Playing Accordion (3)

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 won that evening. That would mean I would be on television! 

The 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. 
There were 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 every jury.

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 in Hilversum.

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....................... Audio of episode 9

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.

Harry van Hoof 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 play.
Louis Neefs Next were the days of the rehearsal and recording of the finale.
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.
In 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 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 points.

Peter Koelewijn, one of the first Rock-artists in my country and who sang 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 a group 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 1972. 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 website.
Tineke Schouten

ON TV 1972
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.

The orchestra arrangement was made by Herman Schoonderwalt.

Audio van Finale

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 country. Harry de Groot: comment finale

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 competition.
Now I had to focus on my new job and had to forget music for a while and I did......
.... or did I?

During the years I describe in this chapter I also played organ in The Connection.

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 home earlier.