Franz Reuther is born on July 18, 1941 in Kirn an der Nahe, near Bad Kreuznach in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, 209 meters above sea level. Today Kirn has more than 10 000 inhabitants. It's main industries are leather goods, plastics processing and quarrying. A city since 1857, half-timbered dwellings and a medieval parish church. Above Kirn is the Kyburg, first mentioned in 1128. As a child, Franz is surrounded by an air of picture-book romance. He never gets to know his father, a furrier who made purses - he was killed in Smolensk, Russia, in the dreadful battles of the middle period of the war.
His mother, Cilli, unfailingly kept a strict eye on her three children to ensure that they would turn out to be respectable - this applied to his four-year-old sister Hertha, his brother Heinz, who was eighteen months older, and Franz, the baby of the family, who was the special object of her affections. Cilli had to feed three hungry mouths on DM 200. Frank''s teacher noticed his voice and he was allowed to sing "Der Mond ist aufgegangen" in the church choir. He received a 10-pfennig piece from the priest as a reward.
First guitar at the age of 12. Frank set out as a cook after finishing school: Why a cook? "I was always hungry..." He started off at the Schlossgarten-Restaurant in Saarbrucken, fared as far as Lindau, then on to Splugen in Switzerland and Ettelbruck in Luxembourg.
Here, fate changed Franz's name first to Frankie, and then to Frank. Then the transformation from cook to pop. The reason: Americans, Clubs, AFN. The Shadows, The Drifters, Anything that smelled of rock'n'roll. Presley, and later Bill Hailey. On D-Day, the day of liberation, bands from the States played in the GI`s marquees. FF remembers a rock band, two guitars,bass and drums, playing in Luxembourg on the day General Patton came to D-Day. "From that second onwards, everything was different. Within a second, I was a freak. And forgot all about becoming a cook." The Ettelbruck cook took his hard earned savings and bought, with newly inspired enthusiasm for rhythm and country music, three guitars, three amplifiers, three speakers, a mini organ and vocal equipment for DM 10 000. He had spent all his money - and only had half of what he needed for his dream band, which did not even exist yet.
''Frankie Boy'' moved from Ettelbruck into Gasthaus Graber in Elversberg – the back room of the village pub was sold out in no time. 100 men and one band - Frankie Farian and the Shadows. Head Shadow Frankie went through all the pubs in those days if there was a dance on. 300 Marks a night for five men.
Frankie Boy's Shadows release and distribute their first record "Shouting Ghost". Frank produced about 1000 singles, and sold this first lot of rough rock'n'roll primarily because Frau Kaspar, of the large Saarbrucken record retailer Phoenix-Apparate, immediately bought 100 of the singles which Frankie had produced in an old cowshed. "Times were crazy back then'', recalls Frank.
First highpoint: they appear in the Starclub in Hamburg during the international rock festival, where the groups Gary and the Pacemakers, Them with Van Morrison and The Boston Showband, among other groups, also appeared. Only three German bands made an appearance: The Rattles, The Germanbonds and Frankie Farian und die Schatten. Their first record was "Yakety Yak", since Frankie is especially fond of black music, e.g. Otis Redding, Miracles, the Drifters and Sam Cook.
Their second record was Under the boardwalk, a Driffers cover; their third was an Otis Redding cover, "Mr.Pitiful".
Monti Luftner arranged Frank Farians first record deal, with Ariola.
First appearance on the ZDF Hitparade following the break-up of the Schatten Band and Farian`s solo apearance as singer and producer. "Monti Luftner had got me into Ariola. Now the idea was first to make hits and a bit of money."
Production contract with Hansa Berlin, which remains today (via Ariola - BMG - Sony BMG - Sony Music) !!! Hans Blume, head of Hansa until 1993 was the man who with the perfect understatement of a professional record executive, kept Frankie at the top of the charts for over twenty years.
First big hit with "Rocky", and at the same time "Tu es" ("Do it") with Gilla and "Amigo Charly Brown" with Benny. Three titles at one time (numbers 1, 8 and 10) in the top-ten.
Start of the group Boney M., with the first big hit single "Daddy Cool" and the first LP "Take The Heat Off Me".
With Boney M., an impressive musical idea which had occurred to him between two cokes, Frank had got his foot into the door which turned out to be the golden gate to world-wide success. Start of the group Eruption with Precious Wilson. Top-ten hits in England and the USA with "One Way Ticket" and "I Can't Stand The Rain".
