Rob de Nijs
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|Rob de Nijs|
Rob de Nijs in 2008
|Born||Robert de Nijs
December 26, 1942
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
De Nijs, backed by The Lords, released his first single in 1962, Ritme van de Regen. In 1966 he embarked on a joint circus-tour with Johnny Lion. Meanwhile, The Lords signed their own record-deal at another label forcing them to split from De Nijs.
Now a free agent, De Nijs performed at small venues and worked as a bartender for a living. His attempts to keep up with the zeitgeist failed; he only made the headlines by marrying his girlfriend Elly in 1968 and landing into hospital through a carcrash of his own fault.
In 1969 De Nijs took part in the Dutch heat of the Eurovision Song Contest and through the Sajensfiksjen-musical he landed himself a role in children's TV-series Oebele. This was followed in 1972 by Hamelen in which he played Bertram Bierenbroodspot.
The hits continued through 1975-1976, notably Malle Babbe and Zet een Kaars voor Je Raam (a Dutch translation by Lennaert Nijgh of David McWilliams's Can I Get There by Candlelight?). In 1977 De Nijs released Tussen Zomer en Winter, a concept-album chronicling the change from a hot summer's day to a cold winter's night and featuring a translation of Lou Reed's Perfect Day.
In 1980 De Nijs met Belinda Meuldijk who gave up her own singing-career (after releasing a one-off single the previous year) to become his chief-songwriter and his second wife (they married in 1984). The first efforts of their collaboration were collected on the albums Met Je Ogen Dicht (Eyes Wide Shut; including the top 10-hit Zondag, which is still a crowd-pleaser) and De Regen Voorbij (Past The Rain; a reference to his artistic growth) from respectively 1980 and 1981.
De Nijs had entered a decade in which he recorded English-language versions of his songs; Zonder Jou became On My Own (released in 1990 as a B-side to the English original Girls For Sale) and the 1985 Christmas #2-hit Alles Wat Ademt became Let Love Be The Answer (also recorded by US-exile singer Joe Bourne for his Bourne in Holland-album of translated covers). In 1986 De Nijs saw a dream-wish come true by releasing an album of covers from the 1950s/1960s-era; it included his version of Living Doll shortly after the Comic Relief-remake topped the charts.
In 1987 he celebrated his silver jubilee; he re-recorded Ritme van de Regen for a Best Of-album and made a guest-appearance in television-series De Band as himself, suggesting an onstage-jam with his chosen support-act.
In 1989 De Nijs released De Reiziger (Travelling Man) which included the bilingual single Ik Hou Alleen Van Jou; follow-up single Toerist in het Paradijs was also recorded in English. At the end of the year he resurrected his Bertram Bierenbroodspot-outfit for a reunion with the leading-actors of Hamelen.
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