Henny Vrienten

Last updated

Henny Vrienten
Henny Vrienten (2017) - 2.jpg
Vrienten in 2017
Background information
Born(1948-07-27)27 July 1948
Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands
Died25 April 2022(2022-04-25) (aged 73)
Diepenheim, Netherlands
Genres Ska, film score
  • Singer
  • musician
  • composer
  • Vocals
  • bass
Formerly of Doe Maar, The Magnificent 7  [ nl ]

Henny Vrienten (27 July 1948 – 25 April 2022) was a Dutch musician best known as the singer and bassist of the popular 1980s ska pop band Doe Maar. He also composed television and film scores. [1]



Early days

Paul Santos, 1977 Paul Santos zanger CBS, 1977 - 04.jpg
Paul Santos, 1977

Vrienten began his career in the late 1960s as a member of the local outfit Les Cruches. In the early 1970s, he wrote songs for others and released his first single as Ruby Carmichael. In 1977, Vrienten released his debut solo album, Paul Santos, which he recorded with US producer Tom Salisbury. "Lift Me Up Higher" was extracted as a single.

Also in the 1970s, he began working with singer-songwriter Boudewijn de Groot in the studio and on stage. While recording the 1975 album Waar ik woon en wie ik ben, Vrienten met keyboard player Ernst Jansz and drummer Johnny Lodewijks. The latter suggested they form a reggae band. The Rumbones, led by the vocals of Frenchman Cris Lester, toured from October to November 1977 and split up immediately after. Vrienten moved on to Sammie America's Gasphetti, recorded demos at his garage, and did another tour with De Groot.

Doe Maar: 1980–84

Doe Maar, 1982 Doe Maar in Donkey Shot, Heemskerk 1982 - 20.jpg
Doe Maar, 1982
Farewell concert, 1984 Afscheidsconcert van Doe Maar in Den Bosch uitbundige fans tijdens concert, Bestanddeelnr 932-9342.jpg
Farewell concert, 1984

Subsequently, Jansz asked Vrienten to join his band Doe Maar, but the songwriter declined, thinking that a Dutch-language group playing for fun would not survive. In 1980, however, he changed his mind. Vrienten joined Doe Maar in time for the recording of their second album, Skunk . He delivered three songs and co-designed the green/pink sleeve as the band's trademark colours.

The record was belatedly released in March 1981. The lead single, "32 Jaar", became a hit. The follow-up, "Smoorverliefd", missed the Top 40, but with the 1982-released "Doris Day", Doe Maar broke through and become key figures of the New Dutch Wave explosion. Initially, they enjoyed their newfound popularity, but six months down the line, doubts started to creep in.

In March 1983, by which time the fourth album, 4us, was released, the band temporarily retreated from publicity. This completely backfired, as Doe Maar-mania grew even bigger.

In between tours of Belgium and the Netherlands Antilles, Vrienten recorded his first Dutch-language solo album and second overall, Geen Ballade, which he released in March 1984, a few weeks before Doe Maar played two farewell shows for the live broadcast.

Instead of embarking on a solo tour, Vrienten decided to explore new territory: he wrote TV and film scores, including for the Dutch Sesame Street, and produced music for other artists.

Solo career

From 1986 to 1991, Vrienten played oldies like "Teddy Bear's Picknick" with Magnificent Seven, whose members included singer/advert composer Fay Lovsky  [ nl ] and unofficial fifth Doe Maar member, Joost Belinfante  [ nl ].

A new solo album was in the pipeline but held back by the release of a best-of album. The expected Doe Maar revival never happened, and in early 1992, Mijn Hart Slaapt Nooit, Vrienten's third studio record, saw the light of day. As with Geen Ballade, the album received minimal promotion. At the end of the year, all Doe Maar members reunited to support the 1960s outfit CCC Inc., which featured Ernst Jansz and Joost Belinfante, at their 25th-anniversary concert.

In the mid-1990s, a new generation of Dutch-language acts emerged, and Henny ended up collaborating with rap group Osdorp Posse.

