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Obit: Kell Robertson, cowboy poet/singer (2011)

Neil D 08 Nov 11 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,999 09 Nov 11 - 04:55 PM
open mike 10 Nov 11 - 12:14 PM
Neil D 10 Nov 11 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,999 11 Nov 11 - 12:05 AM
GUEST 04 Jan 12 - 12:05 AM
Joe Offer 04 Jan 12 - 12:16 AM
pdq 04 Jan 12 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,Long Lost Grandchild 04 Jan 12 - 02:30 PM
Joe Offer 04 Jan 12 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Grandchild 04 Jan 12 - 04:52 PM
GUEST 01 Jul 13 - 09:39 PM
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Subject: Obit: Kell Robertson
From: Neil D
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 08:01 PM

Singer, songwriter, cowboy poet died yesterday morning. We really liked some of his songs like "Painted Horse River" and "Cool and Dark Inside" or "Julie's Neon Shoes".

Ride Easy, Kell.


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Subject: RE: OBIT Kell Robertson, singer/songwriter/cowboy poet
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 04:55 PM

Google the following

song 00:00:00 1. 01 Nothin' Better To Do - 2. 02 Julie's Neon ...

Two of the cuts you like on that link.

Ride easy, Kell.


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Subject: RE: OBIT Kell Robertson, singer/songwriter/cowboy poet
From: open mike
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 12:14 PM

another one rides off into the sunset...


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Subject: RE: OBIT Kell Robertson, singer/songwriter/cowboy poet
From: Neil D
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 11:53 PM

Thanks for the link 999. That was some friends of Kell's and about 4 of the songs were his. I know the lead singer and his wife were flying out Sunday evening and hopefully made it in time to say farewell.


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Subject: RE: OBIT Kell Robertson, singer/songwriter/cowboy poet
From: GUEST,999
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 12:05 AM

You're welcome, Neil. Seemed like a wonderful gruff ol' fellow, and I like that in people.


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Subject: RE: OBIT Kell Robertson, cowboy poet/singer (2011)
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jan 12 - 12:05 AM

Interestingly no one mentions his other children, his grand children or great grandchildren. but he was a poet, 'eh. Glad y'all loved him so much.


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Subject: RE: OBIT Kell Robertson, cowboy poet/singer (2011)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jan 12 - 12:16 AM

We knew him for his songs. We didn't know his children or anything about his personal life, but I would imagine his children will be happy about the fact that people appreciated him for his music.

The fan magazines make people think they should know everything about a celebrity's personal life, but maybe it's enough to simply know and appreciate what a public figure does in public.

-Joe Offer, Mudcat Archivist-


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Subject: RE: OBIT Kell Robertson, cowboy poet/singer (2011)
From: pdq
Date: 04 Jan 12 - 10:01 AM

Kell Robertson, 1930-2011: Cowboy-poet celebrated 'guns, guitars and women'

Steve Terrell | The New Mexican

Kell Robertson, a poet, songwriter, country singer, storyteller and local character, died Monday. He was 81.


Robertson died on the property where he had lived for about 15 years, southeast of Santa Fe near N.M. 14. A friend and neighbor, Joanie MacCallum, said he'd had a peaceful night surrounded by loved ones.

On Sunday, friends visited along with his daughter, Penelope Read, who flew in from San Francisco to be with the ailing poet, sit at his bedside and hold his hand. But though Robertson had been talking, joking and telling stories the night before, friends said, by Sunday afternoon he'd slipped into unconsciousness and never awoke.

Robertson was hospitalized about three weeks ago for liver problems. On Saturday, the hospital released him, telling friends that he had only a few days to live.

He had lived since 1997 on the property of fellow poet Argos MacCallum — Joanie's brother-in-law. The two had met in 1989 at a poetry event at the Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center in Fort Worth.

MacCallum allowed Robertson, who at the time was homeless, to move into a small building on his property. Robertson referred to it as a "converted chicken shack," though in reality MacCallum built it for Robertson three days before he moved in.

Robertson often described himself as "an old drunk." His songs celebrated a life of "Guns, Guitars and Women," as the title of one of his tunes said. He sang of saloons that were "cool and dark inside." Friends remember him with an ever-present cowboy hat on his head, a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

In a 2004 interview in No Depression magazine, Robertson said, "I've always thought that my biography is in my poetry and songs."

