Saturday, 18 December 2010

Roy Black

Roy Black (January 25, 1943 – October 9, 1991) was a German schlager singer and actor, who appeared in several musical comedies and starred in the 1989 TV series, Ein Schloß am Wörthersee.

Born Gerhard Höllerich in Bobingen, Bavarian Swabia, Germany, Roy Black attended the gymnasium in Augsburg and, aged 20, founded the rock and roll band Roy Black and His Cannons. His stage name derived from his black hair and his idol, Roy Orbison.

Roy Black and His Cannons achieved some local fame and were offered a recording contract with Polydor Records. However, his record producer Hans Bertram decided on a solo career for Black, and a switch to romantic songs for his protégé, a decision which soon led to nationwide fame. In 1966, his single Ganz in Weiß — a romantic song about marrying in white — sold in excess of one million copies by the end of 1967. His 1969 song Dein schönstes Geschenk, sold one million copies by May 1970, having spent nine weeks at number one in the German chart.

From 1967, Roy Black also took on roles in several musical comedy films, for example in the 1969 movie Hilfe, ich liebe Zwillinge (Help, I Love Twins) opposite Uschi Glas.

In 1974 Black announced his engagement to model Silke Vagts (1945-2002), and the couple got married in Munich the same year. In 1976 their son Torsten was born. They divorced in 1985.

Six years later in 1991,  Black died of heart failure, in Heldenstein near Mühldorf am Inn, which was assumed to be a result of his addiction to alcohol and pharmaceuticals. The punk band Wizo wrote a song disparaging Black after his death, changing the lyrics of a children's song to Roy Black ist tot (Roy Black is dead).

For one of his albums Roy recorded Schenk' Mir Eine Nacht which came 7th in the German national final for the Eurovision Song Contest of 1982 and was originally sung by Mel Jersey.

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