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Ben Cramer

Ben Cramer

Early careerCramer made his television debut in 1966 with his backing group the Spaklings, and was spotted by singer Annie de Reuver, who helped him obtain a record deal. In 1967, his first single, "Zai zai zai", became a hit, reaching #7 on the Dutch chart. The follow-up "Dans met mij" also peaked at #7, and he would have a string of successful records in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His most fondly-remembered record is "De Clown" from 1971.Eurovision Song ContestIn 1970, Cramer took part in the Dutch Eurovision selection with the song "Julia", which came fourth. He returned in 1973, this time singing all four songs, from which "De oude muzikant" ("The Old Musician") was chosen as the Dutch entry for the 18th Eurovision Song Contest, held on 7 April in Luxembourg City. "De oude muzikant" was seen as a rather old-fashioned song, and finished the evening in 14th place of 17 entries.Cramer returned to Eurovision in 1981 with two songs, "Marianne" and "Retour", in the Dutch selection, but both finished well down the field.Cramer was associated with the 1988 Contest providing radio commentary for Dutch listeners.Later careerCramer continued to enjoy periodic chart success through the 1970s; his last charting single was "Alles is anders" in 1980. The 1980s were relatively quiet, then in 1989 he starred as Juan PerĂ³n in the musical Evita, and went on to appear in many stage productions such as Chicago and The Phantom of the Opera. He has since appeared in TV programmes such as the drama series Westenwind and the Dutch Celebrity Big Brother, and continues his stage career.In 2009, along with a number of other Dutch Eurovision veterans, Cramer was a special guest at that year's televised Eurovision selection.


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