|Birth name||Bruce Gordon Poulsen|
|Also known as||Hans Sven Poulsen|
7 March 1945 |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Instruments||Mandolin, autoharp, bouzouki, vocals|
Hans Sven Poulsen (born Bruce Gordon Poulsen, 7 March 1945) is an Australian singer-songwriter and instrumentalist who was popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Poulsen had hits with "Boom Sha La La Lo" and "Light Across the Valley" (both in 1970) and had success as a songwriter with "Rose Coloured Glasses" for John Farnham and "Monty and Me" for Zoot.
Early life and career
Poulsen was born in Melbourne. His parents, Vic and Nellie Poulsen, played two instruments, lap-steel guitar and ukulele with their styles of Hawaiian music, as well as bush ballads, country and western music and folk.
Poulsen's grandfather had migrated to Victoria, Australia from Denmark and, being proud of his Danish heritage, Poulsen took the first names of "Hans Sven" while still a teenager. It is possible that he took the name as a stage-name when he started his school band in 1961 called the Rimfires; at this time he played around the Frankston area, an outer suburb of Melbourne, and around the Mornington Peninsula region on the coast. It was here that he learnt his craft and became known for his interpretation of Buddy Holly's music and songs.
In 1965 Poulsen formed the first version of a Melbourne group called 18th Century Quartet, which played original material (mostly by Poulsen) and performed in a style that later came to be known as world music; the group also differed from most of its contemporaries with its use of diverse acoustic instruments including mandolin, autoharp and bouzouki.
After embarking on a solo career in 1967, Poulsen had two Australian pop hits with the songs "Boom Sha La La Lo" (#05/1970) and "Light Across the Valley". He also had success as a songwriter with hits written for other artists, including "Rose Coloured Glasses" for John Farnham and "Monty and Me" for Zoot. One of his best-known and most successful compositions, "It's Only A Matter Of Time", was the much-played B-side of the famous single "The Real Thing" by Russell Morris, which was an Australian No. 1 hit in May 1969.
In 1972 Poulsen relocated to the Findhorn Foundation spiritual community in north east Scotland, where he recorded three albums, What A Way To Look At Life: Findhorn Foundation Sing-along, It Can't Be Described In Words and Universal Hands (all 1975, all released on cassette only by the Findhorn Foundation). These featured many of Poulsen's own songs, plus some by other community singers. Short clips of Poulsen performing several songs are included in the documentary Findhorn, produced in 1974 and reissued on DVD by Earthworks Films in 2006. Poulsen left Findhorn in 1976. Poulsen's career was cut short in the late 1970s when he suffered first cancer and then a stroke, and spent several years in hospital. On his recovery he went on to become a music therapist.
A booklet, Hans Poulsen - Troubadour, was written by Australian music journalist Paul McHenry and published by Moonlight Publications in 1996.
- McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on April 5, 2004. Retrieved 4 February 2010. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
- Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara; Paul McHenry (2002) . The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1. Note: [on-line] version established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition.
- McFarlane 'Hans Poulsen' entry at the Wayback Machine (archived April 19, 2004). Accessdate=4 February 2010.
- Duncan Kimball, ed. (2002). "HANS POULSEN". MILESAGO: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. ICE Productions. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
- Spencer et al, (2007) POULSEN, Hans entry. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
- "Television for teens and twenties". The Canberra Times. 43, (12,381). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 4 August 1969. p. 13. Retrieved 24 November 2016 – via National Library of Australia., ...Other features include...a segment with Melbourne singer and composer, Hans Poulsen, who wrote the bright GTK theme...
- "Who's who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 4 February 2010.