Thursday, June 02, 2016

Corry Brokken 1932 - 2016

Sad news from the Netherlands, Corry Brokken, legendary singer and Eurovision star has died at the age of 83.

Corry Brokken won the 2nd ever Eurovision Song Contest with her song Net Als Toen (Just like old times). She  participated in 1956 with Voorgoed Voorbij (Over forever) and in 1958 with Heel De Wereld (The whole wide world).
In 1976 she was the host of the contest in The Hague. I remember she congratulated the winners as Happy England, and nobody complained...

Corry Brokkens career started in the early 50’s, when she performed on many Dutch radio shows. Eurovision followed three times but it was in the early sixties she scored her biggest hits, Milord (The Edith Piaf song), Mijn Ideaal (Tu Te Laisses Allerand La Mamma (both Charles Azanavour songs).
She also recorded many songs in German and frequented many German TV shows in the 60's.

Corry Brokken continued recording critically acclaimed albums up to the mid 70’s.
After she was finished with music Brokken started a career in law at the age of 42, resulting in becoming a judge in 1991.
But music remained a part of her life, and following the success of the 1994 compilation a new album Nooit Gedacht (Never thought) was released in 1996.
Brokken disappeared from public life in 2008 after serious health issues.

Corry Brokken Eurovision discography.

1956 Voorgoed Voorbij
Each country had two songs in the first Eurovision song contest. The second song for the Netherlands was Voorgoed Voorbij by Corry Brokken. The song was never released.
Update 2017: A new 3CD titled Milord has been released featuring 75 tracks. It includes Voorgoed Voorbij for the first time on any record. The recording sounds like it's the Eurovision recording (it has the same arrangement and vocals) but it's remastered/patched up very well, sounding like a studio recording. 

Corry’s National Final songs from the same year, Ik Zei Ja (I said yes), De Telefoon (The telephone) and ‘t Is Lente (It’s Springtime) were never released either.
She also performed (and maybe even recorded?) Dutch and French versions of Refrain, Lys Assia’s winning song.

1957 Net als toen
Corry Brokkens second Eurovision appearance resulted in victory, she gathered 31 points, leaving France in second place with 17.
In the National Final Corry also ended second with Iwan, (a.k.a. De Messenwerper, The knife thrower). This was released as a b-side to Fascination (Philips 317 799 PF)
Net Als Toen, Ronnex single
Net Als Toen 1982 re-issue
Net als toen (Dutch version)
- single Ronnex 1957x45,  EP: Ronnex 008x45, 78RPM Ronnex 5076, all made in Belgium, but released in the Netherlands.
- there’s also a rare Dutch Philips issue, but I don’t have details.
- The Ronnex single was re-issued in 1982
Damals war alles so schön (German)          
- single: Philips 317 797 PF (Netherlands), also on 78rpm from Germany. (Philips P 17797 H)
- the German version is only 1:47 mins long, a long German version is supposed to exist, but I’ve never seen or heard it.
Tout comme avant (French)             
- on 1958 EP, see below
Net als toen (live in 1999)
- on AIDS charity concert CD Amsterdaverend (TMD Records BMG 731972).

Dutch Edition Dors Mon Amour EP
1958 Heel De Wereld
The third and last Eurovision adventure didn’t fare too well for Corry. Her Heel De Wereld finished (shared) last.
In the National Final she again finished first and second, the second song Weet Je (Do you know) was released on the b-side of Heel De Wereld.
She also recorded a coverversion of Goedenacht Marjolein, the song that ended 4th in the Dutch final (sung by Bruce Low). Brokkens version ended up as the b-side to her 1966 single Zo Gaat Het Met Meisjes Altijd (That’s how it goes with girls) (Philips JF 327 979)

French edition Dors Mon Amour EP
Heel De Wereld (Dutch)     
- single Philips 318 078 PF
Toi, mon coeur tu sais (French)
- EP Philips 422.257 PE     
The 1957 and 1958 French versions can be found on the Corry Brokken EP Dors Mon Amour (A cover of the 1958 French winner). 
Both French and Dutch editions have the same label number but different picture sleeves.

In 1959 Corry Brokken entered the Dutch National Final again. Duet Mijn hart En Ik (My Heart And I, with Bruce Low) finished third, Iedere Dag Met Jou (Every day with you) finished 4th
Neither were released by Corry Brokken.

