|It seems that smart, fine, a bit blue music isn't a success nowadays. Everything changes in this world, so do music preferences. From day to day new songs climb tops of music charts but... could you remember all of them a couple of months later?
True music fans have known the name of Tony Hendrik for approximately 30 years. This person has been hidden from the public for all that time. Living in the shadows of musicians which he created he is obviously one of the most talented "star-creators".
What is known about him for sure?
A little report on the Coconut Recordsofficial site about this legend is extremely miserly. Our article is to fill it with additional information.
Roots of Tony's musical career go back to his youth, when at the age of 15 the young Tony found his father's guitar (with only four strings). He tuned it in "red river rock" style and began to play with the knife.
Later he with his school group LUNIKS appeared on the stage of Hanburg Star Club (a long time before it had been a start point to world success for THE BEATLES).
By 1970 Tony won his first success with the group THE TONY HENDRIK FIVE. Their single "The Groovest Girl In Town" was his first international bestseller.
Then he worked on VOGUE record lable and his musical sympathy was attracted by rock music on the whole. His work with the group Nosferatu which played progressive rock can be a good proof to this fact.
He changed his record label. His new working place was one of the oldest German record companies HANSA.
His new step in career made him quite popular because of his co-work with artists which sang in style "German Schlager". At that period he probably met Karin Hartman, a second part of one of the most successful creative stuffs in German - a tandem Tony Hendrik / Karin Hartman (nowadays they are married and have three gifted children, which maybe will go on with their family business).
In the beginning of 1975 Tony Hendrik and Karin Hartman signed a contract with Andreas Martin. And he introduced this pair to Wolfgang Petry. So a new "German Schlager" star appeared with his hit "Sommer in der Stadt" ("Summer In The Town"). Tony and Karin worked with him for a quite long time.
Among other not so outstanding projects we can name the following: Emily & Tom (the single "Louie Louie" released in 1976) and some more. In 1977 Hendrik / Hartman team produced Juliane Werding (singles "Da staunste, was?"; "Oh Mann, Oh Mann"; the album "Oh Mann, Oh Mann").
It may sound a bit funny but this tandem seems to be the start point in music career of another great German producer and artist Dieter Bohlen. They wrote and produced songs for a duo MONZA with their debut single "Hallo Taxi Nr. 10". This duo consisted of Dieter Bohlen himself and his friend Holger Garboden released this single in 1978 and contained except the title song another song "Cola und Rock 'n' Roll".
By that time Tony and Karin's success had stepped over Germany and the song "Doctor, Doctor Help Me Please" of a female disco trio A LA CARTE climbed world top charts.
There was one more successful project produced by Hendrik/Hartman - DENNIE CHRISTIAN.
In the beginning of 1981 Tony and Karin founded their own record label COCONUT and Publishing Agency "A La Carte" and their musical projects got their new address.
Tony and Karin went on to work with the trio A La Carte till 1984. It is interesting that among the authors who wrote for them we can find Michael Cretu.
In early 80s Hendrik/Hartman produced a cult person of "German new wave" Kim Merz.
After A La Carte potential had been exhausted and traditional disco songs had left top charts producers started a new project. They wrote "L.O.V.E. In My Car" and looked for the singers to perform it. As for A LA CARTE the producers tried to find members of a brand-new group in London but soon they were introduced ANDREW THOMAS, an american musician and a DJ, who lived in Cologne that time. Then Andrew brought TREVOR TAYLOR from Jamaica. The last member was found by Trevor. It was John McInerney from Liverpool.
It was a Bad Boys Blue. Their successful co-work had been lasting till early 90s when the group changed COCONUT Records for INTERCORD. During those years Tony Hendrik and Karin Hartman (sometimes she used the name Karin van Haaren) 14 international hits and were authors and producers of 9 albums.
In the 80s Tony found his own firm sound. It can be described in the following way: special minor-romantic harmony, hidden energy and stunning melody. Music created by him has an unique advantage: it does not become boring. When hearing it over and over again you can find more beautiful shades which fit your romantic imaginations and make new horizons visible.
