Roy Black

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Roy Black (1989)
Roy Black (1972)

Roy Black (born January 25, 1943 in Straßberg near Augsburg ; † October 9, 1991 in Heldenstein near Mühldorf am Inn ; real life Gerhard Höllerich ) was a German pop singer and actor in several German music films and in the television series Ein Schloss am Wörthersee .


Gerhard Höllerich was born as the eldest son of the businessman Georg Höllerich (1917–1990) and his wife Elisabeth (1922–2013). He attended elementary school in his native Straßberg, south of Augsburg. In 1958 the Höllerich family moved to Göggingen, which is now part of Augsburg. In the Fuggerstadt, Gerhard Höllerich attended the Holbein-Gymnasium Augsburg , graduated from high school there and wanted to study biology, but then decided for financial reasons to study business administration, which he did not complete.

First successes

Höllerich sang in public for the first time in the 1963 Carnival in the band The Honky Tonks, which appeared in the Augsburg pub Charlys Affenstall . On September 14, 1963 he founded the rock 'n' roll band Roy Black and his Cannons with the musicians Günter Ortmann, Dieter Schwedes, Peter Schwedes, Helmut Exenberger and Dieter Sirch . His pseudonym "Roy Black" refers on the one hand to his black hair, which earned him the nickname "Blacky", and on the other to his idol, the American singer Roy Orbison , from whom he borrowed his first name. Roy Black and his Cannons had their first official appearance, according to the Roy Black Chronicle by Manfred Langner and Arno Loeb, on December 6, 1963 at the Augsburger Tanz-Club Femina, as evidenced by an advert from the Augsburger Allgemeine . But they also played as a cover band with songs from Elvis Presley to the Beatles in the three large US barracks in Augsburg . On June 16, 1964, Roy Black and his Cannons won a talent competition at a school ball in Augsburg's Moritzsaal.

The Polydor producer Hans Bertram found out about this performance by the Cannons through a TV report in the BR while he was in Munich. He wrote from Cologne to the Holbein-Gymnasium, the school of Roy Black, in order to get in contact with Gerhard Höllerich, as the original letter in the possession of the Roy Black biographer Arno Loeb shows. On August 25, 1964, Gerhard Höllerich became "Roy Black", and on September 1, 1964, he received a recording contract. Roy Black dropped out of business studies in Munich to concentrate on music.

Roy Black and his Cannons ' first two singles , recorded in the summer of 1964, were called Sweet Baby mine and Darling my Love. The first was a minor success, not least thanks to the deployment of an Augsburg machine operator who was Roy Black's tour manager for a short time. The second single was not a success. The third single You are not alone, which Black sang without The Cannons , became his first commercial success. This solo recording reached the top ten of the German charts in the winter of 1965. After the Rolling Stones with Satisfaction, the Byrds with Mr. Tambourine Man and the Rainbows with Balla Balla , she came in fourth. The author Arno Löb is of the opinion that Elisabeth Bertram , the producer's wife, who had a great influence on the program at Radio Luxemburg and had her husband's records used, had a particular influence on Roy Black's career.


Label of the single Ganz in Weiß (1966)

With the song Ganz in Weiß based on the text by Kurt Hertha and the music by Rolf Arland , Black finally became a hit star in Germany in the spring of 1966. Around 2.5 million singles were sold. In 1966, the artist's first music album was published under the simple title Roy Black . In 1967 Roy Black appeared for the first time in a music film: Paradise of the brisk sinners , produced by Carl Spiehs with Hans-Jürgen Bäumler , Willy Millowitsch , Ralf Wolter and Lou van Burg . The film opened in cinemas in spring 1968. Black got his first leading role in Always Trouble with the Timpani , which hit the big screen in the fall of 1968. Black stood by Uschi Glas . Also in help, I love twins! , Reverend turns a blind eye , He who laughs last laughs best and when my darling hits the drum they played together.

