30 years ago, José Hoebee hit the number one spot in the Netherlands and Belgium with "I Will Follow Him" which was originally performed in 1963 by Little Peggy March. One year after Luv's first break-up, José proved that she could be successful on her own, especially with cover versions of American pop songs.
I Will Follow Him was originally a French tune entitled "Chariot" written by Frank Pourcel (as J.W. Stole) and Paul Mauriat (as Del Roma). It was first recorded by "Frank Pourcel et Son Grand Orchestre" and appeared as an instrumental piece on the 1961 French LP "Amour, danse et violons No. 17". Jacques Plante wrote French lyrics and British vocalist Petula Clark recorded the track which became very popular in France.
Chariot by Petula Clark
The song was later adapted in English by Arthur Altman and Norman Gimbel. 15-year old artist Little Peggy March performed it as "I Will Follow Him" and made it a world sensation when it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1963 in USA.
I Will Follow Him by Peggy March
Nearly 20 years later, José covered it and let Pim Koopman (a former member of Dutch band Kayak) produce it. The famous sister duo Maywood (whose greatest hits were produced by Koopman) did the backing vocals. CNR/Carrere released José's rendition of "I Will Follow Him" as a single in Benelux and licensed it to various labels in Europe: Metronome Musik in German speaking countries, Barclay Records in France (where Luv's dark-haired singer was strangely credited as "José José") and WEA in Spain (where the artist's name was spelled "Yozé"). It became an instant success in the Netherlands (#1 on the Dutch Top 40 on July 3rd 1982 and #2 on the Nationale Hitparade) as well as in Belgium (#1 on BRT Top 30). Miss Hoebee was one of the few female artists who had a #1 hit single in Holland as a member of a group and as a solo singer. Diana Ross (of The Supremes), Yvonne Keeley (of The Star Sisters) and Sita (of K-Otic) established the same record in the charts. Moreover, José's single eventually sold 100.000 copies in Benelux and peaked at #6 on the Europarade (a list combining the charts of ten European countries).
José on AVRO's TopPop in 1982
José on Nederland Muziekland
WWF Club (Germany)
Official music video
Dutch cover of I Will Follow Him by José
After José Hoebee's single became a chart topper in her homeland, a party was held with the artist and her friends.
Pictures courtesy of Jos Theuns & Peter Boonstra (José Hoebee Fan Club)
José, Maywood and Pim Koopman celebrating the success of I Will Follow Him
Bonnie St. Claire and Maywood congratulating José on her #1 hit
José and her producer Pim Koopman
I Will Follow Him enjoyed a revival in the 1990's when a scene of US comedy "Sister Act" (starring Whoopi Goldberg) featured a funny cover.
Sister act (1992)
In 2005, Flemish producer Serge Ramaekers (who formed the New Beat group "Confetti's") remixed José's I Will Follow Him. The remix was included on the compilation "Alle hits & unieke bonustracks" and was a minor hit (#90 on the Dutch Single Top 100).
In 2011, a dream came true: José and Peggy March recorded a new version of their signature song as a duet. Recently, it has been released as a bonus track on Peggy's album "Always and Forever" (see news posted on April 3rd and April 24th 2012).
Source: Wikipedia, Discogs.com
Books by Johan van Slooten published by Gottmer Becht Groep:
500 Nr. 1 Hits uit de Top 40, 1997
Top 40 Hitdossier 1956-2005 (9e editie), 2006
50 Jaar nummer-1-hits 1956-2006, 2006