by brenda crites
Singer/songwriter Steve Free and his singing partner,
Susan Sammons, performed in Coffeyville June 25 through 27 as part of
the Coffeyville Community College Humanities Program.
Free has lived in Portsmouth, Ohio for 30 years.
But he has an interesting connection with Coffeyville- his 4th great-grandfather
was William Dalton, a member of the notorious Dalton Gang family.
"I have learned more about my family tree and history in the last few weeks
than was ever spoken of in my family," said Free. "But then,
when I see their legacy I can understand why! Of course, apples don't
fall too far from the tree, my Grandfather on this side of the family
was the number one Moonshiner in Eastern Kentucky and Southern Ohio in
''I found out quite a bit more information when I went to the Coffeyville
Website to check out the area and what was available there, that is when
I learned about the significance of my ancestors to the Coffeyville area."
Susan Sammons is from "across the river" in Hitchins, Kentucky, Free
joked, "When we travel in the South they refer to me as a 'Yankee'
but Susan, who lives right across the river from me, is considered a
Free is an internationally
known award winning singer/songwriter/recording artist who draws upon
his Native American (his grandmother is Shawnee) and Appalachian roots
through songs and stones to entertain and educate audiences of all ages.
He has won 8 ASCAP Awards; has earned a Platinum Record and has Charted
11 songs on the Billboard, CashBox and International Charts. He remains
one of the top American folk/country artist on European and Overseas
Along with schools and art presentations, Free is one of the most
sought after performers on the fair and festival circuit in the Midwest
and South. He was nominated for the Governor's Award for the Arts in
Ohio in 1996 & 2000.
His CD, "All Points Between" was nominated for Album Of the
Year by The Americana Music Association in 2005 and the single "My
Guiding Light" reached # 2 on The Billboard Christian Country Charts.
His Christmas song "Just A Baby Boy" was an International hit
in 2005 and is becoming a worldwide Christmas standard.
Steve and Susan performed throughout Coffeyville and Caney. "It's been really an interesting experience, we met one woman, Vera Peace, who is 105 years old! In some places there was quite a group and everyone was clapping and singing along, that was just great," he added.
The songs performed included "Walking My Baby Back Home" ami the John Denver tune, "Country Roads." One song;, written by Steve Free was an ode to "Home Grown Tomatoes."