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1950 till 1960
1960 till 1979
1979 till 1990
1990 till 2010
In Heerlen Netherlands on 3th january 1936 Bruno is born from parents with polish nationality. The roots of his parents are in impoverished polish farmers, who are attracted during the first industrial revolution to work in the booming coal mining industry of western Europe. Both his father as his maternal grandfather are working respectively in german (Ruhr Area) and french (Nord Pas de Calais) collieries,
whereafter they start working in dutch collieries, attracted by relative stabile political environment, better occupational safety and remuneration conditions.
The household is relative to the catholic environment very small (two adults and two children), but at the end of the 1930's they are allowed to move from a small tenement in Heerlen North to a larger house with garden, in the by the Oranje-Nassau coal mining company owned and managed settler quarter Husken. The quarter is very much dominated by the industrial activities of the mine, with tailings, two shafts and smoke pipes in close proximity.
They got through the second world war relatively unscathed, although Bruno's father and other male family members are deported during a german razzia and forced to work in Germany as convicts, but they flee and the end of the war and get back to Heerlen Husken.
Bruno's parents speak at home polish and german, but realize after the end of the war, they don't want and can't return to Poland and don't learn Bruno (contrary to his elder sister) any polish language skills and the whole family adapts the dutch nationality. As a child Bruno likes to play soccer and becomes a member of the local soccer club. But his mother doesn't like the in her view rough practices, revokes his membership and sells his soccer shoes. As an alternative he is admitted to the recreational conservatory and the local wind instruments band. Bruno becomes very skilled in playing clarinet and likes to listen to band music (a.o. Malando, Eddy Christiani, Kilima Hawaiians, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and Frankie Yankovic) at the radio to learn the melodies and improvises on his clarinet.
Elementary school in the Husken quarter teaches solely to miners childrens and all the boys are predestined to work as miners too. Bruno of course also, but his parents decide him to first learn a more general profession, so he starts as a fitter scholar at the technical school in Heerlen. Below photograph shows Bruno in 1951, working at a bench lathe.
A record agent from Amsterdam who is attending a performance, does not understand the content of the songs, but feels from the reaction of the public that the music is extraordinary and arranges a record contract at the Amsterdam based Tivoli record label. In an improvised studio they perform Laila (tango) and Lugano (boston waltz) recorded in dutch, but because the southern accent of Bruno is hard to understand for most of the dutch, they also record a version in german, which first turns into a hit in southern Netherlands, where people are familiar with the band from the many performances. Later on they also land a hit into the other parts of the country.
Baffled by the succes of the first records in the Netherlands the record label Tivoli arranges with a partner label in Germany (Fontana) also the release of Laila in Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, Swiss and Austria and also there the record lands a hit into the top ten of the charts.
Thereafter the Regento Stars record many hits (Oh Donna Clara, Regento Polka) but Bruno also starts recording as a solo performer with wellknown dutch musicians (a.o. Eddy Christiani, Frans Poptie, Coen van Orsouw and Henk van der Molen) who play as studio musicians. In particular the accordion and guitar player Coen van Orsouw is a genius composer and arranger,
who creates in close cooperation with Bruno, in the original style of the Regento Stars brand new songs with matching songtexts (a.o. Unter dem Fliederbaum, Ein Edelweiss und Alpenrose), which also turn into hits.
Below photograph shows the Regento Stars in a coach in Maastricht during the award of a Golden Record in 1961, in the public on the street there is also Bruno's father Stanis who will pass away one year later as a consequence of the miners disease silicosis.
On the right hand side in the coach you can see Bruno with clockwise Doortje (accordion), Otto (trumpet), Sigmund (percussion) and Jo (guitar),
In 1960 Bruno visits, 500 yards from where he is born, together with a friend a pub in Heerlen North, where he meets the daughter Yvonne of the dutch-polish owner, who he marries 3 years later. Below photograph shows on the day of the marriage from left to right in the mentioned pub mother-in-law Paula, bride Yvonne Lahaye, Bruno, father-in-law Zef Lahaye and Bruno's mother Maria Majcherek in spring 1963.
