Marga Scheide: In the Sign Of Luv'
Marga Scheide celebrates her birthday today. As we say in Dutch: "Hartelijk Gefeliciteerd Met Je Verjaardag!"
Marga is the ultimate Luv' lady. The beautiful blonde singer was part of all the incarnations of the legendary girl group between 1977 and 2020.
Pre Luv' years
Margareth Scheide was born on February 15th, 1954, in Amsterdam. At the age of 16, she was spotted by a modelling scout. She became a photo model. In the 1970s, she participated in several advertising campaigns (including lemonade SiSi, "bintje" (a potato variety), Quick Tanning and Yamaha motorcycles). Moreover, she appeared on the covers of various artist hit compilations.
Marga also took part in several beauty contests (including Miss Holland 1972, 1973 and 1977, Miss Young International 1973, Unofficial Miss Europe 1975 pageant).
Luv' performing My Man on AVRO's TopPop (broadcast date: June 14th, 1977)
In 1976, the well-established Dutch record producer Hans van Hemert teamed up with composer-arranger Piet Souer and manager Han Meijer to form a girl group. They were searching for three good-looking female singers. Van Hemert wanted a combo consisting of a blonde girl (a Prom Queen type), a red-haired girl (a girl next door) and an Asian girl (an exotic beauty). Souer and he had already recorded the music of a self-penned composition entitled "My Man".
Patty Brard (born on March 25th, 1955, in Sorong, West Papua/Indonesia) was the first to be discovered. Dozens of other candidates auditioned. A red-haired girl, Marijke Op't Hof (wife of Dutch drummer Ton Op 't Hof) was found as well as a blonde girl, Willemijn Damave. But Willewijn was too tall and wasn't selected at the end.
Piet Souer asked José van de Wijdeven (born on March 29th, 1954, in Best, the Netherlands) to be a member of Luv'.
After several months of auditions, the three Luv' singers were finally found. But there was a problem: José was not blonde and refused to dye her hair. Hans was determined about the image of his creation. Two dark-haired girls were not satisfying for him, and José had to leave Luv'.
A blonde singer had to be chosen. That's how Marga Scheide was cast.
Meanwhile, José was called back. Hans wanted an experienced vocalist like her next to Patty and Marga. After she accepted to apply a red tint to her hair, José got the job, and Marijke op 't Hof left the trio.
After months of casting, Luv's official line-up consisted of Patty, Marga and José. The ladies were ready to conquer the charts!!!
Luv's glory years (1977 - 1981)
In May 1977, Phonogram/Philips Records released Luv's debut single "My Man". It peaked at #12 in the Netherlands and #10 in Belgium. The second single "Dream, Dream" (released in November 1977) flopped.
In late 1977, Dutch TV channel VPRO commissioned Van Hemert to write the theme song for the burlesque series "Het is weer zo laat" (aka Waldolala). Assisted by Piet Souer, he wrote the Carnival and disco track "U.O.Me (You Owe Me)" and let it recorded by Luv'.
The fact that the girls appeared during the opening credits of the popular TV series to perform their song was a fabulous publicity stunt for them. José, Patty and Marga rapidly became Holland's sweethearts and sex symbols. Their career took off.
"U.O.Me" came out in February 1978. It peaked at #3 on the Dutch Top 40. It also reached the same position on the Nationale Hitparade and #2 on the BRT Top 30 in Belgium. The record sold 150.000 copies in the Low Countries.
The follow-up single "You're the Greatest Lover" was the group's international breakthrough in the autumn of 1978 (#1 in Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain, #2 in Austria, #21 in France, #26 in Finland, #19 in Israel, and #15 in South Africa). This million-seller became Luv's signature song and was certified platinum in Holland and gold in Germany.
The debut album "With Luv" came out in late August 1978. It went platinum in the Netherlands and reached silver status in Denmark.
Luv' later took the charts by storm with "Trojan Horse" (another million-selling single which hit the number one spot in the Netherlands and Belgium, the Top 5 in German-speaking countries and Denmark, the top 10 in Norway, New Zealand and Argentina, the top 20 in Finland, Israel, South Africa and Zimbabwe, the top 50 in France and Australia as well as the top 100 in Canada).
In 1979, the singles "Casanova", "Eeny Meeny Miny Moe" and "Ooh, Yes I Do" maintained Luv's position as a popular group in the international marketplace. The studio albums "Lots of Luv'" and "True Luv'" were successful on the charts. The girls kept on collecting gold and platinum records. On December 31st, 1979, they received the Conamus Export Prize for being the "best Dutch Export act".
1980 saw the success of the singles "Ann-Maria" and "One More Little Kissy". During the filming of an NCRV TV special in Spain with Luv', Marga fell in love with TV mogul John de Mol (who produced the show and later founded the Endemol and Talpa companies). Their relationship lasted until 1984.
In May 1980, Luv' embarked on a memorable promo tour in Mexico, where they received a gold record for "Si, Que Si" (the Spanish version of "Ooh, Yes I Do").