Roy Black with Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt in 1971

By 1969, all of Roy Black's singles reached the top ten. He was regularly featured in the ZDF hit parade moderated by Dieter Thomas Heck . In January 1969, Black reached 1st place with I think of you . In 1970 Black sang the song of the ARD television lottery I dreamed, happiness came to me today. In 1971, he became the host of the television show Would you have time for me today? offered; however, he declined, and Michael Schanze took over the moderation. A duet with Anita Hegerland , a ten-year Norwegian, Roy Black had his last major success in the fall of 1971: Beautiful is to be there in the world, a children's song-hits, he also in the music film If my baby bangs on the drum in the Cinemas presented. The title stayed in the German top ten for 18 weeks. In the same year an album appeared for the film Grün ist die Heide , which was a setting of poems by Hermann Löns . After that, Roy Black didn't have much commercial success.

In the autumn of 1974 he separated from the producer couple Hans and Elisabeth Bertram. In 1973 Roy Black got engaged to the photo model Silke Vagts, who also worked as a layout artist for the teen magazine “ Bravo ”. The two married on April 30, 1974 in Munich. Son Torsten was born on August 1, 1976. Löb writes in his book that Black performed one live performance after the other in order to earn money in the 1970s. He often made over 250 appearances annually. Löb also writes that the tax office tried to get Black to pay the outstanding taxes by means of an attachment . Black quit the church to save church tax . Silke Höllerich confirms these processes in her book. The reason for the financial disaster is said to have been that Roy Black entrusted his million dollar fortune to dishonest advisors who ran into their own pockets.

A theater tour in the spring of 1975 with the play Why are you lying, Cherie? by Roy Black was a failure. In the summer of 1978 Wolfgang Kaminski became the new tour manager. Black had previously been looked after by his brother Walter Höllerich. Things were looking up again with Wolfgang Kaminski. With him, Roy Black started a bathing tour on the North and Baltic Seas with an orchestra. After a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London and tours through the GDR , Roy Black had professional success again in the mid-1980s. In the summer of 1983, his song Wilde Kirschenblüten early reached top positions in the hit charts again, but not in the sales lists. On November 26, 1985, Roy Black was divorced from his wife Silke. In February 1986, Herzblut was released, his first LP in six years, and brought him new popularity with songs such as Wahnsinn and In Japan die Sonne geht auf . On May 25, 1986 he collapsed due to a heart defect , was admitted to the Herdecke community hospital and received two new heart valves a few weeks later in Munich . But on December 3, 1986, he appeared again in Berlin in front of 3,000 fans.

Last work and death

From December 1990 until his death, Black lived in Herdecke, North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ennepe-Ruhr district . He and Tommy Steiner had bought a semi-detached house there, one half of which Black lived in with his partner. She gave birth to their daughter Nathalie on September 14, 1991. In 1989, Black was offered a leading role in the television series Ein Schloß am Wörthersee from RTL plus . In the series, in which numerous guest stars participated, he played the hotel boss Lennie Berger. At the same time he appeared in several television programs with the song Wie ein Stern am Horizonter composed by Drafi Deutscher . On May 2, 1990, Roy Black's father Georg Höllerich committed suicide. Roy Black's last single successes were extracts from his last album Rosenzeit (1991) , produced by Dieter Bohlen . In May 1991 Ask Maria came to number 67 on the radio charts and in August of that year I dream of me to you reached number 39. On September 18, 1991 Roy Black had his last television appearance on German television in the ZDF hit parade with Uwe Hübner .

On October 9, 1991, Roy Black died of heart failure at the age of 48 in his fisherman's hut in Heldenstein (Upper Bavaria), where he was staying alone. According to a report in the Bild newspaper from 2011, the autopsy found a blood alcohol level of three per mille. The autopsy forensic doctor Wolfgang Eisenmenger did not want to confirm this value. Speculations by some media about suicide through excessive alcohol consumption in connection with the heart medication regularly taken by Roy Black could never be refuted or confirmed, despite the clear diagnosis of heart failure, as the prosecutor had not commissioned a toxicological report. However, this theory was ruled out by both his significant other and his brother. Roy Black was buried under his real name Gerhard Höllerich in his birthplace Straßberg near Augsburg. The grave has become a pilgrimage site for Roy Black fans. Every year they hold commemorations in Augsburg, Bobingen or Straßberg.


