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  • Photo du rédacteurRalph Ruiz

In Memoriam Harry van Hoof (1943-2024)

It is with great sadness that we learned about the passing of Dutch conductor, composer, and arranger Harry van Hoof, who died yesterday at the age of 81. The media announced this news earlier today. Our condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. Harry van Hoof was a talented and charismatic man, and we will always remember him. We also extend our deepest sympathies to all the artists he collaborated with, including Hans van Hemert and José Hoebee.

Harry van Hoof conducted Dutch entries on fifteen occasions for the Eurovision Song Contest (including "I See A Star" by Mouth & MacNeal in 1974 (#3) and "Ding-a-dong" by Teach-In in 1975 (#1). He arranged countless Dutch evergreens such as Johnny Lion's Sophietje (1965) and Eurovision classics such as "De oude muzikant" by Ben Cramer (#14 in 1973), "Als het om de liefde gaat" by Sandra and Andres (#4 in 1972) and "The party is over" by Sandra Reemer (#9 in 1976). He conducted the Netherlands' largest jazz and pop ensemble, "Metropole Orkest", for nearly twenty years.

His biggest international success is "How Do You Do" (1971), a single by Mouth & MacNeal he co-wrote with Hans van Hemert, which sold two million copies worldwide, earned a gold certification in the USA for 1 million copies sold and charted in several countries (#1 in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark and New Zealand, #2 in Canada, #5 in Germany, #8 in the USA, and #32 in Australia).

He collaborated with many acts, including BZN, Armand, Ramses Shaffy, Rob de Nijs, Willeke Alberti and José Hoebee.

Hans van Hemert remembered Van Hoof as a real all-round artist. "He could handle everything. From jazz to religious music and everything in between. I made my demos at home and shakily recorded them. I played the drums on my knees. Harry would say: 'Well, tell me what you want'. And the result always sounded fantastic," Hans said on NPO Radio 1.

In 1978, Harry van Hoof teamed up with Pieter van Vollenhoven (the husband of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands) for a piano album, "Thank You For The Music", produced by Will Hoebee (José's husband). This LP turned gold in Holland in 1979.

Will Hoebee, Harry van Hoof and Pieter van Vollenhoven in 1978

In early 1981, Harry van Hoof was the conductor on "The Best Days Of My Life", an album by the iconic American-British actor and singer David Soul, produced by Will Hoebee and including José's background vocals.

Will Hoebee, Harry van Hoof and David Soul taking a break while recording "The Best Days Of My Life" album at the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, the Netherlands (1981).

Photo montage by Marco Rens

Several José Hoebee's records featured Van Hoof as an arranger and conductor: the duet single "So Long, Marianne" with Ron Brandsteder (late 1983), the solo single "I Love You" (1984) and the album "Herinnering" (including Dutch cover versions of ABBA songs recorded with Bonnie St. Claire in 1985).

Harry van Hoof and José Hoebee at the opening of the exhibition "Vinyl!" at the Philips Museum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, on February 14th, 2019

Source: Luv' weblog archives, NOS, De, RTL, De Telegraaf, NU, AD, Omroep Brabant, social media...

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