Reinhard Mey

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Reinhard Mey
Reinhard Mey 0603740007.jpg
Reinhard Mey Live in Hamburg, 1974
Background information
Birth name Reinhard Friedrich Michael Mey
Also known as Frédérik Mey (in France)[1]
Alfons Yondrascheck[1]
Born (1942-12-21) December 21, 1942 (age 71)
Berlin, Germany
Genres Folk, chanson, skiffle
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Years active 1965–present
Labels EMI
Website www.reinhard-mey.de

Reinhard Friedrich Michael Mey (born December 21, 1942) is a German "Liedermacher" (a German-style singer-songwriter). In France he is known as Frédérik Mey.

Mey has released 27 German albums so far by 2009, and consistently releases a new album approximately every two years; his first album was Ich wollte wie Orpheus singen (1967); the most recent studio album is Dann mach's gut (2013). His biggest success to date was Mein Achtel Lorbeerblatt (1972). His most famous song by far is "Über den Wolken" (1974), which has been covered by numerous German artists. Mey is known to embark upon an extensive concert tour every two or three years, with a live album released from each tour.

Biography[edit]

Reinhard Mey was born on December 21, 1942, in Berlin, Germany, where he spent his childhood. At the age of twelve, he had his first piano lesson, and at the age of fourteen, he got his first guitar. He taught himself how to play the trumpet. During his school years he gained performance experience by playing Skiffle music with friends. In 1965, Mey was offered the chance to perform at a Liedermacher festival at Waldeck Castle, a converted castle ruin. This led to his first recording contract. In 1961, he became part of the group Les Trois Affamés, with Schobert Scholz.

In 1963, Mey graduated from the French Gymnasium in Berlin, receiving the German Abitur as well as the French Baccalauréat, and thereafter began vocational training as an industrial trader at Schering AG Berlin. He broke off his university studies in economics in order to dedicate himself fully to songwriting and singing, and has been a successful performer in Germany, in France, and in the Netherlands ever since. He has written songs in German, French, Dutch, and English. He records his French material under the name of Frédérik Mey. In 1967, he married a French woman named Christine. Their marriage was dissolved in 1976.

Today, Mey lives in Berlin-Frohnau in his second marriage (since 1977) to Hella Hennies (born in Hannover), and had three children in the marriage: Frederik (born November 20, 1976), Maximilian (born January 28, 1982; died May 2014), and Victoria-Luise (born November 19, 1985).

His son Maximilian died in May 2014 after five years of persistent vegetative state.[2] On September 7, 2009, Reinhard Mey revealed in an interview on a German TV talk show that Maximilian had been in the persistent vegetative state since March 13, 2009. Undiagnosed severe pneumonia led to a cardio-pulmonary arrest, from which Maximilian was resuscitated after eight minutes of hypoxia.

Lyrics and political views[edit]

Mey writes both sensitive and humorous songs, with subject matter taken mostly from his everyday life and surroundings.[3] His themes include life on the road, his hobbies (e.g., flying),[4] childhood memories, his family life and surroundings, and occasionally politics.[3] Many of his songs are humorous and demonstrate Mey's extraordinary linguistic versatility. Mey's songs are characterized most by their expressiveness of language and their penetrating melodies.

Mey's politics tend to be moderate to left-leaning. He speaks out in particular for freedom and non-violence, and not only in his songs (for example, he participated in a demonstration at the beginning of 2003 against the coming war in Iraq). Nevertheless, his Annabelle criticises female political correct deadly-serious non-serene activism in a way rarely heard in the German scene (and certainly not leftist); Mey is said later to have repented of it and wrote another song in response to himself. Strongly influenced by the French chanson, Mey's political songs were relatively scarce among his works at the beginning, but they have increased in quantity over time, such that there is usually at least one song on each new album that concerns itself with politics. His 2004 album, Nanga Parbat, for example, includes "Alles OK in Guantanamo Bay", a song critical of the U.S. detention facility on the island of Cuba.

For years, Mey has been an avid vegetarian,[3] and also has been active in the German chapter of the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Several of his songs deal with the theme of prevention of cruelty to animals, the most famous one being "Die Würde des Schweins ist unantastbar" (roughly, "a pig's dignity is inviolable.", echoing the first sentence of the first article of the German constitution)

Theme music[edit]

The first bars of Reinhard Mey's Gute Nacht, Freunde have been used since 1976 as the beginning of the theme tune for the popular Dutch radio show Met het Oog op Morgen, broadcast every night from 11pm until midnight on Radio 1. After the words "und ein letztes Glas im steh'n", the Mey song fades away and an orchestra takes over.[5]

Awards[edit]

Selected discography[edit]

German[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • 1967 – Ich wollte wie Orpheus singen
  • 1968 – Ankomme Freitag, den 13.
  • 1970 – Aus meinem Tagebuch
  • 1971 – Ich bin aus jenem Holze
  • 1972 – Mein achtel Lorbeerblatt
  • 1974 – Wie vor Jahr und Tag
  • 1975 – Ikarus
  • 1977 – Menschenjunges
  • 1979 – Keine ruhige Minute
  • 1980 – Jahreszeiten
  • 1981 – Freundliche Gesichter
  • 1983 – Die Zwölfte
  • 1985 – Hergestellt in Berlin
  • 1986 – Alleingang
  • 1988 – Balladen
  • 1990 – Farben
  • 1992 – Alles geht
  • 1994 – Immer weiter
  • 1996 – Leuchtfeuer
  • 1998 – Flaschenpost
  • 2000 – Einhandsegler
  • 2002 – Rüm Hart
  • 2004 – Nanga Parbat
  • 2007 – Bunter Hund
  • 2010 – Mairegen
  • 2013 – Dann mach's gut

