Thursday, September 27, 2012

Honoring the Cowboy of the North

Earlier this year I met Hallbjörn Hjartarson--Iceland's very own cowboy. An icon and living legend, Hallbjörn single-handedly introduced and spread country and western music in Iceland. For many years he hosted a festival that brought thousands of Icelanders to the beautiful town of Skagaströnd. They sang and danced country and western music into the night, and when they couldn't be there, they would listen to it through Iceland's only country and western radio station.

Hallbjörn is a pioneer who built bridges between Icelanders and Americans through his music and festivals. He is also a warm human being. The Country Music Association in Nashville, Tennessee, agreed that Hallbjörn’s contributions should be honored with a special achievement award. I had the pleasure of presenting it to Hallbjörn on September 18 with the whole town of Skagaströnd in attendance along with family and friends. It was a wonderful evening of community, friendship, music, and fellowship.