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  • Photo du rédacteurRalph Ruiz

40th anniversary of José's solo debut record "I'm So Sorry" (1981 - 2021)

Dernière mise à jour : 12 déc. 2021

Forty years ago precisely, December 5th, 1981 saw a milestone in José Hoebee's career when her debut solo single "I'm So Sorry" entered the Dutch Tipparade (the Bubbling Under Top 40 chart). Let's celebrate the 40th anniversary of José's solo career!!!


In early March 1981, Luv's management announced the group's break-up (click here to read an article posted on March 4th, 2021). On June 18th, 1981, Marga Scheide, José Hoebee and Ria Thielsch caused a sensation when they took part in the Hitkrant's zomerspelen (a summer multi-sport event with celebrities which was sponsored by teen magazine Hitkrant) at the Efteling theme park. To the public's great surprise, Luv' made a farewell performance on July 22nd, 1981, on Veronica's TV show "Nederland Muziekland" by performing their so-called final single "Tingalingaling". It was the end of Luv's brief and intense international success story (1977-1981). 12 singles, 4 albums, 2 compilations, 13 gold and platinum records, a string of hits scored in seventeen countries, one Dutch export award (Conamus Export Prize), 7 million records sold, TV shows, magazines covers...

Click here to read an article about Luv's so-called farewell. The ladies didn't know at the time that they would be later involved in several comebacks.

Luv' on July 14th, 1981, in the garden of the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel

After the glory era of Holland's greatest girl group, José Hoebee's challenge was to prove that she could score hit records on her own. As the most talented member of Luv', she recorded most of the trio's vocal lines in the studio. So expectations were high when she went solo.

A couple of months before Luv's break-up, Dutch media speculated José might go solo after her widely acclaimed performance on Telebingo in late December 1980. The gifted vocalist appeared alone on this TV show hosted by Mies Bouwman on AVRO to sing "Mother of the hearts", a track from Luv's fourth album "Forever Yours" penned by Hans van Hemert and dedicated to his mother.

José performing "Mother of the Hearts" on Telebingo (December 1980)

On January 16th, 1981, Dutch newspaper Holtens Nieuwsblad published an article entitled "José of Luv' solo?".

After Luv's disbandment, José kept a low profile for several weeks.

The March 31st, 1981 edition of De Telegraaf featured José and her fiancé, record producer Will Hoebee. The lovebirds revealed the good news on March 29th, 1981 during the birthday party of José and Piet Souer (who co-wrote Luv's repertoire with Hans van Hemert). American actor and singer David Soul (world-famous for his role in the television series Starsky & Hutch) was present at this party because he was recording an album with Will.

De Telegraaf - March 31st, 1981

Click here to read the article online

José recorded background vocals for David Soul's LP "The Best Days Of My Life". A party was organized after the recording of David Soul's album.

De Telegraaf - May 30th, 1981

Click here to read the article online

Moreover, Marga Scheide and José Hoebee secretly provided vocals on "Tick-a-thumps my heart", a single by Babe (one of Luv's rivals) which reached the Top 20 in Belgium and the Netherlands in the summer of 1981. Though Peter Koelewijn wrote all the songs of Babe, "Tick-a-thumps" was an exception as Hans van Hemert wrote and produced it.

"Tick-a-thumps my heart" by Babe on "Te land, ter zee en in de lucht" (TROS, 1981)

José also worked as a backup singer on the first album of Doris D. & The Pins produced by Piet Souer. She was not credited on the record sleeve, which was common practice in the music industry at the time (it was before the Milli Vanilli scandal). This LP included the Dutch Top 10 hit "The Marvellous Marionettes".

Doris D. and The Pins singing "The Marvellous Marionettes" on "Musikladen (Radio Bremen, Germany) on November 19th, 1981

In October 1981, José and Will Hoebee got married. The wedding reception took place in David Soul's villa in Los Angeles. This great event generated publicity in the Dutch and Flemish press.

David Soul congratulating Will and José on their wedding

Hitkrant - October 1981

Hitkrant - October 1981

Weekend - October 1981

Story - October 1981

Hitkrant - October 22nd, 1981

De Telegraaf - October 26th, 1981

Click here to read the article online

Joepie - November 8th, 1981

Joepie - November 15th, 1981

In addition to the announcement of Will & José's wedding, the media were also interested in the singer's new project: the release of her solo debut record.

Hitkrant - October 8th, 1981

In late November 1981, CNR/Carrere Records released José's first solo single "I'm So Sorry". The song was written by Piet Souer and produced by Pim Koopman (member of the legendary pop-rock band Kayak and producer of sister duo Maywood). Moreover, José had a helping hand from Marga Scheide for her styling and her husband Will Hoebee for musical expertise. Though generous and devoted people surrounded the singer, her debut record wasn't a mainstream success.

Hitkrant - December 3rd, 1981

Hitkrant - December 17th, 1981

Hitkrant published a positive review about I'm So Sorry.

