Eduard Van De Walle (12 July 1932 – 6 February 2016), known by his stage name Eddy Wally, was a Belgian singer from Zelzate, East Flanders, and the once self-proclaimed "Voice of Europe".
Eddy Wally was an internationally acclaimed crooner, multi-talented entertainer, and raconteur. Born in Flanders, Belgium, the charismatic Flemish singer/songwriter began his professional stage career in 1959 and proved an immediate hit in Western Europe, especially with the region’s female populace. He started as a salesman on markets selling handbags and became popular in the 1960s, after his association with Dutch producer Johnny Hoes. He even had his own disco "Chérie-Paris Las Vegas", first known as "Eddy Wally's Texas Bar".
His double-platinum selling 1966 anthem, 'Cherie’, cemented his reputation both as a ladies’ man and a consummate musical professional. He walked the walk, talked the talk, winked the wink, sang the song, and wowed the wow. In a short number of years, Eddy Wally became to Belgium and France what Cliff Richard was to the South (and some bits in the East) of England.
On stage and off, Wally usually wore flashy, shiny, expensive outfits, characterized by a camp and kitsch style reminiscent of Liberace Wally swaggered his way around stages all over the planet, performing an ever widening canon of hits year after year. As a crooner and showman, Eddy Wally has toured worldwide, from China, to Australia, all of Europe and the United States, and even 24 tour dates in 1979 within the USSR.
Stints on UK pop culture TV show Eurotrash in the 80s pushed Wally’s name out into British homes – and, indeed, hearts – as did his numerous interactions with the Eurosong/Eurovision competitions throughout the decades. With an unwavering fanbase standing firm beneath him since the late 1950s, the talented Belgian also decided to proclaim himself ‘The Voice of Europe’.
From what source he found the gumption to do this is a mystery, but apparently no one objected. And so the grand moniker went unchallenged, and would precede his name in all of his public introductions. In the mid 1990s Eddy’s career took an unexpected turn as he delved into the dizzying world of House music disk jockeying (‘DJ-ing’), pumping out a series of beat-heavy bangers, plus a few laser-fried remixes from his back catalogue.
In 2004, Eddy Wally's extreme wardrobe was acquired by the Stedelijk Modemuseum van Hasselt, and was shown under the title "Eddy Wally's Geweldige Garderobe". The show consisted of 115 custom made outfits, each valued up to $5,300 apiece. Eddy was awarded the Knight of the order of Leopold. Royal Decree of 2005. In October 2009, famed Belgian artist Kamagurka proclaimed: “Eddy Wally is pop-art.”
No one could have predicted the final surprise twist in Eddy Wally’s illustrious life story, least of all him. How did Eddy Wally become a living meme/internet god? You’ve got no clue, but Google Search does.
No one knows why, in the year 2007, an unknown YouTube account holder called djvensterke2 uploaded a seven second clip of Eddy Wally saying “Wow” and then winking and exiting the screen to his left (the viewer’s right) but the fact is that he/she did. Wally’s ‘Wow’ would pop up now and again in the following years, but it wasn’t until its notable use by YouTubers h3h3 productions – currently the most ‘exe.citing’ channel on the video file sharing website – that the Eddy Wally ‘Wow’ became mainstream-meme.
He died on February 6, 2016, in Zelzate, Flanders, Belgium,.aged 83 from the physical effects of a stroke which he had suffered. He was married to Mariëtte Roegiers.
(Info mainly edited from moviequibble.co & Wikipedia)