Saturday 30 April 1988


Born: November 12th, 1943, Alhambra, Los Angeles Ca. (United States)
Died: June 15th, 1989, Munich (West Germany)
Nationality: American

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


Michael Dean Thatcher came from California, where he started his first jazzband at the age of thirteen. He studied music and literature at the University of California in Berkeley and did his first live concert on radio station KPFA, shortly before receiving his Master of Arts Degree in 1967.

In 1970 he came to Munich, where he played with Art Farmer, Mal Waldron, Tony Scott, among others and toured as a pianist with Die Goldene Stimme, Karl Gott. Afterwards, he became Musical Director of the musical Godspell, which did a month run at the Deutsches Theater in Munich during the 1972 Olympics. 

He remained in Munich from 1972 until his death. He arranged and produced records for Donna Summer, Gitte Haenning, Hoffmann & Hoffmann, Peter Maffay, Udo Lindenberg, Pupo, Mireille Mathieu and others. While spending most of his time composing and arranging for film, tv and recordings, he still enjoyed traveling as an accompanist or conductor for Howard Carpendale, Katja Ebstein, the Kessler Twins, Waddell & Williams, and Julia Migenes.

Michael D. Thatcher died prematurely in 1989 after suffering from a melanoma. He is survived by his wife and three children, two of whom are musicians in their own right: Daniel J. Thatcher, composer in Chicago, and Karen A. TenBrink, choral director for the Ann Arbor, Michigan Civic Chorus in the USA.


In 1983, Michael Thatcher was the keyboard player in the orchestra put together by musical director Dieter Reith for that year's Eurovision Song Contest final in Munich. 

As a conductor in his own right, Thatcher took part in the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, for which he orchestrated and conducted the West German entry, ‘Lied für einen Freund’. This song, written by Ralph Siegel and Bernd Meinunger, was performed by mother-daughter team Maxi & Chris Garden.


Country – West Germany
Song title – “Lied für einen Freund”
Rendition – Maxi & Chris Garden
Lyrics – Bernd Meinunger
Composition – Ralph Siegel
Studio arrangement – Rainer Pietsch / Alfons Weindorf / László Bencker
Live orchestration – Michael Thatcher
Conductor – Michael Thatcher
Score – 14th place (48 votes)

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