Tony Marshall was born in Baden-Baden as Herbert Anton Bloeth (later changed to Herbert Anton Hilger). He first trained in Karlsruhe as an opera singer qualifying in 1965. But then he decided not to pursue a career in opera and instead became a 'Schlager' singer. His first hit single, "Schöne Maid" appeared in 1971. A year later he released an English language version of it entitled "Pretty Maid".