Fred Åkerström

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Fred Åkerström
Birth name Bo Gunnar Åkerström
Also known as Fred Åkerström
Born (1937-01-27)January 27, 1937
Stockholm, Sweden
Died August 9, 1985(1985-08-09) (aged 48)
Karlskrona, Sweden
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1963–1985
Associated acts Cornelis Vreeswijk
Ann-Louise Hanson
CajsaStina Åkerström
Cornelis Vreeswijk, Fred Åkerström, Gösta Cervin in a protest march against Vietnam war in Stockholm, 1965

Fred Åkerström (27 January 1937 – 9 August 1985) was a Swedish folk guitarist and singer particularly noted for his interpretations of Carl Michael Bellman's music, and his own work of the typically Swedish song segment named visa. These songs, visor, are traditionally very narrative and the performance is "acted" to some degree. The singer is in context a vissångare, a troubadour character. Åkerström was also known for his actor's interpretations of Bellman's 18th century material, and his unusual ability to reach deep bass notes (especially on his interpretation of Bellman's song Glimmande nymf).


Åkerström was born in Stockholm to a family of meager circumstances, which would later influence the social, economic, and political criticisms found in many of his works and public appearances. He may have aspired at an early age to become a vissångare, being a devoted listener to Ruben Nilson. After performances at the famous vispråmen "Storken," he released his first record in 1963, Fred Åkerström sjunger Ruben Nilson. He was a contemporary of Cornelis Vreeswijk, and the two were at times very close, touring together and releasing a joint record, early in their careers.[1] He became an alcoholic in later life. His daughter CajsaStina Åkerström is also a singer.[2]