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George Baker


1944 - current


'palingpop', Gouden Harp, pop


Officiële website


George Baker Selection

George Baker

With the first line-up of his George Baker Selection Hans Bouwens scores a huge hit with the classic Little Green Bag. He hits the charts once again with another line-up of his band several years later when he releases the middle-of-the-road song Paloma Blanca. After 1977 Bouwens/Baker also starts a ...
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Hans Bouwens   blokfluit, gitaar, mandoline, orgel, piano, zang

Former members

Lydia Bont   zang
Martin Schoen   basgitaar
Cor Veerman   basgitaar
Nelleke   zang
Eric Bardoen   saxofoon
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Mentioned in the biography of

1947   Dick Bakker
1948   Ernö Olah
1968   The Cats
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Biography George Baker

With the first line-up of his George Baker Selection Hans Bouwens scores a huge hit with the classic Little Green Bag. He hits the charts once again with another line-up of his band several years later when he releases the middle-of-the-road song Paloma Blanca. After 1977 Bouwens/Baker also starts a solo career. Worldwide he sells over 20 million records and receives 25 golden records.


George Baker Johannes (Hans) Bouwens, formerly with the Wildcats, forms the group Soul Convention in 1967. In 1969 the name of the band is changed into the George Baker Selection. Besides Bouwens (vocals, guitar, recorder, organ, piano, mandolin) the band consists of Eric Bardoen (sax), Job Netten (guitar), Henk Kramer (sax), Ton Vredenburg (drums), Jan Visser (bass) and Jacques Greuter (vocals, organ, piano, flute). The band records, at its own cost, the track Little Green Bag, which becomes a Top 10 hit in The Netherlands and reaches number three in the Belgium charts. In the US, which is experiencing an actual Dutch invasion with Shocking Blue and Tee-Set, Little Green Bag also enters the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles.

Shocking Blue Tee-set


The band's line-up undergoes major changes. The George Baker Selection now consists of Hans Bouwens, Jan Visser (bass), Jan Hop (drums), Jacques Greuter and George Thé (vocals, guitar, bass). Bouwens and Visser are awarded the Zilveren ('Silver') Harp music award this year. The next singles, Dear Ann and Nathalie, are less successful and have more in common with the Dutch 'paling sound' and bands like the Cats, than with Little Green Bag. Dear Ann, however, does reach number 93 in the US charts and even manages to become gold in Belgium. In June the album Little Green Bag comes out and by the end of the year the Selection releases its second album Love In The World and tours Surinam and the Dutch Antilles.

The Cats


In March Jan Visser is replaced by Cor Veerman from the band Left Side. Between 1971 and 1973 Visser and former members of the Motions record three singles under the name Fisher & Friends. One of the singles is called Island Of Hope. Cor Veerman also records three singles under the name Alan Decker. George Thé records the solo singles All Over Now. The band also tours Italy.

Alan Decker Fisher & Friends The Motions


The singles Holy Day and I'm On My Way are hits and the band tours The Netherlands, Belgium and West Germany.

George Thé


The single Baby Blue hits the number 1 spot in South Africa, Belgium and New Zealand. The single isn't released in the Netherlands until 1974. The greatest hits albums Greatest Hits 1 and 2 become gold.


Bassist Martin Schoen (ex-Rob Hoeke) replaces Cor Veerman. With the arrival of singer Lida Bond the band's sound now holds the middle between country and western and Dutch folk tunes. The songs Sing A Song Of Love and Morning Sky both reach the number one position in the Dutch charts. The band's line-up now consists of Hans Bouwens (vocals/guitar), George Thé, Jan Hop, Jacques Greuter, Martin Schoen and Lida Bond. Bond recorded her first single in 1961 and between 1966 and 1969 she was in the band the Q-Tips with Jan Keijzer and Piet Keijzer, who would later join BZN and the Cats respectively. The album Hot Baker becomes gold and also the double LP 5 Jaar Hits ('5 Years Of Hits') is very successful.

The Virginian Creeper


In March the single Paloma Blanca comes out and shoots to the number one spot in the following countries: The Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, West Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Poland and Turkey. It reaches number eleven in the UK (despite a Jonathan King cover that made it to number five) and number 26 in the US. In the Ádult Contemporary charts the single even reaches the first place. In Germany the single manages to stay on top of the charts for fourteen weeks. Worldwide 3½ million copies are sold and the song is covered by many other artists. 125 versions are said to exist. A parody by the Wurzels reaches second place in the UK charts in 1976. In the Netherlands the single is awarded the Exportprijs ('Export Award'). Originally the song was meant to become an instrumental B-side. Bouwens wrote the melody during some spare time in the studio. Later, when he discovered people were very enthusiastic about it, he wrote the lyrics. The album Paloma Blanca becomes gold and the single Morning Sky is also a chart topper. Later in the year the album A Song For You is released.


