Saturday 3 April 1976


Born: April 28th, 1923, Ortelsburg, East Prussia (Germany, modern-day Szczytno, Poland)
Died: December 24th, 2016, Berlin (Germany)
Nationality: German

In due course, the short impression below will be replaced with a more extensive career overview


Jo Plée (pseudonym of Joachim Plewa) was released from a Russian prisoner-of-war camp in 1946; subsequently, he moved to Berlin and studied harmony, instrumentation, composition, conducting, and the piano at the Sternsche Konservatorium. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he arranged music for dance orchestras. In the 1960s, he became a studio arranger for various producers, most prominently Jürgen Kramer and Jack White. In the 1960s and 1970s, Plée orchestrated songs by Lena Valaitis, Tony Marshall, Marianne Rosenberg, Juliane Werding, Rex Gildo, and the Kelly Family. Hit songs with arrangements by him include ‘Olala l’amour’ (Séverine, 1972) and ‘Ein Festival der Liebe’ (Jürgen Marcus, 1973). In the 1980s, he was the musical director of several TV shows. Plée became the president of the Association of German Orchestrators in 1989.


In 1972, Jo Plée wrote the all-important orchestration to Mary Roos’ ‘Nur die Liebe lässt uns leben’, a song that finished third for West Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest in Edinburgh; it was conducted by Paul Kuhn

Six years later, in 1976, Plée conducted the Eurovision orchestra himself for Jürgen Marcus, who represented Luxembourg with his song ‘Chansons pour ceux qui s’aiment’ (composed by producer Jack White), which finished fourteenth. Plée actually could have conducted two entries on the night, given that he also wrote the orchestration to West Germany's pre-selection winner,  'Der Star' by Tony Marschall. That song, however, was disqualified and replaced by the runner-up, performed by The Les Humphries Singers.


Country – West Germany
Song title – "Nur die Liebe lässt uns leben"
Rendition – Mary Roos 
Lyrics – Joachim Relin
Composition – Joachim Heider
Studio arrangement – Jo Plée
Live orchestration – Jo Plée
Conductor – Paul Kuhn
Score – 3rd place (107 votes)

Country – Luxembourg
Song title – "Chansons pour ceux qui s'aiment"
Rendition – Jürgen Marcus
Lyrics – Fred Jay / Vline Buggy
Composition – Jack White
Studio arrangement – Jo Plée
Live orchestration – Jo Plée
Conductor – Jo Plée
Score – 14th place (17 votes)

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