The Dutch singer Pierre Kartner first became famous with the song about “The Little Pub”. But the little blue friends helped with the big breakthrough.
Black suit, bow tie, long white beard, white hair and always on the head – the black bowler hat. The Dutch pop singer Vader Abraham was also a well-known figure in Germany. Often in his entourage were the little blue comic figures that made him famous around the world. The singer, who became known with the “Smurfs” song, was one of the big stars of the hit scene in the 1970s and 80s.
Now the singer and composer, whose real name is Pierre Kartner, has died at the age of 87 at his home in Breda in the south of the country. A spokesman for the family told the ANP news agency.
Kartner was also very popular in Germany for a long time and often appeared in TV shows such as “Aktuelle Hitparade”. In the last years of his life he lived in seclusion in Breda. According to media reports, he died on Tuesday.
First own hit in 1971
Born in 1935, Kartner was initially successful as a producer and composer. In 1971 he had his first hit, the carnival hit “Vader Abraham hat seven sons”. He was to appear under this name ever since.
His first international success came in 1976 with “The Little Pub”. There are over 200 cover versions of this melancholic song. In Germany the song was sung by Peter Alexander.
A year later, the big breakthrough followed – with the help of the little blue friends: “The Song of the Smurfs”. More than 25 million records have been sold worldwide. The Smurfs song was in the international charts. Kartner almost didn’t write it at all, as he recalled in an interview a few years ago. He initially wanted to turn down the job due to lack of time. Incidentally, the little blue Smurfs were invented by a Belgian – the comic artist Peyo.
Another world hit was missing
In the 80s things got quieter around Vader Abraham. Another world hit was missing. Kartner composed numerous other carnival hits. He also wrote lyrics and music for other performers.
In 2010 he composed the song “Ik ben verliefd” (I’m in love – Sha-la-lie), the Dutch entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. Many foreign artists also had Kartner songs in their repertoire, including Nana Mouskouri and Joe Dassin. In the Netherlands, Vader Abraham is considered one of the great hit composers of the 20th century.