Friday, February 01, 2019

Johnny Lion Dutch Pop Singer Has Passed Away: A Tribute

Another sad news piece for this blog. It's a fact that 60's music makers are now biting the dust. 

Johnny van Leeuwarden, Dutch pop singer who was with the guitar group  Jumping Jewels, had passed away on Thursday, January end, 2019. He made a hit in his country with Sophietje. He also was known for Wheels, All In Dallas. In Singapore, he did many popular covers like Devil Woman, Judy and Let's Make a Habit of It.

1.) 
Mr. Stephen Han
who often writes for this blog, obligingly returned me an SMS when he heard the news. Here is Mr. Han's tribute to the handsome star:

"I'm sure every music lover appreciates the song, Teenage Senorita. This pop hit was on top of our Singapore radio chart and the singer was Johnny Lion. He was accompanied on this recording by the Jumping Jewels.


Johnny Lion with Teenage Senorita recorded on vinyl in the mid-sixties.

I was extremely excited when they came to Singapore to perform at the Odeon Cinema in 1964. I missed the first show because I was late and my brothers invited instead our pretty lady neighbor.  Somehow, I managed to purchase a ticket for the next day's show.  These Dutchmen didn't let us down. They put up a really good performance and I enjoyed every song Johnny sang.


They came again together to Singapore in 2005. This time around they sang and played instrumental numbers in a concert at Suntec City. The particular show also featured Riem De Wolff of the Blue Diamonds. So many years later but they all performed just as well if not better.


Johnny Lion is gone now. May he Rest In Peace." 


(Thanks so much for the tribute, Mr. Stephen Han. I am sure readers will appreciate it to remember this singer.) 

Johnny Lion had been sick for some time and died of lung cancer. He also had Alzheimer's disease and was 77 years young.

With the passing away of Lion, the very famous foursome from the Netherlands, that included Anneke Gronloh, Ruud and Riem de Wolff are now just memories and recorded songs and pictures.

Condolences to his family.
2) 
Mrs. Daisy Koh
was still a schoolgirl in uniform when they tried to meet JL and JJ. Here's her tribute. 

"I was at the Goodwood where JL and the JJ were staying. I was not allowed to go out at night then. We schoolgirls invaded the Goodwood... back then hotel security wasn't that tight. 

Armed with flowers and love notes we hung around in the hotel corridor. Excitement reached its peak when we saw the freshly laundered jackets with the initials JJ embroidered in gold on their pockets. We slipped love notes in their pockets and left flowers at the door before we left reluctantly. 

Crazy schoolgirls. 

Johnny Lion and the Jumping Jewels were big time then,  in Holland like the Beatles in England."

RIP Johnny Lion.

Other Connections: 

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2014/05/johnny-lion-jumping-jewels-record.html

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2009/08/johnny-lion-jumping-jewels-in-singapore.html

Check Labels below.

Images: Google.
He made a hit in his country with the Dutch song Sophietje.

19 comments:

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

One of the songs I usually sing during our concerts is another of Johnny Lion's hit, JUDY.
RIP Johnny.
Singapore fans will miss you for sure.

JIMMY APPUDURAI CHUA (ENGLAND, UK) said...

Once upon a time, our local hero, but sadly, never really accepted in the west.

RIP Johnny thanks for your lovely singing.

AV. B said...

R.I.P. johhny lion 31 januari 2019 overleden

JAN VAN MOURIK (YOUTUBE) said...

RIP Jonhny, je bent onderdeel van mijn jeugd, rust zacht!

TAN SOO KHOON said...

Johnny Lion passed away yesterday RIP

MICHAEL BANGAR (GUITARIST, GUEST WRITER OF THIS BLOG) said...

RIP JOHNNY

MUSIC MUSE said...

I like the way he sings.
He's a nice, though not spectacular, vocalist.
Yet, Johnny Lion has something, that draws you to his sound.
His longevity in the music business is striking.

TAN SWEE KEE said...

Who could forget his 'Judy', 'Everyday' and 'Valley of Tears'. RIP Johnny Lion. Thank you so much for the music.

FRED CHING (FACEBOOK POST) said...

I was very young when Johnny Lion and The Jumping Jewels played at the Odeon Theatre in the ’60s. Still, remember they were back here again performing with the Riem de Wolff of the Blue Diamonds. Love their distinct sound on this compilation album loads.

It is with incredible sadness that I’ve learned that Johnny van Leeuwarden had passed away. A gentleman and a great singer.

Rest In Peace Johnny.
Your spirit and talent are equally missed by all, today and every day.🙏🏻🙏🏻

MICHAEL LEE (SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA) said...

Hi Andy, when you add 50+ years to 60's idols they have to be in the 70s or 80s.

HENRY G.(CALIFORNIA, USA) said...

Sorry to hear that.

The Jumpin’ Jewels and J.Lion had a major influence on many of the instrumental groups in Singapore of the 60s.

His rendition of Marty Robbin’s Devil Woman is still stuck in my brain today like an earworm.

JIMMY CHNG JB (LEAD GUITARIST 'THE DECIBELS') said...

Sad to note that another of my favourite singers is gone.
RIP JOHNNY.

FL said...

Oh dear, it's a piece of sad news and I find it difficult to digest it. I was still in Secondary school when Johnny Lion & The Jumping Jewels created a roaring scene during the rock and roll sixties here. Johnny's demise is a loss to many of us in the older generation. Rest in peace, Sir Johnny and thank you for the music and songs.

FACEBOOK said...


Messages from the list below and they LIKE this post. Thank you all:

John Cher
Ann Rowena Lim
Rose Khoo
Fred Ching
Winston Koh
Yip Dick
Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Richard Danker
Charlie Yap Locomotion
Peter Cheong
Merlin Lim
Tin Leong Lim
Tan Ser Kiong
Veronica Young

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for this tribute post to Johnny Lion
Tan Soo Khoon sent me the message first.
Thanks, SK.

ALPHONSO SOOSAY (from NAOMI AND THE BOYS) said...

My Deepest Prayers & Condolences To Johnny Van Leeuwarden's Family!
May His Soul Rest In Peace With "Jesus" In Heaven.
Always Loved Their Distinctive Sound.

JALANI MOHAMED (PIANIST). said...

RIP Johny lion

JERRY FERNANDEZ (MC, NEU FACES) said...

My dear brothers and sisters
Very saddening to hear the passing away of Johnny Lion who was residing in Amsterdam.

My little memory goes back in the year 2011.
I only spoke to him several times and crossing along with emails to bring him down
for a fundraising show along with the late Anneke Gronloh and The Blue Diamonds,
Boy and The Rolling Kids (Indo pop legends)

But sadly it all faded away due to the disaster of 9/11 episode when the world stood still.
In fact last October 2018 I was trying to get in touch with Johnny but failed.

Now hear of his passing away.
RIP good brther Johnny Lion.

TERENCE LEE (FRIEND OF JUMPING JEWELS) said...

Andy happy new year.
Sad to lose him.

I have connected on FB with JJ lead guitarist Peter Vos.