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Willy Alberti


14-10-1926 - 18-02-1985


Dutch-language, levenslied, zang


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Willy Alberti

Willy Alberti

One of the greatest ambassadors the Dutch (Amsterdam) tear-jerkers. He became popular in the Netherlands with his interpretations of popular Italian opera's and has a hit in the US with Marina.
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Mentioned in the biography of

1924   Johnny Jordaan
1928   Harry Mooten
1936   Cor Steyn
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Biography Willy Alberti

One of the greatest ambassadors the Dutch (Amsterdam) tear-jerkers. He became popular in the Netherlands with his interpretations of popular Italian opera's and has a hit in the US with Marina.

Played in

De Straatzangers   zang

1926 - 1940

Carel Verbrugge is born in Amsterdam on October 14 into a musical family: his father earns a living as a 'singing waiter' and the young Carel himself can often be found performing on streetcorners with his cousin Jantje van Musscher, who will later become famous as Johnny Jordaan. Shortly before the Second World War he gets a role in the musical Rose Marie.

Johnny Jordaan


Willy Alberti records his first record, Alleen Is Maar Alleen ('Alone Is Still Alone'). He is accompanied by organ player Cor Steyn.

Cor Steyn


Willy marries Ria Kuiper and their daughter Willeke is born.

Willeke Alberti


Willy does not know how to deal with the US-like repertoire that is popular shortly before and immediately after the liberation. He makes a living by performing with the popular theatre and the light opera.


Willy Alberti focuses on the, at the time, popular Italian songs. It earns him the nick name 'Tenore Napolitano'. Alberti makes his debut on the radio show De Bonte Dinsdagavondtrein ('The Motley Tuesday Night Train'). He scores his first hits: Ik Hou Van Jou Mooi Amsterdam ('I Love You Beautiful Amsterdam') Een Wilde Orchidee ('A Wild Orchid') (both written by his neighbour Willy Rex), Ik Zing Dit Lied Voor Jou Alleen ('I Sing This Song Only For You') and Veel Mooier Dan Het Mooiste Schilderij ('More Beautiful Than The Most Beautiful Painting').


Alberti scores a hit with the song Droomland ('Dreamland'), a duet with Ans Heidendaal.

Ans Heidendaal


Alberti also sings Dutch-language tear-jerkers as part of the duo De Straatzangers, which he has formed with Max van Praag. Initially, they regard their cooperation as a joke and they try to stay anonymous. The radio stations aren't very interested in this kind of music, but the fans love it. Vergeet Mij Niet ('Don't Forget Me'), Een Zeemanshart ('A Sailor's Heart'), Op Een Zeemansgraf ('On A Sailor's Grave') and Aan De Maas ('Along The Meuse') are big hits.

De Straatzangers Max van Praag


Willy Alberti's popularity is increasing. He scores hits with Ci-Ciu-Ci, Mijn Sprookjesboek ('My Fairy-Tale Book') and Vivere. He gets his repertoire mainly from the annual song festival in San Remo. He records his own versions of songs that are successful there.


Willy Alberti scores a big hit with Al Martino's songfestival success, Volare. Also Come Prima is successful. Alberti makes his first TV appearance in the TV show Dorus.


Alberti's popularity reaches a high point with the number one hits Piove and Marina. With his version of Marina he reaches number 42 on the Billboard charts. He goes on a successful trip to the US and performs in New York, but he gets homesick and breaks off the remainder of the tour.


Willy Alberti receives an Edison music award. Throughout the '60s he often works with his daughter Willeke Alberti. Willy & Willeke release a large number of singles and LP's. Willy also performs at several song festivals, including those of Venice and Knokke.

Willeke Alberti


Willy Alberti Alberti scores a big hit with Quando Quando Quando. He also plays the role of pub owner in the film Rififi In Amsterdam.


Willy & Willeke record several episodes of the popular TV show called Zaterdagavond met Willy & Willeke ('Saturday Night With Willy & Willeke').

Willeke Alberti


Besides Willeke, Willy has another musical child: son Tony Alberti (real name: Tonny Verbrugge), who is in a band called Shrimps.


Willy & Willeke score a big hit with Dat Afgezaagde Zinnetje ('That Boring Old Line').

Willeke Alberti


Willy Alberti Willy scores a solo hit with De Glimlach Van Een Kind ('The Smile Of A Child'). It wins him another Edison music award.

1969 - 1972

Willy & Willeke record Een Reisje Langs De Rijn. His love of football imspires him to record the songs Ajax Olé Olé Olé (1969) and We Gaan Naar Londen ('We're Going To London)'(1971).

Willeke Alberti


Alberti celebrates 35 years in showbusiness and receives a Gouden ('Golden') Harp music award. Because people are less interested in his music and he's lacking chart successes, he decides to take things slow for a while.


The album Jeugdherinneringen ('Childhood Memories') that Willy records with his old friend Johnny Jordaan, is a huge success.

Johnny Jordaan


As a result of Queen Juliana's abdication Alberti releases the single Juliana Bedankt! ('Juliana, Thank You!'), which reaches number 18 of the charts. A parody of the song does better and reaches number 7 in the charts.

André van Duin


Willy & Willeke score a big hit with Niemand Laat Z'n Eigen Kind Alleen ('No-one Leaves His Child Alone').

Willeke Alberti


It is announced that Willy Alberti suffers from cancer of the liver and the stomach. On 12 October he appears on national television one last time in the TV show In De Hoofdrol ('This Is Your Life').


Willy Alberti dies on February 14.


The posthumously released single Liefde ('Love') is a small hit.


Like Nathalie Cole and her father Nat 'King' Cole, Willeke Alberti records a duet with her father: a new version of the song De Glimlach Van Een Kind. The song becomes a small hit.


Much in the same way Dutch-language singer André Hazes records a song with Willy called Jij Bent Het Leven Voor Mij (Ýou Are My Life'). Willy's fans open a Willy Alberti museum on March 5.


Due to lack of visitors the museum has to close its doors in April. A TV documentary puts his work to the attention of the public again. Several new compilation albums are released.


Ria, Willy's wife, sets up a new museum about her husband in a café in Amsterdam. Ria is guide in the museum.


The DVD Zijn Mooiste Liedjes (His Most Beautiful Songs) is compiled by son Tonny Alberti and Ronald van den Acker. The compilation features contributions by people like daughter Willeke, Johnny Jordaan, Mieke Telkamp and André Hazes. Documentary maker Jan van Galen makes a documentary about Alberti using material that the singer recorded himself with an 8-mm camera. The documentary is shown on TV in November and in February.

Discography Willy Alberti

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 Willy Alberti

Audio/Video Willy Alberti

Video Willy Alberti

willy alberti O mooie ...
willy alberti    O mooie westertoren
Willy Alberti & Johnny Jo...
Willy Alberti & Johnny Jordaan - Oh zwarte zigeuner
Willy Alberti - De glimla...
Willy Alberti - De glimlach van een kind
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willy alberti    O mooie westertoren

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