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Bruno Balz

Bruno Balz (6 October 1902, in Berlin – 14 March 1988, in Bad Wiessee) was a German songwriter and schlager writer.

From the time he wrote the music for the first German sound film until his retirement in the 1960s, Balz was responsible for the lyrics to over a thousand popular hits. Much of his output was in conjunction with the composer Michael Jary; their songs helped make the singer Zarah Leander popular.

Balz was arrested several times for homosexuality. In 1936, he spent several months in prison, and was released under an agreement that mandated that his name was no longer to appear in public. To maintain the appearance of propriety, he entered a "lavender marriage" with a woman named Selma. He was rearrested in 1941 by the Gestapo and was kept in the Gestapo headquarters in Prinz-Albrecht-Straße. He was released from imprisonment by the intervention of Jary, who persuaded officials that he could produce songs that would aid the war effort. Within a day of his release, they had written two of their greatest successes, "Davon geht die Welt nicht unter" ("This Will Not End the World") and "Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder gescheh'n" ("I Know Some Day a Miracle Will Happen"). His film songs for Leander, a star of UFA musicals which were later criticised as having helped public and armed forces morale during the war, became anthems for homosexuals imprisoned in concentration camps.

The fall of the Nazi regime did not spell an end to the persecution of Balz, as Paragraph 175, the law against homosexuality, continued in force. Thus his name is considerably less well-known than if he had been properly credited for his lyrics.

Balz's companion was painter and actor Jürgen Draeger, who was enjoined by a clause in Balz's will from talking about their relations for ten years following Balz's death.

The Bruno Balz Theatre in Berlin is named for him.

Birth and Death Data: Born October 6, 1902 (Berlin), Died March 14, 1988 (Bad Wiessee)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1935 - 1950

Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist, songwriter

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia CO42923 10-in. 1950 Die fett polka Erwin Hartung ; Willi Stanke Tanzorchester Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo lyricist  
Gramophone 0RA903 10-in. 11/21/1935 Wie ein Wunder kam die Liebe über Nacht Bruno Seidler-Winkler ; Wiener Tanzorchester Jazz/dance band, with vocal lyricist  
Gramophone 0RA913 10-in. 11/28/1935 Del album de mis ensueños Robert Gaden Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Gramophone 0RA1829 10-in. 2/12/1937 Das Fensterln in der Nacht Orchester Will Glahé Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal solo lyricist  
Gramophone 0RA2573 10-in. 1/12/1938 Die Welt wird schöner mit jedem Glas Orchester Will Glahé Instrumental ensemble, with vocal songwriter  
Gramophone 0RA2574 10-in. 1/12/1938 Tanze und sing! Orchester Will Glahé Instrumental ensemble, with vocal lyricist  
Gramophone 0RA2575 10-in. 1/12/1938 Puppen parade Orchester Will Glahé ; Schuricke-Terzett Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio lyricist  
Gramophone 0RA2628 10-in. 2/3/1938 Das ist Berlin Orchester Will Glahé Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio songwriter  
Gramophone 0RA2763 10-in. 3/24/1938 Haben sie den neuen Hut von Fräulein Molly schon gesehen? Orchester Will Glahé Instrumental ensemble, with female-male vocal duet lyricist  
Gramophone 0RA2764 10-in. 3/24/1938 Nur das Lachen nicht verlernen Orchester Will Glahé Instrumental ensemble, with vocal songwriter  
Gramophone 0RA3388 10-in. November 1938 So kann das ruhig weitergeh'n Hans Carste Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with vocal songwriter  
Gramophone 0RA3916 10-in. 1939 Viel Glück Goldene Sieben ; Elena Lauri Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band lyricist  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Balz, Bruno," accessed June 24, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101333.

Balz, Bruno. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101333.

"Balz, Bruno." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 24 June 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101333

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