The band receives a Gouden ('Golden') Harp and a Bronze Lion from Radio Luxembourg and also records a German-language album: So Lang Die Sonne Scheint ('As Long As The Sun Shines').


Hans Bouwens goes solo although his musical style does not differ very much from the George Baker Selection. The Selection continues recording with vocalists Nathalie More and Willy Delano, but without much success. Bouwens scores a hit with the single Rosita, which makes it to number seven of the Dutch charts. Beautiful Rose reaches number two in the Belgium charts.


Under the name Nelleke singer Nelleke Brzoskowsky releases the single Na Na/Everyday I Want You To Be Mine. Both tracks have been written by Hans Bouwens.



The George Baker Selection re-forms. Its current line-up consists of Nelleke Brzoskowsky, George Thé, Jan Hop, Elly Bloothoofd (vocals, bass), and Pieter Goeman (organ, piano). Their biggest hit is Santa Lucia By Night which reaches number seven in 1985.


For the album Dreamboat the George Baker Selection re-records its greatest hits.


Hans Bouwens is a successful songwriter. Under the name Ricardo he writes songs for artists like BZN Sweet Silver Annie, Rolling Around The Bend), the Shoes (Hello My Love), Andy Star (Canta Libre, Fiesta, Say What You Mean), Next One (To All My Friends) and Corry Konings (Cherie, Auf Wiedersehen).

Andy Star & Stripes BZN Corry Konings Next One The Shoes


Film director Quentin Tarrantino uses Little Green Bag in his film Reservoir Dogs and the song becomes an international cult hit. In Japan the song is used in a commercial for a whisky brand.


Interest in Little Green Bag continues and the single is re-released in early 1999. It again tops the charts. The song is also covered by Tom Jones for his Reload album and is used by Dutch beer brand Heineken for a new commercial. This year also sees the release of a double album of the George Baker Selection. German singer Stefan Raab and his Una Paloma Blanca Boys reach the number one spot in all German-speaking countries with their version of Paloma Blanca.

Anny Schilder Piet Veerman


Bouwens, Piet Veerman and Annie Schilder perform together with the Volendam Concert. The single Reasons To Believe and the album Flashback are released.

Anny Schilder Piet Veerman


Bouwens plays a role in a product placement commercial of beer brand Bavaria. He can also be heard on the single I Wanna Be A One Day Fly by One Day Fly.

One Day Fly


The German-language album Die Goldenen Stimmen (The Golden Voices) is a project by George Baker, Jantje Smit and Piet Veerman.

Jan Smit Piet Veerman


April sees the release of a box containing three CD's and one DVD, which tell the history of 25 years George Baker (Selection).


In April George Baker and Frans Bauer appear at the Grosse Schlagerparade 2004 at German public TV stations NDR 1. In Australia Una Paloma Blanca is used in an TV commercial by Toyota. It prompts the local EMI affiliate to release a Greatest Hits album for Australia. At his 35th career anniversary party in Rotterdam Baker receives a Gretsch White Falcon guitar.


Producers Zki & Dobre create a dance version of Una Paloma Blanca. It becomes the theme song of the OST to Vet Hard (a remake of Old Men In New Cars), directed by Tom Oliehoek, who also takes care of the Paloma video. Vet Hard is premiered in February. George Baker performs in December with the Voices of Peter Claver, the gospel choir from New Orleans that suffered severely from hurricane Katrina.

Zki & Dobre


George Baker writes the song Rosa Blanca for the album Mijn Naam Is (My Name Is)… Jannes by singer Jannes.

BZN Jannes


The song Una Paloma Blanca is used immediately after a crucial scene in the movie The Kite Runner, after the book by Khaled Hosseini. The singer kicks off a theatre tour called 40 Years Greatest Hits in January. A show on 21 March is recorded for release on DVD.


In June, during the launch of the website Top40.nl, George Baker receives the Top 40 Decennium Award for being the most successful Dutch artists in the charts in the 1970's. On 13 November, the album Lonely Boy comes out, a CD with twelve new songs of which eleven are written by George Baker. The singer also produced and arranged the album.


Listeners of Traffic Radio select Little Green Bag as the best song to listen to in a traffic jam. George Baker receives the award in January during the National Traffic Jam Award 2009. On 7 February he is one of the jury members for the National Songfestival Contest.

Discography George Baker

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos George Baker

Audio/Video George Baker

Video George Baker

Het begin
Het begin
Radio Veronica
Radio Veronica
Middle of the road
Middle of the road
2 evergreens, 24 hits
2 evergreens, 24 hits
Little Green Bag
Little Green Bag
Top 10 hit in Amerika
Top 10 hit in Amerika
Una Paloma Blanca
Una Paloma Blanca
Complete Interview
Complete Interview
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