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2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)

Fred Maslan 19 Feb 17 - 10:32 AM
reggie miles 19 Feb 17 - 09:55 PM
mg 20 Feb 17 - 07:00 PM
GUEST 21 Feb 17 - 01:23 AM
GUEST 21 Feb 17 - 09:10 PM
Genie 21 Feb 17 - 09:45 PM
GUEST 22 Feb 17 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,Jon Bartlett 25 Feb 17 - 04:01 AM
Deckman 25 Feb 17 - 09:32 AM
Stewart 25 Feb 17 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Jon Bartlett 26 Feb 17 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,Judi Gibbs 27 Feb 17 - 03:45 AM
Stewart 27 Feb 17 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Pushkara Sally Ashford 27 Feb 17 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Kay Sullivan 28 Feb 17 - 02:04 PM
Waddon Pete 02 Mar 17 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,Christian Harrington son of Lou 16 Dec 17 - 09:33 PM
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Subject: Obit Phil Williams
From: Fred Maslan
Date: 19 Feb 17 - 10:32 AM

We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Phil Williams. As a musician and resource and as a founder of the Seattle Folklore Society, and as one of the founders of Northwest Folklife, may his memory shine. .February 15, 2017.


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Subject: RE: Obit Phil Williams
From: reggie miles
Date: 19 Feb 17 - 09:55 PM

The last time we spoke, he invited me to drop by and check nout his collection of early Blues. I really meant to do that. Finding someone who admired that music as much as I was a sweet surprise.


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: mg
Date: 20 Feb 17 - 07:00 PM

That is sad to hear. My condolences to Vivian and family.


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 17 - 01:23 AM

My condolences also -

MAG


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 17 - 09:10 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: Genie
Date: 21 Feb 17 - 09:45 PM

Very sad news. Phil will be greatly missed at Folklife Festival and around the folk music community. My deep condolences to Vivian.

Genie


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 17 - 03:59 AM

Is that Paul Williams who did the score for Thunderbolt and Lightfoot ?


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: GUEST,Jon Bartlett
Date: 25 Feb 17 - 04:01 AM

Could someone from Seattle post any press obituaries, please? Phil had a remarkable past, far beyond folk music. He spoke to me once about working in theatre before the war with Sandy Paton - I'd dearly like to read more. He was of course a giant in northwest folklore, both in collection and dissemination.

We in the Vancouver Folk Song Society send our condolences and our very best wishes to Vivian.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: Deckman
Date: 25 Feb 17 - 09:32 AM

It's always a shock when you first learn of another passing. It is impossible to speak of Phil without also speaking of Vivian. It was usually "Phil and Vivian." He was pivotal to so very much in folk music in the Pacific Northwest. On a personal note ... he was VERY helpful to me as I was struggling to get my own archive project going. He will be missed. Bob Nelson


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: Stewart
Date: 25 Feb 17 - 11:45 AM

Here's an obituary from the Bluegrass Today website

Phil Williams, pioneering musician, promoter, and record company owner in the Pacific Northwest, died on February 16. He had been ill for some time and was 80 years when he passed.

His was a familiar face in bluegrass circles, performing since the mid-1960s with a variety of groups, often with his wife, champion fiddler Vivian Williams. They left behind many recordings with the Tall Timer Boys, and as a duo performing as Vivian and Phil Williams.

Together they also ran Voyager Records starting in 1967, releasing their own recordings and collections of traditional and historical fiddle music of the United States. Voyager published a range of instructional materials as well, including tune books and workshop materials for teaching mandolin and fiddle.

Phil developed a reputation as a first-rate audio engineer, and published a number of articles in professional journals.

He was also a co-founder of the Northwest Folklife Festival, which has drawn large crowds to Seattle each year since 1971.

People in the Northwest region will remember Phil for his tremendous generosity and love for the music and the people who played it.

The Voyager Records web site retains a wealth of information on Vivian and Phil, and their extensive work preserving the music of the Northwestern folk and fiddle traditions. Vivian continues to manage the company.

Vivian tells us that she won't hold a traditional funeral, but will schedule a memorial event later in the spring to celebrate Phil's life, and his passion for traditional string music and dancing.

Posted on February 20, 2017 by John Lawless        


S. in Settle


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: GUEST,Jon Bartlett
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 07:29 AM

Thanks for this, Stewart. I hope that Folklife will do something special for Phil this year - maybe a workshop about his life and work ?
And please keep us all informed about a Celebration of Phil's life later in the spring.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: GUEST,Judi Gibbs
Date: 27 Feb 17 - 03:45 AM

Phil and Vivian always welcomed me into their monthly jams--even though I'm a rank beginner. I can't begin to tell you how sad I am.


