Monday, 26 July 2010

Mouth and MacNeal

Mouth & MacNeal was a pop duo from the Netherlands. They are best known for their million selling recording of How Do You Do.

They were formed in 1971 when record producer Hans van Hemert brought together the solo talent of Mouth (born Willem Duyn, March 31, 1937 / died December 4, 2004) and Maggie MacNeal (born Sjoukje van't Spijker, May 5, 1950). Mouth had previously sung in a number of 1960s bands, including Speedway. MacNeal had released one solo single before teaming up with Mouth, a cover of Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through the Grapevine, also produced by van Hemert.

The duo released their first single, Hey You Love, which reached #5 in the Dutch Top 40, while the next two singles How Do You Do and Hello-A both reached #1. In 1972, Mouth & MacNeal reached the top of the charts throughout Continental Europe and Scandinavia. How Do You Do was made popular in the United States by radio personality Jim Connors and the song eventually reached #8 in the U.S. in July 1972. How Do You Do spent 19 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 and won the R.I.A.A. gold disc on 2 August 1972.

This propelled their 1972 album How Do You Do into the Billboard 200 (US #77). More hit singles followed in 1973, and in 1974 Mouth & MacNeal represented the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest placing third, behind ABBA and Gigliola Cinquetti with their song I See a Star, which went on to be a #1 hit in Ireland. In 1974 they also took part at the Festival di Sanremo with the song Ah, L'amore which came 11th in the final.

In December 1974, shortly after their success with I See a Star, Mouth and MacNeal split up. Mouth continued with his wife Ingrid Kup as Big Mouth & Little Eve, whereas MacNeal resumed her solo career. MacNeal went on to represent the Netherlands again at the Eurovision Song Contest 1980 held in The Hague, singing Amsterdam, finishing fifth in a field of nineteen.

By then, Mouth was pursuing a solo-career too; under his own name he charted with Dutch-language versions of Frankie Miller's Darlin and Chattanooga Choo Choo (based on German singer Udo Lindenberg's adaptation). In 1992 Duyn joined forces with rural-conscious rockers Normaal for Tenpole Tudor's Wunderbar when their own frontman Bennie Jolink recovered from a motorcycle-accident.

Duyn died from a heart attack in his hometown of Roswinkel on December 4, 2004 at the age of 67.

MacNeal too dropped her pseudonym and became Sjoukje Smit; in 2008 she reformed Mouth & MacNeal with Arie Ribbens replacing Duyn.

On March 21, 2012, Roel Smit published the Mouth & MacNeal biography; Mouth & MacNeal, duo tegen wil en dank.

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