Singer Margaret Ashwigs has passed away at the age of 70

Of all the songs Margaret Eshwig sang during her long career, there was one that always made a huge impression: “House for Sale” with which it reached #4 on the Top 40 in 1975. It has become a true classic and is therefore always in Top 2000 Radio 2. The record is also on that list again this week, at number 1,519.

Margaret Ashwig died Thursday at the age of 70. She had been suffering from cancer for several years and therefore did not appear in public often.

She came from Zaandam, where her parents ran a music school and music shop. She already knew how to play the accordion at the age of three. Later all kinds of guitars and organ were added. At the age of ten, she started singing in a band founded by her mother. Through several other Zaanse bands, it finally ended up with the Lucifer group, which in 1973 had the opportunity to make a record. The song was not a hit, but it did lead to all kinds of jobs in unexpected locations, from cruise ships to strip clubs—which Margaret Eshwig described as “funny music”.

Broken relationship

Two years later, their record company found “Home for Sale”, written by an American duo, which was not a hit in America. They thought it was an appropriate number for Lucifer. And so it was: the story of a broken relationship emerged due to the desperate timbre of Margaret Eshwig and the poor accompaniment of the group (with later TV presenter Henny Huisman on drums). Junior producer Hans Vermeulen was recruited for the production, as his bluesy voice was a perfect fit for the song.

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Margaret Ashwigs in 1975.

ANP/Kippa image

Lucifer quickly becomes a hit attraction. Many more hits soon followed, such as “Scarlet lady” and “I can see the sun in late December” – although none reached the popularity of “House for sale”.

Five years later, Lucifer calls her to quit smoking. Feeling overwhelmed, Margaret Eshweg said afterwards in an interview with the NRC: “I saw myself later in the pictures. First as a radiant girl with bright eyes and now as a five-year-old with a faulty ripple, dressed in designer clothes with no recollection of herself, her face swollen looking bigger.” by ten years.

More or less outside the ring, she continued her Margriet Eshuijs troupe, which focused primarily on performing on smaller theatres. Together with her husband, Martin Peters, she also wrote a new repertoire that had more to do with genres like blues and chanson than the pop music that was expected of Lucifer. They also founded their own record company – to be able to make all decisions independently.

“It’s about the music for me, and here’s why,” she said at NRC. “Not for brilliance, not for successes, not for prestige. It’s a way of life. I live for music. And it has always been me.”

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