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Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)

DigiTrad:
DERROLL IN THE RAIN


Related threads:
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Review: 'I Was Born In Portland Town' film (9)
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Lyr Add: The Sky (Derroll Adams)^^ (7)
Derroll Adams (5)
Looking for Derroll Adam's son Scotty (1)
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Lyr Add: Derroll in the Rain (+VAW) (7)
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Lyr Add: Portland Town (Derroll Adams) (5)


Susanne (skw) 06 Feb 00 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 06 Feb 00 - 06:25 PM
Ebbie 06 Feb 00 - 06:30 PM
bbelle 06 Feb 00 - 06:51 PM
Stewie 06 Feb 00 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 06 Feb 00 - 07:00 PM
Bugsy 06 Feb 00 - 09:11 PM
GUEST,andymac 07 Feb 00 - 05:25 AM
Doctor John 07 Feb 00 - 01:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Feb 00 - 08:27 PM
Art Thieme 07 Feb 00 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,Patrick 16 Feb 00 - 04:05 PM
Susanne (skw) 19 Feb 00 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,Tamara Adams, Derroll's daughter in Seattle- 08 Dec 04 - 10:16 PM
John MacKenzie 09 Dec 04 - 05:23 AM
BanjoRay 09 Dec 04 - 06:23 AM
Dave Hanson 09 Dec 04 - 07:17 AM
Strollin' Johnny 09 Dec 04 - 07:57 AM
Strollin' Johnny 09 Dec 04 - 07:58 AM
Pete Jennings 09 Dec 04 - 07:59 AM
Strollin' Johnny 09 Dec 04 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 09 Dec 04 - 10:49 AM
Susanne (skw) 09 Dec 04 - 05:18 PM
Roger the Skiffler 10 Dec 04 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,Scouse (Cookie's gone walkabout) 10 Dec 04 - 01:53 PM
John MacKenzie 10 Dec 04 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Derroll's daughter Tamara 10 Dec 04 - 10:47 PM
GUEST,June Shelley 02 Aug 05 - 08:26 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 11 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Philippa 25 Feb 11 - 11:53 AM
BanjoRay 25 Feb 11 - 12:01 PM
michaelr 25 Feb 11 - 02:47 PM
scouse 25 Feb 11 - 03:05 PM
Jon Bartlett 25 Feb 11 - 08:02 PM
Stringsinger 26 Feb 11 - 05:08 PM
scouse 26 Feb 11 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,from tokyo 27 Feb 11 - 10:58 AM
Cusco 27 Feb 11 - 01:35 PM
scouse 27 Feb 11 - 05:46 PM
Dave Hanson 28 Feb 11 - 03:11 AM
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Subject: Derroll Adams
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 05:55 PM

I've just learned - via a newsgroup - that Derroll Adams died this morning (6 Feb), peacefully, it was stated.

The last time I saw him was at Tonder Festival in Denmark last August. I talked about that in an earlier thread. I'm glad to think he wanted to come - probably because he realised it would be the last time - and managed to, even though he had to be wheeled around in a chair. For most people who saw him there the news of his death will be no surprise.

Still, he is one more of the 'old masters' to go, if I may use that expression. I'll always remember his voice. Even being so frail, when he was taken up on to the stage at Tonder to speak to the audience his voice still had its incredible depth and resonance.

I can't claim anything but a passing acquaintance with him, but the couple of times I actually spoke to him I found him an impressive, funny and very polite man.

My sympathy to Danny, his wife, to his daughter and anyone who will feel his passing as a loss. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 06:25 PM

I knew Derroll in Los Angeles in the 1950's. He had honed his banjo picking and singing after Bascom Lamarr Lunsford and went on to incorporate it into his own unique style. Derroll was a "flower child" before it was fashionable. In those days he wore a trenchcoat and with his wavy shock of blonde hair, he was an impressive handsome looking man not unlike the movie star Van Hefflin. There were those times that I lead Derroll home after a party. He was always good natured, kind and gentle. I never saw him angry an anyone and I was around him quite a bit in those days. I have a picture somewhere in my house that has been lost but one day will turn up of Woody Guthrie, Derroll and I at a party in Los Angeles.

Derroll lead a colorful and interesting life. He was expelled from Portland Art Institute for organizing a communist cell group. He was the first and probably only person I knew who appled the Zen Buddhist techniques to five-string banjo. These were the days before he had teamed up with Ramblin' Jack Elliott and went to Europe. Derroll was an important part of the L.A. folk music community (yes there was a vibrant one) in the fifties and I will cherish the memories of the fun that we had listening to music and hanging out. Derroll always had a mellefluous speaking voice and spoke like a jazz musician. I'll never forget his big blue eyes lighting up and a huge smile on a beatific face when he was enthused which was practically always and he would say "Wow man!" in that unique baritone.

