How good was Elvis vocally

Thursday was the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. Bernd Krause, who grew up in Niederoderwitz, is a contemporary witness and big fan. "But always!", His eyes light up when he is confronted with the question of whether Elvis is the "King of Rock’n’Roll" for him. As a music teacher at the grammar school in Salzwedel in the Altmark region, Krause knows all about it. About the fact that Elvis was the initial spark for a new style of music called Rock’n’Roll. About Elvis influencing all of the rock and pop music that followed. And that Elvis was the groundbreaking figure for youth culture that began in the 50s.

And at the same time Krause embarks on a journey into his own past. “Elvis was my youth idol,” says the 63-year-old, referring to the hairstyle, the dance style, the music. “Maybe the forbidden was the reason for my interest,” he muses. The native of Chemnitz was also fascinated by the “eroticism in the voice”. Bernd Krause tried to imitate his role model vocally. "I knew it would go down well with the audience."

Very popular band

And he had many listeners. Because in his youth at the beginning of the 1960s he was the singer of the Benny Kraus sextet. "We were a couple of friends and just got started," said Krause. Sometimes even without knowing the grades. "Rock’n’Roll was the most important thing." "The youth wanted to hear rock'n'roll," Krause looks back. The only alternative at that time was the large orchestras wanted by the state. The Benny Kraus Sextet, on the other hand, offered loud music with lots of movement on the stage. And: It played forbidden songs. This included the pieces by Elvis Presley. He was V. E. - prohibited import. The band still played his songs like "Love me tender" and "Tutti Frutti". Our own tape recordings of the original titles, which were broadcast by “Radio Luxemburg”, which can be received via shortwave, served as a template.

The Benny Kraus Sextet hit a nerve with the youngsters. “We were heroes,” Krause recalls. But the concerts also aroused displeasure. Rock’n’Roll was officially frowned upon. The accusation against the musicians was: "Spreading American culture". The newspapers wrote about the "monkeys in red coat." Bernd Krause had to join the Zittau district council as band leader. The group received two warnings and was finally banned from playing in the mid-1960s. Krause himself was also banned from studying law, his preferred subject.

So he decided to study music and German as a teacher. When he left his native Upper Lusatia in favor of Rostock, where he was studying, he also turned his back on the wild band years. However, interest in Elvis never went away. The records, CDs and video cassettes in his Salzwedel apartment are evidence of this. "I still like to sing Elvis songs - in company or with my students."

The author works for Volksstimme