Silke Höllerich described her husband as, on the one hand, a very empathetic , loving person at times , and on the other hand as a paranoid , stingy egocentric who made her look ridiculous in front of others, cheated on her, was unable to develop a relationship with his son Torsten and the same in everyday life with his family and friends Adoration awaited as from his audience. Throughout his life, Roy Black is said to have had problems walking the tightrope between his role, the fictional character “Roy Black”, and his private self, Gerhard Höllerich. Especially with the loss of this recognition by the public in the 1970s, he found it difficult to cope with; this experience made him depressed , said Silke Höllerich.

Roy Black was often criticized as a "Schnulzensänger", his hits were banned on the radio station Ö3 of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation due to the Schnulzen Decree directed against him . He himself could never identify with this role. Film producer Karl Spiehs reported about him: “He liked to crack jokes about himself, especially when he was feeling unhappy. His favorite joke: 'How do you get a pop singer's brain the size of a pea? - Just inflate it! '”His multiple film partner Uschi Glas expressed himself similarly:“ I tried again and again to convince him that he should really like and accept Roy too. But that was easier said than done. "

Even Thomas Gottschalk said in his eulogy this topic: "When Gerhard Höllerich he knew how to make others hope and courage. Although he was hopeless himself. As Roy Black, he shone and was admired. Although he himself suffered and was full of doubt. May the two find each other forever. ”The media recalled that the star, who suffered from personal disappointments, excessive alcoholism, depression, health problems and musical flops in the 1970s, was only a short comeback on television and the birth of his daughter apparently seemed to have regained control of his life before death. Friends and confidants like Dagmar Berghoff and Tony Marshall , who believe in the suicide theory, are convinced of a "short-circuit act". Berghoff is quoted in Focus: “He often had to do very different things than he wanted. He resisted, but he did it anyway. "

After his death

Stele in memory of the singer in Augsburg-Göggingen on Roy-Black-Weg

On October 9, 1996, the German television film You are not alone - The Roy Black Story was broadcast for the first time. The title role was taken over by the German-Austrian actor Christoph Waltz , who received a special award for it at the Baden-Baden Days of the TV Drama in November 1996. Public opinion about the film was divided. While some saw it as authentic and were able to understand the plot based on the biography of Roy Black, some media considered the film to be exaggerated and dubbed it "crass black and white painting" (Berliner Morgenpost).

In 1999, the single was released The Wandering Priest. The song was found by chance on an old tape and produced by Polydor in 1999.

In the spring of 2000, the first German hit music, Ganz in Weiß, was dedicated to the life of Roy Black , written by Black's biographer Arno Löb and produced by the Berlin agency “Valentino”. The world premiere of Ganz in Weiß took place in the Augsburg Congress Hall, where Black had one of his last appearances. Black was portrayed in this musical by Claudio Maniscalco , who also sang the Roy Black titles live.

In 2004, the RTL show The Ultimate Chart Show : The Most Successful Singers determined that Roy Black was the most successful singer in Germany in the last forty years. He also received a total of 13 golden lions from Radio Luxembourg .

The "Roy" has been awarded in Augsburg since 2012, with Roy Black giving its name to the Augsburg Pop Prize.

In Velden am Wörther See , a controversial bust was erected on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of his death.


Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks / months, awardChart placementsChart placementsTemplate: chart table / maintenance / without sourcesTemplate: chart table / maintenance / monthly data
(Year, title, rankings, weeks / months, awards, notes)
1966 Roy Black DE2 (13 months)
- -
First published: October 1966
1967 Roy Black 2 DE1 (11 months)
- -
First published: October 1967
1968 I am thinking of you DE5 (12 months)
- -
First published: October 15, 1968
1969 I love you DE5 (7 months)
- -
First published: April 1969
Concerto d'amour DE6 (6 months)
- -
First published: November 1969
1970 In the land of songs DE38 (1 month)
- -
First published: May 1970
Only for you - - -
First published: 1970
1971 Where are you? DE24 (8 months)
- -
First published: February 1971
a Lovestory DE23 (4 months)
- -
First published: October 1971
1972 Dreams in velvet and silk DE35 (2 months)
- -
First published: September 1972
The world is wonderful - - -
First published: 1972
1973 The heather is green DE38 (2 months)
- -
First published: March 1973
Here and with you - - -
First published: 1973
1974 Roy Black and the Fischer Choirs - - -
First publication: 1974
with the Fischer Choirs
1976 Love as you like it - - -
First published: 1976
1978 New songs - - -
First published: 1978
1986 Heart and soul - - -
First published: February 17, 1986
1988 black on white - - -
First published: August 5, 1988
1989 A touch of sensuality - - -
First published: November 13, 1989
1990 Time for tenderness - AT-
First published: October 26, 1990
Sales: + 25,000
1991 Rose time DE5

