In the 1950s, Peter Kraus had a decisive influence on the musical landscape in this country and was considered the German answer to Elvis Presley. He revealed to BUNTE.de why his new tour will be his last.
In the mid-1950s, Peter Kraus embodied a new attitude towards life and brought the American way of life to Germany with his music. For a whole generation, it was suddenly about rebellion, freedom and building up books – also thanks to Kraus’s songs. Because he interpreted the titles of the great American legends.
First the songs by Bill Haley († 55), Chuck Berry († 90), Elvis Presley († 42)
Peter Kraus was born on March 18, 1939 as Peter Siegfried Krausnecker in Munich. His father is the well-known singer, actor, producer and director Fred Kraus – so music is in his blood. He got his first film role at the tender age of 14: In Erich Kästner’s film adaptation “The Flying Classroom”, Kraus played the student Jonathan Controversy.
When Peter Kraus heard Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” for the first time in 1955, he was hooked. Infected with rock ‘n’ roll fever, he got a Grundig tape recorder from his father, recorded all rock ‘n’ roll titles from the American military radio station AFN and practiced day and night. His goal: to become a singer. Just one year later, he achieved his goal. During a guest appearance in a concert by Hugo Strasser (†93), the legendary record producer Gerhard Mendelsohn noticed him and signed him without further ado. The press rejoices: “Germany has a German Elvis!”
From then on things went in quick succession: just a few months later, Peter Kraus landed his first hit with “Tutti Frutti”, the record sold over 100,000 copies. But that’s not all. In the next few years, songs followed that now have cult status: “When Teenagers Dream”, “When Conny with Peter”, “Sugar Baby”, “Mit 17” or “Kitty Cat”. For a long time now, production has not only been in Germany, but also in America, France and Italy. And Peter Kraus is in great demand everywhere. When he performs, the girls freak out in droves, get crying fits at the sight of him, ardent admirers decorate his cars with lipstick. In 1959, the youth magazine “Bravo” even delivered the singer in life size to the house – as a star cut in 15 parts. Peter Kraus has long been a living legend.
When the heyday of rock’n’roll slowly ebbed away, Peter Kraus looked for new challenges. He produces, writes texts, composes, sings in operettas and musicals, and appears on stage as an actor himself. About with her: Conny Froboess (79). In the hit film “If Conny with Peter” they embody the perfect dream couple. Privately, however, the woman at his side is a different one: the photo model Ingrid turns the pretty boy’s head. So much so that the two married in 1969 – and have had a scandal-free marriage to this day. “We are there for each other, have the same wishes, help each other with great respect,” enthuses Peter Kraus in the BUNTE.de interview. “You have to want to be happy together.”
On February 4, 2023, the 83-year-old will be on tour again. The name says it all: “My Hits – My Idols” – a homage to Kraus’ musical role models, above all his father. Shortly before the start of the tour, BUNTE.de wants to know how he is doing. “I’m fit – and hungry: on stage, spotlight, audience, fans, making music live, success! Not on long car journeys, traffic jams, cold hotel rooms, bad food.” Incidentally, after all this time he no longer has stage fright. He puts the feeling before the big show more like this: “It’s an inner tension that everything may work out, we’ll get the best out of ourselves and the audience goes home happy.” Before the show, he’s usually on the backstage. There are no people there, he finds peace there. “I do a few stretching exercises, look through the small holes in the curtain at the audience taking their seats, discover beautiful women and think to myself: Today we will be particularly good! Visitors deserve it!”
Kraus has retained the charm of the eternal “boy” even in his eighties. Maybe because he doesn’t feel old himself, as he reveals to BUNTE.de. His wife keeps him young, the way they live together – “normal, I would say, more secluded, according to our own ideas, not according to propagandized ones.” He explains: “We prefer country life, avoid the noise, try to live as healthy as possible and love each other. My wife is incredibly inquisitive, knows her stuff, knows how to live healthy and happy and I benefit from it!” That really sounds like a good recipe for a long, fulfilling life. But without his big stage it probably doesn’t work either. After all, the 2023 tour is his sixth farewell tour, and his thirst for the stage seems insatiable. Or not? “He’s not insatiable,” Kraus explains to BUNTE.de. “This tour will be the last. I promised my wife that and this time I will keep my promise. Otherwise I would get really into trouble and my often made statement ‘We never argue’ would be called into question!”
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The original of this post “This is what the life of the “German Elvis” Peter Kraus looks like today” comes from Bunte.de.