Monika Busch

These days, talent show winners are more or less guaranteed a Christmas number one – but not so in 1965 for German singer Monika Busch. Despite some quality releases, her win gave her only a golden ticket to obscurity.

Monika Busch was discovered in 1965 via Caterina Valente’s Valente sucht Talent. The search for a star was something of a project for the multilingual French-born singer and actress, who was very popular in Germany in the 1950s and 60s. The star and a jury of experts selected young Monika from hundreds of entrants to the contest and gave her the benefit of musical training at Caterina’s ‘talent school’.

The result of her win was a record deal with Valente’s label, Decca. The fabulously catchy Alle schönen Träume was issued as the singer’s debut release in the spring of 1966. Surprisingly, despite TV appearances on shows such as Die Drehscheibe, the 45 disappeared without trace, and Monika was quietly dropped from the label.

However, the independent Citycord label recognised her sales potential and snapped her up. They restyled her, ditching her girl-next-door look in favour of a trendy hairdo, miniskirts and tinted contact lenses.

Although barely recognisable, physically or vocally, from her previous work, record company bosses decided there was still mileage in Monika’s talent show history. The first release on the new label, 1967’s highly hummable Das kann keine Liebe sein, played heavily on her previous success, with a testimonial from her former mentor and a photo of the pair together. But even this – and an equally catchy B-side, Was ich nicht weiss – couldn’t help propel the disc into the charts.

The follow up, Ich wein’ dir keine Träne nach, was a pleasant enough affair but lacked a certain etwas to provide a sales breakthrough and proved the end of Monika’s recording career.

With thanks to Jens Keller for additional research.

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