Horst Jankowski

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Horst Jankowski (born January 30, 1936 in Berlin ; † June 29, 1998 in Radolfzell ) was a German jazz pianist and band leader whose greatest successes can be found primarily in the area of easy listening .


Horst Jankowski, who grew up in Berlin, lost his father at the age of eight, who died at the front. In 1947 Jankowski , who was temporarily evacuated during World War II , returned to Berlin with his mother. From 1949 to 1953 he learned bass, piano and trumpet at the Berlin Conservatory. In 1953/54 he was a member of Kurt Hohenberger's orchestra , then until 1955 the pianist of Caterina Valente . From 1955 to 1960 he was a member of the dance orchestra of the Süddeutscher Rundfunk under the direction of Erwin Lehn . In 1957 he toured Yugoslavia with Tony Scott and played with Benny Goodman at the World Exhibition in Brussels in 1958 .

In his own combos he worked with Charly Antolini , Peter Herbolzheimer , Conny Jackel , Rolf Kühn , Bernd Rabe , Ack van Rooyen , Götz Wendlandt and Peter Witte , among others . In addition, there were joint projects with Willy Berking , Heidi Brühl , Paul Kuhn , John Graas , Johnny Hodges and Tony Scott . With the Jankowski Singers , founded in 1960, he led his own vocal ensemble that worked on an amateur basis.

In 1965 Jankowski composed the instrumental Eine Schwarzwaldfahrt , which also became a hit internationally under the English title A Walk in the Black Forest . In the USA, Jankowski reached number 12 in the singles and even number one in the easy listening charts. Jankowski also won three Grammy nominations for this song - including “ Best New Artist of the Year ”. He was the first German to be nominated in this category. In the UK, A Walk in the Black Forest reached number three. Numerous instrumental cover versions were recorded at the time, including by Ray Conniff , Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Mantovani , Quincy Jones and Floyd Cramer . A version with text comes from the jazz singer Salena Jones , among others . In the easy-listening charts of the United States, Jankowski had several more hits by 1968, including the top 20 hits Simpel Gimpel (1965), Play a Simple Melody and So What's New (1966). The album More genius of Jankowski , which was also released in 1965, contains the title A walk in Bavaria , which was used for many years on WDR radio as the opener of the program "What may it be?" has been used.

1968 conducted Jankowski at the Euro Vision Song Contest in London's Royal Albert Hall to him with Carl J. Schäuble written and Wenche Myhre interpreted German contribution A high of love , the internationally by singers like Birthe Kjær (in Danish Sig Yes Til Kærlighed ) , Patricia Paay (in Dutch Dat Is De Liefde ) or Simone de Oliveira (in Portuguese Viva O Amor ). The following year he went on tour with Caterina Valente as musical director and pianist. Highlights of the concerts were released on the LP Caterina Valente Live in the same year.

From 1975 to 1994 Jankowski was chief conductor of the Berlin RIAS Tanzorchester , from 1989 to 1994 he published Easy Listening records for the German production music publisher Sonoton .

Jankowski has also repeatedly worked for film and television. So are his example, the music of the Heinz-Rühmann film Jonathan oh - Oh, Jonathan and the theme music for Germany radio telecast Pop Et Cetera . His name remains closely associated with the RIAS Parade and the TV programs " Guest at Horst Jankowski" , Swing & Talk , music is in the air and melodies for millions . In 1997 he conducted the memorial concert for Eugen Cicero at the Semperoper in Dresden .

Jankowski was married to the actress Franziska Oehme . He died of lung cancer .

Discography (selection)


(A side / B side)

  • Always, always / Captain Hans (1961, Ariola )
  • A Walk in the Black Forest (Eine Schwarzwaldfahrt) / When The Girls Go Marching In (1965; Mercury Records )
  • Eine Schwarzwaldfahrt (German original recording) / Simpel-Gimpel (1965; Mercury Records)
  • Heidi / Play a Simple Melody (1966; Mercury Records)
  • Barefoot in the park / Today the world will not end (Happy Frankfurt) (1967; Mercury Records)
  • Alexander II (1973; Intercord )



  • Dream Sound and Rhythm (1965; Mercury Records)
  • Encore (1965; Mercury Records)
  • The Genius of Jankowski (1964; Mercury Records)
  • More Genius of Jankowski (1965; Mercury Records)
  • Sing with Horst (1966; Mercury Records)
  • Still More Genius of Jankowski (1967; Mercury Records)
  • The Horst Jankowski Scene (1967; Mercury Records)
  • And We Got Love (1967; Mercury Records)
  • So What's New (1968; Mercury Records)
  • Play Some More, dear Horst (1968; Mercury Records)
  • The Many Moods of Jankowski (1968; Mercury Records)
  • Piano Affairs (1968; Mercury Records)
  • Jankowski Plays Jankowski (1969; Mercury Records)
  • Jankowski Meets Beethoven (1969, Mercury Records)
  • A Walk in the Evergreens (1969; Mercury Records)
  • Piano on the Rocks (1970; Mercury Records)
  • Jankowskingsize - For Nightpeople Only (1970; MPS )
  • Jankowskinetik (1970; MSP)
  • Jankowskeynotes (1970; MPS)
  • Follow Me (1972; Intercord)
  • International (1973; Intercord)
  • Jankowskyline (1973; Intercord)
  • Return to the Black Forest (1975; Rediffusion)
  • Jankowski's Classic Explosion (1979; EMI )
  • Happy Blue Piano (1982; Sonoton / Intersound)
  • The Best of Mr. Black Forest (1989; Sonoton / Intersound)
  • Piano Interlude (1994; Sonoton / Intersound)

CDs / download albums

  • Black Forest Explosion! (1997; Motor Music )
  • A Trip to the Black Forest (1998; Mercury Records)
  • Jankowskinetik (2003; Universal )
  • Jankowskeynotes (2004; Universal)
  • A Walk In The Black Forest, compilation with 20 tracks in combo line- ups (recordings from '67 to '69) 2006 Universal
  • For Nightpeople Only (1970; MPS) plus 11 bonus tracks (recorded from '68 / '69; Mercury) 2009 Universal
  • Jankowski Originals Vol.1 , 2in1-CD contains: The Genius Of Jankowski ('64) & More Genius Of Jankowski ('65) 2011 Universal
  • Jankowski Originals Vol.2 , 2in1-CD contains: My Fair Lady & Bravo Jankowski! 2011 Universal
  • Remember Mr. Black Forest (2015; Memorylane / Intersound Germany)



Web links

Individual evidence

  1. http://www.spaceagepop.com/jankowsk.htm
  2. https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/horst-jankowski
  3. https://www.discogs.com/Salena-Jones-A-Walk-In-The-Black-Forest/release/2155424
  4. http://www.musicvf.com/Horst+Jankowski.art
  5. https://www.discogs.com/Birthe-Kj%C3%A6r-Arrivederci-Franz/release/4413702
  6. https://www.discogs.com/Patricia-Dat-Is-De-Liefde-Dat-Hoeft-Niet-Voor-Mij/release/2623325
  7. https://www.discogs.com/Simone-Quando-Me-Enamoro/release/5497125
  8. https://www.discogs.com/Caterina-Valente-Caterina-Valente-Live/release/1571432
  9. DIED Horst Jankowski . In: Der Spiegel . No. 28 , 1998, pp. 194 ( online ).