Marianne and Michael: Great anticipation of retirement
Marianne Hartl turns 70. The musician from the duo Marianne and Michael can look back on a long career that is soon to come to an end.
Marianne Hartl (70), née Reiner, loves life and has always loved it. In this respect, the songs she sings really correspond to her “full heart”, as they say in the folk music industry. “Cuddles allowed”, “Take it easy, take me”, “Germany is nice” or “I love my homeland, my mountains” are always about powerful feelings, about love and loyalty to home and loved ones.
It’s just the “songs that come from the heart”. And you believe that this music not only accompanied her life, but also shaped it. Marianne Hartl has been one of the great personalities of the German-language folk music scene for decades. The Munich resident celebrates her 70th birthday on February 7th.
This anniversary in itself would not be a reason to think about retirement. There are other reasons why she does it anyway. And this shows that there is not a radiant white-blue sky in her emotional world, but also dark clouds.
Marianne Hartl is not a solo artist, whoever says Marianne Hartl means “Marianne & Michael”. The two have been stars of folk music since 1973. They sing and moderate together, conquered hit lists and show stages, designed TV programs such as the “Superhitparade der Volksmusik” (ZDF), “Feste celebrations” (Sat.1), “Heimatmelodie” (RTL), “merry musicians” (ZDF) or “Love Greetings with Marianne & Michael” (ZDF), won lots of prizes like Bambi or Goldene Henne. They also founded a music publishing company and trained young people in folk music.
Their history together began in 1973
The couple met at a performance in Munich’s “Platzl”. He: an Austrian from Styria, a trained locksmith who had also learned guitar and singing for three years. She: a woman from Munich, four years younger, a tax clerk by profession, training in classical singing, a good accordion player.
The two reportedly fell in love on that summer day in 1973 and started their career together. A year later they shot their first and so far only Heimatfilm “Der Jäger von Fall”.
Her folk music career was rapid, as was her private life: the marriage was concluded in 1979 and the couple had two sons. The family bought a large house near Munich with a garden and a view of the mountains, everything went well, almost as in the lyrics of their songs.
After 37 years of marriage there was another colorful wedding celebration: Marianne and Michael got married again in Bavarian costume. They got married in 2016 in the St. Laurentius Church in Rottach-Egern am Tegernsee.
But there were also setbacks: in 2007, ZDF announced that the contracts with Marianne and Michael would not be renewed, that there was “no legally guaranteed right to Beatles or folk music…” That was a hard blow for the singing duo, the “German Schlager and Folk Music Working Group” even had a legal opinion obtained as to whether the Mainz broadcaster was “discriminating”.
Finally, Marianne and Michael announced on the ZDF talk show by Johannes B. Kerner (58) that they would moderate three more programs on ZDF in 2008: the “Preliminary Decision for the Grand Prix of Folk Music”, “Christmas with Marianne and Michael” and one open air show. But in 2011 the last show of the two was finally canceled in Mainz, after more than 200 programs for ZDF it was over.
More low points followed. It almost seemed as if the events of 2022 were mocking her hits “Stay healthy, stay young” and “Rund samma, gsund samma”: First, Marianne Hartl fell unhappily while walking with her West Highland White Terrier Winnie and broke his shoulder. Her husband’s sudden illness was even more serious: Michael suffered a severe stroke in March 2022.
He has fought his way back into a “second life”. Already in September, the two had a touching appearance in colleague Stefan Mross’ (47) show “Always Again on Sundays” and sang “You were, you are and you stay”. And in November they embarked on the Christmas tour because “Michael is 98 percent recovered,” as Marianne said. “We are on a good way”.
Nevertheless, the health setbacks have apparently made them thoughtful. The folk music duo announced on the “NDR Talkshow” in autumn 2022 that they wanted to withdraw from the public soon. After final performances, the two then want to enjoy life.