Doe Maar: the reunion: 1999

In 1999, the four-piece rock band BLØF spent a whole tour playing Doe Maar tribute shows. Doe Maar members attended the show at the Amsterdam Paradiso and on 1 November 1999, they announced their reunion for one last album and a 25-date tour of the Netherlands and Belgium, consisting of eight club shows, a record-breaking sixteen-night residency at the Rotterdam Ahoy, and a stadium show at the Antwerp Sportpaleis. The album Klaar was released in April 2000; the band were finally acknowledged by the pop critics who had previously criticized them for singing in Dutch.

Further work: 2000–2022

In 2008, Vrienten recorded an album with contemporaries Frank Boeijen and Henk Hofstede (frontman of The Nits), titled Aardige jongens. They promoted it with a theatre tour.

In 2010, Vrienten appeared in Ali B op volle toeren , a programme in which young Dutch rappers exchange songs with established artists. He contributed "32 Jaar Later", a sequel to the song that gave Doe Maar their first top 40 hit in 1981.

In 2014 and 2015, he released two solo albums and went on tour, accompanied by his son Xander (Jett Rebel's bass-player at the time) and the three-piece rock band My Baby.

In 2016, Vrienten formed the supergroup Vreemde Kostgangers  [ nl ] with Golden Earring guitarist George Kooymans and Boudewijn de Groot. They released two albums in 2017 and toured until March 2020 with a setlist of collaborative songs and solo material.

In 2019, Vrienten and his son appeared in a self-made documentary on bass players, a sequel to 2013's Gitaarjongens, which explored the joy of playing guitar. The two became the artists-in-residence on the talk show De Wereld Draait Door during its final season. A new solo album, Tussen de Regels, was released at the end of September.

In 2021, the Doe Maar farewell tour was cancelled due to Vrienten's ill health. [2]

On 25 April 2022 Henny Vrienten died of lung cancer at the age of 73. [3] [4]



Studio albums with Doe Maar

Live albums with Doe Maar

Dub albums

Raymond Van Het Groenewoud

The Magnificent 7

Vreemde Kostgangers





Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Doe Maar</span> Dutch ska band

Doe Maar was a Dutch ska band with punk and reggae influences whose career peaked from 1978 to 1984. They are one of the most successful pop bands in Dutch history. 'Doe maar' translates as go ahead or just do it.

Nederpop or Dutch pop music is pop music made by Dutch bands and artists.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Boudewijn de Groot</span> Dutch musician (born 1944)

Frank Boudewijn de Groot is a Dutch singer-songwriter, known for "Welterusten Meneer de President" (1966).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Johnny Jordaan</span> Musical artist

Johnny Jordaan was the pseudonym for Johannes Hendricus van Musscher, a Dutch singer of popular music, in particular the genre known as levenslied, a Dutch variety of the French chanson. He was well known for his songs about the city of Amsterdam, especially the Jordaan district, which he sang in a typical "hiccuping Mokum vibrato", "Mokum" being the Hebrew-derived nickname for the Amsterdam inner city area. In the 1950s, Johnny Jordaan rose almost instantly to the level of national celebrity and became the "uncrowned king of the Jordaanlied", and his hit song "Geef mij maar Amsterdam" is one of the songs Amsterdammers identify with most.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Raymond van het Groenewoud</span> Belgian musician (born 1950)

Raymond van het Groenewoud is a Belgian musician. He was born in Schaerbeek, of Dutch descent, and he sings primarily in Dutch. His biggest hits include "Vlaanderen Boven", "Meisjes", "Je Veux de l'Amour", "Zjoske Schone Meid" and "Liefde voor Muziek". He refers to himself as a musician but also a poet, philosopher and clown.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jim Bakkum</span> Musical artist

Jimmy Johannes Bakkum is a Dutch singer, actor, stage actor and television personality. Rising to nationwide fame after becoming runner-up in the first season of Dutch singing competition series Idols, he has released five albums and made a career in musicals and film. In television, he appeared in a Dutch version of Dancing with the Stars, which he won.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ernst Jansz</span> Dutch writer and musician