Boney M. had 38 top-ten hits between 1975 and 1988, including 15 number ones in Germany and 22 top-tens in England, five of which were number ones. Three Boney M. singles grace the all-time best seller list nowadays in England:
N 1: Band Aid "Do They Know It's Christmas-Time"
N 2: Paul McCartney "Mull Of Kentyre"
N 3: Boney M. "Mary's Boychild"
N 4: Boney M. "Rivers Of Babylon"
N 5: Boney M. "Brown Girl In The Ring"
Launch of the group Eruption with the single Precious Wilson. Top ten hits in England and the USA with "One Way Ticket" and "I Can't Stand The Rain".
Farian enters the Guinness Book of Records: "Mary's Boy Child" sells 175 000 singles a day, making a total of 2.2 million singles in four weeks. England's Earl of Kensington presents "Mr Hit from Germany" (Times) with the Carl Allen Award (English equivalent of the Grammy) for producer with highest sales in 1978.
Queen Elizabeth II meets Boney M., the most successful pop group in England in 1978.
Sensation in the Soviet Union: Breschnev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party, allows Boney M. to become the first western group to put on ten concerts in the Soviet Union. Boney M. dances with the support group Black Beautiful Circus in front of a good 2 700 spectators in Red Square and is the first pop group in musical history to film a top pop video in the headquarters of world communism. The black market price for a ticket was 170 rubles the typical monthly income for a russian worker. Only the Song "Rasputin" could not be sung "for historical reasons."
In the USA Time Magazine devotes a page to Boney M. due to its triumph in the pop world. 55 million Boney M. LP's and over 45 million singles were sold world-wide. In the course of time over 800 gold and platinum records stacked up.
Frank Farian composes the Boney M. song "El Lute". El Lute was Spain's most wanted robber - comparable with England''s Robin Hood. He was in prison in Spain and received a gold record following the huge success of this Boney M. and Farian single. He was pardoned in 1979 during democratisation following the end of Franco's dictatorship.
Boney M.'s first Compilation "The Magic Golden Hits" N1 in England and in other Countries.
Boney M. "Boonoonoonoos" - the most ambitious and expensive project in the history of the sound recording industry of the Western Germany. The Single "We Kill The World" - N1 in Spain and in South African Republic.
Studio Rosbach is built, using digital technology for the first time. New Album with Precious Wilson "All Coloured In Love".
Platinum for the album Sydne Rome "Aerobic Fitness Dancing". New Albums: MAD "28 Superhits For Dancin'", LA MAMA "Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec LA MAMA", Precious Wilson "Red Light" and "Funky Fingers - Medley".
Terence Trent D'Arby is discovered in the Sinkkasten in Frankfurt. Frank Farian offers him and his group The Touch the opportunity to record an LP in his studio... Stevie Wonder produced his world hit "I just called to say I love you" in Rosbach. New Boney M.'s futuristic Album "10 000 Light Years".
World-wide hit "Stairway to Heaven" with the rock band FAR Corporation with lead singer Bobby Kimball (formerly of Toto) and international musicians. Top-Ten-Hit in England with the Album "Division One". Boney M.'s High Energy Album "Eye Dance".
Frank Farian produces the cultsong "Sebastian" of Cockney Rebell singing together with Steve Harley/Cockney Rebell...
The group Boney M. breaks up after their last hits "Happy Song" and "Kalimba de Luna" and the ZDF special programme 10 years of Boney M. According to the Spiegel, the " Will-o ''the-wisp'' project Boney M." proved to be the most potent economic factor in the German music industry, whom none had given international chances.
Farian produces the album "Blind Before I Stop" in his Rosbach studios with the bombastic four-octave giant Meat Loaf.
Peter Hofmann's "Rock Classics" album rolls out of Farian's pop factory into the country: pure gold for 300 000 albums.
Curtain up for the most ingenious pop puppet show: Milli Vanilli. With them, Farian cracks the hardest music market: for the first time, a German production made the number one spots in the charts with the single and album - with Girl You Know It''s True for six weeks - only five stars had achieved this before Farian. The single and album All Or Nothing go platinum in the USA.
