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  • Photo du rédacteurRalph Ruiz

"U.O.Me" (Theme from Waldolala): 45th anniversary of Luv's breakthrough



Luv's ticket to stardom


Forty-five years ago, on February 12th, 1978, the broadcast of the Dutch TV series "Het is weer zo laat!" changed the destiny of Marga Scheide, José Hoebee, and Patty Brard, better known as Luv'. The show featured the ladies performing the theme song "U.O.Me (You Owe Me)" during the opening credits. "Het is weer zo laat!" was an instant hit in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium), making Luv' a household name in the Low Countries.



Montage by Marco Rens


History


In June 1977, Luv's debut single "My Man" scored quite well on the Dutch and Flemish charts, but it did not change the girls into pop stars.


Patty Brard, Marga Scheide & José Hoebee as Luv' during their "My Man" era in 1977


The follow-up record, "Dream, Dream", released in November 1977, flopped.


Luv' during their "Dream, Dream" era in 1977


Despite their uncertain future, Luv' were still invited to public events. The ladies attended an international futsal tournament at the Rotterdam Ahoy on January 4th, 1978. They posed for a photo with football legend Wim van Hanegem.


Luv' & Wim van Hanegem in Het Vrije Volk - January 5th, 1978

Click here to read the article online.


In late 1977, Dutch TV channel VPRO commissioned Hans van Hemert to write the theme song for the burlesque series "Het is weer zo laat", conceived by Wim T. Schippers (in association with Gied Jaspars), directed by Wim van der Linden and produced by Ellen Jens.


Assisted by Piet Souer, Van Hemert wanted a new sound for the girl group. Something more festive and less ABBAesque than the previous records. He wrote the Carnival and disco track "U.O.Me (You Owe Me)" and let Luv' record it.


Here's what Hans recalled when I asked him how he penned the song:


"In late 1977, I was asked to write a tune for the VPRO show "Waldolala". As always, after I finish a track, I let it listen to several people. One of them was Luv's manager at the time, Han Meyer, who was enthusiastic about it and suggested that I record it with the girls. Gied Jaspars and Wim T. Schippers were satisfied with the song but didn't want Luv' to appear on the show. They thought the ladies were "too commercial". The director Wim van der Linden loved this idea and insisted on the group being present on the TV program. It was a fabulous opportunity because the previous single had flopped. This exposure was more than welcome (to Waldolala)!!! LOL...I called the track "U.O.Me (You Owe Me)", but no one in Holland understood it. People called it UOOMU, and rapidly everybody called it "Waldolala". It was not the first time a singer or a band had a hit record with a song initially meant for someone or something else. The same thing happened with "The Elephant Song" (a #1 hit single performed by Kamahl in 1975 and meant for Frank Sinatra) and "Wij Houden van Oranje" (a Top 3 hit in 1988 by André Hazes, which was supposed to be recorded at first by Willeke Alberti). Sometimes when I write songs, I'm inspired by tracks I like. Raffaella Carra's signature song "A Far l'Amore Cominicia Tu" motivated me for "U.O.Me".


"Het is weer zo laat" starred Dolf Brouwers as Waldo van Dungen, owner of the nightclub "Waldolala". The series aired weekly from February 12th to April 23rd, 1978 and was a high-rated TV program. The fact that Luv' appeared during the opening credits to perform their song was a fabulous publicity stunt for the trio. José, Patty and Marga rapidly became Holland's sweethearts and sex symbols. Their career really took off.






Het is weer zo laat! was released on DVD in 2008.


The earliest mention of "U.O.Me" in the media dates back to January 5th, 1978, in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. The use of the song in a TV series was considered a "free promotion for Hans van Hemert".



De Telegraaf - January 5th, 1978

Click here to read the article online



The Dutch press published other articles prior to the broadcast of the TV show.



Limburgsch Dagblad - February 11th, 1978

Click here to read the article online.



Het Vrije Volk - February 11th, 1978

Click here to read the article.



"U.O.Me" was supposed to be the "record of the week" on the highly influential NCRV radio station. But things went wrong at the last moment. "We'd already had a party. When your single is chosen as the "record of the week", it's a wonderful promotion. To my great surprise, I was told that we couldn't continue," Luv' manager Han Meyer explained to De Telegraaf. The fact that Luv' performed "U.O.Me" on a risqué VPRO program didn't match with the Christian target group of NCRV. However, Meyer was confident. "U.O.Me will surely enter the hit parade. Luv' is much more than three good-looking women. They can also sing," he added.



De Telegraaf - February 11th, 1978

Click here to read the article online.



This bad situation was rapidly forgotten as U.O.Me became the "Radio and TV tip" of the AVRO broadcaster. This is why Luv' was scheduled on the iconic music TV show AVRO's TopPop. The record even entered the Tipparade (Bubbling Under Top 30) on Veronica radio station. It was even part of the playlist of the popular Hilversum 3 station.






De Telegraaf - February 16th, 1978

Click here to read the article online.



Not all the broadcasters appreciated Luv's single. A group of artists and professionals from the Dutch record industry (including Han Meyer, Hans van Hemert and Luv' as well as Vader Abraham, BZN, Teach In, Pussycat and George Baker) felt unfairly treated because the socialist VARA Broadcasting Association boycotted their productions. Under the aegis of Meyer, they intended to take the matter up with the authorities.



De Telegraaf - February 18th, 1978

Click here to read the article online.


The girls were shocked by the racy image of "Het is weer zo laat!" and were happy that they were not involved in the series' sketches. Despite its weird content, the program brought Luv' fame and fortune.


By the Spring of 1978, U.O.Me reached its peak in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium).




Algemeen Dagblad -March 29th, 1978

Click here to read the article online.



