My friend Rich’s parents were German immigrants. There was a fair-sized German population in my town that came over after World War II. Rich’s parents had Heino records and had seen him in concert numerous times. Occasionally Heino would come to western Pennsylvania or eastern Ohio and put on a show or two. The whole family would go; they’d never miss his tour.
Rich acknowledged that Heino is kind of corny, but he didn’t care. He always enjoyed the shows, either in spite of or because of Herr Heino’s corniness. I’ve known other people who have had near-Heino experiences, and all reports corroborate that Heino is too tacky to call abysmal and too good to call bad. He’s hard to simply write off, I guess is what I’m trying to say.
Rich and I went through Germany together, and he located a bonanza of Heino CDs to bring back to his parents, who were thrilled to get them.
On a side note: my father is not of German ancestry but of Polish. He listened to this stuff, too, and has dozens of cassette and eight-track tapes of German folk songs and a local radio program called The Happy Polka Hour. I found out just a few months ago that Dad used to play the button box, which is a smaller, simpler accordion. He even owned his own at one time. Next time I talk to him, I’ll have to ask him if he ever owned a pair of liederhosen.