Freddy Quinn

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Freddy Quinn
Freddy Quinn Hamburg 1971 003.jpg
Quinn performing in Hamburg, Germany in 1971
Background information
Birth name Franz Eugen Helmut Manfred Nidl
Born (1931-09-27) 27 September 1931 (age 88)
Niederfladnitz Austria
Occupation(s) Musician, Actor
Instruments Vocalist, guitar
Years active 1953-2009
Website Die Freddy Quinn Seite - The official Freddy Quinn page (in German)

Freddy Quinn (born Franz Eugen Helmut Manfred Nidl, 27 September 1931, Niederfladnitz, Austria) is an Austrian singer and actor whose popularity within the German-speaking world soared in the late 1950s and 1960s. Similar to Hans Albers two generations before him, Quinn adopted the persona of the rootless wanderer who goes to sea but longs for a home, family and friends. Quinn's Irish family name comes from his Irish born salesman father, Johann Quinn. His mother, Edith Henriette Nidl, was an Austrian journalist. He is often associated with the Schlager scene.


Quinn was born in Lower Austria and grew up in Vienna. As a child he lived in Morgantown, West Virginia (USA) with his father, but moved back to live with his mother in Vienna. Through his mother's second marriage to Rudolf Anatol Freiherr von Petz, Quinn adopted the name Nidl-Petz. At the end of World War II, as part of a refugee group, Freddy encountered American troops in Bohemia. Due to his fluent English, the 14-year-old succeeded in pretending to be of American nationality. He was subsequently sent to the US in May 1945 with a military transport. On Ellis Island, he learned that his father had already died in 1943 in a car accident. The boy was immediately sent back to Europe and, before returning to his mother in Vienna, was stranded for a whole year in Antwerp in a children's home, where he learned to speak French and Dutch. However, having left the landlocked country of Austria in favor of adventurous journeys through Southern Europe and Northern Africa, he eventually headed for Germany. He was "discovered" in St. Pauli, Hamburg, and was offered his first recording contract in 1954.[1] He represented Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland with the atypical song, "So geht das jede Nacht", about an unfaithful girlfriend who dates many men and he finished in third place. Most of his other songs are about Hamburg, the endless sea and the solitary life in faraway lands. His first hit record was "Heimweh" ("Homesickness", a.k.a. "Brennend heißer Wüstensand", "Dort wo die Blumen blüh'n" and "Schön war die Zeit", (1956), a German version of Dean Martin's "Memories Are Made of This". It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[2]

Other hits, often with him simply billed as Freddy, followed: "Die Gitarre und das Meer" (1959), "Unter fremden Sternen" (1959), "Irgendwann gibt's ein Wiedersehn" (1960), "La Paloma" (1961), "Junge, komm bald wieder" (1963). His 1964 offering "Vergangen, vergessen, vorueber" was another million selling release.[2]

His popularity waned in the 1970s, but Quinn continued performing. "Junge, komm bald wieder" was sung by Alpay on 7 Dilde Alpay ("In Seven Languages Alpay" in Turkish) album, which was released in 1973.

Freddy Quinn in Ikaalinen, Finland, 1985

Starting in the late 1950s, Quinn also acted in several movies, again frequently cast as the seafaring loner. Titles include Freddy, the Guitar and the Sea (1959), Freddy unter fremden Sternen (1959), Freddy and the Song of the South Pacific (1962), and Homesick for St. Pauli (1963). Subsequently, Quinn also performed on the stage in such diverse roles as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, the king in The King and I, and Lord Fancourt Babberly in Charley's Aunt.

Quinn was also an accomplished circus performer who stunned television audiences as a tightrope walker, performing live and without a safety net. On another occasion, which was also televised, he rode a lion inside a circus cage while the lion was balancing atop a moving surface.

Quinn lives in Hamburg, Germany.

Selected filmography


  1. Leggett, Steve. "Biography: Freddy Quinn". AMG. Retrieved 10 May 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 82 & 175. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest
(and Walter Andreas Schwarz with Im Wartesaal zum großen Glück)
Succeeded by
Margot Hielscher
with Telefon, Telefon