Icelandic Country Legend Honoured

19.9.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
A man known for being Iceland's foremost aficionado of country music was honoured by an American country music association.

Hallbjörn Hjartarson - known as the "cowboy of the north" - has been running his radio show Útvarp Kántrýbær ("Radio Countrytown") since 1992. As the name of the show suggests, Hallbjörn plays country music almost exclusively. He has also released ten albums, and founded a country music museum in Skagaströnd.

RÚV reports that the Country Music Association, in conjunction with the US embassy, have given Hallbjörn a special award for his contributions to and promotion of country music.

US ambassador Luis E. Arreaga told reporters that after visiting Kántrýbær a year ago, he encouraged the CMA to recognise Hallbjörn for his efforts in spreading the genre across Iceland.

Hallbjörn was beside himself, saying, "I find this unbelievable, and would have believed anything else but this. But this is fun, I have to admit."

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