Born: April 28th, 1923, Ortelsburg, East Prussia (Germany, since 1945: Szczytno, Poland)
Died: December 24th, 2016, Berlin (Germany)
Jo Plée (pseudonym of Joachim Plewa) was released from a Russian prisoner-of-war camp in 1946; subsequently, he moved to Berlin and studied harmony, instrumentation, composition, conducting, and the piano at the Sternsche Konservatorium. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he arranged music for dance orchestras. In the 1960s, he became a studio arranger for various producers, most prominently Jürgen Kramer and Jack White. In the 1960s and 1970s, Plée orchestrated songs by Lena Valaitis, Tony Marshall, Marianne Rosenberg, Juliane Werding, Rex Gildo, and the Kelly Family. Hit songs with arrangements by him include ‘Olala l’amour’ (Séverine, 1972) and ‘Ein Festival der Liebe’ (Jürgen Marcus, 1973). In the 1980s, he was the musical director of several TV shows. Plée became the president of the Association of German Orchestrators in 1989.
In 1972, Jo Plée wrote the all-important orchestration to Mary Roos’ ‘Nur die Liebe lässt uns leben’, a song that finished third for West Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest in Edinburgh; it was conducted by Paul Kuhn. Six years later, in 1976, Plée conducted the Eurovision orchestra himself for Jürgen Marcus, who represented Luxembourg with his song ‘Chansons pour ceux qui s’aiment’ (composed by producer Jack White), which finished fourteenth.
In due course, a more extensive biography of Jo Plée will be published on this website
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