lundi 29 septembre 2014

José's biography

March 29th, 1954:  birth of Josina van de Wijdeven in Best, a village in the south of the Netherlands.

Baby José

Late 1960s / Early 1970sJosé made her debut in a folk & country band (Young Tradition) with her two sisters (Marijke and Yvonne) and her best friend Ad van Genechten. This group took part in talent shows including "Nieuwe Oogst" on AVRO channel (they finished second). 

Yvonne, José, Marijke and Ad as "Young Tradition" in the late 1960s

1976José, Marijke and Yvonne formed a new group called "Elongi" and recorded a single produced by Piet Souer. The record flopped. Shortly afterwards, Souer and Hans van Hemert recruited José as a member of a female pop trio called "Luv". The two other girls were Marga Scheide and Patty Brard.

José and her sisters as "Elongi"

1977 - 1981Luv' scored hit after hit in the Netherlands and abroad (a large part of Continental Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico). Among their greatest singles were "U.O.Me", 'You're the Greatest Lover", "Trojan Horse", "Casanova" and "Ooh, Yes I Do". In 1979, Luv' were "Holland's best export act". In 1980, Patty Brard was replaced by Ria Thielsch.

José, Marga and Patty as "Luv'"

Luv' : You're the Greatest Lover

March 4th, 1981Luv' disbanded after selling 7 million records. 

October 1981José and record producer Will Hoebee got married in Los Angeles, California. The wedding reception took place in David Soul's villa.

Will & José and David Soul

December 1981: Release of José's first solo single "I'm so sorry". It entered the Tipparade but missed the Dutch Top 40. It later peaked at #39 on the Nationale Hitparade. French-Bulgarian chanteuse Sylvie Vartan had a hit record in France with her version of the song known as "La Sortie de Secours"

I'm so sorry

1982: Peak of José's solo career. The singer scored two major hits that year: "I Will Follow Him" and "Secret Love" as well as a moderately successful song "The Good Times".

"I Will Follow Him" is a cover version of Little Peggy March's 1963 classic pop song. The sister duo "Maywood" provided background vocals on this track. This record hit the number one spot in the Netherlands and in Belgium. It sold 100.000 copiesJosé was the first Dutch female singer who had #1 hits on Holland's Top 40 as a member of a group (Luv') and as a solo artistDiana Ross (of The Supremes and The Wiz Stars), Yvonne Keeley (of the Star Sisters), Melanie C (of the Spice Girls), Sita (of K-Otic) and Beyoncé (of Destiny's Child) achieved the same feat.

I Will Follow Him

"Secret Love" (a cover version of Doris Day's hit) peaked at #11 on the Dutch Top 40 and #3 on the BRT Top 30 in Belgium.

Secret Love

"The Good Times" reached the 37th position on the Nationale Hitparade in Holland and #28 on the BRT Top 30 in Belgium.

In addition to these above-mentioned singles, José released her debut album "The Good Times" produced by Pim Koopman (ex-member of "Kayak"). 

1983: José's cover of "I Can Hear Music" (a Beach Boys song from 1969) peaked at #48 on the Dutch Nationale Hitparade and #13 on the  BRT Top 30.                        

1984: "So Long, Marianne" (a Leonard Cohen's track) performed by José and TV star Ron Brandsteder sold well: #6 on the Nationale Hitparade#11 on the Dutch Top 40 and #20 on the BRT Top 30

Ron & José (1984)

So Long, Marianne

ThenJosé's version of "Time Goes By" (originally performed by Hungarian band Newton Family) peaked at #16 on the Nationale Hitparade.

Time Goes By

In the summer of '84, José experienced a new phase in her career. She formed with her longtime friend Bonnie St. Claire a duo known as "Bonnie & José". The ladies recorded Dutch cover versions of ABBA songs (long before "ABBA Gold" and the success of the "Mamma Mia!" musical). Their first collaboration was "Cassandra" (#24 on the Dutch Top 40 and #19 on the Nationale Hitparade). 

Bonnie & José: Cassandra

1985: In March, TROS channel broadcast "ABBAcadabra", a TV musical based on ABBA songs and featuring JoséBonnie St. ClaireMarga ScheideBenny Neyman and Ron Brandsteder

The cast of "ABBAcadabra"

José: Spiegel (I Wonder)

In July, "Zoals Vrienden Doen" (the cover of ABBA's The Way Old Friends Do) by Bonnie & José reached #36 on the Dutch Top 40 and #18 on the Nationale Hitparade. It became the signature song of the duo.

Bonnie & José: Zoals Vrienden Doen

In December, the ladies had also a minor hit with Ron Brandsteder as a narrator: "Waarom" (the cover of ABBA's Move On): #35 on the Nationale Hitparade

Bonnie & José (with Ron Brandsteder): Waarom

Bonnie & José released a LP entitled "Herinnering" including ABBA tracks and produced by Will Hoebee.

October 14th, 1985: Birth of Tim, son of Will and José Hoebee.

May 27th, 1986: NCRV aired a TV special entitled "Bonnie & José in Zweden". The program was taped in Stockholm and included a scene filmed in the Polar Music StudiosABBA's recording studios. Björn Ulvaeus (member of the Swedish pop band) appeared on this TV show and gave an interview in which he approved the recordings of the ladies. 

