Chart success eluded German singer Cindy Weiss, in spite of some quality material and several attempts to break into the music scene, including under her own name, Anneli Weiss.
She was born Anneli Weiss and hailed from Nanzenbach in Hesse, in central Germany.
The lack of a rural recording industry didn’t hold her back from pursuing a singing career at the tender age of 13. In 1965, she released her first single, Winnetou’s Schwester, on the Hansa label, under her own name. Winnetou is the fictional Native American hero of several novels written by Karl May. In the mid 1960s, a series of films starring the character became immensely popular in Germany, creating a whole cowboys-and-Indians rage for a while.
In synch with the theme of the song, Cindy posed in full Native American gear, a black wig and red face-paint for the cover. Yet, sound-wise, the song – luckily – abandoned the Indian theme. Winnetou’s Schwester is a cover version of a Millie Small song, Chilly kisses. The B-side of the record is another killer track – Sugar candy should have given the record some success, but the pop world is not always fair and the record sank without a trace.
Cindy went back to school and only returned to music business two years later, when she was contracted by producer Ralph Milko, who would supervise all her future releases. He also changed her name to Cindy Weiss.
The first fruit of this union was a Hansa single in 1967, the plaintive ballad Ich kann dich nicht ändern. Cindy’s vocals suited it perfectly and have drawn comparisons with established star Marion. (The B-side was a mid-tempo track called Komm ich heut nicht, komm ich morgen.)
During that time, Cindy took part in the Belgian European music festival, where she was awarded a gold medal.
When Milko launched his own label, Alpha, in 1968, Cindy went with him. She released two singles and an LP on the label.
Ich bin nicht zu jung für die Liebe was the first 45, but again the stronger track was hidden on the B-side, the lively Mein Herz kann kein Computer sein. The song is about a girl that has so many dates that organising them becomes impossible without modern technology.
Second was a track called Oh Monsieur, backed with Schwarz auf weiss.
Though neither single proved successful, Milko decided to produce an album with his protégé and Musik ist meine Welt was released that year. Milko wrote most of the tracks for the LP, but Cindy contributed three songs to the project, amongst them one of best, Du bleibst noch hier, a teenage drama about a girl fighting with her parents to go to a party.
However, distribution was very difficult for a miniscule label such as Alpha and, in 1969, the company folded.
Cindy and Milko signed to Philips, where the young singer recorded two further singles that year. However, Ade, goodbye, auf Wiederseh’n and the bouncier Rot, grün, gelb flopped and Cindy was dropped by the label.
It is unclear what became of her, but it seems she left the music industry altogether. Some of her singles have become collectors’ items over the years and now fetch top prices on internet auction sites.
With thanks to Jens Keller for contributing this profile.
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