Dutch blues singer Harry Muskee has died at the age of 70 following a battle with cancer.
In the 1960s, Muskee became known as the man who brought the blues to the Netherlands. As lead singer in Cuby and the Blizzards, his raucous voice shot to the Top 40 with hits like Window of my Eyes, Another Day Another Road and Appleknockers Flophouse.
The band backed Van Morrison in 1967 and opened for Fleetwood Mac in 1969 when they toured the Netherlands. Van Morrison visited Muskee on his farm in the northern Dutch village of Grolloo, where the Blizzards lived. Critics say Muskee’s music reflects the rawness and simplicity of his rural roots.
In the 1970s, the band split up when members claimed Muskee was too autocratic as leader.
Cuby and the Blizzards won several music business awards. They reformed in the early 1990s and Muskee surprised his fans in 2009 by releasing Cats Lost, the band's first studio album for 11 years.
Muskee was born in the northern town of Assen in 1941. His father was a German POW at the time of his birth. As a toddler, Muskee reportedly once shouted at a German officer in a hair salon "Wait 'til my father gets home - he'll get you."
His father returned to the Netherlands when Muskee was four years old. His mother developed multiple sclerosis soon after, leaving Muskee to be raised mainly by his grandmother. His mother died in 1961. Muskee got to the hospital too late to say goodbye, which, he said, left him with a lingering sadness.
He made his breakthrough in the music scene after the death of his grandmother a year later.
Muskee’s manager reported that the Dutch blues icon died at home.