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Stern Magazine - Bohlens Sänger ist tot
Bohlen's Singer is dead
by Alexander Kühn
He wasn't a Star, but he createt the Sound of the 80s like not many musicians did – as one of the Voices of Modern Talking and Blue System. With his own formation Systems in Blue he kept that sound from the past alive – but now Rolf Köhler died in Hamburg. Just a few people knew his name, but the half globe has already heard his voice. Rolf Köhler was 14 when his mother died, a time, about which he doesn't spoke to anyone,even not to friends. A short while after that he went „on the road“. His true passion was Rock 'n' Roll & Heavy Metal; but earned his money as a choir singer, one of the most demanded in Germany. He worked for Marius Müller-Westernhagen, Peter Kraus and was on Tour with Roger Whittaker. "Wenn’s um Geld geht, Sparkasse" – also that famous slogan for a german Commercial Spot was sung by him. He gave his Voice to countless other commercials, including that for the soup-fabricator Unox, where Köhler used his famous 's' , which was always so sharply spoken that every sound board operator was afraid.
He never existed for the "Bravo"-Readers
From 1984 to 2000 Köhler worked on quite everything that was produced by Dieter Bohlen: Engelbert, Al Martino, Bonnie Tyler. But his most important employment was to be part of the Eunuch-Choir for Modern Talking; Blue System, Bohlens second big Project was shaped by his husky voice. In his own Studio,which is located in Brake/Lower-Saxony, Köhler had all the gold records, which he has received for his work and success on Modern Talking and Blue System. Officiall, for all the „Bravo“-Readers and Fans of the Bohlen/Anders-Duo, he and his choir-mates Detlef Wiedeke and Michael Scholz were never existing. Some years ago, during the Comeback of Modern Talking, the three singers made it public: they explained that not one single tone on his records was sung by him – which he denies 'til today. The record company paid each of the three 100.000 Marks, just pocket money compared with the incomes the company earned.
Characterized the Style of the 80's
In 2003 Köhler, Wiedeke and Scholz were united again. As a little greeting to their former fellow Bohlen they named the formation: Systems in Blue. The first album sounded like jouney in time 20 years back, right into the decade of white sports-socks in sneakers and padded shoulders. When Köhler sings and you close your eyes, one can believe to see Bohlen with his flowing hair. „We are maybe a bit more into the 80's than Dieter nowadays.“ Rolf Köhler said last week in his final interview. „ We simply go for that old music! We were witnesses of that time and characterized that style.“ He and his mates teased again and again in interviews, that Bohlen could be a guest singer in their group. System in Blue's success in Germany was a manageable size, but on the other hand thousands of fans came to their concerts in Israel and Siberia, who wanted to hear the sound which went around the world 20 years ago. Still before Christmas, it was planned to release the second album of that Band. Past Week on Thursday Köhler did his last solo part for that. Two Hours later he collapsed. Apoplectic Stroke. Sunday evening he died in the hospital Hamburg Altona, aged 55. „We have lost our best friend much too early“ his band mates wrote on the internet page of systems in blue. „ He didn't received the acknowledgment of its large musical achievement during lifetimes. But innumerable humans loved him and appreciated his friendship.
English translation thanks to Söran
Original german article here
*Note: Some of the dates and information included in this article can be wrong.