Monday, 10 December 2012

Bé Holdtman, 1943–2012

Bé Holdtman as concert audiences will remember him - at the microphone at the Muzeval Theater. Thanks to Kevin Lynch for sending this photo, taken at Rienk Janssen's 'Strictly Country Magazine Farewell Weekend' by Hans van Dam, one of Bé's oldest friends and music-business colleagues in the Netherlands.

Pieter Groenveld of Strictly Country Records sends this sad news:

I’m very sorry to report that one of the most productive bluegrass concert organisers in Holland, Bé Holdtman, has passed away on 8 December, after a battle with cancer. Bé was a government worker for the council of Emmen, the Netherlands. His department was in control of road and water works. He retired from this job only a few years ago.

In the music scene Holdtman was mostly known for his many always-sold-out old-time country and bluegrass shows at the Muzeval Theater in Emmen, from 1985 to 1998. Among US bands that performed there were the Good Ol’ Persons, White Mountain Bluegrass, High Country, Traver Hollow, Laurie Lewis & Grant Street, Lynn Morris Band, Bill Clifton & Pick of the Crop, Robin and Linda Williams & Their Fine Group, Bob Paisley & Southern Grass, Kate McKenzie Band, Liz Meyer & Midnight Flyer, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters, Charlie Louvin & Charles Whitstein, and many others.

Bé worked closely together with Rienk Janssen, who was largely responsible for the many US bands touring Europe during that time. I was the lucky sound guy during all these shows, and some classic 'Live in Holland’ albums were recorded here at the Muzeval Theater, such as Bob Pailey & the Southern Grass, Robin and Linda Williams & Their Fine Group, and Charlie Louvin & Charles Whitstein, A Louvin Brothers celebration. Bé’s Dutch (local) buddies, the Alabama Country Boys, were always part of the concerts. Bé will be greatly missed by his family and many friends in the USA and Europe. Thank you, Bé; you sure were special.

Bé with his son Eric - a recent photo