30 years ago, on February 18th, 1984, the single "So Long, Marianne" released by CNR and performed by José Hoebee and Ron Brandsteder entered the Dutch charts. It later peaked at #11 on Holland's Top 40 and #6 on the Nationale Hitparade (currently Single Top 100). It also reached the 20th position on the Flemish BRT Top 30.
Ron & José (Photo credit: Jos Theuns)
"So Long, Marianne" was originally composed and performed by the great Canadian Folk Maestro Leonard Cohen in 1967. It appeared on his debut album, "Songs of Leonard Cohen". The track was inspired by Marianne Jensen (later Marianne Ihlen), whom Cohen met on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960. The artist said she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met.
Original version of "So Long, Marianne" by Leonard Cohen (1967)
Prior to her collaboration with Ron Brandsteder, José scored two big solo hits in Holland and Belgium (the #1 song "I Will Follow Him" and "Secret Love") as well as a couple of minor hits ("The Good Times" and "I Can Hear Music"). Ron was a popular TV personality and was briefly married to Patty Brard in 1979. The combination of his Baritone voice and José's mezzo-soprano singing delighted the public. The duo promoted their single on the major TV shows in the Netherlands (Showbizzquiz, Nederland Muziekland, Sportgala, AVRO's TopPop...). It paid off as their record was successful on the hit parade.
Showbizzquiz (TROS, Dec. 31st 1983)
AVRO's TopPop / Sportgala (1984)
Will Hoebee (José's husband), then a much sought-after producer, supervised the recording of this duet which took place at Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, NL. The song was included on Brandsteder's album "Niet Alleen" and later appeared on José's 2005 compilation "Alle Hits & Unieke Bonustracks".
Record sleeve of "So Long, Marianne"
José experienced a new phase of her career with the success of "So Long, Marianne". After her solo hits, she released duet singles (expecially with Bonnie St. Claire).
In April 2011, Ron and José (with her Luv' colleagues) took part in a music show "Typisch 80" at the Brabanthallen in Den Bosch, NL. They took the audience by surprise when they performed their iconic duet more than 27 years after its release.
Ron & José at "Typisch 80" (2011)
* Top 40 Hitdossier 1956-2005 (9e editie) by Johan van Slooten, publ: Gottmer Bech
* Dutchcharts.nl, BRT Top 30