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Uit de fotocollectie van Beeld en Geluid: Peter Koelewijn bij Ted de Braak


29-12-1940 - current


componist, gitaar, lyricist, pop, producer, producers, rock 'n' roll, zang


Officiële website


Bart Jansen, Gompie, Pax Mundi, Peter en zijn Rockets, You & Me, Zoef Zoef & de Bevers

Peter Koelewijn

Founding father of the Dutch (-language) rock & roll. Also a successful producer and songwriter for other artists.
Full biography


componist, gitaar, lyricist, producer, zang

Former members

Peter van der Voort   drums
Klaus Buchholz   saxofoon
Frans Meijer   drums
Nol Passon   achtergrondzang, basgitaar
Ad Damen   achtergrondzang, gitaar
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Mentioned in the biography of

1947   Will Hoebee
1958   Armand
1960   Tielman Brothers
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Concerts & Festivals

by Podiuminfo / Festivalinfo

12/8/23, Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam
12/9/23, Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam

Biography Peter Koelewijn

Founding father of the Dutch (-language) rock & roll. Also a successful producer and songwriter for other artists.

Played in

4PK   gitaar, zang
Gompie   lyricist, zang
Ronnie & De Ronnies   componist, producer


Peter Koelewijn is born on 29 December as the son of a fishmonger in the southern city of Eindhoven.


Peter gets his first guitar.


Peter starts writing his first songs, which are still in English language. He starts his first band at secondary school with guitarists Karel Jansen and Roelof Egmond and singer Anneke Grönloh.


Harry van Hoof, who will later become a famous conductor, and drummer Peter van der Voort, join the band. Singer Anneke Grönloh quits.

Anneke Grönloh Harry van Hoof


The band, now called Peter And His Rockets, is joined by sax player Klaus Buchholz and bassist Karel Janssen. In December the band records Kom Van Dat Dak Af ('Come Off Of That Roof') for record company Bovema. The combination of American rock & roll and Dutch lyrics is unheard of at the time.


In May Kom Van Dat Dak Af is a mega success in both the Netherlands and Belgium. Koelewijn, who has moved on to grammar school, is told by his parents that he has to finish his school. Peter and his Rockets sign to Philips. The singles Laat Me Los ('Let Me Go') and Marijke are also hits, although they are less successful than Kom Van Dat Dak Af.


Koelewijn graduates and starts a job as an apprentice journalist. His musical career is put on a hold, partly because of the successes of the Beatles.


When his job is at risk and he is offered a job as producer with Philips Koelewijn decides to go for a career in music.


As a producer Koelewijn scores hits with Q65's You're The Victor and the combination Armand/Koelewijn is also successful. Freddy Haayen and Willem van Kooten ask Koelewijn to become producer with production company Red Bullet. He agrees and starts working with artists such as Bonnie St. Claire, Nico Haak and footballer Johan Cruyff. He also releases four singles with the band 4PK, a split off of the Rockets, which are not very successful.

4PK Armand Bonnie St. Claire Nico Haak Q65


Peter decides to break up the Rockets because of a lack of success. As a producer he is doing much better and scores one hit after another.


Peter Koelewijn records the single Waarom Zei Je Niets ('Why Didn't You Say Anything?') under the name De Triangels.


Under the name Zoef Zoef & de Bevers Peter Koelewijn releases the single Loekie Loekie. Vocals are by producer Freddy Haayen.


Koelewijn returns to Philips/Phonogram both as producer and a solo artist. His successes include productions for Bonnie St. Claire (I Won't Stand Between Them, Clap Your Hands). As Hal Dorado Koelewijn and arranger Harry van Hoof release two instrumental albums. Hal Dorado releases only two singles: The Bull And I (1970) and 240024 (1974). The latter song is also used as a tune for music station Radio Veronica.

Bonnie St. Claire Harry van Hoof Jaap Eggermont


Kom Van Dat Dak Af is re-released and again becomes a big hit. Peter re-forms his Rockets and goes on tour again. The line-up of the band includes Harry van Hoof (piano), Jan & Hans Hollestelle (bass & guitar), Bertus Borgers (sax), Hans Vermeulen (guitar) and Louis Debij (drums). Herman van Keeken scores a big hit with Pappie Loop Toch Niet Zo Snel. The song (original title: Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast) is translated into Dutch by Koelewijn.

Herman van Keeken


Uit de fotocollectie van Beeld en Geluid: Peter Koelewijn en zijn rockets bij Toppop Koelewijn and singer Polle Eduard record a single under the name Bart Jansen. Nassibal reaches number 12 in the charts. Serafina, Bart Jansen's second single, is less successful. Having been successful as a producer for about 10 years, Koelewijn picks up his career as a recording artist again. He scores hits with Mij Oh Mij, Angeline, Robbie and Veronica Sorry.


Peter and his Rockets again break up and Koelewijn continues his work as producer.


Koelewijn, producer Will Hoebee, Janus Toethuis (promotion), secretary Tineke Kusters and Josef Schamp form production company Born Free, which represents artists such as Rob de Nijs, Saskia & Serge, Nico Haak, Don Mercedes and Bonnie St. Claire. The company is however only short-lived. The solo album Het beste in mij is niet goed genoeg voor jou ('The Best In Me Is Not Good Enough For You'). The single Je Wordt Ouder Papa ('You're Getting Older Daddy') is a hit and Koelewijn receives both an Edison music award and Gouden ('Golden') Harp music award.


Koelewijn is successful as a producer for Dutch girl group Babe. His successful partnership with Nico Haak, however, comes to an end. The two work together one more time in 1982 and score a hit with the song Niet Geschoten Is Altijd Mis ('Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained').