Despite the succeses of records and performances Bruno and the other band members stay fulltime miners, as a stabile source of income, which proves to be a wise decision. The record label Tivoli which sold hundred-thousands of records by the Regento Stars files for bankruptcy, whereafter the band members don't receive their royalties.
When in 1965 rock'n roll and beat becomes mainstream in the Netherlands and Germany and DJ's substitute the bands in pubs and dancings, the Regento Stars dissolve and vanish from the music scene.
Bruno suspects (retrospective wrongly) that after the end of the Regento Stars his musical carreer has ended and took up a study at the technical school for mining. After his study he gets promoted to supervisor at the mine, but soon after the dutch government has to decide to end the coal mining industry within a few years, as imported coal from open pit mining overseas is significant cheaper. In 1970 he applies at a semi professional orchester of the EBV and get's a position as solo clarinet player. Also he opens a snackbar in Heerlen which is soon insolvent because of the lack of investment funding and decrease in buying power of customers as a result of the coal mining demise. In 1972 he contemplates different jobs but decides to stay in the mining industry and moves to a supervisor job in a coke plant in germany, approx. 15 miles from Heerlen. Playing music is limited to rehearsals and performances with the EBV orchester and sessions with friends at a few pubs in Heerlen
In 1979 his original scout get's back in contact with Bruno and wants to produce new recordings, as there is demand by style dancing scholars and nostalgic feelings for this early '60's style of music. Bruno is hesitative but he has nothing to loose with the offer. At the end of 1979 his first record for many years is released including Laila and Oh Donna Clara in a modern arrangement but also approx. 15 new tango's and waltz's produced by the American label Columbia Broadcasting System (later Sony/BMG) with the aid of studio musicians.
Bruno with his wife Yvonne and the belgian-italian singer Rocco Granata
Because of the nostalgic feelings of the original public the record becomes a success, but also a lot of new attention is generated for this unique southern Netherlands tango music. Many recordings will follow on grammophone and CD with remakes of the old songs and many new songs, in cooperation with Sony Music in Haarlem, Jacquie and Johnny Hoes at Telstar label in Weert and with Beppie and Jean Kraft at Marlstone Music in Borgharen.
Similar to the end of the 50's and early 60's, but now as a solo artist Bruno performs since the early 80's at least once a week somewhere on stage, with the original hits from the 50's and 60's and the newer songs of the '80's and '90's. There is basically no pub or dancing in the south of the Netherlands where he did not sing his songs. Except of the Netherlands the performances are limited to the belgian and german border regions.
As a result of his musical carreer he has created many friendly relations with other dutch artists and journalists. Below photograph shows Bruno with singer Frans Theunisz, journalist Bert Salden, entrepeneur Maurice Schoenmakers and TVT producer Wim Cremers. On the right Bruno with the stand up comedian Pierre Knoops.
As an exception of the performances in and around south Netherlands Bruno had some performances in the U.S., after his old friend John Rademakers persuated him to record a few songs in english.
The photograph on the left shows Bruno on Hawaii with his wife Yvonne and below together with his American friends entrepeneur Jan (John) Rademakers and his wife Annie, who both also originate from Heerlen in the Netherlands.
Autumn 2009 US producer MARV Film in in cooperation with PIONEER Film releases the thriller: THE DEBT, with Sam Worthington and Hellen Mirren as main characters. In a bar scene, reflecting the early sixties in post war Berlin, the original version of Laila can be heared.
Music producer Chris Mike from Nürnberg Germany, owner of the Label CRILEX Records has produced Laila and Lugano together with Bruno in a modern arrangement. The Single CD including these new recordings and the original versions as bonus tracks will be released April 2010. A new album with 14 songs called "Laila-Mein Leben" will be released in april too, just before the european cinema starts of "The Debt" on 30th april 2010.
Bruno stopped singing live in 2016. He thinks that at his eighties it's time to stop, after he had a great time singing live for over 64 years in thousands of different places around the world.
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There are at least 7 CD's, 8 records(where 3 with the Regento Stars)and more as 50 singles (7") released. The best known and most requested songs, as performed by Bruno Majcherek are:
The most actual CD and probably the only one still available in the dutch record shops, is "het beste van Bruno Majcherek", with subtitle "Mit 70 hat man noch Träume" (released at Bruno's 70th birthday).
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