Ben Steneker, father of Dutch country music, to perform in Orange City« Back to Events
The free performance is at Windmill Park at 7 p.m.
Steneker, dubbed “the godfather of Dutch country,” introduced country music to the Netherlands. This native of Friesland began his career over 50 years ago, after winning talent contests, then recording a single that made number four in the Dutch Hit Parade.
In ’81 he was invited to the States by Bob Everhart, and has performed 30-plus times here, from Nashville to Indianapolis. He has become a regular at Everhart’s Old-Time Music Festival, and is coming again this month, to the 37th festival in Le Mars Aug. 27-Sept. 2.
Steneker is a great entertainer with “an incredible voice,” said Everhart, and versatile too, even singing opera in the Netherlands. A Dutch fan of Steneker’s, Jaap Van Aalst, who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, received his last wish in 2011. Van Aalst was able to travel from his home in the Netherlands to Le Mars, to hear Steneker & his daughter Carmen perform. Van Aalst loved the Stenekers’ songs, especially “Until the Answer Comes,” a gospel tune about praying continuously, and “The Gift,” about a poor girl whose gift to Christ is all she has: a tiny bird with a broken wing.
The magazine Texas Proud honored Steneker as “best foreign artist of the year” in ’81. In ’94, Steneker was inducted as the only European in the Mid America Country Hall of Fame, and in 2010 Ben and Carmen’s album, Homeland, was awarded international CD of the year by the Rural Roots Commission.
Now Steneker and his wife Irene live near Haaksbergen, and in the Netherlands he is a household name, like Johnny Cash in the States. In fact, Steneker has shared the stage with Johnny Cash. In 2000, Steneker was named the first member of the “Dutch Country Hall of Fame.” He has received honors from the mayor of Haaksbergen and Queen Beatrix, and in ’07 celebrated his 50th year as a country-western singer with a sold-out, televised show.
The August 25 event is free of charge, thanks to Precision Alignment of Maurice, Four-Way Roofing of Alton and the Orange City Arts Council.
Bring lawn chairs or blankets. Concessions will be available. Rain location is the Orange City town hall.
For more information, check www.orangecityarts.net or contact 712-707-6514 or 712-540-6025 or ocArts@orangecityiowa.com.