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Soeur Sourire (translated that would be "Sister Smile", but she became known in the English speaking world as The Singing Nun) is the only Belgian Artist who has succeeded getting to number 1 record on the American Billboard charts (Jacques Brel also managed to get there, but not in his own voice). Not only that, her song "Dominique" was the song that held "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen from getting to number one !

37,6 sec. - 74 Kb.
song: Soeur Sourire
Produced : unknown.
Year : 1963
Record co. : Philips

The recording career of Sister Luc-Gabrielle started when the fellow nuns from her convent at Fichermont wanted her to record a few of her songs to be given away as gifts. Recording Company Philips first had them pay to record some songs, but they soon saw the potential, got her an artist name and pressed the songs on record.


Because of its success throughout Europe, Philips also released the album in America. Only after the song "Dominique" was released as a single, it did get some reaction. The song, which is an ode to the founder of the Domenican order, was written by sister Luc-Gabrielle for her Mother Superior's Saint's Day. This Mother Superior told Newsweek that the song treated St. Dominic "with familiarity and a touch of impertinence".

In 1964 Soeur Sourire even appeared on the Ed Sullivan show from the convent, but only after the Archdiocese convinced the Mother Superior of Sullivan's good intentions.

In 1966, Debbie Reynolds starred in an American movie ("The Singing Nun") which was based upon Sister Luc-Gabrielle's life.

Shortly afterwards, Sister Luc-Gabrielle left the convent and became a secular missionary under her real name, Jeanine Deckers. She commited suicide together with her (female) friend Annie Pescher in March of 1985.

Buy CD's of the Band at Frontstage proxis

Websites :
- The Singing Nun was one of the Swinging Chicks of the Sixties

Material from this bio taken from Fred Bronson "The Billboard book of Number One hits", Guinness, 1992.

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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