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: Stewart
Date: 27 Feb 17 - 12:18 PM

Phil William's obituary from the Seattle Times, Feb. 27, 2017
The is just a portion, you can read the full text here.

Phil Williams, co-founder of the Folklife festival and the pioneering folk label Voyager Recordings, has died at the age of 80.

By Brendan Kiley Seattle Times staff reporter

Phil Williams, a co-founder Seattle's Folklife festival and pillar of the region's folk-music scene, died last week of complications from blood cancer. He was 80.

Mr. Williams was a business attorney, a philosophy major at Reed College and a mandolin and guitar player. His widow and former collaborator Vivian Williams "plays fiddle," as she put it, but they both served as conduits who brought folk music — from Asia to Africa to Snohomish County — to Seattle for decades. She served on the Folklife board for years and they started a record label,Voyager, to document and preserve music other folk-record companies were overlooking.

Voyager started as kind of an accident, when the two of them went to fiddle contests in Montana and Idaho. "There were all these amazing jam sessions," Williams said. "Phil was just running around, carrying his tape recorder and recording everything."

When the couple got back to Seattle and listened to the tapes, they realized they had a sonic treasure trove: sounds that weren't being recorded anywhere else. "All the traditional-music record labels had gone to Appalachia," Williams said. "But the Texas guys had a knack for making incredibly intricate improvisations based on very simple melodies; the Northwest fiddlers were dance-oriented and tended to play quite simply and unornamented." But, she added, the Northwest tradition — largely influenced by people from Kentucky and Tennessee who'd settled in the Darrington area, as well as northern European immigrants — played with a heartfeltness the two of them hadn't found anywhere else.

"Darrington was an end-of-the-road kind of place back then," she said. "But we got acquainted with those folks, learned their music, ate their soup beans, played their benefits for the local Boy Scouts." Voyager Records "started as a hobby that grew out of hand" and the couple recorded some of those little-known Darrington musicians on the 1969 album "Comin' Round the Mountain."

The Folklife festival got started in 1972 and used to share offices with Bumbershoot (which has since been sold to international music corporation AEG). But when Bumbershoot started charging money and put up fences to keep out interlopers, Mr. Williams dug in his heels to stop the festival he'd co-founded from going the same direction. "Phil was an inspiration who fought to keep it free," said Scott Nagel, who worked as executive director of the festival for 18 years. "He truly believed that music is for everybody. It shouldn't be elitist."
Read more

S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: GUEST,Pushkara Sally Ashford
Date: 27 Feb 17 - 04:38 PM

An unsung, singing and jamming HERO & friend, Phil Williams, has passed. Co-founder of Northwest Folklife, Seattle Folklore Society, Voyager Records, as well as, a consummate musician, I count Phil and his wife, Vivian, among the most dedicated, brilliant and far-sighted in their efforts to honor and amplify our richly diverse, LIVING MUSICAL HERITAGE. I have always held a special place in my heart for both of Phil and Vivian. I will miss Phil's welcoming presence, remembering the many musical events, gatherings and jam sessions we participated in. Much love and condolences to Vivian.


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: GUEST,Kay Sullivan
Date: 28 Feb 17 - 02:04 PM

I am so very sad to hear of Phil's passing.
Phil and Vivian were responsible for my lifelong pursuit and love of bluegrass and old-time music. They would drive all the way to Spokane once a month in the late 60's to play and promote fiddle music at a jam held at the Otis Orchards grange hall where I first saw them when I was an adolescent.
Their love of music was contagious and they changed my life.


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 02 Mar 17 - 07:25 AM

I was sorry to hear this news. An very full life, well lived. My condolences to all who know and love him.

RIP

Peter


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit Phil Williams (Seattle)
From: GUEST,Christian Harrington son of Lou
Date: 16 Dec 17 - 09:33 PM

I knew Vivian and Phil as a boy, my grandparents and Dad played music with them for years, My dad was a founding member of Tall Timber with Vivian and Phil, they replaced my dad without warning and threw him out, but I knew them and my dad never said a bad thing about them beyond the truth of how he was let go. One can listen to live recordings of my Grandpa Chuck Griffin on the voyager website among all of the other various groups and recordings like the Harmonicops!


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