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Jack Jersey

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Jack Jersey
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Jack (Willem) de Nijs (Tjimahi Indonesia, 18 July 1941 – Roosendaal, The Netherlands, 26 May 1997) was a Dutch singer, composer, arranger, lyricist and producer of light music (popular music) who worked for national and international artists. As a singer he has become known under the pseudonym

Probably one of the most successful Dutch singers is Jack Jersey. However, Jack's succes is not limited to singing. As composer and lyricist and producer he is responsible for every Hit single that comes from his own production company, J.R., (Jeetzi-Rah) which means "Creation" / "Creational world" in Hebrew. In his ten year career, Jack has written many Hit singles for other artists as well as discovering artists such as nl:André Moss, nl:Nick MacKenzie and nl:Frank & Mirella. It would be difficult to count just how many records have been sold with which Jack was, in one way or another, involved in, but it would number many millions.

Furthermore Jack's success has by no means been limited to The Netherlands.

Either himself as a singer or artists under his production are known throughout many countries.


Jack de Nijs, (Jack Jersey's real name), was born in Tjimahi on Bandung, one of the Indonesian Islands, in 1941. At the age of seven he received a Ukulele as a present, and was soon allowed to play in the local village band. It was also soon apparent that Jack was exceptionally gifted musically! In fact, one of the tracks on an extremely successful lp (album) of André Moss was written by Jack, when he was still a young boy. The song is called that Old Feeling. Even Jack admits, that as a child he felt that there was something different about him, something he called being introvert. He didn't realise that this difference was going to manifest itself through music.

In 1951 the de Nijs family moved to the Netherlands. Jack felt immediately the difference in life style, and the difference in music. However he soon adjusted, and found that he fit just as easily into the Dutch musical niche. During his highschool period he formed his first band named The Dixies Stampers, and, naturally enough, they specialised in Jazz and Dixieland.

After leaving highschool, he went to a college specialising in Hotel Management in Maastricht, nl:Hotel Management School Maastricht, and here he formed his second band, a quartet known as The Four Sweeters. The success of this group soon became regional, and by way of a local record dealer they made their first record. Unbelievable as it seemed to them at that time, the record flopped. Shortly afterwards, two members of the group split, leaving the duo Jack and Woody to continue. Soon after came Jack and the Swallows, but, strangely, success had left them for the time being. No matter how hard they worked, or what they tried, the success just would not come back. This lack of success also applied to the eleven singles that had by now been released. Jack changed the name of the band into The Loosers.

After receiving his diploma for Hotel Management (BBA), Jack gave up his aspiration to make a success of the music business. In the meantime he had married Ella and they had to live, thus Jack was forced to take a job with one of the big international hotels in the south. But the lure of music was to prove too strong. Jack decided to try once more...and this time to hang on until he was successful!

Jack decided on a new approach. The formula of success was to be a producer and composer, and work for a record company. At first reactions were not very encouraging, but after teaming up with his friend, Henk Voorheijen, they were taking on by Polydor, after Jack said: "We have come to bring you the Gold from the soutch." They were paid 500,- Dutch Guilders a month. Jack first success (hit-single) was a song called Oh...Antoinette, and after this as Jack himself admits, there was no holding him back.

However the sudden rush of succes didn't make Jack forget his own past. It is this memory of those difficult days that has made Jack one of the most reputed producers in The Netherlands. He knew from his own experience that a producer has to know his artists. How the artist works, what songs fit the artist from both live and recording points of view. Above all there has to be that bond of friendship between producer and artist.

Since those early days Jack has formed his own company; Jack was responsible for all creative matters, his friend Henk Voorheijen became his partner for business matters.

His family has also grown, and he has a son and a daughter. But at that moment Jack is so busy that his children hardly ever see him. This also effects his own stage career, because he does not have the time to make as many live appearances as his fans would like.

What is to date the high point of Jack's career?

Probably it was recording a live album in America in Nashville, Tennessee, recording studio's, RCA Studio B, with the backing of the world famous Jordanaires, Elvis Presley's own group.

The album In The Still Of The Night was released in the United States of America by Capitol Records. In The Netherlands this album was certified Platinum List of music recording certifications for more than 100.000 sold units, and the single of the same name Gold.

The one thing Jack finds a little strange is that often people compare him with Elvis, although Jack has always accepted this comparison as a huge compliment. However it has never been his intention to imitate him. His real influences were Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Neil Diamond. Naturally those influences appear from time to time in his music.

Jack enjoys the feeling of being an artist and enjoys still more the feeling of being an successful artist, although he knows only too well that the career of an artist is always in doubt. In Jack's case there is his production company, which owns its own recording studio, to fall back on, not that he hopes that he will ever have to do this. But as an artist you can only do your best. After that it's up to the people who buy your records. Naturally his song-writing will always continue since Jack finds this the best medium for expressing his emotions. Practically all Jack's songs are inspired either by an emotion or an event within his life. Take Papa Was A Poor Man for example, (one of Jack's biggest hit-single in the Netherlands). It was directly inspired by his memories of their days in Indonesia and of their early days in the Netherlands, during which time Jack's Papa was certainly not a rich man.

Today Jack still performes as often as possible with his backing group. He releases regularly new albums and singles. His last album Forever has become Gold, and plans are already under way for his next album Asian Dreams. To accompany the eventual release of Asian Dreams, Jack will fly to Indonesia to shoot on location the Television special that is based around the songs on this album.
#1 - April 15, 2017, 03:50:55 PM

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Papa was a Poor Man


Dad was a poor man is the third single from Jack de Nijs alias Jack Jersey, who ascended the charts in the Netherlands and Belgium in 1974. It comes from his album In the still of the night . Again it is a song in the style of Elvis Presley , this time at a fast pace. This single and its predecessors led to Jack de Nijs album / LP live recording of one of the Nashville studios, if you with the Jordanaires , the musicians around Elvis. The song inspired Fred van der Steen of Steen & Bone to go into the music.
#2 - April 15, 2017, 03:54:08 PM
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