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Official website and biography:

Legendary singer and performer from the days when Flanders was still known as the Wild West and the Belgians all wore Stetsons and cowboy boots.


"Café zonder bier"
32,6 sec. - 64 Kb.
song: Parsons, v.Aleda, Lams
Year : 1959
Record co. : Telstar

"De Lichtjes van de Schelde"
79,1 sec. - 155 Kb.
song : J.Stevens, Schoepen, A. Beuving
Year : 195? : Telstar

"Als het vriest in Madagascar"
41,0 sec. - 81 Kb.
song : B.Schoepen, P.Cirkel
Year : 196? : Telstar


Bobbejaan Schoepen is a unique figure who has managed to survive forty years of modernization untainted.


He enjoyed an enormous popularity at the end of the fifties and the beginning of the seventies. In 1957, he was the second Belgian contestant to the Eurovision Song Festival with the whistle-song "Straatdeuntje" (according to the legend, he went there without even knowing what song to play, he rehearsed it once before performing live). A number of his songs were translated versions of famous American country tunes, and one of those earned him his biggest hit: in 1959, he finished third in the yearly hitparade with Café zonder bier (a cover of "Pub without beer" by Slim Dusty). This song can be counted among the evergreens of Flemish music.

A year later he would even top this hitparade with "Een hutje op de heide" (a cabin on the moor).

Other noteworthy songs of his include "Ik heb eerbied voor je grijze haren" (I respect those grey hairs of yours), "De lichtjes van de Schelde" (the lights of the Scheldt), "k zie zoe gère m'n duivenkot" (i love my pigeonry so much), "Als het vriest in Madagascar" (when it freezes in Madagascar), "De jodelende fluiter" (the yodling whistler), "De lachende vagebond" (the laughing vagabond) and "Bij het kampvuur op de prairie" (at the campfire on the prairie).

At the end of the sixties, Bobbejaan Schoepen got weary of traveling (he was popular from Holland to Indonesia, had recorded together with Joséphine Baker, Gilbert Bécaud, Jacques Brel, Ed Sullivan, Tex Williams and the like, and had performed in front of the English Queen) and decided he was famous enough to have a theme park named after him : Bobbejaanland in Kasterlee. The park has attractions in the wild west-atmosphere and, to this day, is supervised and run by Bobbejaan and his sons. He still gives three to four performances of his whistling, guitaring, yodling and singing abilities each day in the park.

movie poster dutch version of "At the drop of a head"

Yet, all fun apart, Bobbejaan was also among the few  who introduced American Rock and Country music to the Flemish masses. Credit to who's credit due. In 1999, there was some recognition given to him for this by the alternative rockband Dead Man Ray, who wrote a new soundtrack for the film "De Ordonnans / At the Drop of A Hat", a movie which starred Bobbejaan in 1962 (the original soundtrack was by the at that time immensely popular popband Les Cousins (The Cousins).

In 2000, Bobbejaan was honoured with a place in the "eregallerij van het Vlaamse lied", a prize handed out by Radio 2, which he shared with the likes of Will Tura, Toots Thielemans, Rocco Granata and La Esterella.

Buy CD's of this band at proxis

Albums :
- Het Beste van Bobbejaan Schoepen vol.1 (Telstar, 1995)
- Het Beste van Bobbejaan Schoepen vol.2 (Telstar, 1995)

Websites :
- is the official website.
- Bobbejaanland, his theme park, has a very nice website.
- and on these pages, he presents a brief overview of his life & pictures
- video van Bobbejaans deelname aan Eurosong in 1957 met "Straatdeuntje"

Forum :
- Read the messages/questions about Bobbejaan Schoepen
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about Bobbejaan Schoepen


Bobbejaan Schoepen


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Dirk Houbrechts stopped working at The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives (you can read his personal statement here). The website is now entrusted to the Flanders Music Centre ( Contact:

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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