Cutout Bin: School-Hating German Teen Idol Heintje


Heintje (Ariola-Eurodisc, 1968)

Dein Schönster Tag (Ariola-Eurodisc, 1970)

You may have heard of Heino, Germany's top pop singer of cheesy-listening "schlager" tunes. But unless you lived in the land of lederhosen at the time, you've probably never heard of Germany's other major 1960s sensation... teen star of song and screen, Heintje. Hendrik Simons, aka Heintje, was actually from the Netherlands. At 11 years old, the mop-topped moppet was discovered by a record producer while singing in his parents' café.

Within a few years, his sentimental ode to mothers, "Mama," had become a major international hit. In 1968, his first album Heintje sold 2 million copies and he starred in a series of musical films, including the awesomely titled Hurra, die Schule Brennt! ("Hurry, the School is on Fire!") and Zum Teufel mit der Penne ("To Hell With School"). Damn, this kid really hated school.

Heintje continued to perform into adulthood. As his voice changed, so too did his stage name: Hein Simons. He released over 20 albums over the years, and seems to be experiencing a bit of a comeback in 2009.

He released a new album this spring, and is now a frequent guest star on radio and television. In fact, on this Dutch voting Web site, Hein is currently in 22nd place in the Person of the Year competition, between Cliff Richard (?!) and Priscilla Presley (?!?). Cast your vote now!

Watch Heintje harangue his grandmother.

Trailer for his 1970 film, Einmal Wird die Sonne Wieder Scheinen ("One Day the Sun Will Shine Again").

The modern-day Heintje shows off his records and sings a duet with himself.

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Nick DiFonzo