Thursday, 5 August 1971
Born: November 14th, 1926, Vienna (Austria)
Died: January 4th, 2004, Vienna (Austria)
In due course, the short impression below will be replaced with a more extensive career overview
From 1945 onwards, Johannes Fehring (pseudonym of Johannes Fernbach) studied composition, conducting as well as music science. To finance his studies, he played the piano in the jazz orchestra of Walter Heidrich, which was very popular with American soldiers who frequented the Embassy Club where the ensemble often performed. It was not long before Fehring started composing; between 1949 and 1975, he wrote the scores of over sixty motion pictures, amongst others Mariandl, Schwejks Flegeljahre, and Zirkuskinder.
In 1954, he opened a record store in Vienna, and, one year after that, he compiled an orchestra of his own, the Tanzorchester Johannes Fehring, specializing in jazz and popular music; Fehring wrote most of the arrangements himself. The orchestra became a household name in Austrian music industry and performed in concerts with some of the best-known artists from Austria and abroad: Peter Alexander, Udo Jürgens, Freddy Quinn, Caterina Valente, Ella Fitzgerald, and Gilbert Bécaud are just a few of the singers which were accompanied by Fehring’s ensemble. On numerous occasions, it was involved in emissions for the Austrian national broadcaster ORF, amongst which the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967.
Meanwhile, Fehring took up several other jobs. For a spell of three years (1963-66), he was the leader of the Tanzorchester of WDR, a West German broadcaster based in Cologne. In 1965, he became musical director of the Theater an der Wien, to which he remained faithful for eighteen years. Working with his own orchestra, he accompanied many musicals performed in the theatre, such as Cabaret, Anatevka, Hello Dolly, and Evita. In 1982, he did a European tour with the Münchener Rundfunkorchester.
Moreover, Fehring worked extensively as an arranger and producer in the recording studios with Marianne Mendt, Peter Alexander, and many more. In 1983, Fehring took the decision to withdraw from the showbiz industry.
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST
Johannes Fehring stood at the cradle of the career of one of the most successful recording artists of the German language area of all times. Udo Jürgens started performing with Fehring’s Tanzorchester. In 1964, Jürgens took part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first of three consecutive times. Although his self-penned song ‘Warum nur warum?’ had been recorded with the Rudi Bauer Orchestra, Jürgens chose to be accompanied by Johannes Fehring as his conductor in the contest, held in Copenhagen. Commercially the song, which came a respectable sixth, became a first success for Jürgens.
Two years later, Jürgens won the Eurovision Song Contest in Luxembourg (without Fehring as his conductor though – this time, Hans Hammerschmid led the orchestra) and, so, in 1967, the contest came to Vienna. In the Wiener Hofburg, Johannes Fehring’s orchestra accompanied all seventeen competing entries. For the Austrian entry, ‘Warum es hunderttausend Sterne gibt’ sung by Peter Horten, Fehring took up the baton himself.
EUROVISION INVOLVEMENT YEAR BY YEAR
Country – Austria
Song title – "Warum nur, warum?"
Rendition – Udo Jürgens
Lyrics – Udo Jürgens
Composition – Udo Jürgens
Studio arrangement – Rudi Bauer
(studio orchestra conducted by Rudi Bauer)
Live orchestration – Rudi Bauer
Conductor – Johannes Fehring
Score – 6th place (11 votes)
Country – Austria
Song title – "Warum es 100.000 Sterne gibt"
Rendition – Peter Horten
Lyrics – Karin Bognar
Composition – Kurt Peche
Studio arrangement – Rob Pronk
Live orchestration – Rob Pronk
Conductor – Johannes Fehring (MD)
Score – 14th place (2 votes)