Het Parool - April 18th, 1978

Click here to read the article online.




Limburgs Dagbald - April 19th, 1978

Click here to read the article online.


Photos edited by Marco Rens for the Official Luv' Facebook Page:




Due to U.O.Me's success, Luv's schedule became hectic. The trio toured the schnabbel circuit. In other words, Patty, Marga, and José trained their vocal cords in provincial banquet halls, discos, clubs, festivals and fairs across the Netherlands. Sometimes they gave three shows per evening in three different venues.


Luv's performance on May 12th, 1978, in Munstergeleen, the Netherlands: one of the numerous shows the girl group gave thanks to U.O.Me's success.

Limburgsch dagblad - May 9th, 1978

Click here to read the article online.



Limburgsch dagblad - May 20th, 1978

Click here to read the article online.



Chart performance


Phonogram/Philips Records released "U.O.Me" in February 1978.


Here are the single's peak positions on the Dutch and Flemish record charts:


🇳🇱 #3 on the Dutch Top 40 (Netherlands)


Debut date: March 11th, 1978 - Weeks on chart: 13


🇳🇱 #3 on the Nationale Hitparade - Top 30 (Netherlands)


Debut date: March 18th, 1978 - Weeks on chart: 14


🇧🇪 #2 on the BRT Top 30 (Belgium)


Debut date: March 25th, 1978 - Weeks on chart: 13


🇧🇪 #3 on the Ultratop Flanders - Top 30 (Belgium)


Debut date: March 18th, 1978 - Weeks on chart: 13


The record sold 150.000 copies in the Low Countries. It came out abroad (France, Germany, Finland, Turkey, Philippines...) but was not a success outside Benelux. Luv's international breakthrough happened with the next single, "You're the Greatest Lover".


TV performances


  • February 12th to April 23rd, 1978: Het is weer zo laat (Waldolala)! - VPRO - The Netherlands



  • February 18th, March 18th and 25th/April 1st, 15th and 29th/May 6th, 1978: AVRO's TopPop - The Netherlands



  • March 1978: Veronica's Popjournaal - The Netherlands



  • April 18th, 1978: "In Een Groen Groen Discoland" - TROS - The Netherlands



  • April 20th, 1978: MOT (Music On Top) - NDR/ARD -Germany

  • May 2nd, 1978: Dolle Dinsdag - BRT - Belgium

  • November 19th, 1978: "All You Need Is Luv'" TV special - TROS - The Netherlands


  • December 31st, 1978: Medley (U.O.Me, You're the Greatest Lover, Trojan Horse) and presentation of two Veronica awards on Countdown '78 - Veronica - The Netherlands

  • February 13th, 1979: Sacha Distel and Guests - BBC 2 - United Kingdom

  • March 22nd, 1979: All You Need Is Luv' medley (My Man, U.O.Me, You're the Greatest Lover, Trojan Horse) - Musikladen - Radio Bremen -West Germany

  • April 14th, 1979: Medley (U.O.Me, You're the Greatest Lover, Trojan Horse) on Stuif es uit - AVRO/Nederland 1 - The Netherlands

  • July 13th, 1979: Medley (U.O.Me, Eres Mi Mejor Amante, Trojan Horse) on Lots of Luv' (TV Special) - TROS - The Netherlands


Tracklisting & release


U.O.Me


7" vinyl single (45 rpm) - original release by Philips/Phonogram Records in February 1978


  • A side : "U.O.Me" (Janschen & Janschens) – 2:55

  • B side : "Hang On" (Janschen & Janschens) – 3:07


Credits:

José Hoebee, Marga Scheide & Patty Brard: vocals

Hans van Hemert: producer

Piet Souer: Arranger/conductor


Click here to be informed about the several editions of U.O.Me.


Original Dutch cover



French cover


German cover



Finnish pressing




Australian pressing



Filipino pressing



Turkish pressing


Cover versions


  • Dutch band Conquistador (also produced by Hans van Hemert and Piet Souer) recorded an instrumental version of this song in 1978:



  • Schlager singer Peter Petrel sang a German version entitled "Wer Hat Hier Denn Wohl Wen Verführt" in 1978:



  • De Strangers recorded a parody in Dutch entitled "'t Sauna Bad" in 1978:



  • Finnish girl group Mirumaru covered the track in their language and named it "Sun Vain Oon" in 1978.


  • Greek singer Paschalis Arvanitidis performed a cover version in his language in 1979 and named it "Η ζωή μου χαμογέλασε".



  • De Vedettes recorded their version of Luv's breakthrough hit to support the Dutch national football team (the famous Oranjes) at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This cover was entitled "Oh! Wat Een Mooie Goal!" (Oh! What a beautiful goal!) and peaked at #39 on Holland's Single Top 100 in July 2010.



  • In 2015, Pop singer Tamara Tol released a Dutch cover version entitled "Dan Gan We Dansen". The track reached #23 on Oranje Top 30 (a Gfk chart of the 30 most popular Dutch music productions):



  • In 2016, Dutch rapper Def Rhymz & Ronnie Ruysdael covered the legendary pop song and named it "Fawaka":



  • In January 2018, the TV commercial for breakfast cereals "Granooolala" featured three lovely ladies dressed in 1970s outfits (with Charlie's Angels-like wigs) and lip-syncing to a new version of "U.O.Me":



Bibliography

  • Top 40 Hitdossier 1956-2005 (9e editie) by Johan van Slooten, publisher: Gottmer Bech

  • The Story of Luv' by Peter Boonstra


Source: Marco Rens, Luv' Blog archives, Wikipedia, Delpher.nl, De Krant van Toen, Beeld en geluid, Dutchcharts.nl, BRT Top 30, Discogs.com, YouTube...


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