Rob de Nijs Bookmark and Share


26 December 1942

Singer Rob de Nijs was born has the son of a driveschool owner. In 1962 (aged 19) he entered a talentshow with his band Rob de Nijs & The Lords. They won first prize which was a record contract. The first singles 'De liefste die ik ken' ('The sweetest I know') and 'Jenny' failed but with the third single things turned for the better. The song 'Ritme van de regen' ('The rhythm of the rain') 1963 sold almost 100.000 copies and launched Rob and his band in the middle of the teeniebop genre popular at the time. In november 1965 De Nijs and The Lords split up. Rob de Nijs put his singing carreer on hold started to work at Circus Boltini. In july 1968 he married Elly Hesseling, the marriage lasted untill1981. At the end of 1969 de Nijs got a new break playing the part of Bello Billy Biggelaar in the children’s show 'Oebele'. This delivered him the part of Bertram Bierenbroodspot in the highly popular childrens tv-series 'Kunt u mij de weg naar Hamelen vertellen, mijnheer?' ('Do you know the way to Hamelen?') in 1971. He stayed in the show until it’s end in 1976.

Besides the TV shows de Nijs also came in contact with songwriter Lennaert Nijgh (known for several sixties hits with singer songwriter Boudewijn de Groot). In 1970 Nijgh and De Groot decided to write some songs for de Nijs to gave his career a new boost. In may 1973 the first single of this cooperation entered de top 40 'Jan Klaassen de trompetter' followed in september by 'Zuster Ursula'. But the biggest hit (and one of his popular songs up to date) turned out to be the song about 'Malle Babbe'. A song about the sad life of a prostitute. After the albums 'In de uren van de middag' and 'Kijken hoe het morgen wordt' the cooperation stops although Nijgh keeps writing irreguarly for de Nijs.

In 1976 he is voted most popular Dutch singer by the NIPO followed by teenage magazine de Hitkrant in 1980. 1980 is also the year he meets songwriter Belinda Meuldijk who turn out to be his most faithfull songwriter and his muse. In 1984 he marries Meuldijk. The duo produces two major hits for the Nijs, 'Alles wat ademt' ('Everything that breathes') in 1985 and 'Banger hart' ('A more frightened heart') in 1996.

In 2001 he is honoured with the Radio 2 life time achievement award. Several Dutch artist like Boudewijn de Groot, Hans Vermeulen, Frédérique Spigt and Skik pay tribute to de Nijs. In 2005 de Nijs divorces Meuldijk although she keeps writing songs for him. In may 2007 de Nijs records with French singer Julien Clerc for his new album 'Chansons'. An album entirely sung in French. In 2010 he finally returns to his more original form with the album 'Eindelijk vrij' (which may be hinting to the divorce with Meuldijk) made together with Daniel Loheus. The album features songs written by Loheus, Huub van der Lubbe (De Dijk) and others and was recorded in Louisiana (US).

The singer remains active until 2019. During a show he suddenly falls off stage. Soon after he announces that he will stop his career because he is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In 2020 a farewell show will be held in Amsterdam.

On the web:

- Robs website: http://www.robdenijs.nl

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Peter Maffay (Germany)

What do we think:

DB: Rob is a great singer but hardly writes his own material. Luckily he has been picked up by some of Hollands best songwriters like Boudewijn de Groot en Lennaert Nijgh. His eighties and nineties material, mostly written by Belinda Meuldijk, doesn't have an overall appeal to me but then again he had some big hits with some of them. And he consequently sings all his music in Dutch, even when it was not considered cool. You could say that Rob is one of the few steady factors Dutch languaged pop has had. He never lost his idea of being a rocker though, which is why he still walked around in tight leather pants at the end of the nineties. Somebody should have told him not to. Luckily the pants can't be heard on his albums.

PR: As my mother had an immense dislike for Rob, I never really listened to his music when I was young (and Rob's songs were very popular). It is only since recently that I started to listen to his records and came to appreciate this typical Dutch singer. Still I am not particularly fond of his image and posing, but I have to admit that he has a great voice and knows his ways with the songs written fro him. And some of his songs are real Dutch classics and part of the collective Dutch musical vocabluary. Wearth discovering if you are interested in getting introduced to typical Dutch pop music.


♪♪♪ - Dit Is Rob de Nijs - 1964

♪♪♪♪♪ - In de uren van de middag - 1973

♪♪♪- Kijken hoe het morgen wordt - 1975

♪♪♪♪♪ - Tussen zomer en winter  - 1977

♪♪♪ - Met je ogen dicht - 1980

♪♪♪ - De regen voorbij - 1981

♪♪ - Springlevend - 1982

♪♪♪ - Springlevend 62 - 82 (live) - 1982

♪♪♪ - Roman - 1983

♪♪♪ - Pur sang - 1985

♪♪ - Hartslag - 1991

♪♪♪- Eindelijk vrij - 2010

Further listening:

Rob En Trea (with Trea Dobbs) - 1965; De regen voorbij - 1981; Rock and romance - 1986; Vrije val - 1986; Zilver - 1987; De reiziger - 1989; Tussen jou en mij - 1993; Iets van een wonder - 1994; De band, de zanger en het meisje - 1996; Over leven (en dansen) - 1997; Ballades - 1999; Tijdloos - 1999; Engelen uitgezonderd - 2001; Vanaf vandaag - 2004; Licht - 2005; Chansons - 2008
♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


  EUROPOPMUSIC - Netherlands