Live albums[edit]

  • 1971 – Reinhard Mey live
  • 1974 – 20.00 Uhr
  • 1978 – Unterwegs
  • 1981 – Tournee
  • 1984 – Live '84
  • 1987 – Die grosse Tournee '86
  • 1991 – Mit Lust und Liebe
  • 1995 – Zwischen Zürich und zu Haus
  • 1997 – Lebenszeichen
  • 1999 – Lampenfieber
  • 2002 – Solo – Die Einhandsegler Tournee
  • 2003 – Klaar Kiming
  • 2006 – !ich kann
  • 2009 – Danke Liebe Gute Fee

Compilation albums[edit]

  • 1973 – Mädchen in den Schänken (Compilation of 7" 45rpm singles)
  • 1973 – Alles was ich habe
  • 1977 – Starportrait
  • 1982 – Starportrait 2, Welch ein Geschenk ist ein Lied
  • 1987 – Die großen Erfolge
  • 1989 – Mein Apfelbäumchen
  • 1990 – Die Story (6-CD-Release Bertelsmann Buchclub)
  • 1993 – Ich liebe dich
  • 1997 – Du bist ein Riese ...
  • 2000 – Peter und der Wolf / Tierballaden
  • 2003 – Über den Wolken – Lieder aus 4 Jahrzehnten

Singles[edit]

  • 1965 – Geh und fang den Wind / Drei Lilien (Debut single; German cover version of Donovans "Catch The Wind" under the pseudonym Rainer May)
  • 1966 – 25 00 30 Fred Kasulzke protestazki / Frau Pohl / Vertreterbesuch / Ballade / Bauer ich bitt euch (EP)
  • 1966 – Die drei Musketiere / Schuttabladeplatz der Zeit / Abgesang / Mein Kanapee (EP)
  • 1968 – Diplomatenjagd / Komm, giess mein Glas noch einmal ein
  • 1969 – Ich hab' nur Dich gekannt / Der Weg zurück
  • 1970 – Die Ballade vom Pfeifer / Ankomme, Freitag, den 13.
  • 1970 – In meinem Zimmer fällt leis' der Regen / Ein Krug aus Stein
  • 1971 – Die heisse Schlacht am kalten Buffet / Neun... und vorbei
  • 1971 – Der Mörder ist immer der Gärtner / Längst geschlossen sind die Läden
  • 1972 – Annabelle, ach Annabelle / Bevor ich mit den Wölfen heule
  • 1973 – Trilogie auf Frau Pohl / Das Geheimnis im Hefeteig oder der Schuss im Backofen
  • 1973 – Aber Deine Ruhe findest Du nicht mehr / Zwei Hühner auf dem Weg nach Vorgestern
  • 1974 – Mann aus Alemannia / Über den Wolken
  • 1974 – Gute Nacht Freunde / Musikanten sind in der Stadt
  • 1974 – Über den Wolken / Der alte Bär ist tot und sein Käfig leer
  • 1975 – Es gibt Tage, da wünscht' ich, ich wär' mein Hund / Es bleibt eine Narbe zurück
  • 1975 – Hab Erdöl im Garten / Ich bin Klempner von Beruf
  • 1977 – Ist mir das peinlich / Mein erstes graues Haar
  • 1977 – Einen Antrag auf Erteilung eines Antragsformulars / Menschenjunges
  • 1978 – Daddy Blue / Alles ist gut
  • 1979 – Keine ruhige Minute / Dieter Malinek, Ulla und ich
  • 1979 – Dr. Nahtlos, Dr. Sägeberg und Dr. Hein / Was weiss ich schon von Dir?
  • 1980 – Wir sind lauter arme, kleine Würstchen / Freunde, lasst uns trinken
  • 1980 – Sommermorgen / Bei Ilse und Willi auf'm Land
  • 1981 – Müllmänner-Blues / Das Leben ist ...
  • 1983 – Was in der Zeitung steht / Ich würde gern einmal in Dresden singen
  • 1983 – Hilf mir / Ich habe nie mehr Langeweile
  • 1984 – Rundfunkwerbung-Blues
  • 1984 – Frohe Weihnacht / Alles ist so schön verpackt
  • 1985 – Lasst sie reisen / Ich grüsse ...
  • 1990 – Alle Soldaten woll'n nach Haus'
  • 1986 – Nein, meine Söhne geb' ich nicht
  • 1992 – Das Etikett (Promo-Single)
  • 1994 – 51er Kapitän
  • 1996 – Lilienthals Traum
  • 1998 – Die 12 Weihnachtstage (Adaptation of the British Christmas song "The Twelve Days of Christmas") / Willst Du Dein Herz mir schenken
  • 2000 – Einhandsegler
  • 2000 – Ich bring' Dich durch die Nacht (Promo-Single)

With other artists[edit]

DVDs[edit]

  • 2003 – Klaar Kiming
  • 2009 – Danke liebe gute Fee

British albums[edit]

  • 1970 – One Vote for tomorrow

French albums[edit]

Studio[edit]

  • 1970 – Frédérik Mey, Vol. 1
  • 1972 – Frédérik Mey, Vol. 2
  • 1974 – Frédérik Mey, Vol. 3
  • 1976 – Frédérik Mey, Vol. 4
  • 1979 – Frédérik Mey, Vol. 5
  • 1982 – Frédérik Mey, Vol. 6
  • 2005 – Frédérik Mey, Vol. 7 – douce France

Live[edit]

  • 1976 – Recital Frédérik Mey à l'Olympia
  • 1979 – Bobino

Dutch albums[edit]

  • 1975 – Als de dag van toen
  • 1976 – Er zijn dagen ...

References[edit]

External links[edit]