Babe Polle Eduard


Again a successful period in Koelewijn's career. He forms a new line-up of the Rockets with musicians from the band Bunny and releases the live album Peter Live. The live version of Kom Van Dat Dak Af and Klap Maar In Je Handen ('Clap Your Hands') are smash hits. Under the name Sterren Voor Vrede ('Stars For Peace') Koelewijn and other Dutch artists such as Wilma, Don Mercedes and Jacques Herb record a single called Van Washington Naar Moskou ('From Washington To Moscow'). The song is meant to be a call for peace but is not picked up by the Dutch radio stations.

Andres Don Mercedes Jacques Herb Wilma


The single Zolang De Motor Loopt ('As Long As The Motor Is Running') is another success for Koelewijn.


Peter and his Rockets score two big hits with De Tijger Is Los ('The Tiger Is Loose') and Een Hete Zomer 'A Hot Summer').

Music Hall


The record Diep Water ('Deep water') is not a success. After the single Sprong In Het Duister ('Leap In The Dark') has left the charts a less successful period begins.


Peter Koelewijn writes three songs for the national preliminaries of the Eurovision Songcontest in Brussels: Big Ben (of Nôtre Dame), Buiten Jou ('Outside You') and Rechtop In De Wind ('Straight Up In The Wind'). The latter one wins and goes on to Brussels.


Marga Bult reaches fifth place at the Eurovision Songcontest with Rechtop In De Wind. As a producer Koelewijn also works with artists like Grant & Forsyth and Frank & Mirella, but he is not very successful. He also presents a morning radio programme with KRO radio.

Frank en Mirella Grant & Forsyth Marga Bult


Uit de fotocollectie van Beeld en Geluid: Peter Koelewijn bij Ted de Braak Another version of the indestructible Kom Van Dat Dak Af is released, this time featuring Dutch-language MC Miker G & DJ Sven (Lucien Witteveen and Sven van Veen). For the fourth time in Koelewijn's career, the song enters the charts. He also writes and produces the single My Roof Is Rainproof for the Dutch film Jan Rap en zijn Maat.

MC Miker G


Peter Koelewijn and Ferdi Lancee (pseudonym: C. Bee) record the single Allemaal naar voren! ('t Bestuur ook!) ('Everybody forward! (Including The Management)') for the world championships foorball in Italy under the name Football Dance Company. Koelewijn also produces country albums for English duo Grant & Forsyth.

Grant & Forsyth


The first single to be released on Koelewijn's label Coolwine Music Laat Je Handen Wapperen ('Roll Your Sleeves Up') by Idem Dito, a trio that consists of Karin Vlasblom (ex-Frizzle Sizzle), Anita v/d Velde and Edwin Groeneveld, the brother of Marga Bult.

Frizzle Sizzle


Peter Koelewijn comes into contact with Belgian singer Helmut Lotti with whom he works on the song I Love You Too.


Peter Koelewijn is involved in the recording of Het Album ('The Album') a CD with songs performed by actors of a popualar Dutch soap series. He writes the songs Utopia and Een Minuut Nog Voor Een Leven Lang ('One Minute More For An Entire Life'). Koelewijn also starts working with the Belgian singer/presenter Bart Kaëll. Under the pseudonym Gompie scores one of his biggest hits with the song Who The F...Is Alice, a cover version of Smokie's Living Next Door To Alice. Koelewijn and Lotti record an album with arrangements of classical and semi-classical tunes which is a big success. Also the albums Helmut Lotti Goes Classic II (1996), Helmut Lotti Goes Classic II (1997) and Helmut Lotti Goes Classic Final Edition (1998) top the charts.



Peter Koelewijn and arranger Piet Souer go to Hollywood to record English-language versions of Dutch-language songs with Engelbert Humperdinck. In April Koelewijn announces that he will stop performing at the end of the year simply because he 'does not enjoy it anymore'.


Koelewijn and Belgian singer Helmut Lotti record South African songs for Lotti's album Out Of Africa.


Latino Classics is another success for Helmut Lotti.


New Country Love Songs is the result of the renewed cooperation between Peter Koelewijn and Grant & Forsyth. Helmut Lotti's Latino Love Songs is released on both CD and DVD.

Grant & Forsyth


Peter Koelewijn and his Rockets kick off a reunion tour of seven shows.


In May, June and July Helmut Lotti's Pop Classics In Symphony is recorded in the Dutch Fendal Sound Studios. In the autumn the official and very extensive reference work www.peterkoelewijn.nl goes online.


Peter Koelewijn stars in the cartoon series My Dad The Rockstar that airs on Nickelodeon every Friday night. Koelewijn also works on a new solo album.


Cartoonist Gerrit de Jager creates a cartoon version of Kom Van Dat Dak Af ('Get Off That Roof'). The cartoon is part of Strips ('Cartoons') In Stereo, a book/CD consisting of 14 'cartoonised' Dutch language pop songs. The book is presented in Paradiso during the annual Book Week in March.


During the 10th Gala of the Dutch Song, Peter Koelewijn receives the Radio 2 Broadcast Award.


During the season 2008-2009 Peter Koelewijn's music features in Pater Moeskroen's theatre programme. As part of the tour the producer and the band together release the single Het Zit Er Niet In Dat Ik Oud Word (There's Not Much Of A Chance I Will Grow Old).

Pater Moeskroen


For the first time in 25 years, Peter Koelewijn releases a new album with only new songs. Koelewijn works for more than 18 months on Een Gelukkig Man (A Happy Man). The album features a basic line up with guitar, bass, drums, piano and organ, and sometimes a saxophone and violin.

Discography Peter Koelewijn

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 Peter Koelewijn

Audio/Video Peter Koelewijn

Video Peter Koelewijn

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