Bonnie & José: Herinnering

October 27th, 1988: The original Luv' trio took everybody by surprise when they appeared on a TV charity show hosted by Mies Bouwman on AVRO. They performed their biggest hit "You're the Greatest lover". This unique show caused a profusion of positive reviews in the media. Suddenly the fans were hoping for a comeback of Luv'

Luv' on Samen (hosted by Mies Bouwman)

1989: British hit machine of the 1980's "Stock Aitken & Waterman" (whose artist roster featured Rick Astley, Mel & Kim, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Bananarama) were rumoured to produce an album for Luv'José refused to be part of a Luv' reunion. She retired from show business to devote herself to her family. 

1993: Luv' made a successful comeback. A "Luv' Gold" CD (including their most popular songs) came out and spent 18 weeks on the Dutch album charts. It peaked at #14. The trio went on a promo tour through Benelux, Germany and Denmark.

Luv' Megamix '93

Autumn 2003: José decided to relaunch her solo career. She also started to write a weekly column on the now defunct website "" to express her point of view on Dutch entertainment and to tell stories of her glorious past with Luv'.

2004: José put out her first digital single: "Walk Away René", a Dance cover version of a 1966 song by The Left Blanke and made famous by the Four Tops. She performed it under the pseudonym "Stuff".  Moreover, she sang two tracks ("My Happiness" and "Who's sorry now?") as a guest artist on a tribute album to Doris Day (Marjan Berger meets Doris Day).

Autumn 2004José hosted a music talent show (Tijd Voor Muziek) on a Dutch local channel (VSM TV). Her husband collaborated on the production of this program.

José sings "I Will Follow Him" on "Tijd Voor Muziek"

April 2005: Luv' gave a surprise performance at the 60th birthday party of Hans van Hemert (the producer who conceived the group).  This event made front-page news in the Netherlands.

September 2005: WVS Music released José's first CD compilation "Alle Hits & Unieke Bonustracks". This anthology included her smash hits, b-sides and bonus tracks.

Early 2006: The 2005 remix of "I Will Follow Him" by Serge Ramaekers (famous for his Eurodance productions in the late 1980s and the 1990s: Confetti's and Cartouche) peaked at #90 on Holland's Single Top 100.

2006: Luv' reunited once again. A reality TV show (Back In Luv) about their comeback was broadcast on RTL 5 in Holland and on VTM in Flanders. A DVD (also entitled "Back In Luv" and featuring TV archives from the trio's heyday) came out. With the help from the official fanclub, Universal Music released "Completely In Luv'", a 4 CD Box (including their entire repertoire from the 1977-1980 period with bonus tracks and remixes).  On May 26th, 27th and 28th 2006, the three singers and Bobby Farrell (of Boney M.) made a guest appearance on the mega shows of De Toppers (a group formed by GordonRené Froger and Gerard Joling) at the Amsterdam ArenA. In addition to TV performances, Luv' was booked for discos, festivals, private parties and corporate events until 2012.

 Luv' @ Amsterdam ArenA for "De Toppers" show (2006)

2009: José recorded a duet with former BZN singer Anny Schilder: "Be My Baby" (originally performed by The Ronettes in 1963). Anny & José's version of this classic pop hit reached the 92nd position on the Dutch Single Top 100

                                               Anny & José: Be My Baby

2011: José's dream came true when she had the opportunity to re-record "I Will Follow Him" with Peggy March who originally performed it in 1963. This duet appeared on Peggy's album "Always and Forever" the following year. 

Peggy March & José

I Will Follow Him by Peggy & José

2012: A special year for the songstress. On March 12th, Marga Scheide confirmed the definitive break-up of the group on NOS/Radio 1. The ladies took this decision without anger. 

On June 10th, Will Hoebee passed away and it took José months to recover. 

Luv' gave their final live performance on August 11th, 2012 at the Dutch Valley Festival in Spaarnwoude, NL. 

Luv's last final show at the Dutch Valley Festival: an emotional moment

January 2013: José took part in "Sterren Dansen Op Het Ijs" (SBS 6 celebrity figure skating show). She was rapidly eliminated from the competition but the artist considered it as a great learning experience.

Simon Crowhurst and José

José on "Sterren dansen op het ijs"

Summer 2013: Bonnie & José relaunched their duo for several performances.

Bonnie & José on "Nederland Muziekland" (2013)

June 2014: Release of "Noheyo", a cover version of a 2011 single by Polish band Blue Café. This single quickly became a #1 hit on SBS 6 download chart in the "Dutch speaking" category. José had a hectic schedule again. She promoted her new track on TV and on the radio. She gave several interviews in the press and was booked for gigs. 


September 2014: Re-issue of "Who's sorry now?" (a song recorded 10 years earlier and made famous by Connie Francis in the late 1950s). 

Who's sorry now?

May 2015: the 1980-1981 line-up of Luv' (Marga, José and Ria) took part in the release party of a photo book "The Story of Luv" (including exclusive pictures of the ladies) at the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum. Dutch illusionist Hans Klok attended this event. Patty Brard was opposed to this project. The publication was eventually banned due to copyright issues.

Luv' @ release party of "The Story of Luv" (May 1st, 2015)

March 2016: After months of speculations, Marga and José announced the umpteenth comeback of Luv' in De Telegraaf (Holland's most read newspaper). Patty is not involved in this resurrection and is replaced by Ria Thielsch. Luv' intend to go on tour and record a new repertoire produced by Juan Cristóbal Losada. On October 1, 2016, they will be performing at the Studio 54 party at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium with Earth, Wind & Fire experience feat. Al MacKay, Jocelyn Brown and Kate Ryan.

Luv's resurrection in 2016

Source: Wikipedia, YouTube,,, Official José Hoebee's Fan Club....

Bibliography: "Top 40 Hitdossier 1956-2005" (9e editie), book by Johan van Slooten, Gottmer Bech Publishing, 2006

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