Will Tura, the emperor of the Flemish song
In the limelight for 63 years, loved by four to five generations, with a Flemish repertoire that rides the waves of time. Quality and professionalism always prevail. The trademark of Will Tura.
Arthur Blanckaert was born on 2 August 1940 in Veurne. When he was 6, he found a rusted harmonica in the attic, on which he played the then very popular tune Maria van Bahia. Budding musical talent. Professional comedian and fellow townsman Walter Richard had 'Tuurke', now a charming 12-year-old, sing and yodel a song in his revue Cinema Paradiso at Retorika Hall. He also came up with a well-known stage name: Will Tura. At school, Will was only interested in music. He went on to flourish enormously at the Conservatory of Ostend.
In 1957, Will Tura signed his first record contract with the largest Belgian music publisher of the time, Jacques Kluger. However, his debut singles, translations of foreign hits, did not appeal to the Flemish public. During his very first holiday in 1962, daydreaming of his sweetheart at home, he scribbled on a few beer mats on a terrace at La Croisette in Cannes the telling words I feel lonely and the beginnings of a melody. Back in Belgium, he turned this into the big hit Lonely without you, his big breakthrough. The first of a total of more than 500 compositions he would write, including about 100 hits (My winter rose, Angelina, Viva el amor, It can't be, To my darling, Forbidden dreams, Sunshine, Two eyes in love, Sky blue, Flanders, my country, Hopeless, etc.), dozens of albums and thousands of performances. Initially, he mainly performed at balls in marquees and parish halls, in villages and cities, and later in his career in concert halls and during tours with a symphonic orchestra. Romantic, melancholic, cheerful, swinging, happy, mostly catchy melodies, self-composed, set to text by regular writers, arranged by Steve Willaert and accompanied by his regular orchestra. In his early years, young women in particular swooned in front of their handsome idol, and even today the composer-singer-musician lures hordes of fans to his performances.
It is known that he has a special bond with the Royal Family. For example, Queen Fabiola asked Will Tura to sing at King Baudouin's funeral on 7 August 1993. The profound and gripping Hope gives life and I miss you so much were chosen for this. An emotional performance, flawlessly delivered despite his almost nauseating stress. On 12 December 2014, he moved King Philippe to tears with Hope gives life at the funeral of Queen Fabiola.
Something nice to end with? His cover Then dial 797204 was taken off the market in the Netherlands by order of a judge, after the director of a Rotterdam oil company was called incessantly by pining fans asking if they had Will Tura on the line. In Flanders, whether or not the number was connected had been checked in advance, which it turned out not to be.
© Picture Wikipedia Author: Joke Renders / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)