" The Dandy's "
by Art M. Daane
The Dandy's
Cor Kortekaas - Gerard Lootens - John Lootens

Supporting musicians:
Ger Daalhuizen - Bass
Wim Sanders - Guitar
Kees Kranenburg Sr. - Drums
Recording technicians for Philps-DECCA, Jan de Winter & Bert Schouten

In 1961, when I had just returned to The Hague in Holland from South Africa, I met John Lootens with the idea to form a trio. Since we both played bass things were a bit awkward, so I decided, after many years, to pick up the chromatic again. Now the problem existed of finding a chord player. We ended up with a 'Little Guy' named Bennie Fisher, whom we taught to play a self-manufactured instrument existing of two Vinetas and a Chromatic 261, the so-called Johnny Puleo Harmonica.

The Diamonds1
Starting group 1961
John Lootens - Bennie Scheffer
() - Art Daane

Bennie actually wanted to become a circus entertainer, and therefore learned fast to become one. Since I hadn't been drafted into the Army when my time came up because I had immigrated to South Africa, the authorities had no pardon with me and drafted me at the age of 25, married with two children. Not the best time of my life I must admit.

John and Bennie went to look for other players to form a band la "Borrah Minevitch & His Harmonica Rascals," which included 'Little Guy' Johnny Puleo. Gerard Lootens, Leen Prins and Leen Rijksen were keen to join. But soon after Bennie's dream came true and joined the "Boltini Circus." The band became a quartet known as "The Diamonds."

The Diamonds2
THE DIAMONDS 1962
John Lootens - Ruud van Oorschot - Gerard Lootens - Leen Rijksen

The Diamonds
THE DIAMONDS
John Lootens - Gerard Lootens - Leen Rijksen

Since there was already a professional, and well-known singing duo "The Blue Diamonds," they were asked to change their name. Leen Prins and Leen Rijksen left the group and the Lootens brothers found Cor Kortekaas to join them on the chord harmonica. This is when they became known as "The Dandy's," dandy's they were! They recorded for 'Decca' exclusively from 1964. Their first 45 rpm contained two medleys: The Jenka Medley on side A, and The Hit Medley on side B. Decca wanted to decide their repertoire, which were mainly pop medleys. In 1965 The Dandy's decided to dissolve the trio as this wasn't their idea of a repertoire of good standing.

For personal reasons they sometimes played under an alibi, "The Ralton Trio."

Ralton Trio
RALTON TRIO
John Lootens - Gerard Lootens - Leen Rijksen

The Dandy's

In 2002 I produced a double CD as a collector's item for those that wanted to participate, but especially for those who had passed away since the great years of the harmonica. This was to become the history of the harmonica in the Netherlands 1947-2002. It was the Internet that bought John and me together again in 2006. John found the website advertising the double CD and noticed that "The Dandy's" had, unknowingly to him, been included. I had been searching for them for more that a year to ask for their permission, but all in vein. Now we have a ball of a time e-mailing each other as I moved back to South Africa in 2004.

Contact addres:
John Lootens

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