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Female singer who was the original singer of the world hit "Eviva España".


"Helicopter U.S.Navy 66"
59 sec. - 116 Kb.
song : Mayer, Buschor,
Mie Rakel
Produced : Basart
Year : 1970
Record co. : Basart

"Eviva Espana"
39 sec. - 78 Kb.
song : Caerts, Rozenstraten
Productie :A. Lelievre
Year : 1971
Record co. : Basart

"Tikke Takke Tango"
59 sec. - 116 Kb.
song : H.Silver, R.Pauwels
Year : 1978
Record co. : Monopole


As so many of the "interpreters of the popular song" of the late sixties and early 70's in Flanders, the step-up towards the big (tv) audience came for Samantha (born as Christiane Bervoets in Borgerhout in 1948) with the "song contest" Canzonissima, in which she participated (with Rita Deneve) in 1967. She also participated in other contest such as the Knokke Cup.

Her breaktrough came in 1970, with the song "Helicopter U.S. Navy 66", a translation of a song written by the duo Henry Mayer & Georg Bushor. Of the song, very much in line with the spirit of those days, over 25.000 copies were sold. But the success of this and other songs of her was soon overshadowed by the huge hit she had with "Eviva España".


This song - one of the best-known that Belgium has ever produced, its fame only rivalled by Rocco Granata's "Marina", Technotronic's "Pump up the jam", Soeur Sourire's "Dominique" or Plastic Bertrand's "ça plane pour moi" - was written by Leo Caerts, on lyrics by Leo Roozenstraten. Leo Caerts, who was a band conductor and songwriter for Will Tura and others, had written over 400 songs before that, and hasn't written one ever since. "A success of that size make you paralyzed. When the money starts coming in like that, it takes away all the urge to keep on going". Later on, Leo Caerts would produce the first two albums of punk-band The Kids, and open a succesfull music instruments-shop in Leuven. His son - Leo Caerts Jr. - is also active in the belgian music bizz, playing the piano for a number of bands.

Today, over 40 million copies of the song by different performers have been sold already, and the song has become somewhat of a traditional. The earliest version of the song is that of Samantha, but unluckily for her, this was not the version that became a hit in all countries. In Belgium, the song became the second best-selling song of the year in her version, finishing just behind the "Un canto a Galicia" by Julio Iglesias. But in Holland and Germany for instance, the hit-version was that of Imca Marina, and in England and Scandinavia it was Swedish singer Sylvia who got the bucks with her "Y viva España". A version by James Last has also been extremily successful.


The version by Samantha (in a few different languages) was sold at about 450,000 copies. Still, she looks back on that period in her career with great satisfaction. As she told Manu Adriaens "I was welcomed in Spain like a queen. We did television shows in Madrid and Barcelona. Everyone was trying to get a hold of me. I was lucky to have a good manager, as a had to do interviews in Spanish and had only learned that language phonetically. For all the rest, my manager-ventriloquist helped me out. ... I did not get a lot of money out of that adventure, unlike Leo Caerts & Leo Rozenstraten, who have earned a small villa with it. But I was being lived at that time. No one ever asked me anyting. And I didn't have the business-sense to make more out of it".

Although Samantha has kept on singing ever since, the rest of her production didn't match up to this. In 1974, she had a third big (local) hit with "Ik hou van jou" (3 weeks n°1 in the Flemish chart). Her career somehow slipped into oblivion in the late seventies, but she made small comebacks in 1988 with "Niet met mij" and a new version of "Eviva España"

Koop CD's van deze zangeres bij proxis

Releases :
- De Zwaluw (S, 1967)
- Vakantiedroom (S, 1969)
- Net als een jongen (S, 1969)
- Helicopter U.S. Navy 66 (S, 1970)
- Arizona Man (S, 1970)
- Hey, Mr. Caddilac (S, 1971)
- Eviva España (S, Basart, 1971)
- Feest by Don José (S, 1972)
- Yamaho, Yahmahé (S, 1972)
- Oh Suzanna (S, 1973)
- Nachten van Parijs (S, 1973)
- Ibiza (S, 1974)
- Ik hou van jou (S, 1974)
- Ik verlang naar jou (S, 1975)
- Casino de Paris (S, 1975)
- Lieve blauwe zwaluw (S, 1975)
- Eviva Samantha (LP, 197?)
- Was ik maar in spanje geboren (S, 1976)
- Enrico (S, 1977)
- Tikke-takke tango (S, Monopole, 1978)
- In España (S, 1982)
- Domenico (S, 1983)
- Vanavond (S, 1985)
- Niet met mij (S, 1988)
- Zon en amore (S, 1989)
- Eviva España - new version (S, 1989)
- Het beste van Samantha (CD, 199?)

Websites :
- The german lyrics to Eviva Espana, with midi-file. "Die Sonne scheint bei Tag und Nacht, Eviva Espana", as sung by Imca Marina.
- the English lyrics of this evergreen "Oh, this year I'm off to sunny Spain, eviva Espana", as sung by Sylvia
- and the Spanish lyrics to Y viva España "Por eso se oye este refrán, Que viva España"
- the music store of Leo Caerts

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



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