Since Ralf Bendix - alias Dr. Karl Heinz Schwab - was discovered at a competition for young musicians in 1955, he has been known in German musical life - first as a singer himself, but later also as the discoverer and producer of Heino. He is mainly known as a singer of superficial merry songs - but he also tried to translate American gospel songs into German. In 1972 he also tried to create a new fashion dance with "Tumba Tumbala' - but it didn't turn out much. In summary, Ralf Bendix is an all-round genius and thus a colourful figure in the German entertainment industry.
Born: 16.8.1924 in Dortmund-Wellinghofen - Original Press Release: EMI Electrola GmbH
As quickly as German music publishers and record producers were quick to take over American and English hits, they were reluctant to imitate the corresponding music. This changed abruptly as the originals were heard more and more here. The orchestras had to keep up if they wanted to earn money. Ralf Bendix was one of the most fixed performers among those who quickly adapted foreign music. With Heartbreak Hotel, he had already been the first to prepare Elvis Presley for German ears. But his problem was the pop oriented voice.
This becomes particularly clear when he prepares American food. At The Hop, he was back on track to pick up a trend. In the USA, popular television presenter Dick Clark gathered teenagers in the Philadelphia studio to dance to the music performances for the show'American Bandstand'. Such dances were called'Hop'. Clark used the title At The Hop by Danny & The Juniors to promote his show. The German lyricist unsuspectingly missed when he thought At The Hop was a place, and Bendix did the rest by muddling up the pronunciation. For him, the song title rhymes with the line "men are short"!
After all, Paul Kuhn and his ensemble saved the whole thing musically. He did similarly well with Louis Primas Buona Sera, with whom Bendix was even able to take fifth place in the hit parade. At that time he was not yet clearly positioned, only in the following years - after he had had to choose between Schmalz and Rock - he found his form. Karl-Heinz Schwab, born on August 16, 1924 near Dortmund, started at a competition of the record company Electrola. There he sat in the audience and was asked after critical comments to do it better himself.
He was already a graduate economist, head of the Düsseldorf branch of the airline TWA and had written his doctoral thesis at the University of Cologne. So Doctor Schwab went to the microphone and beat the competition out of the field. Jury member Paul Kuhn drew the Electrola's attention to the outsider, and with Rock Of Gibraltar and Jezebel he won the final in Cologne'Tabu'. Electrola producer Nils Nobach called his young star Rolf Bergen, which he did not like, however, and so they later agreed on Ralf Bendix. Nobach had initially selected two pieces by Peter Mösser: the German version of Sixteen Tons (her name was Mary-Ann, see Freddy Quinn) and Minne-Minne-Haha, a German original, which was clearly inspired by Hank Williams' Kaw-Liga.
After several copies of successful American titles such as Heartbreak Hotel, Ninety-Nine Years, Hey Joe and See You Later, Alligator, Bendix was also heavily involved in the hit and, like many others, released a version of When the bells sound bright. His Sputnick-Rock was an attempt to profit from the daily topicality of the Russian satellite. Such'Novelty Songs' with a space reference became great fashion at that time. With Come Prima he bet again on the dying Italian wave. With the criminal tango and the babysitter Boogie he finally rose to the top ranks of the German pop elite. The fact that he discovered Heino in the 1960s and produced him should not go unmentioned here either. He lives in Monaco and Florida.