|Birth Day:||December 29, 1940|
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Peter Koelewijn was born on 29 December 1940, the son of a fishmonger in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven. At the age of thirteen, he received his first guitar. In 1957, he started writing his first songs in English. He started his first band at secondary school with guitarists Karel Jansen and Roelof Egmond and singer Anneke Grönloh. Later on, Harry van Hoof (who later became a famous conductor), and drummer Peter van der Voort, joined the band. Around the same time, Grönloh left the band.
In 1959 the band, now called 'Peter and his Rockets', was joined by saxophone player Klaus Buchholz and bass guitarist Karel Jansen. In December, the band recorded "Kom Van Dat Dak Af" for record company Bovema. The combination of American rock and roll and Dutch lyrics was quite revolutionary at the time. In May 1960, "Kom Van Dat Dak Af" was a massive success in both the Netherlands and Belgium. Koelewijn, who moved on to grammar school, was told by his parents that he had to finish his schooling. Peter and His Rockets signed at Philips.
In 1970, he reformed the Rockets for what would become his glam rock era; this period lasted five years.
His 1973 composition, "Klap Maar in Je Handen" ("Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Feet") was a no. 1 hit for South African singer Maria in South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where it is still very popular at dances.
In 1977, Koelewijn released his debut solo album Het Beste in Mij Is Niet Goed Genoeg Voor Jou (The Best I Can Give Is Still Unworthy Of You) which spawned two singles; the Rockets-like "Je Wordt Ouder Papa" ("You're Growing Older Papa"; a jocular comment by Golden Earring guitarist George Kooymans) and "KL 204 (Als Ik God Was)", originally intended as the lead single and reissued in 1990. Engelbert Humperdinck recorded the English version The Road To Nowhere, although Koelewijn had done likewise at the start. Flight 204 was released in 2019 on the bilingual album-reissue.
In 1981, Koelewijn recruited musicians from the band Bunny for a new Rockets line-up that lasted till 1997; their first release was the live-album Peter Live of which "Kom Van Dat Dak Af" and "Klap Maar in Je Handen" hit the charts. In 1982, the band appeared in an insurance-commercial.
Early 1985, Koelewijn had a top 40 hit with "Sprong in Het Duister" ("Leap in the Dark"), the lead single of his otherwise unsuccessful second solo album. In 1987, he released "De Loop Van Een Geweer" ("Barrel of a Gun") which was loosely based on The Commodores' "Nightshift". In 1995, Koelewijn fronted the novelty group Gompie; their version of Smokie's "Living Next Door to Alice" topped the charts.
In 2002, Peter and His Rockets reformed for seven shows. In 2007, Koelewijn received a lifetime achievement award. A tribute concert was held where he performed a few songs himself. In 2008, Koelewijn appeared at the 50th-anniversary concert for Dutch pop. He opened the show by performing "Kom Van Dat Dak Af" as a duet with singer-songwriter Boudewijn de Groot. In 2009, the year of his own 50th career anniversary, Koelewijn released a solo album titled Een Gelukkig Man (A Happy Man). Koelewijn was a chairman of Buma/Stemra.
In 2011, Koelewijn appeared on the Ali B op volle toeren with rapper Typhoon. In 2013 he appeared in the Beste Zangers, selecting songs and cover versions from his own repertoire to be performed by the other contesters.
Currently, Peter Koelewijn is 81 years, 6 months and 3 days old. Peter Koelewijn will celebrate 82nd birthday on a Thursday 29th of December 2022.
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