Horst Wende (5 November 1919 – 23 January 1996) was a German bandleader, arranger and composer. He made easy-listening records under his own name as well as under the name Roberto Delgado. He was part of the wave of German-based easy-listening artists who were popular in the 1960s and 1970s, along with Bert Kaempfert and James Last.

Born in Zeitz, Saxony, he showed musical proficiency at an early age. He played in his grandfather’s band in a restaurant when he was six, and by his teens he was accomplished at playing piano, accordion, xylophone and marimba. He studied music at the Leipzig Conservatory.

He served in the German Army during World War II, but was captured by the British. During his captivity in a Danish prisoner-of-war camp, he met a guitarist named Ladi Geisler, with whom he soon formed a small combo. After the war, he led various combos (which usually included Geisler) in the Salambo Night Club from René Durand & The Tarantella Night Club near the famous Reeperbahn. Horst also played with British Service musicians and big bands such as Edmundo Ros. Settling in Hamburg, he became part of the burgeoning music scene in the port city. Signed to the Polydor label in the 1950s, as a composer, producer and musician he made accordion and dance band music under his own name.

He also started with Middle & South America music recordings under the alias of Roberto Delgado, and with piano albums as Mister Pepper. The Delgado albums became popular in Europe, and then found an audience in the UK, Japan and North America and Australia as Polydor opened up several international subsidiaries. It is interesting to note that Wende recorded his albums using the same group of studio musicians who recorded for Kaempfert and Last; in fact, guitarist Ladi Geisler also provided the distinct knack-bass guitar to the Kaempfert sound.

The Delgado recordings were initially Latin-oriented, but they eventually covered a number of different musical genres including African, Italian, Jewish, Oriental, Russian, Greek and Jamaican music as well as Broadway musicals and current pop hits. It could be argued that Wende/Delgado helped to pioneer world music. He managed to break into the German singles market with his version of “Mexico” in 1962. He also arranged music for other German artists such as German folk/pop singer Knut Kiesewetter. Horst made several albums with great international singers including Conny Froboess, Wencke Myhre, Katja Ebstein, Daliah Lavi and Freddy Quinn.

Like most of his pop orchestral contemporaries, Wende’s popularity had faded by the 1980s, and he gradually retired from playing music professionally. In recent years, his music has become popular again, and some of his recordings have been reissued on CD. His work is still much loved and remembered by the many who heard his work. His song “Skokiaan”, from the 1958 album Africana, is used at the end of Richard Linklater’s film Slacker (1990).

Recordings by Roberto Delgado you can hear at Instrumentals Forever:

Le Freak
A Media Luz – Cuando Calienta El Sol
A Night In Puerto Rico
Adios Mariquita Linda – Amapola – Un Poco Rio
Adios Mi Chaparrita
Aloha Oe
Amor Amor Amor
Arrivederci Roma
Ave Maria No Morro – Maria Elena
Bali Ha’i
Beautiful Girl From Arcadia
Bella Italia – Valencia – Gigi L’Amoroso
Besame Mucho
Beyond The Reef
Black Magic Woman
Black River
Blue Hawaii
Canta Libre
Caramba En La Playa
Cayenne Pepper
Cielito Lindo
Coconut Woman
Corcovado – Pepito – El Rancho Grande – La Felicidad
Creole Dance
Cuando Sali De Cuba
Cuba Man
Cu-Cu-Ru-Cu-Cu Paloma
Die Bouzouki klingt durch die Sommernacht
Do You Voodoo
Dont Cry Fo Me Argentina
Dos Palomitas
El Colas
El Condor Pasa
El Gato Montez – España
El Jarabe Tapatiom
Eviva El Amor – Brasil – Volare Cantare
Eviva España – Dolores – A Banda
Fiesta Di Beurba
Fiesta Mexicana
Flower Of Hawaii
Funiculi Funicula
Goodbye My Love Goodbye
Guadelupe Limbo
Hawaii Five-O
Hawaiian Blue Beat Baby
Hawaiian Tattoo
Hawaiian War Chant
Hawaiian Wedding Song
Honolulu Ragtime Doll
I Watch The White Clouds
Ich hab’ die Liebe geseh’n
In A Little Spanish Town
Island In The Sun
Jamaica Boy
Jamaica Farewell
January February – Manaña – Ramaya
Jump In The Line
La Bamba
La Bamba – Amor Amor Amor – Tequila
La Felicidad
Latin Romance
Mama Inez – Carioca – El Colas
Mama Look -A-Booboo
Maori Farewell Song
Maria Me Ta Kitrina
Memories Are Made This
Miami Beach Rumba
Moliendo Café
Montego Bay Parade
Moonlight Girl
Mucho Mucho (Te Quiero dijiste)
Mucho Mucho Mucho
My Friend The Wind
My Haiti Cherie
My Tane
Navidad Negra
Negra Maria Esther – Carnavalito – Rum And Coca Cola – Tabasco
Non Dimenticar
O Cangaceiro
Pagan Love Song
Paloma Blanca
Pata Pata
Perfidia – La Ragazza
Plenty Plenty Of Money
Polynesian Waltz
Red Sails In The Sunset
Rhodos Melody
Rum And Coca Cola
Rumba Tamba
Sailing Along Blue Hawaii
Schönes Madchen aus Arcadia
Sirtaki In Athen
Sleepy Lagoon
Song Of The Island
Spanish Step
Summer Samba – El Condor Pasa
Sun Of Hawaii
Sweet Leilani
Tahiti Moon
Taka Taka – Rumba Tambah – Borriquito
Tango d’amor – The Whistling Scout – El Bimbo
The Banana Boat Song
The Bouzouki Sounded Through The Summer Night
The Bouzouki The Night And The Wine
The Mosquito
The Peanut Vendor
The Star of Mykonos
Tico Tico – Tulpen aus Amsterdam
Tres Palabras
Tschiou Tschiou
Un Canto a Galicia
Un Fiume Amarokaymos
Vaya con Dios
Vaya Con Dios – Banana Boat – Soul Calypso
Véronique de Martinique
Weisse Rosen aus Athen – Ein Schiff wird kommen – Akropolis adieu
Who’s Got the Paper
Wini-Wini Wana-Wana