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How to explain the extensive popularity of German folksinger Heino to someone unfamiliar with that country's culture? Imagine hoards of adoring fans, from children to grandparents, going gaga over Elvis. Then in Elvis' place, substitute another artist who goes by a single moniker, a senior citizen clad in vinyl rectangular glasses and blond hair that makes him resemble an albino. His voice is deep, the deepest baritone imaginable, which he uses to belt out his hit polkas and marches.
By the 1980s, Heino's popularity began to spread outside the country's borders, throughout Europe and across the Atlantic. He is not meant as a joke, yet sometimes references are made to him as such, despite the fact that he is one of his country's most popular singers. In Heino's homeland they call him an "uberstar." His record sales there have surpassed the Beatles', and to mark the occasion of the singer's 60th birthday, German prime time television hosted a 90-minute special and titled it Der Goldene Heino (The Golden Heino).
Cults have sprung up, one of which (the Cosmic Order of Heino) believes that otherworldly beings inserted a chip in the singer's brain, a device that is somehow tied to humanity's well-being. One of his album covers sports a shot of the singer in what could be described as '60s-style garb: peg pants and turtlenecks.
Heino's real name is Heinz Georg Kramm. His father passed away during the '40s. He studied the accordion in his youth while apprenticing to become a baker, practicing his skills in Dusseldorf's finer restaurants. He made his first professional appearance in 1955 and ditched baking to become a full-time professional singer in 1960. In 1965, agent Ralf Bendix discovered him and Heino soon signed a recording deal. His first single topped sales of 100,000 copies. His next effort, titled "Wenn die Bunten Fahnen Weh'n," went gold.
With many decades of entertaining to his credit, Heino continues to perform in concert and on tour. His wife, Hannelore, is Princess of Auersperg, and in 1984, she collaborated with him for Die Liebe Ist das Gold des Lebens.
Wikipedia:For the town in the Netherlands see Heino, Netherlands.
Heino (born 13 December 1938 as Heinz Georg Kramm) is a German singer of popular music (Schlager) and traditional Volksmusik. Having sold a total of over 50 million records, he is one of the most successful German musicians ever.
Known for his baritone voice and popular appearance consisting of blond hair and sunglasses (due to exophthalmos), Heino resides in the town of Bad Münstereifel, where he also owns a cafe. His interest in music started when his mother gave him an accordion in 1948, although his family could barely afford it.
Heino was born December 13, 1938 in Düsseldorf-Oberbilk, Germany to Heinrich and Franziska Kramm. His father was a Catholic dentist, his mother a Protestant. His grandfather was the organist at the Cathedral of Cologne. He also had two cousins who were Catholic priests. Heino's father died August 2, 1941 during the invasion of the Soviet Union.
Until 1945, Heino lived with his mother and his older sister Hannelore in Pomerania. In 1945 he began school in Großenhain (Saxony). After 1952 he went to Düsseldorf where he initially trained as a baker and confectioner. In June, 1959, he married 18-year-old Henrietta Heppner. They had one son, Uwe, born in 1962 before subsequently divorcing. He married his second wife, Lilo Kramm, in 1965; their marriage ended in divorce in 1978. Lilo died of cancer on January 28, 2010.
In 1968, he became the father of an illegitimate daughter. The mother died in 1988, and the daughter in late November 2003, both by suicide.
He met his third wife Hannelore Auersperg in 1972 at the Miss Austria contest in Kitzbühel. They were married in April 1979, and she became his manager. The couple lives in Bad Münstereifel. In 2004, Hannelore had a heart attack, which was one reason Heino curtailed his career.
Heino suffers from exophthalmos due to Graves' disease. For this reason, he always wears very dark glasses in public, which have become part of his trademark appearance. Due to his light hair and skin, some initially believed he wore the glasses due to albinism.
In 1961, he first appeared on the trio OK Singers. Most of his recordings were pop versions of traditional folk songs; for example, "How Blue Blooms the Gentian" (Blau Blüht Der Enzian), an adaptation of the folk song "The Swiss Maiden" (Das Schweizermaedel).
His stage name comes from his sister Hannelore's difficulty pronouncing his given name "Heinz Georg".
In January 2013 Heino released a new album , called Mit freundlichen Grüßen,which topped the german album charts.The record is a collection of 12 cover versions of popular German songs from Die Ärzte, Peter Fox, Rammstein and others. The album earned Gold for being sold over 100.000 times.
Since 1996, Heino is a patron of a café in Bad Münstereifel.