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George Baker Selection

From: Assendelft, Netherlands

The origins of this Dutch outfit can be traced back to 1967 and a Assendelft band called the Soul Invention that primary played covers from the likes of Otis Redding and Sam And Dave. Original members of the group were Jacques Greuter (vocals, organ, piano, flute), Job Netten (guitar), Eric Bardoen (saxophone), Henk Kramer (saxophone), Theo Vermast (bass) and Ton Vredenburg (drums). About a year later, multi-instrumentalist Johannes "Hans" Bouwens aka George Baker (vocals, guitar, recorder, organ, piano, mandolin) joined the group and Jan Visser (bass) replaced Vermast. It was this lineup that recorded an album full of material in the summer of 1969 and after realizing that it really didn't sound anything like soul music, they decided to change their name to the George Baker Selection.

The band had a major worldwide hit right out of the gates with the Visser-Bouwens penned pop-psych single 'Little Green Bag', which was issued in the fall of '69. The song peaked in the Top 10 and 20 spots in many countries, as well as making it to the #21 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. As a side note, the track was originally titled "Little Greenback", a slag term for the U.S. dollar, but quickly morphed into 'Little Green Bag', which some took to be code for a bag of marijuana.

In early 1970, the group released an LP titled Little Green Bag to capitalize on the huge hit and remained successful through the early to mid 70s, but experienced various personnel changes throughout this period. In 1975, the group scored another major smash with 'Paloma Blanca', which hit #1 in many countries, peaked at #26 in the U.S. and sold over seven million copies worldwide. In 1978, the band decided to call it quits after selling an amazing total of 20 million records, siting that "the pressure had become too much". Bouwens did eventually reform a new version of the George Baker Selection in 1982, which lasted about seven years.


Little Green Bag

(Original 45 Label: Negram NGS 159, A - October, 1969)