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Obit: Louisa Jo Killen (1934-2013)

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Anglo 10 Aug 13 - 11:58 AM
Paul Davenport 10 Aug 13 - 12:05 PM
jacqui.c 10 Aug 13 - 12:06 PM
DebC 10 Aug 13 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 10 Aug 13 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Dave Eyre 10 Aug 13 - 12:17 PM
Ron Davies 10 Aug 13 - 12:20 PM
Jeri 10 Aug 13 - 12:35 PM
RTim 10 Aug 13 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,kendall 10 Aug 13 - 12:58 PM
Nancy King 10 Aug 13 - 01:02 PM
EBarnacle 10 Aug 13 - 01:13 PM
Marc Bernier 10 Aug 13 - 01:16 PM
Elmore 10 Aug 13 - 01:34 PM
Dave Sutherland 10 Aug 13 - 01:34 PM
Bat Goddess 10 Aug 13 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Marie Dufresne 10 Aug 13 - 02:03 PM
Bat Goddess 10 Aug 13 - 02:37 PM
Jeri 10 Aug 13 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 10 Aug 13 - 02:44 PM
Jim McLean 10 Aug 13 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Mary Katherine 10 Aug 13 - 03:37 PM
Thomas Stern 10 Aug 13 - 04:05 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 10 Aug 13 - 04:10 PM
RoyH (Burl) 10 Aug 13 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Mike O'Leary-Johns 10 Aug 13 - 04:45 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Aug 13 - 05:05 PM
Tyke 10 Aug 13 - 05:22 PM
12-stringer 10 Aug 13 - 05:27 PM
The Sandman 10 Aug 13 - 05:33 PM
Charley Noble 10 Aug 13 - 06:05 PM
ChanteyLass 10 Aug 13 - 07:46 PM
sciencegeek 10 Aug 13 - 08:44 PM
Leadfingers 10 Aug 13 - 09:15 PM
lisa null 10 Aug 13 - 09:39 PM
GUEST 11 Aug 13 - 12:39 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Aug 13 - 12:45 AM
GUEST,Guest Bob Blair 11 Aug 13 - 01:14 AM
BrooklynJay 11 Aug 13 - 01:17 AM
GUEST,bsrnacle ev broen tim reilly mary audette) 11 Aug 13 - 03:25 AM
GUEST,Sean Breadin (Sedayne / Blandiver) 11 Aug 13 - 04:29 AM
GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band" 11 Aug 13 - 04:58 AM
Felipa 11 Aug 13 - 05:24 AM
Felipa 11 Aug 13 - 05:33 AM
Abby Sale 11 Aug 13 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Wendy Price 11 Aug 13 - 08:52 AM
GUEST 11 Aug 13 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Mikaël 11 Aug 13 - 09:44 AM
Matthew Edwards 11 Aug 13 - 10:00 AM
Bat Goddess 11 Aug 13 - 10:06 AM
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Subject: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Anglo
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 11:58 AM

I am sorry to be the one to announce here that Louisa Jo Killen, formerly Louis Killen, passed last peacefully last night.

She was a dear friend for well over 40 years, and we sang together as a trio with Tony Barrand in the 70s, as well as touring again in the States in the 90s.

Unsurpassed as a ballad singer, and a major, major force in English traditional music, she will be missed.

John Roberts


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:05 PM

A great loss. A very sad day, she was a very special person.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: jacqui.c
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:06 PM

Oh no! Another one I would have loved to meet - such a talent and, from the stories I've heard, a real character.

RIP Louisa.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: DebC
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:09 PM

One of the songs I first heard from Louisa. I am very sad today. As John said above, she will be missed and it is also quite apparent how far and wide her influence has been.

