Was born in 1937 as Ludwig Neefs. A first attempt in show business as "Lode
Celis" and "Ludwig Könner" flopped at the end of fifties.
It was textwriter Ke Riema (a pseudonym for Marieke Wuyts, see also Will Tura)
who introduced Louis to Jean Kluger, the record boss.
With his low, warm and soothing voice, he often performed cover versions of
American songs, which were adapted into Dutch with lyrics by Phil Van Cauwenbergh.
These include :
- Bobby Goldsboro ("Annelies uit 't Sas van Gent")
- Bobbie Gentrie ("Benjamin" became "My friend Benjamin")
- Kris Kristofferson ("Zondagmiddag Liliane")
- H. Axton ("Evangelina" became "Aan het strand van Oostende")
- Wally Whyton ("Leave them a flower" became "Laat ons een bloem")
- Vanda-Young ("Children" became "Kinderen")
- Tennessee Ernie Ford ("Sixteen tons").
He also was a very active participant in the European Festival and Song contest
circuit : he participated twice for Belgium at Eurosong (he became 4th in 1967
with "Oh oh, ik heb zorgen" and became 7th in 1969 with "Jennifer
Louis Neefs was also actively involved with the show-biz behind the scenes.
At the end of the sixties, he had founded the booking agency "Show Business
Office", together with friend and colleague Rocco Granata.
He was also a sort of spokesperson for Flemish artists and complained many times
about the bad treatment from the BRT the artists were getting.
In 1980 the fatal accident on the ring around Lier, ended the story. He remains
a very known and loved artist, even almost 20 years after his death.
The son of Louis Neefs, Gunther, nowadays has followed the footsteps of his
father and has a very successful musical career. This car salesman has inherited
the dark and low voice of his father and is also making a living by interpreting
songs from other people (Special Request).
In 1998, an album "Face to Face" was released by BMG with Ann
Christy and Louis Neefs on the same CD.
This year on Christmas day, it is 20 years ago that Louis Neefs & his wife
had a terrible car-crash in which the popular 70's crooner found their death.
Just as with that other "tragic death" in Flemish showbizz, Ann
Christy, there are some nice initiatives being deployed to commemorate this
In the case of Louis Neefs, it's his son Gunther who asked a number of Belgian
and Dutch singers to perform a song from the repertoire of his father (surprisingly,
no one chose Jennifer Jennings, his biggest hit). The 12 contributions are now
confined to a CD, "Louis
Neefs, 20 jaar later". Most remarkeable track is a remake
of the song "Laat ons een bloem", because it is a posthumous
duet of the father and son, with the added value of Toots
Thielemans on the harp. Other contributing artists are Rob De Nijs (Annelies
Uit Sas Van Gent), Bart Peeters (Mijn Vriend Benjamin),
René Froger (Oh, Oh, Ik Heb Zorgen), Connie Neefs (M'n Dorp In De Kempen),
Stef Bos (Martine), Jo Lemaire (Wat Een Leven), Paul
Michiels (Aan Het Strand Van Oostende), Raymond Van
Het Groenewoud (Ach Margrietje), Helmut Lotti (Billy The Kid), Mama's Jasje
(Zondagmiddag Lilian) and Voice Male with Gunther Neefs (Sixteen Tons). There'll
be no single from the album as such, but there is currently a video in the making
for "Laat ons een bloem".
Buy CD's of this band at
Hits in Belgium :
- Forever (1960, highest position 16, 1 month)
- Mijn dorpje in de Kempen (1960, high: 20, 1 month)
- Ik lees in je ogen (1963, high : 10, 2 months)
- Sixteen tons (1963, high : 14, 2 months)
- Een gitaar in de nacht (1964, high : 13, 2 months)
- Wat een leven (1966, high : 10, 11 weeks)
- Oh oh, ik heb zorgen (1967, high : 7, 10 weeks)
- Jennifer Jennings (1969, high : 13, 5 weeks)
- Margrietje (1972, high : 4, 8 weeks)
- Susa Nina (1982, high : 25, 1 week)
- de Eurovisie Jukebox heeft video's van Louis Neefs's deelname aan Eurosong in
(oh,oh, ik heb zorgen) en 1969
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