October 9 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Roy Black (*January 25, 1943 in Straßberg near Augsburg as Gerhard Höllerich). He grew up in Augsburg as the son of a merchant and, after graduating from high school, began studying business administration, which he did not finish. Instead, he tried his luck with music and had his first performances with his rock’n’roll bands “The Honky Tonks” and later “Roy Black and his Cannons“. The stage name Roy Black is a mixture of his nickname “Blacky“, which he got because of his black hair, and an homage to his idol Roy Orbison.
After first appearances in 1963 in Augsburg, where the band covered mainly songs by the Beatles and Elvis Presley, he was discovered in 1964 by a producer of Polydor, thanks to a TV report broadcast by Bayerischer Rundfunk, and signed a record contract with him as Roy Black, initially still with the “Cannons” as accompaniment.
In the winter of 1965, the strikingly handsome Roy Black stormed the charts with his third single, “Du bist nicht allein” (English: “You’re not alone“), now as a Schlager artist and without a band. This was followed by Schlager evergreens such as “Ganz in Weiß” (with an incredible 2.5 million records sold), “Das Mädchen Carina” or “Schön ist es auf der Welt zu sein“. But it was no big secret that Roy Black was not always happy with his popular hits and the image that went with them. In 1988, he told Joachim Fuchsberger‘s ARD talk show “Heut’ Abend” that “Ganz in Weiß” had shaped his career and “suddenly turned a rock’n’roller into a German schmaltz singer.”
In the buzz of success, the singer also became a movie star in 1968, starring in twelve feature films – such as his last feature film, 1974’s “Schwarzwaldfahrt aus Liebeskummer,” released by UCM.ONE on the U8 Films Berlin label.
The commercially not-so-successful 1970s and early 1980s were overshadowed by Roy Black‘s alcoholism, depression and his serious heart condition, but thanks to his starring role in the RTL series “Ein Schloß am Wörthersee,” which he played starting in 1989, his professional success was back on track in the early 1990s.His depressions, however, remained. On 09 October1991 Roy Black died at the age of only 48 years alone in his remote cabin in the Upper Bavarian district of Mühldorf, where his brother found him. The cause of death was determined as heart failure, however, he allegedly also had an alcohol level of three per mille in the blood and rumors persist that he committed suicide. He was buried in his birthplace.
In addition to two other Roy Black films, the Schlager film specialist Werner Jacobs also shot this cosy comedy about his homeland against the romantic backdrop of the Schwarzwald (English: Black Forest). Roy Black sings, among other things, the song “Hoch auf dem gelben Wagen“, accompanied by the orchestra James Last.
The young architect Hannes Cremer wants to forget his professional stress on his grandfather’s Black Forest farm. He falls in love with the student Renate, but their romance is thwarted by Hannes’ stalking admirer Janine. Renate disappears the next day and soon so does Hannes’ little niece, who wanted to look for Renate in the forest. Hannes and his friend Uwe set out to find her and experience a few surprises along the way …
Actors & Actresses:
Roy Black, Barbara Nielsen, Heidi Hansen, Elke Aberle, Anita Mally, Peter Millowitsch, Bettina Haensler, Hans-Jürgen Bäumler, Gracia-Maria Kaus, Rut Rex, Rolf Olsen, Eva Garden, Alexander Grill, Ludwig Schmid-Wildy, Ilse Peternell, Ralf Wolter, Elia Zimmermann, Max Strecker, Elfie Pertramer, Franz Muxeneder, Hans Terofal, Claus Biederstaedt.