Debra Cowan

When Fortune Turns the Wheel

Come fill the cup, let's drink about
This nicht, we'll merry be
For friends and for harmony
Likewise my comrades three
To meet yence mair some other nicht
My secret joy reveal
For I now maun stray so far away
Til fortune turns the wheel

Nae love, nor gold, nor dress I'll take
My estimate of man
But when I meet a friend in need
To stretch a helping hand
To him I'll drink, for him I'll fetch
To him my mind reveal
And friends we'll be, whatever way
Blind fortune turns the wheel

And it's of a lovely lassie
Aye, it's her I'll justly blame
When dark misfortune frowned on me
She denied she knew my name
But friends by remorse its passed
To her I'll never kneel
I'll sweethearts find, both true and kind
When fortune turns the wheel

O ye dowie hill o Caledon
Likewise sweet Coquetdale
Where friends binds the firmest ties
And love tells the sweetest tale
Here's to my friends and to my foes
Ye'll ken I wish them well
That we all may meet some other nicht
When fortune turns the wheel

But it's some of my pretended friends
If friends ye may them call
They falsely turned their back on me
When mine was at the wall
Yet in a glass I'll drink their health
Ye'll ken I wish them well
That someday I may pay the debt
When fortune turns the wheel


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:12 PM

What a shock. I grew up listening to Louis on various Topic albums and loved his singing. I saw him regularly at Cecil Sharp House and always admired his incredible singing ability and his knowledge of songs. I really am sorry to have heard this news.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,Dave Eyre
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:17 PM

Sad to hear this. A great singer and musician gone. Shame.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Ron Davies
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:20 PM

Indeed, what a shock.   He set the standard in so many songs--that's the voice I hear when I think of quite a few.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:35 PM

This is so sad. I grew up as a folkie listening to her. Fox Hollow, Old Songs, the odd session in the Press Room and the first Portsmouth (NH) Maritime Festival. She was the reason many of us sing the songs we sing. She was the reason some of us sing...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: RTim
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:47 PM

A Sad Day, a great singer and musician. A unique person in so many ways. RIP.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:58 PM

When I first met Louis, we got into a rather warm difference of opinion about what happened to the Oak trees in England. He was quite a character, and I admired him very much. This is so sad. Peace and love on you, Louisa.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Nancy King
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 01:02 PM

Another of the great ones gone. Sad news indeed. Rest in peace, Louisa.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: EBarnacle
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 01:13 PM

Till we meet again in Fiddler's Green.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 01:16 PM

I just heard! My best wishes to all of you who knew and loved her.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Elmore
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 01:34 PM

Saw Louis perform many times over a 40 year span . Sorry to hear of Louisa Jo's passing.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 01:34 PM

Oh no another one of the great people who got me interested in traditional folk song in the first place gone. Naturally, as a fellow Geordie, I saw more than my fair share of him in the sixties before he left for America. However it was after his return many years later that I got to know him better through regular bookings at TATT in Nottingham and his visits to The National at Sutton Bonington. I last saw Louisa in March last year at Birtley Folk Club's 50th birthday where she sang magnificently.
A sad loss; RIP Louisa.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 01:57 PM

A very sad day. As Jeri said, Lou was the reason we sing some of songs we do...and even the reason for singing this style of music in the first place.

I have fond, warm memories...late night discussions over song origins in front of the refrigerator at Gerrett Warner's home during the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival...realizing while singing at a Press Room session that Lou was joining in on the chorus of song I'd -- oh my gawd! -- learned from one of his LPs...Lou "saving my life" with a sip from his glass of water when I had a coughing fit at a house concert...

Another voice stilled way too soon...

Linn


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,Marie Dufresne
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 02:03 PM

Such a voice and such a keeper of traditional songs. A consummate performer -another voice joins the heavenly choir --rest in peace Louisa.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 02:37 PM

From Louisa and Margaret on Facebook --

To all of Louisa Jo's Family and Friends,

I am very sad to pass on the news that Louisa Jo Killen died peacefully last night, August 9, at 9:15 PM, GMT, in her home, surrounded by friends and family. Before she died, we had written a message together to send to you all on Facebook and in emails, but things took a sudden turn for the worse and we never finished editing it. Here is that message from Louisa and Margaret:

It's been a long time since I have posted a message on Facebook, and now it is time to do just that. I have been seriously ill for several months. After my lung was removed in December, I was recovering relatively well, but then a third metastasis was found on my spine and my road to recovery is proving to be very rocky. I am in hospital right now for the second time in two weeks – the first time due to bi-lateral pneumonia, and now due to very high blood sugars, high potassium, and another infection. Some of this is due to the medications I have to take related to my cancer treatment, and some seems to be because of my deteriorated condition. I have been reluctant to share these problems with all of you because I've been through these crises before and I didn't want to bother people yet again with my health problems.

