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December 2, 2006 – Dutch singer Mariska Veres from Shocking Blue died of cancer at the age of 59.

Veres’ father was the Hungarian Romani violinist Lajos Veres; her mother was born in Germany of French and Russian parents. Her elder sister Ilonka accompanied her father on the piano. Her youngest sister, Irene, never had a career in music.
Veres began her career as a singer in 1963 with the guitar band Les Mysteres. In 1964 this band made an EP (GTB-label, 10 copies only) and Mariska is singing on “Summertime” (solo) and “Someone” (a duet). In 2010 this EP was re-released by record club “Platenclub Utrecht” (PLUT 009). In 1965 she joined the Bumble Bees, the Blue Fighters, Danny and his Favorites and General Four in 1966, and the Motowns later in 1966. She also played organ in the last band. In 1968 she was invited to join Shocking Blue to replace lead singer Fred de Wilde who had to join the army. In 1969/1970 Shocking Blue gained worldwide fame with the hit single “Venus”. The month of their arrival in the United States gossip columnist Earl Wilson referred to Veres as a beautiful busty girl. However, when she joined Shocking Blue she made it clear to the other band members that romantic relationships were not going to happen.

December 2, 2006 - Dutch singer Mariska Veres from Shocking Blue died of cancer at the age of 59.

Shocking Blue split up on June 1, 1974 and Veres continued in a solo career until the band was reunited in 1984. This comeback turned out to be successful, but one of the other original members, Robbie van Leeuwen, stepped back from the group, partly because he had moved to Luxembourg but also because of the success of Bananarama’s cover of “Venus”.

Veres started the jazz group The Shocking Jazz Quintet in 1993, and recorded the album “Shocking You” with pop songs from the 60s and 70s, now in a jazz version. From 1993 to 2006 she performed in yet another reincarnation of Shocking Blue (recorded the songs “Body and Soul” and “Angel”, both produced by former member Robbie van Leeuwen), and also recorded an album with Andrei Serban in 2003, named “Gipsy Heart”, going back to her Romani roots. A version of “Venus” was posthumously released in 2007, a few months after her death, recorded with pianist/bandleader Dolf de Vries on the album “Another Touch”. Mariska has recorded “Venus” four times: with Shocking Blue (1969), with the Mariska Veres Shocking Jazz Quintet (1993), with Formula Diablos (in English/Spanish, 1997), and with Dolf de Vries (a lounge version of “Venus”, 2005/2006).


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