There were several qualifying rounds for the television program in several
theatres in my country. The best acts were then chosen to appear on
television. But first I received an invitation to an audition in Amsterdam on December 11th
1971 in the lobby of the Olympic Stadium. I played in the morning at about
9:45 and I played Take Five and Whisper Not.
Kitty Knappert (1972)
As a result I received a letter that I was chosen to perform in the first
round of the contest. There were performances everywhere in the country for
weeks and I had to go to Eindhoven ("Philips City") to perform in
the Casino on March 13th 1972.
It was the first time I played with a professional combo: drums, bass and
piano. I don't remember the bass player, but the pianist was Cees
Schrama and the drummer Louis de Bij. I was very exited about it and really astonished that I
evening. That would mean I would be on television!
talentshow was produced by the NCRV, one of our national broadcast
associations, the theatre agency of Joop van den Ende and record company CNR. Kitty
Knappert was the producer of the show. The television show was called "Haal het doek maar op", which
means "Raise the curtains" and that title is based on a Dutch song about the
theater. That song was also used as the theme song of the tv-show.
9 rounds on televison and a big finale. The contestants would be judged by three juries: the public
jury, the press jury and the professional jury. There was a prize to be won from
For the 9th round, that would take place on the 25th
and 26th of august 1972, I had to go to a meeting first, held in the famous
hotel "American" in Amsterdam. There it was decided I would tape
what I intended to play and send it to Harry van Hoof, the musical
director of the contest. I had to do it like that, because I didn't play
it from sheetmusic.
I received a letter with all the details for the recording in the studio
I was in the studio and now played with a small orchestra before a
live audience. I played Take
Five and Whisper Not, again in my own arrangement, but of course the
orchestra-arrangement was done by someone else . I enjoyed it immensely.
There were also pictures taken and a week before the broadcast, 29th of
August, my picture was in a national newspaper announcing my appearance.
|September 5th was the day of the broadcast and I was ready to tape
it: microphone in the hand in front of the television loudspeaker.......................
It was a succes. I won two prizes: the prize from the press jury and the
price from the professional jury. And that meant that I was going to be on
television again for the finale.
||I was invited to go to the NCRV-studio to rehearse with the big band. I had composed something I wanted to play. But when I told
Harry van Hoof he
said there wasn't time to play something new, so I had to play the same thing.
Of course this time I had the backing of a full-size Big Band, so I didn't
have a problem with it. There was also some
misunderstanding about the arrangement and I had to explain how I was going to
play it. It didn't take long for the bandmembers to know what they had to
||Next were the days of the rehearsal and recording of the
On 5 and 6 september 1972 I had to go to Hilversum, to the NOS-studio's.
Like the last show, the presenter was Louis Neefs, a Flamish singer.
He wasn't a very good announcer but he was a friendly man with a very
nice voice, and popular in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium). In 1980 on
Christmas Day he died in a carcrash with his wife. He was only 43.
The Finale of "Haal het doek maar op", with the 9 winners of the previous
programs, a Big
Band and a background singing group "the Paay singers"
At that time I went to the same school ("HTS voor electronica") as one of the members of The Hobo String Band. We
were even in the same class.
1973 my parents decided to move from Amsterdam to Hoogland. In the same month
(februari) I started working with the NOS. I met Dick Ridder
again, who not only lived only a few houses from where I lived in Hoogland,
but worked in Hilversum with the NCRV. Later I had a colleague who was a
friend of Erik Raayman, who played jazz-guitar on the show. It's
a small world!
The Finale had only a professional jury, with wellknown names in my country:
Harry de Groot, Joop van den Ende, Kitty Knappert (NCRV), Lou van Rees and
Rick van der Linden (Ekseption).
||Rosina Louwaars, a pretty singer who sang the
Carpenters song "It's going to take some time" won
first prize in the finale of "Haal het doek maar op" with 47
Peter Koelewijn, one of the first Rock-artists in my country and
with a group in which Harry van Hoof played piano, signed Rosina on for a solo
record in 1973. I heard from Rosina again when she made a record with a group called
"Sommerset". In 1976 she left "Sommerset" and sang in
called "Harmony". They entered the Eurovision songcontest in
1978, but I didn't hear anything from her after that.
|Tineke Schouten didn't end very high in the program
and was very disappointed. I thought she was a bad loser. But she really
wanted to make it in showbusiness .... and she did! As a singer she didn't
score very well, but she started working in a show with Youp van 't Hek
and learned a great deal.
Now she is a wellknown comedian and has her own shows and television
appearances and now I am proud to have been in the same show with her in
But she is still not happy with "Haal het doek maar
op", because she never mentions it and it is also not on her official
picture taken from the tv-screen.
(click for more photos)
|Needless to say that Tineke Schouten was the most
successful of us in the years after (and still is). But what about me? Erik
Raayman, the guitarist, became
third (41 points) and I expected him to end higher than me, but I
became second (43 points) and was very proud of it.
|It was great to play
with such a big orchestra.
arrangement was made by Herman Schoonderwalt.
Afterwards I had
contact with Job Zoomer, a record producer. I had one meeting with him.
I wanted to make a record, but he was only interested if I would do performances all over the
country to promote it.
I didn't want that, so it was over for me.
|Why I didn't want to perform? I play accordion and you have really to be
very good to earn your living with jazz-accordion. If you understand my
language you can hear Harry de Groot say that the music I played is not
suitable to play day after day on stage - well, that is very true for my
Harry de Groot also said that I was musically gifted, I had won three prizes and
I had played my own arrangement with
two big orchestras. This is more than I hoped for when I signed up for the
I had to focus on my new job and had to forget music for a while and I
.... or did I?
During the years I describe in this chapter I also played organ in The
About the period from 1973 untill round about 1996, you will find more in
the chapters about the music I made at work,
in the SVEM and at