However, now I am not certain I will make it through the current problems. It's not that I expect to die tomorrow, but I do believe that end point is on the horizon. I have had a good life and I don't regret any part of it. I have had wonderful experiences and relationships and many of you have been very important in my life. Thank you for that - it wouldn't have been the same without you! I think of you all at different times and in different ways, and I always give thanks for my friends. The energy of my friendships sustains me in so many ways.

I tell you this because I would like to hear from you and I will do my best to keep in touch. And if you have any other healing powers please send them my way. I will try to keep you updated, and if I can't, Margaret will. She is here with me to help and support me.

Love to you all,

Louisa

****************************

Many of you had already written to Louisa and I want you to know that before she died I read those emails and messages to her. She was very touched by the love she felt from all of you. Thank you for those messages and your love. You made her life and my life very rich.

Funeral plans have not yet been made yet. I will post those plans on this site sometime in future.
Love,

Margaret


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 02:39 PM

There's an obituary at the SingOut! site by Heather Wood.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 02:44 PM

A great singer and a sad loss. I met Louis on a number of occasions in the middle to late sixties before the Northern Irish 'troubles' interfered with real life. I have always regard him as one of the great interpreters. My sympathy is with those he sang with in the past - Alister Anderson, Johnny Handle, Tommy Gilfellon and very much with his family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 02:53 PM

Louis was a good friend of myself and my wife who came from Durham City. I never knew Louis as a woman and found it hard to imagine the very male, bearded, drinking mate of old but it was obviously for him/her. We would like to pass on both our condolences to Margaret.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,Mary Katherine
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 03:37 PM

So sorry to hear this sad news. Condolences to her loved ones.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 04:05 PM

Very sad news. One of the finest singers in the British tradition.
Condolences to all his family and friends.
Lou - Rest in peace.

His voice will be available to old and new lovers of this
music through his many recordings. A goodly list at the
Louis Killen website:
http://www.louiskillen.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/pages/discog.html

Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 04:10 PM

What a sad loss. Louis was one of my early idols, a great singer.

I hadn't seen him/her in recent years (the last time I think was in the late 90s when he popped into Herga FC), but one of my wonderful memories was of him and Ray Fisher (also gone now) in a late night session at one of the last (UK) National Festivals, egging each other on to sing songs they liked.

I shall be getting out my vinyl of Ballads and Broadsides and having a listen in memory of one of the greats.

My condolences to her family.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 04:16 PM

Goodbye Louisa. It was very good to know you and have the privilege of calling you Friend. I was ever in awe of your singing, and my admiration of you as a person grew to new heights when observing the courage with which you faced the enormous challenges in your life.
You are free from pain now. Rest well, and thank you for the gift of song that you brought to us all. We who love traditiional music will never forget you.
My wife and I send condolences to Louisa's family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,Mike O'Leary-Johns
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 04:45 PM

They don't come along very often ; but he/she was one of the very best.
...................... Mike


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 05:05 PM

Lou was a great inspiration to me in the early days in Hull, before he went to America. Unfortunately I only spoke to him briefly when he came home. Another sad loss. Condolences to the family.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Tyke
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 05:22 PM

RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: 12-stringer
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 05:27 PM

Condolences to family and friends. I've owned "Waters of Tyne," "Colliers Rant," and "Northumbrian Garland" on vinyl for close to 50 years.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 05:33 PM

I am really sad to hear this news. Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 06:05 PM

Sad news. I had heard at Mystic that she was not doing well.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 07:46 PM

Oh, no! I am so sorry to read this. What a loss. I had also heard at Mystic that Louisa was ill, and a post by Deb C. on Facebook that I read this morning made me expect some bad news, but I'd hoped it would not be this. Thanks for the music, Louisa, and rest and sing in peace.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: sciencegeek
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 08:44 PM

Words fall too short for this... and most of them would make a sailor blush...

The singing in heaven just got a little louder...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 09:15 PM

In 1964 I came home after a tour (RAF) in Germany a serious Trad Jazz player and joined the Hermitage Jazz Club in Hitchen only to discover joint membership with the Friday Folk Club where Louis was MC and main performer . What an introduction to live Folk Song ! R I P Louisa


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: lisa null
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 09:39 PM

Oh what a loss.

