Charley says ARTIST! Farewell Bobbejaan Schoepen…

Bobbejaan Schoepen has passed away at the age of 85.

Bobbejaan is a musical legend who was one of the first Belgian artists to make it internationally. ‘The Yodeling Whistler‘ from 1962 is just one of many songs that brought him success. Under his American moniker Bobby John he was even asked to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Back in 1957 Bobbejaan was also the first Flemish entry at the Eurovision Song Contest. Legend has it that he didn’t know what song he was going to perform until he actually arrived in Frankfurt. ‘Straatdeuntje‘ is a jolly upbeat track that showcases Bobbejaan’s whistling, a talent he sadly lost later in life due to surgery at the mouth.


Straatdeuntje

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1an6GDiqv4

Bobbejaan’s biggest hit in Flanders is probably ‘De Lichtjes Van De Schelde‘. “When I see the lights of the river Scheldt, my heart starts beating faster…” The song tells the tale of a letter written by a seaman longing for his family. “I know that you will wait for me and that you will be standing at the quay…” Over the last 60 years the song has became one of the biggest Flemish evergreens. Deservedly so.


De Lichtjes Van De Schelde

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLJbtadvuKM

Bobbejaan is also the only artist in Europe to have a themepark built around his career. Growing tired of touring the singer purchased 30 ha of wetland in 1959. What started out as simply a venue for him to perform in grew into Bobbejaanland, one of the most popular themeparks in Europe.

In recent years Bobbejaan returned to the music industry, recording a new album at the age of 83. The album consisted of new material and reworks of his old classics. Guest artists included Axelle Red and Daan. Below is the video for ‘Le Temps Des Cerises‘, the single he released with Geike Arnaert of Hooverphonic.

Farewell Bobbejaan…

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