Shocking Blue – Never Marry A Railroad Man

I’m sounding like one of those AM radio shows…It’s going to be a Shocking Blue weekend! I’ll post some more of their songs Saturday and Sunday. This song has an unusual chorus but it is very catchy.

Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock band formed in The Hague in 1967. They were known for the song Venus which reached #1 in the Billboard 100 in 1970. “Never Marry a Railroad Man” sold over a million records and became a top-ten hit in several countries around the world.

The song is not well known in America but is a great little song. The singer was Mariska Veres who sounded a bit like Grace Slick but with a maybe stronger voice. I found this group a few years ago while listening to Venus and explored their other releases. They did have more songs than Venus that were good.

There is not much info on Shocking Blues songs but I did find a Mariska Veres fan site that has this info…

Mariska was born in Hague, Holland.. Mariska, half-Hungarian and half-German, had often sung with her father, Lajos Veres, who played violin in a gypsy orchestra. She recorded the solo singles called “Topkapi”(1965) and “Dag en nacht” (1967) and had gained experience singing with different groups before she joined Shocking Blue. How did she meet Shocking Blue?

In 1968 Shocking Blue’s manager and music publisher attended a party celebrating the success of Golden Earring’s first number one song in Holland. A band known as the Bumble Bees, fronted by the strong and striking female singer, performed at the party, and the two men thought she would be a perfect addition to Shocking Blue. Robbie van Leeuwen, leader and founder of Shocking Blue, was immediately impressed by her vocal style, quite different from most local singers of the day. When Mariska was asked to join the Shocking Blue, she requested that they (the band members) would not start any relationships with her except professional one. She replaced de Wilde as a lead singer and, no doubt, became the eye- and ear-catching attraction of the band; her soul-tingled voice gave the music a distinct R&B sound.
Mariska obviously was an attraction for many fans of SB. It’s easy to imagine how many men and boys had fallen in love with Mariska, with her mystic aura, enigmatic smile, and long black hair (which was, sadly to say, a wig). People, mostly men of course, saw her a sex-symbol, which she was, but she could never cope with it. It was a disappointment for many of her fans when in the late seventies she got rid of her sexy image starting to wear long dresses and relatively short haircut.
In spite of her fantastic look Mariska was a pretty shy, a little naive person. She could not really deal with the snobbish Robbie (guitar player): once he shouted at her, she started to cry and phoned her mother, who in return called their manager. Sounds silly, but Mariska was surely not the wild woman everybody thought she was. Mariska also was “famous” for her lifestyle: she never smoked and she did not like alcohol. During those days of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”, when SB toured the world, Mariska’s most favorite drink was tea.

After Shocking Blue disbanded Mariska started her solo career, which was not successful. She recorded a dozen of solo singles but the singles did not score well although most of them sounded (and still sound) great. Probably, she was not motivated enough, lacked a good manager, and luck was not on her side. In 1978 Mariska was featured in a single “Neon City” recorded by Mistral (Robbie’s group at that time). In 1979 Robbie was planning to reunite the group. They even recorded a single called “Louise” as a part of their come back project, but for some reasons this was cancelled and “Louise” was never released. Robbie van Leeuwen said in an interview that Mariska was the only reason the come back was off, but never said why. Probably, Mariska was just fed up with all the attention and was just overworked. Maybe because of this she does not like to recall the 70’s. In the late 80’s she performed with her group “Veres”. In the early 90’s she appeared on stage with The Clarks, and, in my opinion, their performances together were great. Mariska also sang with several jazz musicians, and even recorded CD with four jazz musicians in 1993 (Mariska Veres Shocking Jazz Quintet). In the fall of 1993 she founded a new band and, with Robbie’s permission, called it Shocking Blue. They recorded a single “Body And Soul” (1994), which was produced by Robbie.


Never Marry A Railroad Man

Have you been broken-hearted once or twice
If it’s yes how did you feel at his first lies
If it’s no you need this good advice

Never marry a Railroad man

He loves you every now and then
His heart is at his new train. No, no, no
Don’t fall in love with a Railroad man
If you do forget him if you can
You’re better off without him ah

Have you ever been restless in your bed
And so lonely that your eyes became wet
Let me tell you then one thing

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

25 thoughts on “Shocking Blue – Never Marry A Railroad Man”

  1. Always good to learn more classic rock history from you. I had never heard of her before. I like that she lived against the booze and drugs stigma we often place on this era. You can still write lyrics about the ups and downs of life while drinking a nice cup of tea 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes you can. I was worried no one would care about some non Billboard songs from a one hit wonder but I really liked their other songs besides Venus… I love finding “new/old” songs to listen to. Thank you for listening! If you are the only one today my job will be complete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate you reading and listening. I’m always kind of afraid no one will care about a non hit but I really like their other stuff and wanted to share. I love finding “new/old” music to listen to.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Your last statement is so true. The talent is there but never a song that fits the talent.
      Sometimes not enough exposure. This group had a number one but could not capitalize on it with a tour partly due to the record company.


      1. You have inspired me to start hunting more…thank you it’s nice to know that someone is out there wanting to hear more than just the hits.


  2. Another pretty decent tune I’d never heard. With their ability and her looks I bet they would’ve been much bigger worldwide about a decade later when video came into vogue

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think so…they didn’t capitalize on Venus as far as touring…tomorrow I’m featuring their song that Nirvana covered on their first album.

      Liked by 1 person

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