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Obit: Ginni Clemmens 2003

Art Thieme 19 Feb 03 - 06:14 PM
Mark Clark 19 Feb 03 - 09:05 PM
wysiwyg 19 Feb 03 - 09:32 PM
Phil Cooper 19 Feb 03 - 11:28 PM
Art Thieme 19 Feb 03 - 11:35 PM
Frankham 20 Feb 03 - 02:05 PM
fsharpdim7 20 Feb 03 - 03:35 PM
katlaughing 20 Feb 03 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Dan Keding 20 Feb 03 - 04:32 PM
Frankham 20 Feb 03 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,MAG at work 21 Feb 03 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,terilu 23 Feb 03 - 09:03 PM
Art Thieme 24 Feb 03 - 12:10 AM
BK Lick 27 Sep 10 - 07:12 AM
Waddon Pete 19 Sep 14 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,Lou Brousek 09 Jul 17 - 12:26 PM
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Subject: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 06:14 PM

Folks, I just got off the phone with Ella Jenkins who had some very sad news. Ginni Clemmens was killed last Saturday in an auto accident on Maui where she lived in recent years. Ginni was a big part of the 1960s Chicago folk scene through her grand banjo picking and her work with the Old Town School Of Folk Music in that city. She has continued to play music and write songs all through the last 40 years. A great song she wrote, "Figure It Out", is on Michael Cooney's wonderful very recent CD. I'd kept in touch with Ginni by e-mail recently and cyber-space has a way of telescoping the ether so it seems the sender is just next door. Ginni's personal warmth always survived that trip from Maui easily. It felt like she had managed to beam herself ala Star Trek. ---- I will miss this woman. And I will treasure the recordings I have of her.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: Mark Clark
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 09:05 PM

Art, This is indeed sad news. I well remember Ginni's sets at Chicago venues and her profound influence on the way the folk community of the day approached their music. I didn't know her well and hadn't talked with her for nearly 40 years but I've never forgotten her performances. A great loss for us all.

Please accept my condolences.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 09:32 PM

Had the pleasure of seeing/hearing her once. Kicked ass!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:28 PM

I have fond memories of hanging out with Ginni some at a college coffeehouse festival/conference. She borrowed my guitar to sing "God Bless the Child" while sitting around Lee Murdocks's room. Margaret and I got to participate in an Aural Tradition gig a couple years later. She really was a great performer. Juel called me this afternoon to tell me the news. Sad, indeed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:35 PM

It seems that Ginni, after stopping for a stop sign, just pulled out right into fast-moving traffic and was broadsided by a jeep. She died instantly. The 8-year old child who was in the car with her was treated and released from the hospital. Thanks to old friend Lynn Van Matre for this further update.

Art


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: Frankham
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 02:05 PM

Art and Mark and All,

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Ginni. She was one a very important teacher at the Old Town School and was there at the very beginning. She had a wonderful enthusiasm and warmth that was communicated to everyone who know and worked with her. As she progressed from being a teacher at the School to writing important songs on woman's issues, we followed her career with pride. She was a wonderful lady and it's now hitting me just what a loss this is.

My remembrance of her is this:
She invited me to sing at the place that she worked as an attendant for a mental facility in Chicago area. She was a compassionate person and we spent a heart-warming and full-filling day singing for the people who she knew and cared about. Ginni was about making life rich for others through music and her social caring. I mourn.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: fsharpdim7
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 03:35 PM

Ginny was one of the persons who introduced the neophytes in Chicago to the idea that a folksinger sang about today as well as the past. The first folksingers I ever saw were Ginni Clemmens, Frank Hamilton, Win Stracke and Jo Mapes. Thanks guys!
Chris


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 03:49 PM

I am sorry for your loss, Art, Frank and others who knew her. She sounds like an extraordinary woman. I went looking for more info on here and found this lovely photo from Chicago 1974: click here.

I also found some Mother Earth poetry from a Ginni Clemmens in Maui, which I would assume is the same person. Some beautiful stuff.

Thanks for telling us about her. May she rest well and in peace,

kat


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: GUEST,Dan Keding
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 04:32 PM

Neighbors,

Ginni was a grand lady and a performer who was always there to encourage the younger singers. She was never selfish with her music or her time. I remember hearing her sing all those years ago with her little dog howling on the refrain. A gentle soul - she will be missed.

Take care,

Dan


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: Frankham
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 06:50 PM

The other thing I remember about Ginni is that she was so comfortable to be around. She was always relaxed and soft-spoken. Kat, that picture is exactly how I remember her. She always had a calm and serene expression on her face.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: GUEST,MAG at work
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 11:52 AM

This is really sad news. Ginni did a workshop on playing for/with children at OTSFM which was a turning point for me. I learned just about everything off of her children's album. My tape of her other album (LP having long since bit the dust) is one I put on all the time when I need to space out -- her version of "Loping along through the cosmos" brings me back into balance every time.

