Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music



(b 2 Dec '31, Schweim, Westfalia, Germany) Singer, satirist, novelist, songwriter and guitarist, very much in the European style of writers such as Brassens and Brel. One of the most important post-war political songwriters to come out of Germany with a keen yet compassionate eye, whether writing about conscientious objectors, the era of student revolt, Vietnam, papal attitudes to contraception or what German families do on Sundays. Studied jurisprudence in Freiburg and Cologne '52--6 before taking up a post at the Institute for European Law in Saarbrucken in '61. By the early '60s he was augmenting his salary by performing songs; his first album Zwischen Null Uhr Und Mitternacht ('Between Zero Hour And Midnight') '63 was later renamed Rumpelstilzchen after the fairy tale. Spiel Nicht Mit Den Schmuddelkindern '65 ('Don't Play With The Grubby Children') was an outstanding collection, and the late '60s saw V„terchen Franz ('Little Father Franz') '67, Wenn Der Senator Erz„hlt ('If The Senator Says') and Degenhardt Live both '68, and Im Jahr Der Schweine ('In The Year Of The Pigs') '69. He was one of his country's best songwriters yet continued to practise law, reaching Doctor of Law '66. Appeared as Mack the Knife ('der Moritatens„nger') in Die Dreigroschenoper (Polydor) '68; compilation Portr„t Franz Josef Degenhardt was required listening among politically aware youth '70. Albums on Polydor incl. Die Wallfahrt Zum Big Zeppelin ('The Pilgrimage To Big Zeppelin') '71, Mutter Mathilde ('Mother Mathilde') '72 and Kommt An Den Tisch Unter Pflaumenb„umen ('Come To The Table Under The Plum Trees') '73, but also began a career as a notable author with a scurrilous eye with Z]auu[ndschn]auu[re ('Fuses') '73. Also contributed to the jointly billed Live by himself, Sch]auu[tt and Wandrey on Rote Rille '71. Mit Aufrechtem Gang ('With An Upright Walk') '75 was followed by Wildledermantelmann ('Wild-animal-leather-coat-man'), the title humorously exploiting the German language's ability to build new compound nouns, and Live Mit Band ('Live With Band') both '78, like the earlier albums represented in songbook Kommt An Den Tisch Unter Pflaumenb„umen '78; this anthology also retained the link with his sister-in-law, artist Gertrude Degenhardt (b '40, New York) whose illustrations were closely associated with him for years; her work has appeared on the sleeves of albums by Dick Gaughan and other FolkFreak label acts. Appeared on the concert album Das Fest Unserer Zeit on Pl…ne '78. To celebrate Degenhardt's 50th birthday Polydor issued twelve-disc special edition Der Ganze Degenhardt ('The Compleat Degenhardt') '81. Further albums: Der Wind Hat Sich Gedreht Im Lande ('The Wind's Turned In The Country') '80, Du Bist Anders Als Die Anderen ('You're Different From The Rest') '82, Lullaby Zwischen Den Kriegen ('Lullaby Between The Wars') '83 and Vorsicht Gorilla ('Beware Gorilla') '85. For his '86 album Junge Paare Auf Den B„nken ('Young Couples On Benches') he turned to the chansons of Georges Brassens, his German translations true to the spirit of Brassens's originals while being distinctly Degenhardt's. Albums Und Am Ende Wieder Leben '92, Nocturn '93 and Aus Dem Tiefland '94 met levels of productivity but also quality. Many of his songs have been outspoken and uncompromising assaults on right-wing and left- wing complacency and abuses with a pertinence that transcends national boundaries; while comparisons with Christy Moore or Gaughan are tempting, his skill as a songwriter and the longevity of his career put him in a different league. DeHAVEN, Penny (b Charlotte DeHaven, 17 May '48, Winchester VA) Dynamic and vivacious country singer who never turned her exuberant live performance into a successful recording career. Child star on local radio and TV shows, then joined the WWVA Jamboree, Wheeling WV under stage name of Penny Starr. Moved to Nashville '67, signed with Bandbox Records, reverted to real name and recorded '68-88 on such labels as Imperial, United Artists, Mercury, Elektra, Mainstreet, Starcrest, etc incl. duets with Del Reeves and Boxcar Willie. Biggest hit "Landmark Tavern' '70. Appeared in films Valley Of Blood '73, Travelling Light '74, Bronco Billy '80, Honkytonk Man '82. She was the first girl country singer to tour combat zones in Vietnam. LPs incl. Penny DeHaven '72 on UA; Penny DeHaven '84 on Mainstreet.