Release date
01 January 1970
01 January 1970 |

Dave is the stage name of Wouter Otto Levenbach, a Francophone singer from the Netherlands who had a string of number one hits in France in the 1970s. Despite his great success, he is still virtually unknown in his country of origin. Dave was born in Amsterdam. He learned how to play guitar at 14 years of age. He became a very spiritual person who prayed frequently and even planned to study theology; however, he eventually chose to study law.

Among other things, he was inspired by Jack Kerouac’s On the Road , a revolutionary novel which incited the young people of the world to leave to learn the life on the roads, and to communicate with others. Passionate about the sea and rivers, he left the Netherlands by boat with 1,000 guilders in his pocket (about two months’ living expenses).

He met Eddie Barclay, the executive for Barclay Records, in Saint-Tropez in 1968, Barclay was responsible for launching Dave’s career in show business.

On February 26, 1969, he participated in the Nationaal Songfestival, the Dutch pre-selection contest for that year’s Eurovision Song Contest with a song called Niets gaat zo snel, but did not win. In Summer 1969 he reached the Veronica Top 40 charts for the first time with Nathalie, peaking at #28.

From 1971 to 1974, he was one of the actors in the musical Godspell, making friends with actor Daniel Auteuil, who would become his best friend.

In 1974, he released Trop Beau, a French adaptation of The Rubettes’ hit Sugar Baby Love; later, he released Vanina, an adaptation of Del Shannon’s Runaway, adapted into French by Patrick Loiseau. These were followed in 1975 by Mon cœur est malade, Dansez maintenant and Du côté de chez Swann. His self-titled first album was released at the end of 1975. His later hits included Lettre à Hélène (1978), Comment ne pas être amoureux de vous (1978), and his first number one single, Allo Elisa (1979).

In the 1980s, his popularity waned following the advent of FM radio in France. He still had an audience due to live performances and his classic hits. However, he himself likened the ebb to a “crossing of a very pretty desert”. In 1993, he released a new album, then in 1994, he made a comeback following the release of a greatest hits album, which sold more than 200,000 copies. He later recorded a new album entitled Toujours le même bleu, which included a title single from which enables him to hit the charts once again. It is also around this time that Dave revealed himself as homosexual.

In 1996, he appeared in a commercial for Dutch cheese. He later became a co-presenter with Sheila of the TF1 television program Salut les Chouchous; after a year, he assumed the presenter duties alone. In 1997, publisher Lattès Editions published Dave’s autobiography, Du côté de chez moi (“Around where I live”). An album, Dave Classique, was released, fulfilling his dream to record some classical compositions.

From 2001 to 2005 Dave presented together with Flavie Flament and Denis Brogniart the TV event Domino Day on TF1. In 2003, he released another autobiographical book, Soit dit en passant… mes années paillettes, which dealt with his life as a showbiz celebrity in the 1970s. The book also revealed the love story which has united Dave with his lyricist and companion Patrick Loiseau for more than thirty years. The latter also participated in the work to share his version of the events.

In 2006, he released a new album under the name of “Dave Levenbach”, Tout le plaisir a été pour moi. In September 2006, he played four special concerts at the Théâtre de l’Européen in Paris.

He was awarded Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau on 17 April 2015.