He wrote Portland Town when he was with us, a small community consisting of Dave Zeitlin, Marsha Berman, Sid Berland (the guy who introduced Derroll to the L.A. folk scene) Odetta, Ed Pearl (former entrepeneur of the Ash Grove) Woody Guthrie, Will Geer, Herta Geer, Bess Hawes, me and others.

I knew him with his first wife. Derroll was definitely a counter-culture guy who knew the nightlife of the jazz world. In those days, they called 'em "bohemian". He was a real character right out of Keroac but far more real in my view. His "hip" demeanor was in ironic contrast to his very basic and musical folk style of singing and playing. His banjo became intricate in the old-time style of three finger playing unlike the clawhammer which in those days he did not do. When he played, it had an Asian sound, an oriental feel which was exotic and transported you to a time when an Obray Ramsey or Dock Boggs (Country Blues) played. Oddly, he didn't play banjo like Bascom Lamar Lunsford who adapted an up-picking technique not unlike Pete Seeger but with one difference, all of his string were played with an upward brush. Derroll was part of the pre-Scruggs three finger style players and adapted it well.

I can see and hear him now....."Wow man! Ain't that the shits!" He would laugh and the room would light up. I remember him and will grieve.

In sorrow and in joy at having known him.....

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 06:30 PM

Thanks for sharing your memories. You have made him vibrantly real. Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: bbelle
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 06:51 PM

Frank ...thanks for the info on Derroll Adams ... I've been singing "Portland Town" since the mid-60's and played it today for the first time in about 25 years. Kind of odd... Would you mind send me a personal message with your email address ... would like to correspond with you a bit on a couple of other early folksingers. Thanks ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Stewie
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 06:54 PM

It is sad to hear that news. Though I never saw him perform, his music has been very special to me over many years. It is only a couple of weeks since I finally obtained a copy of the CD of his 65th birthday concert recorded in Belgium in 1990.

THE ROCK
(Derroll Adams)

Well I wished I was a rock
Sitting on a hill
Doin' nothing all day long
But just sittin' still
Wouldn't sleep and I wouldn't eat
And I wouldn't even wash
Well I'd just sit still
A thousand years
And rest myself by gosh

Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 07:00 PM

Stewie, that sounds like Derroll all right "By gosh!"

Moonchild....hamprod@mindspring.com

Frank


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Bugsy
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 09:11 PM

I am very saddened at the news of his passing.

He has always been a hero of mine.

Vale Derroll.

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: GUEST,andymac
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 05:25 AM

I just want to add my sadness at his passing but appreciation for the music and laughter he gave us.


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Doctor John
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 01:45 PM

Very sorry at this. We collected lots of his LP's with Jack Elliot when we were at school. Never did see him though although Jack Elliot came over here a few times. Yes his style reminds me of Bascom Lamar Lunsford but not his banjo nor his personality either! Dr John


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 08:27 PM

Derroll Adams made an enormous impact on the folk scene in England and Scotland, largely through the enormous impact he had on Alex Campbell, whon then proceeded to set his mark on a whole generation of folkies - and in large part it was Derroll's mark. It was from Derroll that Alex took his war cry "Hell Ye!"

Here's what he wrote about Derroll, who he calls "my mentor", when Alex was busking in Paris and and beyond back in the late Fifties:

Derroll is a great story teller...He didn't even have to sing or play his banjo to hold an audience, all he had to do was sit and tell his yarns.

I remember the first night we went out together. We went to a wee cafe des ouvrieres which was just near St. Sulpice and started to tune up. After we had played through a tune one of the workers gave us two large glasses of vin rouge which we speedily downed.

Three hours later we left that cafe tuned up as never before, and off we merrily went tomour gig which was in then Russian Restaurant near theb Pont des Arts.

Boy, what a show, we killed them, and the bottle was extremely good. Nevertheless, when we were leaving, the manager took me quietly aside and told me not to bloodywell come back again.

"Now what the hell was that all about" I asked Derroll as we walked up the road "that audience dug us, you know." "Hell Ye! said Derroll, "it's just that when I was singinh Alabama Bound you were singing O Susannah and it sounded kinda bad."

That's from a wee book of songs and stories by Alex called "Frae Glesga Toon", and there's lots moire about Derroll.


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 10:42 PM

Did a fine festival with Alex Campbell in Middletown, Connecticut a couple decades ago. He couldn't negotiate our roads very well as he was used to driving on the other side of the road. So I had to take him on his booze runs. What a huge song list that man had.

