Thirty years after George Baker's legendary worldwide hit single 'Una Paloma Blanca', his music still stirrs imagination: millions of albums are still sold every year.
'Little Green Bag' was again a big hit in 1999, after it was used as the title song on the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino's movie Reservoir Dogs. Following this success, 'Little Green Bag' was also used for a Japanese commercial of a well-known brand of whiskey. The overwhelming reactions to this commercial made the record label decide to re-release the single and the entire album. After this, advertising agencies in France, Scandinavia and Italy used 'Little Green Bag' in commercials, resulting in an international hit single 30 years after the first release of the song.
In 1999 Tom Jones covered Little Green Bag and scored a number one hit in the UK and other countries: he sold over 3 million copies in one year.
In 1999 German celebrity Stefan Raab and his formation 'Una Paloma Blanca Boys' scored a number one hit single in all German speaking countries with their cover version of 'Una Paloma Blanca'.
In 2005 a remake of Una Paloma Blanca was used in the Dutch blockbuster movieVet Hard. The song again appeared in several countries' top charts.
The Kite Runner
In 2008 'Una Paloma Blanca' was used on the soundtrack of the international blockbuster movie 'The Kite Runner', based on the bestseller 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini. The single reappeared in a few hit charts.
George Baker, Holland's most successful singer and songwriter
Who is this man, who can still move the international pop world thirty years after his début? In 1967, after a dozen bands and forty jobs, from construction worker to chimney sweeper, George Baker - by then 23 years old and married - decided to audition as a singer for the band 'Soul Invention', which was famous in the Dutch 'Zaanstreek' area.
This was when George discovered his talent for song writing. When the band did a successful audition for record label 'Negram' in 1969, three of his compositions were recorded during a session by producer Richard Dubois. One of those compositions was the legendary song 'Little Green Bag', which was the first hit single of the band that was by then known as 'George Baker Selection'.
World wide hit single
George: "I'll never forget the moment when young Lex Harding (a famous Ditch radio DJ) announced our record with the words: 'Next up, a new band with their first excellent single "Little Green Bag". Let's hope it won't be a one-hit wonder'. Soon it turned out that George was a great addition to the band, both as singer and song writer: 'Little Green Bag' became a hit single around the world in record pace.
While George was still working on a production line in a lemonade factory, the song reached number five in the US Billboard Top 100. George: "We had a band, we hada world wide hit single, we just didn't have a manager. Then Jaap Buys from Volendam announced himself saying: 'You're nice kids, but you're in one big mess business-wise.'" Jaap cleaned up the mess and led by magic duo Baker and Buys, the success of George Baker Selection was pushed to great heights. Top of their success was the single 'Una Paloma Blanca', which appeared in 1975.
The break up
'Una Paloma Blanca' was a hit single that reaching the number one position in almost every country's hit charts, and sold about nine million copies. This immediately confirmed the reputation of the band, it's producer and George's role as a singer and song writer.
'Una Paloma Blanca' as well as 'Little Green Bag' are world wide evergreens. Big hits like 'Morning Sky', 'Wild Bird' and 'Manana' followed, until in 1978 it all came to a sudden halt. The band broke up after selling over twenty million records and having performed thousands of times.
George looks back on that period: "The pressure and expectations were too high for any regular person to handle". Where most artists would retire and live a quiet life after so many successes, George's carreer was far from over: while the other band members moved to other bands, George fired up his solo carreer scoring big hits all over the world with songs like 'Rosita', 'Sing for the day', 'All my love' and 'Magdalena'.
Santa Lucia by night
In the early eighties George dropped off the radar for a while, partially caused by his move to Spain. Still he continued to make great records, like 'Wild Flower' and 'The Winds of Time'. In 1985 George returned to Holland to start a new Selection. The new band was a success right away: they scored a big hit with the song 'Santa Lucia by night'. New gold records and tours followed, until the second Selection broke up in 1989. George decided to only focus on his solo career from that moment on.
As active as ever
In the past years George Baker has been as active as ever. He's appeared in a lot of radio- and TV-shows, and has performed hundreds of times in live shows across Holland, Belgium and Germany.
In 2000 he completed his latest solo album 'Flashback', featuring the exciting new single 'Reasons to believe'. After listening to this album, it becomes crystal clear why Baker is still Holland's most successful singer and songwriter: such a talent for writing instant classics is very rare.