Synopsis biography Benny Rees

Benny was in the 60s, the era of the hippie culture, a guitar student of the famous classic Dutch pianist / composer Loek van der Leeden. At that time he also formed his first bands. Benny frequently visited the Swiss city Vevey, where his uncle lived. Together they regularly visited the famous Montreux Casino, where Benny was singing songs of the Beatles, accompanied by piano. Since that time he only wanted to write songs and record his songs in a studio. He always had great admiration for the singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s.

Late 70s, early 80s, Benny wrote occasionally an editorial piece about Dutch artists in a Dutch newspaper. He also was editorially involved in the Dutch paper edition of 'Kappa?', where the Hilversum disc jockey Peter Teekamp (Radio Veronica) was editor in chief. 'Kappa?' was a magazine about illegal radio stations at sea and on land. They shared an experience with illegal radio stations. Teekamp began his career at Radio Mi Amigo and Radio Caroline and Benny owned in the 70s a major radio station in his hometown. He built his own secret radio transmitter and could be heard far beyond the German border. Benny was sometimes a guest in the radio programs of Radio Veronica. He was quite familiar with radio.

After writing an article about the famous Dutch record producer, composer and trumpeter Riny Schreijenberg (Marty), some musical doors opened to him, which were very useful. Schreijenberg soon realized that Benny wrote his own songs and also played guitar. He invited Benny to record his first single in the MMRecords studio in Arnhem. The single with the bright name "Capri" was quickly born. It was also just about the Italian island, where Benny had spent his last holidays.

Benny Rees transferred in 1983 for a short time to another recording studio; Bert Tinge in the commuter village Peize, near Groningen. There he recorded his autobiographical Dutch song "Gerda's letter to Father”. This vinyl sound recording was released on the CBS label Artone. It was the RNW, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, which gave the first airplay to this record. Rees also participated in the "National Festival of the Golden Key” which was organized by the Conamus Foundation (since 1-3-2006 Foundation Buma Culture). Benny Rees scored high with his second single. John de Mol Sr, member of the jury and founder of Conamus, was very impressed. Also Ben Holthuis, editor of the showbiz magazine Story, immediately wrote several positive articles about Benny, which was particularly good for his image in the “Dutch radio scene”. The notorious Dutch Pirate stations came into action immediately and Benny's sound recording was on air again and again, reaching a lot of listeners. Performances in the Netherlands and Belgium followed quickly.

The third single "If I Were a Rich Man" was also recorded in the MMRecords studio and released. It is a Dutch pop-schlager song. Benny wrote both text and music. The Hilversum radio disc jockey Will Luikinga (Radio Veronica) was the first to give him radio airplay. Herman Emmink quickly followed and gave airplay in his radio program “departing travellers”, which was broadcasted from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Benny also worked with MMRecords. Riny Schreijenberg and Benny often went out with a coach that was converted in a 24-track studio to record choirs anywhere in the Netherlands. Ultimately this resulted in the release of an LP-record for the choir itself. To be on the road with a mobile recording studio was for that time very ambitious.

Benny Rees did also radio promotion for de record company. His aim was to get as much airplay on Dutch Radio and TV stations as possible. Dutch artists needed the radio stations after their release to get a lot of publicity. Artist, songwriter and composer wanted much airplay after their release, which was very important to be able to live!

In 1985 Benny’s last vinyl single was released entitled "Anneliesje”. Riny Schreijenberg did the production and the single was released at the VNC-label of music publisher Johan Hense.In 2010 he released a single on streaming services, a.o. on iTunes, intended to upload. The song "Loneliness in love" is an autobiographical text, written after his wife deceased from breast cancer. Benny released it, using the pseudonym "Singer Without a Name”. No one knew that this was Benny. The text was sensitive and suited him, but his temporary new name was a joke! Benny owns the record label "BR Dutch Records”. In recent years Benny changed his focus more on concert, festival and music photography. He prefers singer-songwriters and new young talents.  He had also some famous artists for his lens. Benny portrayed the world famous singer-songwriter Melanie Safka, who received world fame after her performance at the legendary Woodstock Music & Art-festival in the US city of Bethel in 1969. Benny obviously had more legendary artists and unknown talent for his lens. His photo and music promotion platform has in recent years produced many loyal followers; Nancy Sinatra is one of them. In recent years, Benny frequently is engaged in street and portrait photography, mainly in Amsterdam. He selects his models carefully and portrays them for the future!

Benny Rees 2017

  Pop, Street  Portrait Photographer
  Singer Songwriter
Dutch, English Singer Songwriter  70`s  and  80`s
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