In 1965, in order to herald a new phrase in the career, Johnny & His Cellar Rockers changed the name into The Hunters. Around this time drummer Pierre van der Linden was replaced by Sydney Wachtel. The band released their first singel in the summer of 1965: Mr. Tambourine man and It ain't me, Babe, both written by Bob Dylan. In July, both their version of Mr. Tambourine Man and the version of The Byrds similarly reached the top of the Dutch To 40.
1966 - 1967
In February, they recorded cover song You were on my mind/Bury me beneath the willow, which ended up high in the charts. They then began to draw from Jan Akkerman's own work: Russian spy and I, written by Jan and producer Casper Koelman, would become their most famous song, recieving much radio airplay. The B-side of this single was the track Spring. The Hunters kept working hard throughout 1966, resulting in a third release: Janosh/When I see Babette.
The American Peggy March was the next lady with whom The Hunters collaborated, resulting in Too long away and Kilindini Docks, both especially written with her voice in mind. 1967 saw the release of I'm the king/The consul of Sidney, both written by Jan Akkerman.
This year, the Hunters chose another new musical path. Strange things appear conatined various influences from the flower power summer of 1967. In the meantime, Jan worked very hard at his solo career.
Jan went on to record his last single with The Hunters. Although Lost money/Shovel man was not a major success, it was a worthy end of an impressive band.