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Chansonnier and troubadour of the 60's and 70's. A very influential figure, but also a somewhat controversial one because of his traditionalist and romantic attitude.


"Boer Bavo"
58,7 sec. - 115 Kb.
song: B. Broes, M. Cools
Production : Granata Music
Year : 1966
Record co. : Granata

"Houden van"
59,9 sec. - 117 Kb.
song: M. Cools
Production : ??
Year : 1979
Record co. : ??


At the time of his breakthrough in 1965, he summarized what came before as follows : "Born in 1935 in Limburg, he followed a study in classical music - contrary to his current profession. Soon though, his interests wandered to Hawaiian music. Logical, considering the popularity of this genre at the time.
A bit later his love goes to foreign folk songs. Something he still fancies today.
After his military service he formed a duo with his fiancÚe Jenny (who is now his happy little wife) : "Miel en zijn meisje" (Miel and his girl) performed international folk songs.
Thanks to his good friend Jaak Dreesen and also Louis Verbeeck, Gaston Durnez and Jules De Corte, Miel started to get an interest in kleinkunst (
a dutch term indicating a genre of music between cabaret and folk, literally it means small art). It was then that chansonnier Miel Cools was born.
He is now one of Flanders biggest names who sings songs full of life, armed only with a guitar. Without the pointless "chansonneren" he knew to give a special sound to the "song with the guitar". Miel is without doubt the one and only chansonnier Flanders cherishes.
He released a few discs with Cardinal that all have found their way to a listening audience. His latest long-play album became a very big success both on artistic Ónd the sales side.
His song "Soldaat" (soldier) which he wrote together with Louis Verbeeck has won the Provincial Price For Fine Arts of Limburg four years ago
. And richly deserved too !"


Together with Kor van der Goten and Hugo Raspoet, Miel Couls is reckoned to be one of the founding father of "Kleinkunst" in Flanders.

In 1967 Cools founded, together with his principal purveyor of lyrics - Bert Broes, a record company named Kalliope (in the footsteps of his former manager Rocco Granata). As such he was a talentscout for the likes of Luk Saffloer, De Vaganten and Wim De Craene.

In the seventies, criticism with Cools grew in Flanders. He started working in the Netherlands, where he worked for almost 10 years with writers as Ed Leeflang, Ernst van Altena and Willem Wilmink. He also got a small foothold in Germany, with translation of his songs in German (Baure Bavo, Die sieben schwäne ...).

In 1979 he made a comeback in Flanders with "Houden Van". He also started to present his own radio-show ("Er trilt een snaar"). From 1985 he has also started a business as an importer of wine.

His songs are still popular favorites for the youth movement at the yearly campfire, for wedding or funeral ceremonies. His most known songs include "Boer Bavo" (Farmer Bavo), "Houden van" (Loving), "De troubadours", "Er was een tijd" (There was a time) and "De Soldaat" (The soldier). He still performs regularly in Belgium and Holland.

In 1999 even came the news that he was releasing a new album. "Niet Bang Zijn" (Don't be afraid) is the title, and "durf te leven!" (dare to live) is the message of the old bard (64 nowadays) from Hasselt. His hopes are not extremely high, but "I have my audience and that will buy this cd. But inundate Flanders, I don't think so. Sixty-four of course is not sixteen anymore, but I don't want to whine about getting old".

Buy CD's of this artist at proxis

Albums :
- 10 Suyverlycke minneliedekens (Eufoda, 1963)
- Miel Cools (Cardinal, 1965)
- Miel Cools (Kalliope, 1971)
- Miel Cools zing Van Altena (Kalliope, 1973)
- Nachten dat de spin niet spint (Kalliope, 1974)
- Houden van (1979)
- Morgen (Philips, 1983)
- Lodewijk de Beduimelde (Eufoda, 1990)
- Niet Bang Zijn (1999)
Compilations :
- Van Marieke en Boer Bavo (1986)
- Er was een tijd ...het beste van Miel Cools (Eufoda, 1989)
- Verzameld (Kleinkunst Reeks vol. 3, Ariola, 1993)

Websites :
- Tabs for some Miel Cools songs at
- Interview met Miel in 2000 bij KKunst

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


Miel Cools

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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