traditional tastes in music might not appeal to everyone. But, for German learners his style of clearly enunciated vocals is ideal. That’s why this month’s featured German language music recommendation is Heino.

It would be difficult to miss Heino in a crowd. He stands out with his bright blonde hair and ubiquitous sunglasses. Heino was born in 1938 in Düsseldorf as Heinz Georg Kramm. The fact that he’s always seen in sunglasses can be attributed to his suffering from exophthalmos, or a bulging of the eyes, due to Graves’ disease. But it is his clear baritone delivery of Schlager music that has made him so beloved in Germany.

In 1966, Heino released his self-titled debut. Prior to that, he had been a member of the OK Singers trio. During the 1970s he had a string of albums that did well in the charts. 1978’s Hurra, wir fahr’n ins Grüne is a gold record that managed to climb into the top 10 of the charts.

Heino’s 2013 rebranding has served him well. Since Mit freundlichen Grüßen, he has released two additional albums both of which broke the top 50 in the German charts. His most recent album is Arschkarte which saw release in April of this year. The longstanding popular singer is still a household name. Get a taste of Heino — both old and new — with the videos below!

Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!

Photo from Heino’s official Facebook page.

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