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Don Latymer is a German singer-songwriter with a strong preference for oldies, easy listening songs and soft pop. He is an independent artist and glad to be one, since this gives him the freedom to put his own artistic ideas into practice without outside interference. Born in Cologne in 1969, Don received great inspiration from his father, who was himself a passionate musician and a member of the band “Original Kölsche Domtiroler”, which performed songs in the local dialect of German. Latymer senior composed carnival songs and hits in the traditional German style and passed on his music DNA to his son. Sadly, at the tender age of three Don was sexually abused by a Catholic priest, which severely traumatized and weakened him.
While still very young, Don sang German hits in music class. But it was the Italian opera tenor Benjamino Gigli and Elvis Presley who were his role models and musical inspiration. He started learning their songs and performing them to small audiences, becoming adept at imitating their styles. These initial successes motivated him to strive for more.
At the age of 13, Don created his first original composition, titled “Think of Me”. A few years later, while traveling in the U.S., he fell in love with an American girl and decided to stay in that country to be with her. But he refused to abandon his biggest love, which was music. Among other things, he entered and won a singing contest with “It’s Now or Never”. But even as his budding musical career advanced, their relationship ended―tragically, considering that Don had left his beloved native country for her.
Don returned to Germany in 1993, where his health―never the best since he had suffered abuse as a small child―began to deteriorate. After lengthy hospitalization and rehabilitation, however, he tenaciously fought his way back into the life that he desired so fervently that he was willing to make virtually any sacrifice to achieve it. He resumed his musical career, working hard to plan and implement each step of the way.
In May 1996, he released “Think of Me” as his first single, which several radio stations immediately started playing. Don’s success story then gathered speed: his second single appeared in 1999 and was also a hit on the radio. The pace picked up with the 1999 release of his EP “Up to the Year 2000” and his first album, “Think of Me”, in 2001. His original compositions and covered oldies attracted a growing community of fans, leading to contracts to perform at oldie events and on television. He landed his next hit in 2003: the successful single “Las Vegas”.
Although Don enjoyed this immensely creative phase, he also exhausted himself physically. In 2004 he suffered a collapse, forcing him to take several years off from his musical career and reflect on his life. Since then, he has had the official status of 80% disabled.
But that too is now past: the old Don Latymer is back. He’s overflowing with energy and ideas. And he wouldn’t be who he is if he hadn’t immediately and wholeheartedly plunged back into the music business. In 2007 he published his second album, “From the Ditch to the Stage”, which was a radio hit in the U.S., Argentina and elsewhere. He draws on an inexhaustible well of inspiration and is totally focused on his music. His fans are eager to see what he will create next.
The most remarkable thing about Don’s recordings is that they were produced with a minimum of capital: each song only had a budget of about 300 euros. Established musicians can count on a hundred times that. Yet Don’s have become classics.
Many of his songs continue to be played on the radio years later, also on oldie stations. His most successful hits include:
“Think of Me” (1996), “The Power of Love” (1996), “Tupelo Woman” (1999) and “Las Vegas” (2003).
Don Latymer in his own words:
“I hope the result is good enough, I wished I could do it better, but music producing without money is almost impossible, so I could not deliver a better result, without income.
Usually I am able to sing much better, but there was not enough capital to pay the studio, so I only could sing once and do some vocal repairs, because I could not pay more studio time.
I would like to have the chance offer my songs to musicians outside Germany, if they would maybe like to record them professionally.”