Louisa was a tremendous influence on me-- opening me up to the special joys of broadside balladry when I first heard him at Fox Hollow in 1970. Over the years, we became pretty good friends as we performed many of the same places in the seventies and early eighties. In addition to being one of the great singers, she was also a bundle of information and strong opinions.

I had the great pleasure of hearing Peter Bellamy and Louisa Jo sing together in joint workshops at two festivals I helped organize at Wesleyan University: gorgeous strong, unblended harmonies combined with quick repartee followed by good natured argument into the wee hours.

Another thing I remember was her after/hours blues guitar. The last time she performed in the DC area, I believe, was at a wonderful house concert at Judy and Dennis Cook's. It was a fascinating experience as she shared a great deal about her childhood and youth. We will certainly miss her in this house-- I am so grateful that so much of her legacy will live on and on.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 12:39 AM

http://singout.org/2013/08/10/louisa-jo-louis-killen-passes/


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 12:45 AM

Louis was not a close acquaintance, and I never met Louisa. But Lou was one to whom the Folk Scene owes an incalculable debt, and I add my voice to the mourners.

Farewell, Lou.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,Guest Bob Blair
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 01:14 AM

Another one gone!

Farewell old pal

Bob Blair


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 01:17 AM

We heard the sad news yesterday (Saturday) from Heather Wood at a Sing at Riverside Inwood Park in Manhattan. We were stunned, though some of knew she was quite ill.

Though I only knew her by repute and through recordings, it was, nonetheless, a shock to hear the news.

RIP, as I raise my glass in tribute...


Jay


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,bsrnacle ev broen tim reilly mary audette)
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 03:25 AM

Very sad to hear. What an influential amazing performer.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,Sean Breadin (Sedayne / Blandiver)
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 04:29 AM

Sad news. One of the great voices. Much respect. RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 04:58 AM

May we offer our condolences. One whose influence was so strong in the revival days and a very sad loss to our folk music world today.

R.I.P.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Felipa
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 05:24 AM

I remember the bearded Louis well but I didnt even know about the major identity change - can't help but wonder how Lou's singing changed. She wrote a beautiful message (posted above) about her deteriorating condition, appreciation of a fulfilling life and acceptance of the inevitable. Sincere condolences to all who were close to Lou.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Felipa
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 05:33 AM

just read Heather Wood's obit in Sing Out and saw the photo of a pleasant-looking Louisa. The mention of the Pitman's Bible in Heather's articlereminds me of the story of the 3 wise men following the star - a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale pitched in the sky (I don;t recall te finer details)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Abby Sale
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 08:36 AM

Sadly for me, I barely knew her though those few meetings were fine ones. Yet I have felt that I knew her well since the 60's. Always a vital presence.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,Wendy Price
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 08:52 AM

So sad to hear the news. Condolences to Margaret and family. His interpretation of ballads was beyond compare.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 09:07 AM

Very sad news indeed. I remember playing with Lou at Mystic back in the 80's and participating in the late night English folk singer blues workshop. A wonderful singer and person who will surely be missed by us all. RIP

Bob Hitchcock.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: GUEST,Mikaël
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 09:44 AM

RIP. What a great singer and musician.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 10:00 AM

Really sorry to hear this; she was a great singer and a great character.

There is an excellent article by Pete Wood in Living Tradition in 2002 about Lou's career:- Pioneer.

I last met Louisa at Soundpost where she talked about her life "before I became as beautiful as I am now!", and went on to sing a splendid rendition of "The Rose in June". Lovely memories.

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Obit: Louisa Jo Killen, Aug 9 2013
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 10:06 AM

Felipa, that must be from "Geordie Nativity" -- I laughed til I cried when I heard Lou do it at a house concert. Wish "Game of Darts" had been recorded, too -- Lou did that recitation at a Press Room performance back in the '80s. There were just a handful of us sitting at a table up front (Jay Smith having got the calendar out late again and had to call Tom and I to say Lou Killen was performing...) joining in most of the choruses. ("You know these songs, then...")

"Joe, a carpenter, who was a bit of a Ca PIT alist, and took a charabanc tour down to Bethlehem to see Nazarus Rovers play Bethlehem United..." "and God up on a cloud wi' a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale shouting 'This is the best Christmas I've seen in a long time!'"

Linn


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