The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #28934   Message #362853
Posted By: Chanteyranger
24-Dec-00 - 05:44 PM
Thread Name: William Main Doerflinger 1909-2000
Subject: RE: William Main Doerflinger 1909-2000
Thank you for letting us know about his passing, Dan. I had the pleasure of meeting him on two occasions. The first time was around 1992 or '93, when he walked into the maritime museum in San Francisco while I was working my shift at the museum desk. He asked how to contact the giftstore, because his book on chanteys was recently reprinted. After I asked him what book that was, I was astounded by his answer, that he was William Main Doerflinger. I knew that book as a classic source of chanteys, but had no idea the author was still alive. His manner was courteous and genuinely modest. In 1998 his daughter, who lives in the bay area, contacted me about having him come to one of the monthly chantey sings at the Hyde Street Pier. We arranged for a book signing and lecture at the chantey sing. It was arranged that three of our local singers would perform a few songs of Mr. Doerflinger's choosing, at different points during his program. What a great night it was, with a turnout of about 150 people. Bill Doerflinger lectured on the background to several songs. Dick Holdstock sung "Off To Sea Once More" and "Roll, Julia, Roll," Shay Black sung "The Leaving Of Liverpool," and Skip Henderson sang "Paddy West." Revell Carr, Jr., who hosted the chantey sings from 1992-1996, came up from Santa Barbara for the program, and many other local singers turned out for this night. Mr. Doerflinger then signed books, and stayed for much of the open chantey sing part of the evening. He was a truly gracious and modest man, and it was a great honor to have met him, and to have had him at our chantey sing.

-chanteyranger