NORBERT VAN SLAMBROUCK
1937 - 2023
Norbert Van Slambrouck, known as a singer, entertainer, the Hey girls
and not least for BRT Radio 2 (West Flanders), Radio Mi Amigo and VBRO, died on 3 February, at the age of 85, at the AZ Delta in Roeselare.
Born in Bruges on 31 December 1937, the son of bicycle dealer and manufacturer André Van Slambrouck and Maria Haesaert, he grew up in Bruges' Katelijnestraat.
In 1968, Norbert chose a singing career, and scored hits with 'Liedje Voor Mary-Ann',
'Pas Op Voor De Verf', 'En Dat Vergeet Ik Nooit', 'Waar Is De Tijd' and 'Zomermeisje'.
He performed all over Flanders and became one of its most popular singers. He was one
of the few artists who invested in a complete show, with his own Hey Girls and his own orchestra.
In May 1968, recommended by BRT radio producer Jos Boudewijn, he received
an offer to present his own programme on BRT 2. It became 'Variété met Norbert'. Unfortunately, he fell seriously ill. Discharged from hospital, he received a PR offer
from a real estate promoter to recuperate in Spain. On his return to Belgium,
he was met by Sylvain Tack.
The waffle baker from Buizingen was rapidly building a music empire. A great recording studio, a portfolio brimming with Flemish artists, a record label and plans for his own station from the sea. Norbert was given a prominent role in the very first radio team.
From 1 January 1974, he presented the 'Norbert Show' and 'Norbert's Saturday Show Train'. Mi Amigo became a huge success, reaching several million listeners.
When broadcasting from the sea was made difficult by the Dutch government -
Mi Amigo had its studios there because the country had not legislated against offshore radio until then - the entire organisation moved to Spain. Norbert dropped out,
but kept his connection with the offshore station. Also in 1974, he had received the proposal to take on the artistic direction of a grand nightclub on the
Moerkerksesteenweg in Sint-Kruis-Brugge.
He turned the former cinema hall into the 'Norbert's Hey Club' (Norbert Party Room).
Call it a disco that could just as well serve for various types of parties. The cream of Flemish artists as well as international celebrities such as Donna Summer, The Rubettes, The Tremeloes, Smokie, J. Vincent Edwards and the Dolly Dots performed there.
In 1979, after renovation, the venue was renamed the 'Norbert Hey Center'. It was
there that the Bruges-based VBRO saw the light of day.
In 1991, Norbert went to live first in Ostend and then in Rumbeke. He mainly engaged in coaching and gave advice to young radio makers and performers.
With a fall at home between Christmas and New Year, a few days before his birthday, Norbert did not recover, and died of resulting complications.
Norbert was interviewed by OEM in 2003 (see full interview here) and was also a guest
with other Radio Mi Amigo DJs at the Offshore Echos
Radio Mi Amigo Reunion in Calais