Hitkrant - December 1981

Limburgsch dagblad, December 11th, 1981

Click here to read the article online

Kevin Godley (of Godley & Creme) congratulating José on her first solo single - Hitkrant - January 7th, 1982

Veronica Magazine - January 16th, 1982

Hitkrant - February 4th, 1982

Hitkrant - February 14th, 1982

Joepie - January 1982

One crucial witness of José's solo debut is Jos Theuns, the singer's biggest fan who was present when the former Luv' lady promoted "I'm So Sorry" on Los Vast, a radio show on NCRV/Hilversum 3. Jos has a fan page on Facebook (José Hoebee Mijn Idool). Here's what he remembers about his first meeting with José: "On December 5th, 1981, my cousin Miriam and I went to the NCRV studio. José was supposed to perform her first solo single. According to Yvonne van Emmerik (I knew her from the Luv' era), we just needed to show up there to get into the studio.. When we arrived, Yvonne was there. A boy named Marco Rens (who would later update the Official Luv' and José Hoebee Fan Pages on Facebook) was with her. Together, we decided to wait for José. Suddenly, we saw a blue Volvo car with José and her husband Will inside. Yvonne made a rush at José screaming. José was impressed. We introduced ourselves to her. She said to us: "Follow me". She offered us coffee at the cafeteria. I couldn't believe the famous singer José was sitting in front of us. She looked great. Previously I saw her at the Hitkrant zomerspelen (a celebrity sports competition) with Luv'. But at the time, I didn't dare to talk to her. I congratulated Will on her wedding with José at David Soul's house in Los Angeles. We spoke about Luv'. Then José had to go to the studio. We were allowed to follow her. We entered a room full of microphones and instruments. Jan Rietman interviewed her. Then she sang her song live. She performed it flawlessly. After the show, we kept on talking. José told us that she would be on TV later that day. She would sing on Nederland Muziekland".

Will & José in their blue Volvo car

Marco, José and Yvonne

José & Jos

Jan Rietman interviewing José on Los Vast

José performing "I'm So Sorry" live on Los Vast

After Los Vast, the television premiere of "I'm So Sorry" took place on Veronica's program Nederland Muziekland on December 5th, 1981. José wore a leather outfit designed by Marga Scheide.

José on Nederland Muziekland

In early January 2017, José especially wore the same jacket as a reference to "I'm So Sorry" and her solo debut. Pictures by Marco Rens were posted on José's Fan Page on Facebook:

Earlier today, José met friends and fans in Best, the small town in North Brabant where she lives to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her solo debut record. Marco Rens (of the singer's fan page on Facebook) posted these beautiful pictures on this occasion:

Translation of José's message in English: "Dear fans, Thanks for being loyal for 40 years. XXX José"

Commercial performance

On December 5th, 1981, "I'm So Sorry" entered the Tipparade (a list of singles that didn't chart on the main hit parade) and later peaked at #3. It failed to break into the Dutch Top 40 but reached #39 on the Nationale Hitparade (currently Single Top 100). José's solo career took off with the follow-up record. Her 1982 single "I Will Follow Him" (originally performed by Little Peggy March) hit the number one spot in the Netherlands and Belgium.

TV performances

  • December 5th, 1981: Nederland Muziekland (Veronica, Netherlands)

  • December 24th, 1981: Ted Show (NCRV, Netherlands)

  • Unknown broadcast date in 1982: Faites Vos Jeux (RTBF, Belgium)

  • January 17th, 1982: Popcorn hosted by The Dolly Dots (KRO, Netherlands)

  • Unknown broadcast date in 1983: ČT2 (Czechoslovak public television)

Tracklisting & release

I'm So Sorry

7" vinyl single (45 rpm) - original release by CNR/Carrere Records in late November 1981

Original Dutch front cover of "I'm So Sorry"

  • A side: I'm So Sorry (Piet Souer) - 3:27

  • B side: A Reason For Fallin' In Love (Pim Koopman) - 2:41

Vocals: José Hoebee

Arranged and produced by Pim Koopman

Design – Myosotis

Engineers – J. Smit, J. Sonneveld

Management – Interlinde Management

Photography by Claude Vanheye

Click here for details about the release of I'm So Sorry.

I'm So Sorry was included on José's first album "The Good Times" (released in November 1982). It also appeared on the compilation "Alle Hits & Unieke Bonustracks" in 2005.

German edition of "I'm so sorry" released by Teldec/Ultraphone (1982)

Information about "I'm so sorry" communicated by Teldec/Ultraphone

French edition released by Trema in 1982

Cover version

In 1982, the iconic French-Bulgarian chanteuse Sylvie Vartan covered the track in French ("La Sortie de Secours"). Her version peaked at #46 on the French Singles Chart and sold 29.532 copies in France.

Sylvie Vartan on Transit (TF1, June 13th, 1982, France)

Champs Elysées, Antenne 2, 1982, France

Source: Luv' and José weblog archives, Facebook (José Hoebee Fan Page (Marco Rens) - José Hoebee Mijn Idool - Jos Theuns),, Dutch Rock Pop Institute,,, YouTube, Toen gisteren nog vandaag was...

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