Long Stretch of Freedom by Ottar Johansen
Born and raised in Northern Norway, Ottar “Big Hand” Johansen left as an 18-year old to pursue a professional career in the capitol of Oslo. It wasn’t long until he starred in his own television series, making successful records and going on the road with one of Norway’s most popular bands at the time; "Country Snakes".
With the 80´s came the Texas Outlaw movement and BIG HAND felt right at home. Adapting the more rock oriented style in the fashion of artists like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, he formed "Country Jamboree" with former "rock star" Casino Steel and British/Norwegian singer Claudia Scott. They became an overnight success, toured both nationally and internationally, and recorded three albums (one of which earned them a Grammy) before they split up in 1986.
It is said to have been many Norwegian sailors, coming back home from across the Atlantic, bringing
their brand new telecasters and Buck Owens records with them, who are mainly responsible for boosting
the popularity of country music among the Norwegians back in the 60´s.
One man is still carrying that torch.