I think it was Alex who told me about the Siamese Twins from the U.S.A. that moved to England just so the other one could drive. ;-)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: GUEST,Patrick
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 04:05 PM

Thank you, dear Frank - and you too, Suzanne - for what you wrote about Derroll. It's good to knowthat dear Derroll is not forgotten... on the other side of the Atlantic. A lot of friends came to Antwerp for the funeral (Thursday 10 Feb.). The ceremony was incredibly beautiful, warm and touching, yet occuring in the greatest simplicity. Some good old buddys of Derroll played and sang for him. The funeral hall was a vast place, full of people and filled with love and affection for our friend. Once more, Derroll's immense capacity of bringing people together in a unique and perfect communion was present, among us, and worked wonders.

Suzanne: there is another nice song about Derroll that was written and sung by Wizz Jones: "The Man with the Banjo" ("The Village Thing Tapes", Wundertüte Musik, 1992 - CD TÜT 72.157). That makes at least six songs composed about Derroll Adams... which is quite exeptional. But finally normal... considering that he was such an exeptional person.


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 19 Feb 00 - 05:33 PM

Patrick, could I ask your help? I've collected all those bits and pieces written about Derroll in various forums after his death, and I'd like to get them to Danny, but I haven't got her address. If I sent them to you as a Word attachment (or any other suitable format), would you forward them to her? It's about 32 KB. If so, please eMail me at skw@worldmusic.de. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: GUEST,Tamara Adams, Derroll's daughter in Seattle-
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 10:16 PM

I'm Derroll's long lost daughter Tamara. My brother Greg and I grew up in California, after Derroll went to europe. My mother, Elizabeth met Derroll in art school in the 1950's. She has some great stories about their lives there in Portland, Ore. I was born in the same hospital as Derroll in 1956. I seem to remember being on my dad's knee listening to Sourwood Mountain. I thought for a long time he was singing "chickens crawling on sourwood mountain" instead of "chickens crowing on sourwood mountain". I was scared of chickens after that, until I was older that is. I love the banjo, but sadly I was never to know my dad. We wrote to each other until I was 12, and gradually lost contact. I've never heard all of my father's music, I'm trying to locate what I can find now. Does anyone have any ideas how I could get a hold of some of derroll's music that isn't in circulation anymore? One day I hope to meet my sister Rebecca in Europe. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks, Tamara       My e-mail address is: tam_toshiro@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 05:23 AM

Tamara [great name!] it's really nice to hear from you, and I wish I could help directly, but can only try to pass the word around over here in the UK, and hope you get some replies. I too like so many others knew and loved your Dad, ran him round a few gigs in the London area way back when, and put him up on the floor in my flat, I did offer him a bed but he preferred the floor.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: BanjoRay
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 06:23 AM

Tamara - I'll send your message to the editor of the Old Time News, the magazine of Foaotmad here in England - I know he's a fan of Derroll's from way back, and I reckon he'll put it in the mag. if that's OK with you. One of our readers could help. The other place to write to would be The Old Time Herald - the US magazine that everybody in the Old Time music world reads. Their website's Here.
Cheers
Ray Banks
Chairman of Foaotmad)


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 07:17 AM

Try contacting Finbar Furey, Fin adored Derroll and wrote a song for him called ' Derroll In The Rain '

eric


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 07:57 AM

Try contacting Allan Taylor (google 'Allan Taylor' and you'll get his website).

Allan was a great friend of Derroll and Danny, and at his gigs speaks of them both with huge affection. He wrote a great song about Derroll called 'Banjo Man':-

'Cowboy hat, cowboy boots,
Denim jacket full of Mexican cheroots,
How that man can sing "I've Got Trouble On My Mind"
I'm so glad that he's a friend of mine'

That's all I can remember, sorry.

S:0)


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 07:58 AM

It's www.allantaylor.com

Sorry, can't make blickies!

S:0)


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 07:59 AM

Tamara, a UK folksinger, Allan Taylor, knew Derroll pretty well and I'm sure he would help. Contact him at

T Records
PO Box MT37
Leeds LS17 8UY
England
UK

Pete


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 08:02 AM

Thanks Pete, didn't have the address to hand at work.
S:0)


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 10:49 AM

Do you know which material you don't have?, I have one of his Decca albums, plus at least one other with Jack Elliott and know of other people with possibly more.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 05:18 PM

Tamara, I've got a short bootleg from Tonder Festival that you might want. I could put it on MD for you. If you're interested, mail me at:   skw at worldmusic dot de


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Subject: RE: Derroll Adams
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 10 Dec 04 - 04:00 AM