He said he was born in 1930 in Codell, Kan., the son of a saxophone player who abandoned the family when Robertson was a toddler. His mother remarried a man who kicked him out of the house at age 13.

But that was not before his mother took him to see Hank Williams play in Louisiana. "I was a hood," Robertson told The New Mexican in 1998. "My biggest thought [up to that] time was I wanted to own a gas station or rob one, make some money, get a chick and ride across the South being Jesse James or something. But then I went to see Hank Williams and saw what he did with that audience. How he touched everybody so deeply. I figured to myself, somehow I've got to do something like that."

Through the years, he earned his living as an usher in a movie theater, a fruit picker, a dishwasher, a soldier in the Korean War, a disc jockey at country and jazz stations, a bartender and an insurance salesman. At one point, he says, he took classes at a police academy in California before deciding against a career in law enforcement.

He also fell in with San Francisco's North Beach scene in the 1950s and '60s, and he published a mimeograph poetry magazine called Desperado in the '60s.

"I would say Kell Robertson is one fine cowboy-poet, worth a dozen New Yorker poetasters," poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti once declared. "Let them listen and hear the voice of the real America out there."

Said MacCallum: "I think he should be remembered as a major American poet. To him, poetry was a job. And he did it with relish."

Besides publishing several books of poetry, Robertson released three CDs of his music, all of which were recorded after he moved to Santa Fe. He performed locally in places like the now-defunct Oasis Cafe and on KSFR radio.

Longtime musical cohort Mike Good, who flew from Ohio to be with Robertson on his final day, said Monday that he took at least four road trips across the country with Robertson. "We drove the back roads, just seeing everything and talking," Good said. "He really opened my eyes on how to perceive things. ... He was really connected up there where all that — poetry and music — comes from."

In one of his songs, "I Always Loved A Waltz," Robertson contemplated his own epitaph: "Just write on my tombstone, Lord if I get a tombstone/Or maybe just a honky-tonk wall/That he was crazy for ladies, Lord, and guitars and babies/And a damned old fool for the waltz."

His most recent performance was a poetry reading in July at Teatro Paraguas Studio with MacCallum.

Robertson will be buried Tuesday in a private ceremony on the MacCallum property. MacCallum said a public memorial featuring music and poetry by Robertson's friends is being planned for February.


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Subject: RE: OBIT Kell Robertson, cowboy poet/singer (2011)
From: GUEST,Long Lost Grandchild
Date: 04 Jan 12 - 02:30 PM

I heard the news today and I was wondering if anyone had any more information on when and where the memorial for my grandfather will be? Please just post it here, I'll check back frequently.


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Subject: RE: OBIT Kell Robertson, cowboy poet/singer (2011)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jan 12 - 02:43 PM

Hi, Grandchild-
From the newspaper clipping posted above, I'd gather that you can find out about the February public memorial service by contacting his landlord and fellow poet Argos McCallum.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kell Robertson, cowboy poet/singer (2011)
From: GUEST,Grandchild
Date: 04 Jan 12 - 04:52 PM

Thank you Joe Offer. I reached out to Argos and got the info I needed :-)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kell Robertson, cowboy poet/singer (2011)
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 13 - 09:39 PM

7/1/2013 Lake Co.CA Although I tried we had not been in touch for years. I looked for him on the net from time to time & got his latest books & CDs when I discovered them, but couldn't actually find him. I read about his "chicken shack" & I wrote to him somewhere in N.M. in 2004 but never got a reply, so......I am very sad at seeing his obituary so many years later! I knew him in SF. I guess I was one of his many women, & once we waltzed in a daytime bar where I found him in the mission. I saw him play at the Coffee Gallery as often as I could in the 70's;the decade in which we met. I was a huge fan & collected as many of his small books of poetry as I could find. I still don't have quite all....... he was an amazing poet & incredible romantic when he wanted to be, in spite of his hard reality writing. Often he was quite brilliant. I have an old audio tape I made at the Coffee Gallery one night. In spite of 2 very noisy drunks, it is a fabulous example of some of his favorite songs then. I also have a couple of great photos I found & I cherish. I once made him a birthday cake on which I wrote "Here lies Kell..he were crazy for cake". If u know his old poetry you will see where that inspiration came from. I'll always love & miss him.... See you in the big trail in the sky, Kell. Then I will kick your ass!

email..firefoxwood@hushmail.com


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