In July 1980, Patty left the group, and the following month she was replaced by Indo-Dutch photo model Ria Thielsch (born on August 25th, 1951, in Manokwari, West Papua).
The renewed trio scored a Top 5 hit (My Number One) in the Netherlands and Belgium in late 1980. The "Forever Yours" album was also a big-selling record in their homeland.
A few days before Christmas 1980, Marga became overworked and suffered from a burn-out. The blonde singer fainted during the rehearsals for the TV show "Popcorn". She had to be on sick-leave. Luv' was at a complete standstill. The ladies had to cancel all their TV performances and other activities even though their records did well on the charts.
In early March 1981, Luv' disbanded. To the public's great surprise, the ladies briefly reunited in the summer of 1981 for the release of a so-called final single (Tingalingaling) and a compilation (Goodbye Luv'). On June 18th, 1981, 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. On that occasion, a handprint ceremony with the girls was organized to launch the Efteling's latest attraction: the "Python" roller coaster. Luv' gave a farewell performance on July 22nd, 1981, on Veronica's TV show "Nederland Muziekland".
Post Luv' years
After Luv's demise, Marga supervised the styling of bands and singers (including the girl trio Babe and José).
In 1982, after Patty and José went solo, she was the lead member of the short-lived female group "Marga & Deuce" which recorded the unsuccessful single "One, two, three Bananas" (written and produced by Piet Souer).
In 1983, Marga released "Love Symphony", a medley of The Supremes' classic songs produced by Jacques Zwart with whom she became romantically involved. This track was not a hit but got airplay on Black American radio stations. Her next singles, "Love Again" (1985) and "I'll Sing You A Song" (1986), failed to break into the charts.
In early 1985, Story (a Dutch celebrity gossip magazine) brought the original trio together for a photo session and an interview.
In March 1985, TROS/Nederland 2 broadcast "ABBAcadabra", a TV musical based on songs by the Swedish pop group "ABBA". Marga was part of the cast with other Dutch celebrities (including José, Ron Brandsteder, Benny Neyman and Bonnie St. Claire).
She also did sporadic photo shoots for magazines. In the mid-1980s, in addition to her artistic activities, she ran a souvenir shop, "Dutchy souvenirs", at the Holiday Inn in Utrecht.
In October 1988, the original Luv' members were reunited for a one-off performance on a TV charity show. Shortly afterwards, rumours circulated that the celebrated British production team of Stock, Aitken & Waterman (famous for their hits for Bananarama, Mel & Kim, Rick Astley and Kylie Minogue) might produce an album for Luv'. However, nothing materialized with the Hit Factory.
In 1989, Marga trademarked the group's name and formed a new Luv' act with two new members: Michelle Gold and Diana van Berlo. This line-up scored a moderate hit ("Welcome To My Party": #22 in the Netherlands and #28 in Belgium).
Photo edited by Marco Rens
In June 1990, Michelle left Luv' and was replaced by Carina Lemoine. Although chart success was a distant memory, the ladies toured the club circuit and performed on TV. In December 1990, they entertained the Dutch troops based in Dubai and involved in the Gulf War.
In 1991, Luv' had a minor hit: "He's My Guy" (#75 on the Dutch Single Top 100). In 1992, alongside the singer Lisa Boray, Marga was briefly involved in another musical: Rockstar.
In December 1992, Marga's Luv' (as the fans nicknamed this line-up) disbanded.
Luv's comeback in the 1990s
In 1993, the original Luv' girls got together. A compilation (Luv' Gold) was released and peaked at #9 on the Dutch albums chart. A megamix also came out and reached the 23rd position on the Dutch Top 40. The trio went on a promo tour through Benelux, Germany and Denmark.
Photo edited by Marco Rens
In 1994, Luv's last studio album (All You Need Is Luv') was released and only available at Kruidvat (a chain of drugstores). The ladies did sporadic gigs and disbanded in late 1996.
Apart from the above-mentioned souvenir shop, Marga ran a cosmetics firm in the 1990s. Her world was tumbling down when her partner, record producer Jacques Zwart died of a heart attack in Ibiza in April 2003. It took her months to get over this sudden loss. She continued the online music store "www.selectcd.nl" launched with Zwart in 2001. In 2004, she set up another online service specialized in the merchandising of Dutch celebrities (www.selectidols.com). These companies were short-lived, and by 2007 they were dissolved.
In the autumn of 2004, Marga and Patty starred in "Patty's Fort", a TV program on Yorin with other celebrities as they were having a therapy which consisted of fasting, yoga and meditation.
Back In Luv'
In 2005, Luv' gave a surprise performance at the 60th birthday party of Hans van Hemert. This event made front-page news in the Netherlands. A few months later, Marga fell in love with Michiel Gunning (who was active in the music business and the youth press in the 1970s and 1980s). To this day, the two lovebirds are still together.