...Milli Vanilli leaves the competition behind: they sell 14 million albums and 8 million singles world-wide as well as getting gold and platinum records. In the USA they have three number-one singles in the Billboard Charts:
* Baby Don't Forget My Number
* Blame It On The Rain
* Girl I'm Gonna Miss You
Also in the USA: 2 number-one LP's in the Billboard Charts. Frank Farian becomes the most successful producer in the USA.
· Best Single Of The Year
· Best New Act Soul
· Best New Act Pop
At the Grammy presentation in L.A. at the end of January: Milli Vanilli receive the Grammy for Best New Act 1989.
Frank Farian receives a diamond LP as a unique honour for the 10 platinum Milli Vanilli albums in Canada and is thus one of the most successful producers ever in pop history. By way of an interlude: the Milli Vanilli pair turn out to be vocal extras. Milli Vanilli was actually a studio production. Despite Farian's warning to the two showboys not to go on tour, it turned into a scandai. Farian had to donate 400 000 dollars to a good cause due to violation of the rules of competition. And the lawyers who took care of the lawsuit cost a further 3 million dollars.
Farian reworks the world hits of the formation Boney M with the newest studio technology. The album "Gold - 20 superhits" places itself directly after publication in the top 5 of the LP charts, reaches the golden status in Germany, top 5 hit in England with mega-mix. New Project TRY'N'B with the Album "Sexy Eyes".
The culmination of a career: in 25 years, Frank Farian has taken Germany to the top of the international music market for the first time . I Collaboration begins with Melanie Thornton and Lane McCray on La Bouche.
The group No Mercy consisting of three young vocalists - Marty Cintron and the twins Ariel and Gabriel Hernandez, is formed. Their debut single "Missing" made it to number 19 and stayed in the charts for 19 weeks. The La Bouche album sells over 3 million copies. "Be My Lover" gets to number 5 in the Billboard Charts and number 1 in Germany.
No Mercy invades the charts with "Where Do You Go". Top 5 in the USA (gold) and Germany (platinum); number 2 in England (platinum).
"When I Die" (No Mercy) gets platinum in Germany and Holland and double platinum in Austria. "Tic, Tic Tac" by Chilli gets number 1 in Brazil and makes the European top ten. Release of No Mercy's second Album "More". Boney M. 2000 is released. The first singles are the remixes of "Ma Baker" and "Daddy Cool". Frank Farian was honored with the Echo Lifetime Achievment Award.
La Bouche "A Moment Of Love" (the Album).
Boney M. 2000 "XX Century Hits" (Remix Album).
The script for the upcoming Milli Vanilli film is in the works, together with the Milli Vanilli soundtrack.
New recording studio in Nassau/Bahamas
Farian's collaboration on filmscript for the planned movie about the rise and fall of the pop duo Milli Vanilli. New Artist Norissa with Single "Never Too Late".
Production of his new R&B artists in his recording studio in Miami: Ali Tamposi, Miss K. (Kisha Parker), Phyllisia Ross and GIFT. New CD/DVD Album "For You" with Daniel Lopes.
Release of GIFT'S single "Yummy Yummy".
Planning phase and casting for the ensemble for the “Daddy Cool” musical.
Boney M.'s 30 Years Anniversary: World premiere of "Daddy Cool" in London's Shaftesbury Theatre. New CD/DVD Compilation "The Magic Of Boney M.": Gold in Germany, Australia, Canada and in other Countries.
Premiere of "Daddy Cool" in Berlin in the Boney M Theatre Palace. New CD-compilation "Christmas With Boney M.": Gold in Canada.
New projects: DADDY COOL KIDS, Boney M. feat.Sherita O. & Yulee B.
New releases: Boney M. feat.Sherita O. & Yulee B. "Felicidad America (Obama Obama)", Frank Farian "40 Jahre ZDF Hitparade" (compilation), "Produced by Frank Farian" (compilation), DADDY COOL KIDS "School's Out" (album)
New Boney M.'s releases: Die Party Box (3CD), HIT STORY (4CD), "Feliz Navidad" (2CD Christmas compilation). New Project: Boney M. GOES CLUB with Single "Barbra Streisand".
Frank Farian's 70 Years Anniversary! New releases: Boney M. GOES CLUB "Barbra Streisand" (Remix Album), Boney M. ULTIMATE 2.0 (2CD), Boney M. The Complete DVD Collection (3DVD), Boney M. HIT-MIX. New Projects: CHICKEN SOUP, ZZ Queen. Musical DADDY COOL in Holland.
- t.b.c. -