Tony Hendrik's music is similar to a wise book which is made following the principle of "multy-level perception". Everybody could find something, which touches the heart of his own, which is deeply intim but it makes people feel a wish to share this intim feeling with anybody else because of joy which occupies their hearts. Listening to this music for many times you seem to get to another level and continue to discover beautiful mystic associations in music.
OK, let's go back to the glorious 80s. Except Bad Boys Blue COCONUT Records dealt with many other artists which were not as fantastic popular as the Cologner trio:
1985: Airplay "For Your Love", Broken Dreams "Broken Dreams", Roxanne "Charlene"
1986: Neil Smith "Help Me Through The Summer", Julian "Straight To My Heart"
1987: Roxanne "Boys In Black Cars", Twenty one "The Eyes Of Don Johnson"
To name only a few.
Obviously Tony's heart kept memory of previous years when he played rock. It might be one of the reasons that he helped the rock legend THE SEARCHERS release the album "Hungry Hearts" in 1988. He also co-worked with other great rock persons: SMOKIE and Chris Norman himself. In 1989 Tony Hendrik and Karin Hartman founded a project called XANADU. The aim was to take place in "EUROVISION". XANADU included DAVID BRANDES, the future creator of smash eurodance group E-ROTIC and Lyane Lee.
All these facts prove the fact that Tony Hendrik and his label COCONUT RECORDS were the startpoint for the most famous German performers.
In the 90s COCONUT started with a project CHYP NOTIC, which first remade PRINCE's classical hit "Nothing Compares To U" and then recorded original songs of quite high quality. Chyp Notic relesed two albums at COCONUT: "Nothing Compares To U" (1990) and "I Can't Get Enough" (1992). Unfortunately this project got lost and the leader Vlad MyntSwe tragically died several years ago.
HADDAWAY is considered to be Tony's most successful project. Like a hurricane his debut singles "What Is Love" and "Life" occupied top charts all over the world in 1993. His first album with an original title "The Album" climbed to TOP 10s in practically all the countries. A very long pause of silence after this success played its negative part. The releases following by "The Drive" (1995) and "Let's Do It Now" (1998) were not as such smashers as the first those.
In 1996 a trio SOULTANS, founded in London a year before, attacked charts. It consisted of Femi Olakeji, Scott Winter and Martin Broadie. Their song "Can't Take My Hands Off You" reached German TOP 20. Due to the title of the group it sang in American soul music style, a bit adapted to an average European listener. The stuff changed several times. Altogether they released 3 albums (except the usual Greatest Hits): "Love, Sweat & Tears" (1996); "Take Off" (1998); "Tribute To Soul" (2000). The latest album contained cover versions of classical legacy of American soul label MOTOWN.
After MODERN TALKING had celebrated their effective comeback Europe public got interested in disco-music of the 80s for a while. All the fans shouted of joy: BAD BOYS BLUE returned to their native record label COCONUT. Their "You're A Woman ྞ" reminded their former popularity. Later the BOYS with Tony Hendrik and Karin Hartman released 4 albums: "Back" (1998); "...Continued" (1999); "Follow The Light" (1999); "Tonite" (2000).
As it often goes the situation in world music industry had changed in the beginning of a new millenium. The tendence of traditional rock music, rap and teen music made Bad Boys Blue release their "Bad Boys Best 2001" and they left COCONUT again.
In 2001 Tony Hendrik was a producer of Aura and her cover version of Kim Wilde's "You Came". Then he helped David Brandes release Chris Norman's brand new album "Breath Me In". A teen rock group KESS and soul-diva Della Miles signed a contract with COCONUT. But the main things should happen later.
When the quartet LONDONBEAT (in early 90s it was wide world known for their super smash "I've Been Thinking About You") decided to come back to the European stage, they fortunately chose Tony Hendrik and Karin Hartman to be their producers of the comeback album. The single "Where Are U" and the album "Back In The Hi-Life" became one of the most expectable events of 2003.
Nowadays nothing is known about Tony Hendrik and Karin Hartman's following plans. Tony himself wants to get his flying license and fly high by his own airplane.
Learning to fly is so ordinary for every romantic!