She, along with Jean Ritchie and the Armstrongs, helped me learn to relax and "play" while playing -- ie, get over the "I'm performing and I'm being judged" hangup.

I've often wondered what had become of her. I'm glad she lived in a beautiful place.

MA at work


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Subject: RIP Ginni Clemmens
From: GUEST,terilu
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 09:03 PM

Just saw this on my email from another CMN member-thought some of you might know her and want to know...

Blues singer killed in weekend crash
Virginia Clemmens performed with musical legends on Mainland
By Valerie Monson, Staff Writer

MAKAWAO - Maui music lovers were devastated Monday when they
learned that Virginia "Ginni" Clemmens, a Makawao blues singer who once
shared the stage with such legends as Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan, had
been identified as the victim of a fatal car accident on the Pukalani bypass Saturday.
      "She's really one of the treasures of the island, yet so few people really knew about her," said Bill Best, who was playing an assortment of Clemmens' songs during a tribute to her on Mana'o Radio.
Clemmens, 66, died at the scene of the accident that occurred
when her car was struck broadside by a Jeep as she tried to cross the
bypass at Makani Road. Police said Clemmens failed to yield the
right-of-way.
      As a singer on the Mainland, Clemmens was billed alongside Seeger, Dylan, John Prine and Bill Cosby. After she taught the late Mama Cass Elliott one of her favorite tunes, "Wild Women Don't Get the Blues," Elliott recorded it.
      Heralded as one of the founding mothers of the women's music
movement, Clemmens made her mark on the national folk-blues scene while she was in Chicago. Once on Maui, she didn't perform as much, and, when she did, it was low-key. She wasn't one to boast of her past
connections to the stars.
      "For a long time, I only had one 45 of hers," said Best. "After much coaxing, she sent me an album of songs that were inspired by living
on Maui, 'Underneath Hawaiian Skies.'" Clemmens produced the album in celebration of her 65th birthday, according to a Web site where a reviewer described one of the selections, "Broken Open," as "one of the most beautiful love songs ever written."
      Maui musician Fulton Tashombe, a longtime friend, said he had
recently taught Clemmens the new technology of recording digitally with
computers. Tashombe said he last saw Clemmens only a few days ago in
the parking lot at the Pukalani Terrace Shopping Center, where they
spent an hour talking music. "She always had a sparkle, she always had a song," said Tashombe. "Ginni had a way of making things uplifting."
      Clemmens was also doing her part for the peace movement. She
rewrote the pledge of allegiance with a more international point of view
and posted it on the Internet.
      "I pledge allegiance to the health of the United World of the
Universe," she wrote, "and to the Earth on which we stand, one planet
born of love, indivisible, with rights and responsibilities for all."
Laura Civitello, another deejay on Mana'o Radio, called Clemmens
"an extra special human being" who wasn't afraid to question the status
quo and stand up for her beliefs.
      "She was a pretty radical lady in a gentle way," said Civitello.
No details about services have been released.

--- Transferred from duplicate thread. ---


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 12:10 AM

Yep, that's the Ginni we knew in Chicago all through the 60s and 70s. -------- There wa a trio in town then. Ginni Clemmens, Guy Guilbert and Elaine "Spanky" McFarland
. Guy is in California and his e-mail was the second notification I had about this. Elaine Spanky McFarland went on to some pop/rock success as a member of the band SPANKY AND OUR GANG. In more recent years she took Mama Cass' place in the revival tours of The Mamas And The Papas. Ginni went to Maui for the peace of mind she wanted, needed and deserved. I do believe she found it there.

About a year ago Guy sent me a tape of a set from 1960 that the trio did. It was ragged but right (for the times). I'm glad I've got it.

One more aside: There was another trio, THE FRETS, that were the house band at the Sunday afternoon hootenanny's at the old GATE OF HORN folk night spot in Chicago. The folks in that band were Jim (Roger) McGuinn, John Carbo (who later was film editor on THE BLUES BROTHERS), and Louis MacDonald on conga drum.

When Roger McGuinn left the group to play backup guitar and banjo for The Chad Mitchell Trio, Guy Guilbert took over McGuinn's spot.

I must've posted this before-----but what the hell.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: BK Lick
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 07:12 AM

The link given by katlaughing above isn't working any more,but the
image can be found here. There's also a nice tribute page here.
—BK


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 04:51 AM

I'm grateful that this thread resurfaced as I had missed it the first time around. Ginni is now given her rightful place in the "In Memoriam" roll.

RIP

Peter


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ginni Clemmens 2003
From: GUEST,Lou Brousek
Date: 09 Jul 17 - 12:26 PM

I had the extreme pleasure of playing w/Ginni (I'd first seen her perform and the 1st National Women's Festival In Champaign)

An amazing and moving performer-she's now singing' in the sky.


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