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Obit: Ken Graydon, Oct 30, 1933-July 30, 2011

ClaireBear 05 Aug 11 - 12:49 AM
Chris in Portland 05 Aug 11 - 06:38 PM
ClaireBear 06 Aug 11 - 01:08 PM
Chris in Portland 06 Aug 11 - 01:54 PM
Arkie 06 Aug 11 - 07:00 PM
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Subject: Obit: Ken Graydon, Oct 30, 1933-July 30, 2011
From: ClaireBear
Date: 05 Aug 11 - 12:49 AM

I just learned this sad news from Felicia Dale.

"Southern California's most beloved cowboy poet, singer, recording artist, author and hotrod specialist, Ken Graydon of Fallbrook, CA lost his eight month battle with metastasized melanoma on Saturday evening, July 30. ... For more than thirty years he set the standard for transmuting straw into gold, turning the raw material of local legends and historical vignettes into beautiful, permanently crafted poems and songs, a number of which were recorded by internationally-known artists like Tommy Makem and Glenn Yarborough.

"Ken's cowboy poems and songs, including railroad and sea songs based on stories from the Pacific, are distinctive for their depth of research, their folk-like simplicity of music and poetry, and their dual focus on both the human comedy and tragedy. He was never clever for novelty's sake, nor did he waste his time eking out one more version of an already well-traveled tale. Ken Graydon had a gift for unearthing real buried treasures that had somehow escaped a poet's touch, and celebrating unsung heroes."

For the full obituary, visit this FolkWorks page.

Farewell, Ken. Fair seas and a following breeze, with safe harbor at the end of the voyage.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ken Graydon, Oct 30, 1933-July 30, 2011
From: Chris in Portland
Date: 05 Aug 11 - 06:38 PM

This is very sad news. Ken was a true salt of the earth person. Many prayers for his soul and for his soul-mate, Phee Sherline. You may recognize both names from their many Sing Out contributions. Both were very active and great performers for the San Diego Folk Song Society and the SD Bluegrass and Folk Club. In the '80's, the SDBFC had concerts with Ken doing cowboy poetry and these very young kids, the Watkins and Chris Thile doing the music!
Bless you Ken and Phee for all you have done for our music and our spirits.
Chris Jones

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Subject: Lyr Add: It's Time to Start Singing Again
From: ClaireBear
Date: 06 Aug 11 - 01:08 PM

It doesn't appear that "It's Time to Start Singing Again" has made it into the forum or DT, so I thought I'd refresh this thread with one of Ken's songs (copied from his website, where there are also guitar chords) that seems especially appropriate to our community:

Words and music by Ken Graydon

He wrote songs in the sixties that prodded the conscience of the nation
And the words that he chose to use mirrored our own indignation
And some called him Bobby and some called him Phil
Or Richard or Johnny or Len.
Now the voices have changed but the message sounds clear.
It's time to start singing again.

    So give me your words. Tell me what's on your mind.
    Show me what needs to be shown.
    Come raise up your voices and pour out your song.
    Let me know I'm not singing alone.

From Selma to Birmingham, Chicago, New York and Seattle,
He sang us the news and the hopes and he fears of the battle
'Till it blew in the wind and it hammered and rang
And the whole land was singing and then
It shimmered and echoed and faded away.
Now it's time to start singing again.

Now the years have gone 'round and the circle's come full in its turning
And it's time to be heard while liberty's torch is still burning
For there's power in music that can't be denied
And it comes 'round again and again
But no one can listen if nobody sings
So come and start singing again.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Ken Graydon, Oct 30, 1933-July 30, 2011
From: Chris in Portland
Date: 06 Aug 11 - 01:54 PM

Claire, you might add "Weekend Musician" too.
That was the unofficial anthem of the SFFSS.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Ken Graydon, Oct 30, 1933-July 30, 2011
From: Arkie
Date: 06 Aug 11 - 07:00 PM

Sad news here in Arkansas as well. My only meeting with Ken and Phee took place many years ago and whatever possessed them to drop by this remote little spot in the Ozarks one can only guess. I had some contact with Phee and they may have been curious about the Folk Center which is located here. My conversations were mostly with Phee and it was not until they had left that I discovered what I had missed by not making more time for Ken. He did not impose himself on people and though his accomplishments and talent were immense one would never learn that from him. I know he will be missed in many ways by those who knew him and my thoughts are with Phee.

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