Like everyone else, I enjoyed Derroll'dswork with Ramblin' Jack, which, alas, I only know from recordings. I also have the great tribute album: Banjoman.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: GUEST,Scouse (Cookie's gone walkabout)
Date: 10 Dec 04 - 01:53 PM

Great news every-one. Danny and Tamara have been nattering via Email since Tamara's posting. Great that they are together after all these years. As Aye Phil.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 10 Dec 04 - 02:49 PM

Wonderfull, great news.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: GUEST,Derroll's daughter Tamara
Date: 10 Dec 04 - 10:47 PM

Hello everyone, Thanks so much for your swift and kind replies. I never dreamed it would be this easy to contact Danny, and to find out more about my father's music, I'm so happy--and after all these years. I will reply to various e-mails tomorrow as I'm off to work now. Again everyone thanks!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: GUEST,June Shelley
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 08:26 PM

Tamara,

You were such a little girl when I met you in Topanga, I'm sure you don't remember me. But your mother would. Please give her my best regards. I love the film Patrick made about your dad, he was one special person and in my opinion, the best banjo player in the world.

June Shelley (formerly June Elliott)
Juneymoon@msn.com


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 09:20 AM

Only just found this thread today. derroll and Jack were what all

aspiring banjo pickers and flatpickers that headed out to busk the continent wanted to be...yup Rich and Rambling boys. I met and played with Derroll at the Cafe Welkom in Antwerp way back and latterly in England and Denmark.

   His songs are the simplest and most telling of statements.

       R.I.P NEVER FORGOTTEN

                mickmoffett@gmail.com


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 11:53 AM

I think the first time I heard of Derroll Adams was in a Donovan song, asking the starfish for the whereabouts of "the banjo man". Some years later, someone pointed him out to me in Antwerp, where I spent a couple of weeks one summer. Thanks Mick for reminding me the name of the pub.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: BanjoRay
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 12:01 PM

I thought the Cafe Welkom was in Brussels?
I went there once...
Ray


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 02:47 PM

Did he have a tattoo on his hand?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: scouse
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 03:05 PM

He certainly did..

As Aye,

Phil.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 08:02 PM

I never met the man, which I deeply regret. I remember Alex Campbell's verse about him, tho:

Here's to Derroll Adama, may his name forever stand
And always be remembered by the bums throughout the land
When his earthly race is over and the curtains round him fall
We'll carry him home to victory on the Wabash Cannonball.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 05:08 PM

Derroll, -I knew him rather well-was not known by the Hobo contingent here in America.
He was a fine artist, a performer, painter, great banjo player (the Zen Buddhist approach to the banjo as he said), known in Brit circles but we knew him in L.A. in the Fifties before he went across the pond with Jack Elliott.

My chorus for Derroll is:

"Goodbye Derroll, we'll miss you
but your banjo keeps ringing on
and the soothing sound of your deep mellow voice
lingers after you've gone.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: scouse
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 06:34 PM

While we keep on talkin' an thinkin' about Derroll He'll never be gone... He always live on. Those who knew him will never forget his warmth an kindness towards everyone he met.

As Aye,

Phil.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: GUEST,from tokyo
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 10:58 AM

derroll adams

his music- travel and memories.
with the deep lonesome voice.

we love his music from 1960s.

thanks

kiyohide
tokyo folklore center


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: Cusco
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 01:35 PM

I only know DA from recordings I've heard. Saw Alex many time thought. I seem to remember soneone saying that Derrol though that Alex was the best guitar accompanist he ever had.

Alex wasn't the best singer or guitarist in the world but to me he was the most immense performer I've ever seen. His stage presence and act was just incredible. I've never been more affected by any single artist I've come across.

Derrol Adam's song 'Oregon' is one of the best songs I've ever heard. I first heard it on the radio and set my self to learn it. The way it drives itself with the end of each verse driving the start of the next in a continual flow is a unique feature.

Pete Coe recorded it superbly on one of his CD's. I doubt it could be bettered as an interpretation.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: scouse
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 05:46 PM

Cusco.. Oregon was written by Tucker Zimmerman, a very dear friend of Derroll .. Far as I know he's still around an playin'.

As Aye,

Phil.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Derroll Adams (February 2000)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 03:11 AM

I'm a bit surprised that no one has mentioned the CD ' Banjoman ' put together by Hans Theesink, a great CD in praise of Derroll with tracks by - Arlo Guthrie, Alan Taylor, Jack Elliott, Billy Connolly, Dolly Parton, Donovan, Ralph McTell and quite a few more, singing Derrolls songs or their own tributes, there are even some accompaniments by Dubliners John Sheehan and Barney McKenna, all with one thing in common, a love of Derroll.

Dave H


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