Peace at last! Music director Freddy Berger, 75, and sons Udo Jurgens, 80, John, 57, and Jenny, 54, reached an amicable agreement after years of wrangling over the artist’s musical legacy. In the future, John and Jenny Jurgens will be solely responsible for the music published by Udo Jurgens. For this purpose, Freddy Burger is focusing on his own initiative on the music publisher he once founded with Jürgens. “I look forward to running Odoo’s music business in the future,” Burger told Blake and promised, “I will do everything I can to ensure that his music survives and that it also inspires the next generation.”
Melodies for Millions
During his career spanning nearly six decades, Udo Jurgens has composed over a thousand songs and sold over a hundred million albums. He wrote songs for millions. Songs such as “Love Without Suffering”, “Greek Wine” or “At the Age of 66” made the Zurich native the greatest artist in the German language. Then came the shock at the end of 2014: Jürgens collapsed while outing in Gottlieben TG on Lake Constance and later succumbed to heart failure in hospital.
The struggle for the singer’s huge legacy began immediately. On the one hand, it was John and Jenny, the two legitimate children of Odo Jurgens. On the other side was Freddy Burger, who ran Jürgens for nearly 40 years and was also his best friend. The main sticking point: who can determine the unique musical legacy of a successful artist. Specifically: Who will decide in the future which Jurgens songs to be republished.
Four times in court
The two parties have faced each other in court four times since 2017. As a result, any publication or use of the Udo song has since been banned. In 2019, for example, it was not possible to use any of the original songs for Odo’s musical “I’ve Never Been to New York”, only cover copies of other artists.
This spring, the Federal Court finally decided the last time that John and Jenny will also be allowed to speak their mind on the release of new Udo albums in the future, not just Freddy Burger, as stated in Jürgens’ will. “This verdict was not entirely satisfactory to everyone,” says Burger. “And that’s why we now agree differently.”
Burger leaves John and Jenny Jurgens the sole agent regarding the music that must emerge from their deceased father. In turn, the two children agreed that Burger could manage the entire catalog of songs composed by Jurgens. “With his music, our father established cultural origins far beyond the German-speaking world,” says Jon Jürgens. “Fans can now look forward to the continued publication of more original Udo-Jürgens recordings.”
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