Clous van Mechelen

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Clous van Mechelen as Jan Vos in De lachende scheerkwast (1981)

Clous van Mechelen (born Jacob Philip (Jack) van Mechelen, 12 March 1941, Amsterdam) is a Dutch musician, arranger, and actor. Van Mechelen scored a minor hit in 1969 with his band The Butlers, and became widely known through the radio and television shows written and directed by Wim T. Schippers (he is referred to as his "house composer"[1]), in which he played the character Jan Vos and wrote songs for the various characters (including Barend Servet and Sjef van Oekel).[2]


Van Mechelen has been playing jazz[3] since the 1950s; Hans Dulfer played in his band.[4] He collaborated with a number of writers and artists associated with the Amsterdam daily newspaper Het Parool in the cabaret show De Inktvis, including Annie M. G. Schmidt.[5] He had considerable success writing music for commercials, notably for the Grolsch Brewery[6] (the "jazzy music" for the "Vakmanschap is Meesterschap" commercials[7]), for Nationale Nederlanden,[8] and for chicken.[9]

He wrote for film (with Theo van Gogh), and recorded with Tol Hansse, for whom he wrote the music for his greatest hit, "Big City"[6] (earlier, Hansse and van Mechelen were members of a rock band, The Sharks[10]). With his band, Het Nieuwe Trio, he plays 1950s/1960s style music.[11]

With Schippers (Ernie) and Paul Haenen (Bert) he recorded music for a number of Bert and Ernie albums, and for Haenen's character Margreet Dolman.[12] In Opzoek naar Yolanda (1984) he is the musician and producer for the (fictional) hit song "Smoke, Gammon and Spinach",[13] and "Ik ben Jan Vos" ("I am Jan Vos") is song penned by (fictional) Jacques Plafond-penned in his honor.[14]

Van Mechelen's first on-screen performance in a Schippers show was in Barend is weer bezig, in the 1974 Christmas special Waar heb dat nou weer voor nodig. He also appeared in De lachende scheerkwast (1981–1982), Opzoek naar Yolanda (1984), Plafond over de vloer (1986), and We zijn weer thuis (1989–1994), shows for which he also was the composer and musical director.[15] He appeared on stage in 1992 in a musical comedy, Tataboulou/In volle vaart, with Neel van der Elst, who played Etna Vesuvia in the Schippers radio show Ronflonflon,[16] and in 1995 in Alleen (met z'n vieren).[17]


  1. ^ Kopsa, Maxine; Schumacher, Rogier (2003). 10 years SMBA: we show art. Artimo, Gijs Stork. 
  2. ^ "De gulle lach - 5". Het Parool (in Dutch). 29 July 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Felix Meritis voor drie avonden jazzclub". Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 19 August 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  4. ^ "'Grooven' met Hans Dulfer". Winterswijkse Weekkrant (in Dutch). 15 February 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Post van Annie". HP/De Tijd (in Dutch). Post van Annie. Retrieved 26 August 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ a b "Amsterdams lijflied deel 1: de ode". Het Parool (in Dutch). 27 July 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Grolsch is Nederlands 'vakmanschap'". Trouw (in Dutch). 19 November 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Hulsman, Bernard (3 January 1994). "Clous van Mechelen, componist van 'Nationale Nederlanden' en 'Vakmanschap is meesterschap'; In reclamemuziek moet je niet je eigen ei kwijt willen". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). 
  9. ^ Goossen, Menno (2002). Succesvolle SlagZinnen: geheimen uit de praktijk. Adformatie Groep. p. 81. ISBN 9789014089522. 
  10. ^ "Tol Hansse". Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Gelder, Henk van (10 June 2003). "Clous van Mechelen over Het Nieuwe Trio". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). 
  12. ^ "Bretel organiseert spetterend kerstconcert". Streekgids (in Dutch). 13 December 2006. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Feis, Nienke (12 November 2009). "Ronflonflon , Archive: Aflevering 20: 20 februari 1985" (in Dutch). VPRO. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Clous van Mechelen - Ik ben Jan Vos songtekst (lyrics / songtext / lyric)". Musicfromnl. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Clous van Mechelen". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  16. ^ Gelder, Henk van (16 September 1992). "Clous van Mechelen en Etna Vesuvia nog op zoek naar eigen taal". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). p. 6. 
  17. ^ Gelder, Henk van (20 May 1995). "Soms guitige mopjes van Clous van Mechelen". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). p. 7. 

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