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Franz Josef Degenhardt - JPop.com
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Franz Josef Degenhardt

Franz Josef Degenhardt

Franz Josef Degenhardt


Franz-Josef Degenhardt (* 3. Dezember 1931 in Schwelm, Westphalia; † 14. November 2011 in Quickborn, Schleswig-Holstein) was a German poet, satirist, novelist, and -- first and foremost -- folksinger/songwriter (Liedermacher) with decidedly left-wing politics. He was also a lawyer, bearing the academic title of Doctor of Law. After studying law from 1952 to 1956 in Cologne and Freiburg, he passed the first German state bar examination in 1956 and the second in 1960. Read more on Last.fm
Franz-Josef Degenhardt (* 3. Dezember 1931 in Schwelm, Westphalia; † 14. November 2011 in Quickborn, Schleswig-Holstein) was a German poet, satirist, novelist, and -- first and foremost -- folksinger/songwriter (Liedermacher) with decidedly left-wing politics. He was also a lawyer, bearing the academic title of Doctor of Law. After studying law from 1952 to 1956 in Cologne and Freiburg, he passed the first German state bar examination in 1956 and the second in 1960.

From 1961 he worked for the Institute for European Law of the University at Saarbrücken, where he obtained his doctorate in 1966. Degenhardt joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1961, but was forced out in 1971 because of his support for the German Communist Party. From the early 1960s onward, in addition to practicing law, Degenhardt was also performing and releasing recordings. He is perhaps most famous for his song (and the album of the same name) Spiel nicht mit den Schmuddelkindern ("Don't Play With the Grubby Children," 1965), but has released close to 50 albums, starting with Zwischen Null Uhr Null und Mitternacht ("Between 00:00 and Midnight," 1963), renamed Rumpelstilzchen ("Rumpelstiltskin"); his most recent album Krieg gegen den Krieg ("War against the War") came out in 2003. In 1968 Degenhardt was involved in trials of members of the German student movement, principally defending social democrats and communists.

At the same time, he was -- in his capacity as a singer-songwriter -- one of the major voices of the 1968 student movement. On his 1977 album Wildledermantelmann he criticized many of his former comrades from that era for what he saw as their betrayal of socialist ideals and shift towards a social-liberal orientation. The album's title (roughly, "man with velour coat") mocks the style of clothing they had supposedly adopted. Notably, the songs on Degenhardt's 1986 album Junge Paare Auf Den Bänken ("Young Couples on the Benches"), along with the song Vorsicht Gorilla ("Beware of Gorilla") on the 1985 album of the same name, are his translations into German of chansons by the French singer-songwriter Georges Brassens, spiritually perhaps one of his closest musical allies. Degenhardt has also written several novels, most in a rather autobiographical vein, among others: "Brandstellen" ("Scenes of Fires"), "Für ewig und drei Tage" ("For Ever and Three Days") and "Zwischen Null Uhr Null und Mitternacht". He was a cousin of the very conservative Catholic Archbishop of Paderborn, the late Johannes Joachim Degenhardt, who died in 2002. He is also the brother-in-law of the American-born illustrator Gertrude Degenhardt, who has designed many of his album covers for him.

Degenhardt died on November 14th 2011 in Quickborn, Kreis Pinneberg, amid his loving family. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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