1958 Dors Mon Amour - André Claveau (France, 1st place)
Brokken recorded it in French, see 1958 above

Danswijsje / Ga Niet Weg single
1963 Dansevise - Grethe and Jörgen Ingmann 
(Denmark, 1st place)
1963 T’En Va Pas - Esther Ofarim 
(Switzerland, 2nd place)
- Danswijsje / Ga niet weg (both Dutch)
- both on single (Philips 327 528)
Here's a live performance clip of Danswijsje (Youtube)

1965 N’Avoue Jamais - Guy Mardel 
(France, 3rd place)
- Als je maar nooit bekent (Dutch) - single (Philips 327 868 1.F)
- So ist die liebe , mon ami (German) - single (Philips 318 955 PF, Germany)
Here's a wonderful videoclip of the German version

1967 Il Doit faire Beau La Bas - Noëlle Cordier
 (France, 3rd place)
- Ik Weet Hoe Mooi Het Is (Dutch) - on LP Kleine Cantates (Polydor 184 119, 1967)

Corry Brokken Compilations
In 1994 a 2CD Net Als Toen (top picture) was released with the best songs of her career. 
It is still available at BeaRecords.
Two CDs with her German recordings were issued in 1995 by the specialist label Bear Family (Milord and La Mamma). 
A third Bear Family release, Die Ronnex Aufnamen, feature songs up to 1957 in German, English and Dutch and includes some previously unreleased tracks.
In 2000 a DVD Een Avond Uit Met Corry Brokken - Gouden Jaren was released featuring TV performances including Eurovision footage.
Other compilations are Corry Brokken: De Keuze van Annie De Reuver (Nostalgisch Nederland, 2009) and Milord (Dutch songs) (Rotation, 2003)
France 1965 cover in German
Coverversions Net Als Toen (Updated 2020)
Ted de Braak (Dutch, in medley)
- LP Ted de Braak zingt van toen (Ariola 206 366)
Dolf Brouwers (a.k.a Sjef van Oekel, Dutch, in medley)
- LP Specialiteiten van de Sjef  (Ariola 202 757)
André van Duin (Dutch, in medley)
- LP An'dre André
NL Pop koor Vocal Society  (medley with Weet je  + De warmte van je hart (pre-songs))
- CD  (VCD 199225)
Zangeres zonder naam (in Medley)
- LP  30 juweeltjes uit 45 jaar (1979) (EMI Bovema 058-26361, 1979)
Margot Eskens  - Damals war alles so schön (German)
- 7" b-side to Auf der grossen Himmelstrasse (Polydor 23460)
Barbara Kist -  Damals war alles so schön (German)
- CD  50 grosse Erfolge, recording from 50’s or 60’s, details wanted
Cristina Jorio - Come una volta (Italian)
- 78rpm b-side  (La voce del padrone HN 3822)
Licia Morosini - Come una volta (Italian)
- 78rpm (Fonit 15735)
Van Wood Quartet - Net als toen (Come una volta)  (italian or instrumental?)
- 78rpm b-side  (Fonit 82507)
Peter Van Wood (1927-2010) was a Dutchman living and working in Italy in the 50s, his nickname is L’Olandese Volante (The flying Dutchman)
Gunnar Thim - Säg att jag drömt (Swedish)
- EP (Odeon GEOS 71)
Birthe Wilke - Vær som du var (Danish)
- EP (Philips EP 421197 PE)
Kalevi Tauru - Oispa unta se vain (Finnish)
- 7"  / 78rpm    (Triola ts 356 and 78" RPM Triola t 4356 rel in 1958)
Benny Behr & Sem Nijveen (violin) - in medley (Instrumental)
- LP 40 jaar Stemra (Various artists) (Conamus COS 009)
- Sem Nijveen is the original violinist on Brokkens own version of Net Als Toen
Jan Corduwener (Instrumental in medley)
- EP (Philips 317765 PF)
De Fellowfoons (Instrumental)
- 7" (Fellowfoon FF 104)
Benoît Kaufman (Instrumental)
- CD   
Stef Meeder (Organ instrumental in medley)
- CD 100 Hollandse Hits (1994) (Arcade CD 01.9350.6, 1994)
Jan Menu & Jasper Soffers (Jazz instrumental)
CD      Dutch Songbook (Dig Diz Music, 2010)
Joris Verlinde (Accordion instrumental
- LP Accordion Festival (Interdisc 10022)

Coverversions Heel De Wereld
Joke Bruis, Dick Doorn & Dick Rienstra (Dutch in medley)
- LP
Enny Denita (Belgium)
- EP (BRT 117)

Links and sources
Eurovision Collectors Guide 1956-1995
The 10.000 Coverversions project
Corry Brokken at Discogs
Corry Brokken at Muziekweb