(24 weeks)DE

(18 weeks)AT
CH15 (7 weeks)
First published: Aug 23, 1991
Sales: + 525,000

gray hatching : no chart data available for this year


About Roy Black

  • 1969: For example Roy Black (TV documentary)
  • 1996: You are not alone - The Roy Black Story (TV adaptation of his life, with Christoph Waltz as Roy Black)
  • 2000: Legends - Roy Black (TV documentary)
  • 2013: The Roy Black Musical - By Arno Loeb (filmed on DVD)
  • 2016: Roy Black - a legend. Unforgettable (TV documentary)


  • 1966: Bravo Otto in bronze
  • 1966: Radio Luxemburg two lions in silver
  • 1967: Bravo Otto in gold
  • 1967: Radio Luxemburg two lions in gold
  • 1967: Awarded Billboard Trophae Top Artist of West Germany in America
  • 1968: Gold record for "All in White"
  • 1968: Bravo Otto in gold
  • 1968: Golden Europe
  • 1968: Radio Luxemburg a lion in silver
  • 1968: The golden radio of the Star Parade
  • 1969: For the film Help I Love Twins twice the gold screen
  • 1969: Bravo Otto in gold
  • 1969: Golden Europe
  • 1970: Bravo Otto in gold
  • 1970: Radio Luxemburg a lion in gold
  • 1970: Golden Europe
  • 1971: Bravo Otto in silver
  • 1971: Radio Luxemburg a lion each in gold and silver
  • 1971: Golden Europe
  • 1971: The golden transmission tower - for Radio Luxemburg's singer of the year
  • 1972: Bravo Otto in bronze
  • 1972: Radio Luxemburg a lion in gold
  • 1972: Tie Man of the Year
  • 1972: Golden Europe
  • 1973: Radio Luxemburg a lion in gold
  • 1975: Golden Worm
  • 1976: Silver barrel organ
  • 1977: Radio Luxemburg a lion in bronze
  • 1977: Silver barrel organ
  • 1978: Golden barrel organ
  • 1979: Golden barrel organ
  • 1980: Hermann Löns Medal
  • 1980: Golden barrel organ
  • 1981: Golden tuning fork
  • 1981: Golden Europe
  • 1982: The golden heart - for more than 1,000,000 units sold
  • 1984: Golden tuning fork
  • 1986: Radio Luxemburg a lion in bronze
  • 1987: Radio Luxemburg a lion in bronze
  • 1989: Golden tuning fork
  • 1989: Golden Nuremberg funnel
  • 1990: Golden tuning fork
  • 1990: Golden WAZ microphone
  • 1990: Honor antenna in gold
  • 1991: Honoring antenna in gold, was of Tommy Steiner accepted


Web links

Commons : Roy Black  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Arno Löb: Sweet Baby Mine - Roy Black's wild youth. Heel Verlag, 1996, ISBN 3-89365-585-9
  2. ^ Who's Who - The people lexicon
  3. 20 years after the death of the pop singer: The sad legacy of Roy Black. Retrieved March 11, 2020 .
  4. BILD-online from October 5, 2011
  5. Spiegel, October 5, 2011
  6. ^ A b Autopsy report feeds suicide theory - pop star Roy Black drank himself to death. Focus, October 5, 2011
  7. ^ A b Jens Maier: Autopsy documents surfaced - New speculations about the death of Roy Black. Stern, October 5, 2011
  8. ^ Grave of Roy Black in
  9. Roman Schliesser: The super nose. Karl Spiehs and his films. Ueberreuter, Vienna 2000, p. 43.
  10. Uschi Glas: With a smile. Droemer, Munich 2004, p. 170.
  11. What happened to Roy Black's heir? in
  12. Augsburger Pop Prize: The Roy goes to ... In: Augsburger Allgemeine. May 11, 2012.
  13. Hardly any resemblance to “Potth ugly” - mega-row about a memorial for hit legend