Austria: dialect blues legend Willi Resetarits died

Dialect blues legend Willi Resetarits died

The Austrian singer Willi Resetarits, known for his dialect blues and rock, is dead. Photo: Herbert Pfarrhofer/APA/dpa

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Resetarits began his career as part of a political rock group and even performed with them at the ESC. He then made his breakthrough with songs in Viennese dialect. Now the sawyer is dead.

The Austrian singer Willi Resetarits, known for his dialect blues and rock, has died at the age of 73.

The musician, also known as “Ostbahn-Kurti”, had an accident on Sunday, as the spokeswoman for the Integrationshaus refugee project he initiated confirmed to the German Press Agency. The “Kronen Zeitung” had previously reported on the death.

Resetarits began his career in 1969 as part of the political rock group Schmetterlinge, representing Austria at the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest in London. In the 1980s he experienced his breakthrough when he developed the stage character Ostbahn-Kurti and sang well-known titles in Viennese dialect. Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire” became “Feia” and he covered the rhythm and blues classic “I Hear You Knocking” as “I hea di klopfen”. Resetarits also turned to the traditional Viennese song, giving it a heavy dose of blues. In 2019, the musician received the honorary award of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate as part of the German cabaret awards.

Resetarits was one of the most prominent Austrian activists working for refugees and human rights. He was a co-founder of the Vienna Integrationshaus, in which around 250 vulnerable people live. On Saturday, Resetarits performed at the traditional refugee ball in the Vienna City Hall.

Resetarits came from a Croatian-speaking family. One of his brothers is the actor and cabaret artist Lukas Resetarits, who became known as a criminalist in the series “Kottan determined”.


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