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Obit: Bill Spence (1940-2019)

GUEST,Mary Katherine 07 Feb 19 - 11:12 PM
GUEST,Mary Katherine 07 Feb 19 - 11:52 PM
GUEST 08 Feb 19 - 11:05 AM
Waddon Pete 08 Feb 19 - 12:02 PM
bbc 08 Feb 19 - 12:32 PM
Jeri 08 Feb 19 - 03:57 PM
Brian Peters 08 Feb 19 - 06:09 PM
Elmore 08 Feb 19 - 08:43 PM
Hollowfox 11 Feb 19 - 04:13 PM
GUEST 19 Feb 19 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,George Frampton 22 Feb 19 - 05:35 AM
Desert Dancer 01 Mar 19 - 10:01 PM
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Subject: Obit: Bill Spence RIP February 7, 2019
From: GUEST,Mary Katherine
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 11:12 PM

John McCutcheon reports the death earlier this evening of hammered dulcimer master Bill Spence, whose recording on Front Hall did a great deal to spread the good word about this lovely instrument.
There's a Wikipedia article at Bill Spence


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Spence - Aug 12 1940-Feb 7 2019
From: GUEST,Mary Katherine
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 11:52 PM

And I should have mentioned Bill's many decades of involvement with Old Songs. Condolences to Andy and all Bill's many friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Spence - Aug 12 1940-Feb 7 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 11:05 AM

So sad.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Spence - Aug 12 1940-Feb 7 2019
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:02 PM

You Tube and Google will give a good picture of Bill Spence and his wonderful achievements. I have always loved the sound of the hammered dulcimer and he was a great exponent. My condolences to his family and friends. I have added his name to the "In Memoriam" thread,

RIP,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Spence - Aug 12 1940-Feb 7 2019
From: bbc
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:32 PM

I read about it, this morning, on Deb Cowan & Shelley Posen's Facebook pages. Such a loss to the community! Bill's playing, Old Songs, Inc., & the Old Songs Festival have been such a gift! Blessings on Joy Bennett for undertaking carrying on the tradition & my deepest sympathy & gratitude to Andy for the huge contributions she & Bill have made to the folk community!

with love,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Spence - Aug 12 1940-Feb 7 2019
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:57 PM

I've known Bill since 1973. He contributed so much to folk music and his community, and he was crazy in the best way possible. I have a couple of Fennig's albums, and I used to go to every dance I could that they played. I didn't know he was ailing, and it's been a few years since I saw him at Old Songs Fest. I'll remember what he wore was usually louder than the music.
Bye, Bill.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Spence - Aug 12 1940-Feb 7 2019
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 06:09 PM

Oh no, this is terrible news. I heard and loved his music many years ago, and was thrilled to meet him when his wife Andy first invited me to Old Songs Festival in the 1990s. Met him many times since then - always good company and - as Jeri said - a very natty dresser. A fine photographer too. I'm so sad to hear this.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Spence - Aug 12 1940-Feb 7 2019
From: Elmore
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 08:43 PM

My condolences to Bill's family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Spence (Aug 12, 1940 - Feb 7, 2019)
From: Hollowfox
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 04:13 PM

The postings here and elsewhere say a lot about his bouncy personality and his sense of humor, But the first image that comes to mind is watching him play the hammer dulcimer. All the notes were precise, but his mood was always calm, almost meditative.
Folks should remember that before he was known for his dulcimer playing, he was well known as a master sound engineer.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Spence (1940-2019)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 06:44 PM

Obituary of William Spence
Voorheesville - William J. Spence III “Bill” of Voorheesville, NY, 78, passed away February 7, 2019 with his family at his side. Known as a master of the hammered dulcimer, Bill is often credited with the folk instrument’s revival in the 1970s. Son of the late Kenneth W. and Isabel R. (Temte) Spence, Bill was born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1940. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1962 with a BA in communications, and served in the U.S. Army Security Agency from 1962 to 1965. From 1965 to 1998 Bill worked as an audio-visual and computer graphics specialist at the State University of New York at Albany. A banjo player since high school, he took up the hammered dulcimer in 1969, after hearing it at the Fox Hollow Festival in Petersburg, NY. In 1970 he formed Fennig’s All-Star String Band with local musicians, and in 1973 they recorded an LP titled The Hammered Dulcimer. Shortly after its release on Front Hall Records, a medley of tunes from this album aired nationwide on PBS as the theme for Crockett’s Victory Garden. This recording has sold over 100,000 copies to date. Five more albums followed, inspiring hundreds of new hammered dulcimer enthusiasts and other instrumentalists. As Bill wrote in the liner notes to The Hammered Dulcimer, “For me, playing the hammered dulcimer is like eating cashews...once you start, it’s very hard to stop.” Bill also served as audio engineer and producer for most of the albums released on Front Hall Records. In 1977 Bill and his wife, Andy, were among the founders of Old Songs, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving traditional music and dance. A fixture of Old Songs, Bill could always be found running sound at concerts, or taking photos at the Old Songs Festival in his signature Hawaiian shirt and shiny hat.
    Bill is predeceased by his sister, Shirley Ann (Spence) Pumroy. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Kay “Andy” Spence, his daughter Hannah Spence and her partner Neil Parsons, two nieces, and a nephew. He also leaves behind the entire Old Songs community and the current members of Fennig’s All-Star String Band, George Wilson and Toby Stover, who were his musical family for 44 years. Bill was a friend to most, and will be remembered for his buoyant energy, infectious good humor, and for not taking life too seriously.
    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Old Songs, Inc., PO Box 466, Voorheesville, NY 12186 (https://oldsongs.org/support/). To receive information about a memorial celebration being planned for the fall, please join the mailing list: https://tinyurl.com/BillSpence.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Spence (1940-2019)
From: GUEST,George Frampton
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 05:35 AM

A sad loss indeed, yet somehow I thought he was still performing - or perhaps I saw a recent album review.

Ian Anderson introduced me to Bill's All-Star Fennig String Band back to the 1980s, and was instantly smitten with the high-energy sound of his brand of old-timey music. I think I have all his albums up to Fennigmania, then somehow moved on to other things. Today, those Hammered Dulcimer albums still sound fresh and mind-blowing!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Spence (1940-2019)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 01 Mar 19 - 10:01 PM

I missed this sad news last month, and just saw that Ron Olesko has posted an obituary at Sing Out! magazine's site this week.

My condolences to his friends and family.

~ Becky in Oregon


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