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John Terra

Flemish "charm singer" from the seventies who later knew how to lift himself into one of the more successful producers of talent in the showbizz-circles.


"De dag dat 't zonlicht niet meer scheen"
88,3 sec. - 173 Kb.
song : N. Daum, W. Schüler, Johnny Hoes
Producer : Harry Silver
Year : 1981
Record co. : Gnome Records


Johnny Terwingen, as he was born in Hasselt/Maasmechelen in 1951, began his musical career in the orchestra of his uncle "The Ramblers". There he got noticed by manager Robert Bylois (manager of Adamo, Ann Christy ...). The artist name Terra was found by pulling together the first parts of the family names of his parents (Terwingen and Ramaekers). Bylois has his pupil have a go at the profitable French market ("Adieu", "Fille de mes rêves"), but he didn't cause much of an upset there. After which he switched to translations of international songs and his career was well on the way.


All through the seventies he had a string of hits in the Flemish top 10 (some also got through in the Belgian top 30), culminating in "Iemand heeft je pijn gedaan" (somebody has hurt you) and "Is er een ander ?" (Is there someone else) from 1973, when he was cooperating with producer Jean Kluger and EMI. After this he made a step to Philips and a few hits in 1976 ("Verliefd voor de eerste keer" (in love for the first time), "Als je de taal van de liefde verstaat" (if you speak the language of love)). After these came to - what seemed to be - a dead end.

In 1981 though, he made a surprising comeback with his participation in the Baccarabeker (a contest in which teams of artists from the five Flemish provinces compete with one another) and the single "De dag dat het zonlicht niet meer scheen" (The day the sun stopped shining - a German schlager that was translated by Dutch hitwonder Johnny Hoes). This song became a huge hit (7 weeks on n°1 in the Top 10), but also got him another sort of notoriety : the group Arbeid Adelt! made a sort of a punk-parody on this single "De dag dat het zonlicht ..."(the lyrics changed "de dag, de dag, dat het zonlicht, zonlicht niet meer scheen, dat was de dag de dag dat John, John met mijn vriend verdween"). The - whether or not simulated - anger of the Flemish singer caused a mini-riot.


From the end of the eighties onwards, John Terra slowly made the headlines less & less because of his musical performances (in 1996 he even said goodbye to the microphone), but because of his good nose for "new talent" that turned into a fine business.
As the captain for the team from Limburg for the Baccara-cup, he carries the historic responsability of discovering people such as Dana Winner, Patrick Onzia, Erik Goossens (Leopold 3), Kim 'Kay, Lisa Del Bo (he co-wrote "Liefde is een kaartspel", the 1996 entry to Eurosong for her) and Vanessa Chinitor (the entry to Eurosong in 1999). He also seems to have an interesting sort of closet that is filled with material that has hitpotential (for instance the european dance hit "Lilali"has been laying there for a year, and also the song "Like The Wind"by Emma Philippa for Vanassa Chinitor had been lying there for three years.Who knows what next will be creeping out of there ???).

Biggest hits (year & position between brackets)
- Iemand heeft je pijn gedaan (1973, 6)
- Is er een ander (1973, 3)
- Nooit of nooit (1974, 16)
- A la espagnla (1974, 13)
- Verliefd voor de eerste keer (1976, 21)
- De dag dat het zonlicht niet meer scheen (1981, 12)
- Ik weet niet waarom (1982, 28)

Buy CD's of this band at proxis

Albums :
- John Terra (EMI, 1970)
- John Terra (EMI, 1973)
- John Terra (Philips, 1975)
- John Terra (Gnome, 1981)
- Samenblijven (??, 1991)

Websites :
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John Terra

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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