Ernst Gideon Jansz is one of the founding members and frontmen of Doe Maar. Doe Maar is a Dutch 1980s ska/reggae band, and is considered one of the most successful bands in Dutch pop history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kinderen voor Kinderen</span> Dutch childrens choir

Kinderen voor Kinderen is a Dutch children's choir maintained by public broadcaster BNNVARA.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">De Dijk</span> Dutch rock band

De Dijk is a Dutch rock band which formed in 1981. The band is named after Zeedijk, a street in their hometown Amsterdam. Their music can be described as a mixture of soul, blues and rock 'n roll, with lyrics sung only in Dutch, except for their 2010 album Hold On Tight; the song 'Enough is Enough', both of which are sung in English by Solomon Burke; and Stupid Guy from the album Wakker in een vreemde wereld, performed in English by the regular band. They are considered one of the most important Dutch acts of the past 40 years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Kooymans</span> Musical artist

George Jan Kooymans is a Dutch guitarist and vocalist. He is best known for his work with the Dutch group Golden Earring. Kooymans wrote "Twilight Zone", the group's only Top 10 Pop Single on the US Billboard Hot 100, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top Album Tracks chart.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Youp van 't Hek</span> Dutch comedian

Joseph Jacobus Maria "Youp" van 't Hek is a Dutch comedian, author, columnist, singer-songwriter, playwright, and critic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fernand Auwera</span>

Ferdinand Van der Auwera, pseudonym Fernand Auwera is a Belgian writer. His fragile health during his youth and its impact on his life (solitude), had an effect on his first literary work.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Remon Stotijn</span> Musical artist

Remon Stotijn, known professionally as Postman or The Anonymous Mis, is a Dutch rapper and record producer, who is a member of the band Postmen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eelco Gelling</span> Dutch blues guitarist

Eelco Gelling is a Dutch blues guitarist. Gelling played with Cuby + Blizzards until 1976.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tjeerd Oosterhuis</span> Dutch music producer (born 1971)

Tjeerd-Pieter David Oosterhuis, also known as TJ Oosterhuis, is a Dutch musician, songwriter and producer known internationally for his chart topping work with Madcon, Kelly Rowland and Estelle. His production of Freaky Like Me for Madcon was a #1 hit Norway. It went four times platinum there and received a gold certification in Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dolf Jansen</span> Dutch comedian

Dolf Jansen is a Dutch comedian, host of the Radio 2 programme Spijkers met Koppen and an active Marathon runner. On television Jansen hosted Loods 6 (1991), Kunstbende (1992), Jansen slaat door (TROS) (1993) and Jansen op jacht (2007). He performed together with Hans Sibbel as the comedy team 'Lebbis en Jansen', but also performs as an individual comedian. He also is an ambassador of Oxfam Novib.

"Doris Day" is a song from 1982 by Dutch band Doe Maar. It was the title-track off their third album Doris Day en Andere Stukken and became their first top 10-hit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Skik</span> Dutch pop group

Skik is a Dutch pop group, originating from the town of Erica, Drenthe. The band mainly sings in Drèents, a variation of Low-Saxon, which is traditionally spoken in Drenthe. Skik is Drèents for fun or enjoyment.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lennaert Nijgh</span> Dutch poet, writer and screenwriter (1945-2002)

Lennaert Herman Nijgh was a Dutch lyricist. Nijgh was most commonly known as the lyricist for Boudewijn de Groot.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Winne</span> Rapper

Winston Bergwijn, known professionally as Winne, is a Dutch rapper.


  1. Huff, Philip D. "Biography: Doe Maar". AMG . Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  2. "Doe Maar cancels farewell tour". 22 September 2021.
  3. "Bij Vrienten was longkanker geconstateerd". 25 April 2022.
  4. "Zanger/componist Henny Vrienten op 73-jarige leeftijd overleden". 25 April 2022.