In 2006, the girls reunited once again. A reality TV show (Back In Luv') about their comeback was broadcast on RTL 5 in Holland and on VTM in Flanders. A DVD (also entitled "Back In Luv'" and featuring TV archives from the trio's heyday) came out. With the help from the official fan club, Universal Music released the box set "Completely In Luv'" (including 4 CDs with their entire repertoire from the 1977-1980 period as well as bonus tracks and remixes). On May 26th, 27th and 28th, 2006, the three singers and Bobby Farrell (of Boney M.) made a guest appearance on the mega shows of De Toppers (a group formed by Gordon, René Froger and Gerard Joling) at the Amsterdam ArenA. In addition to TV performances, Luv' were booked for discos, festivals, private parties and corporate events until 2012.
Apart from her hectic schedule with Luv', Marga took part in the SBS6 celebrity figure skating competition "Sterren Dansen op Het Ijs" in August and September 2006.
In 2011, she was a candidate on Komen Eten (the Dutch version of "Come Dine with Me" on SBS6).
On March 12th, 2012, Marga confirmed the definitive break-up of the group on NOS/Radio 1. The ladies took this decision without anger. They gave their final live performance on August 11th, 2012, at the Dutch Valley Festival in Spaarnwoude, the Netherlands.
Marga retired from show business and enjoyed life in her second home on the sunny Ibiza island. Articles were published sporadically in celebrity gossip magazines. She planned an art exchange program with artists from Ibiza. She wanted to set up an exhibition on the Balearic Island. Her intention was to present the works of Spanish painters and sculptors in the Netherlands.
She also became an ambassador for Podencoworld (a foundation that protects and promotes Podencos, agile dogs of the hound family).
May 2013 saw the brief reunion of the 1980-1981 lineup (José, Marga and Ria) at a fan club meeting in Eindhoven.
In late 2014 and early 2015, Luv' fan Peter Boonstra supervised a long-awaited project: the publication of a photo book entitled "The Story of Luv'" including exclusive pictures and a CD compilation (with their greatest hits as well as remixes of "Trojan Horse" and "Life Is On My Side" by highly acclaimed remixer-producer Matt Pop). Marga and José supported this initiative.
On May 1st, 2015, the press launch of "The Story of Luv" took place at the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, the Netherlands. The author of the book, José, Marga, Ria, Hans van Hemert and Dutch illusionist Hans Klok (who hosted the event) were present.
The day after, a meet 'n greet afternoon with fans combined with a release party were held in the same location.
Behind the scenes, Patty Brard wanted to ban the book. Shortly afterwards, Peter was obliged to stop the book's sale due to copyright issues about some photographs. This cruel decision led to great disappointment and provoked a big feud between Patty and her ex-colleagues.
In late October 2015, the media speculated about a comeback of Luv'. A German talent agency announced on its website that Marga and José could be booked as Luv' for live shows. In interviews, the ladies remained vague about plans to reactivate the group.
On March 16th, 2016, a dream came true when Marga, José and Ria announced their reunion in De Telegraaf (Holland's most-read newspaper) and its sister magazine Privé. This great news generated publicity in the media (radio interviews, articles in the tabloid press and news websites...).
Photo montage by Marco Rens
The absence of Patty and her replacement by Ria did not affect Luv's attractiveness. The trio's agenda was full again. Luv' toured the nostalgia circuit in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium).
On July 9th, 2017, the ladies celebrated their 40th anniversary with fans and friends at the Quatre Bras restaurant in Best, the Netherlands.
On January 4th, 2019, media personality Chimène van Oosterhout officially replaced Ria Thielsch. This unexpected line-up change boosted the group's presence in the national media.
In July 2019, Luv' released a Latin pop-reggaeton single entitled "With Him Tonight" with Latin Grammy-nominated producers Keith Morrison and Manuel Garrido-Lecca.
On February 7th, 2020, Luv' (which had not performed since September 2019 due to José Hoebee's illness) informed the press and the public about the interruption of their activities.
From late 2020 to early 2022, Marga appeared as a guest artist for a limited number of performances of Flemish comedian Piv Huvluv as part of his Vinylvreter tour.
In the summer of 2021, she discussed in Privé and De Telegraaf a Luv' biopic project developed by Frederik Nelck, a film and television scriptwriter, script doctor, format creator, item director and songwriter.
2021 saw the reissue of two albums and several singles on digital platforms: All You Need Is Luv' (April 2021), Sincerely Yours (June 2021) and the four singles/maxi-singles taken from it (Hasta Mañana, Jungle Jive, The Last Song and He's My Guy) as well as This Old Heart Of Mine (October 2021).
In February 2022, Cloud 9 Music put out "Trojan Horse (Kav Verhouzer Remix)" which peaked at #10 on the Dutch iTunes Top 100. The accompanying music video featured Luv' lookalikes.
Marga retired from singing after she gave a farewell performance at CC De Spil in Roeselare, Belgium, on April 15th, 2022, as part of Piv Hivluv's show.
Today, Marga enjoys life with Michiel, her friends and her family in the Netherlands and Ibiza.
On behalf of the fans: many thanks to Marga Scheide for her input to Luv'!!!
Source: Luv' weblog and Luv' site archives