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Obit: Kenny Hall, old time musician (1923-2013)

19 Sep 13 - 04:29 AM (#3559753)
Subject: Obit: Kenny Hall, California musician
From: open mike

From a post by Michael Hall, California Bluegrass Association,
Kenny Hall (1923-2013) died last evening of complications from a recent heart attack. He was a fiercely independent old time musician from Fresno, CA who affected the musical lives of many others.
Quite a life and quite a story.
From a post by Suzy Thompson : Goodbye Kenny Hall. You had a good long haul, we'll miss you more than we can tell.

19 Sep 13 - 10:10 AM (#3559825)
Subject: Obit: Kenny Hall, old time mandolinist/singer
From: GUEST,Mary Katherine sans cookie

Old time singer and mandolinist Kenny Hall, who would have celebrated his 90th birthday next month, had a heart attack and died yesterday. Coming hard on the heels of the death of singer Rita Weill Byxbe, this is a very sad time for all friends of the Sweets Mill Music Camp. Kenny was a teacher and mentor to many and will be greatly missed.

19 Sep 13 - 10:57 AM (#3559830)
Subject: RE: Obit: Kenny Hall, old time mandolinist/singer
From: Elmore

What a great musician he was. I'm sorry to hear of his passing.

19 Sep 13 - 11:02 AM (#3559831)
Subject: RE: Obit: Kenny Hall, old time mandolinist/singer
From: Bill D

I saw Kenny at the Red Fox Inn in Bethesda, MD in about 1978. He was amazing. (For those who don't know him, he was not only blind, but he picked with just his right thumbnail, which was as thick and strong as any plastic pick one could buy.)

side note: I have mentioned this before...I hope this is a true story

Someone told me of a late night party (in California somewhere) which needed to be 'moved' for some reason. It required going DOWN a flight of stairs to get to vehicles for the trip, and somehow Doc managed to get hold of Kenny Hall's hand. Before anyone noticed, they had 'helped' each other down the stairs.

19 Sep 13 - 12:45 PM (#3559852)
Subject: RE: Obit: Kenny Hall, old time mandolinist/singer
From: GUEST,Arkie

First learned about Kenny from friends who had once lived in the San Francisco area. Later, he was here in Arkansas with the Sweets Mill Stringband. Great musician who deserved much more attention than he received and he left quite a legacy in the recordings of his music.

19 Sep 13 - 01:27 PM (#3559866)
Subject: RE: Obit: Kenny Hall, old time musician (1923-2013)
From: open mike

I am in search of an MP3 that I could play on my radio show on Saturday.

Here is a you tube video of the song/tune Rainbow

thanks to Mark Ross

19 Sep 13 - 02:19 PM (#3559875)
Subject: RE: Obit: Kenny Hall, old time musician (1923-2013)
From: Mark Ross

I met Kenny back in the '70's when I lived in Berserkeley. Larry Hanks was going down to Fresno to do a concert for the Folk Club and gave me a ride down there. I stayed with Kenny at his shack in the middle of an orange grove (we could go out and steal oranges for breakfast).
He was an amazing musician, playing in an idiosyncratic style that no one has duplicated. By the way, he played with his right Index finger, not his thumb nail, and when that nail broke, he said he would use his middle (or social) finger, and when that nail broke he would use his ring finger until his index finger nail had grown back.
If you asked him where he had learned a particular tune, he would point at at a couple of stacks of 78's in the corner and say something like, "About 3 feet up the right hand stack."
Utah Phillips was always insisting that Kenny was deserving of a National Heritage Award, but it seems that the ethno-proctologists felt that he was too eclectic, representing no one particular tradition. Shame on them.
He will be sorely missed.

Mark Ross

19 Sep 13 - 02:24 PM (#3559877)
Subject: RE: Obit: Kenny Hall, old time musician (1923-2013)
From: GUEST,Guest - Tracy

Sad news indeed. I got to pass some time with Kenny back in the '70's (I think). He was an all around old time man who endured his handicap with great spirit and surprising activity. He talked about hiking in the mountains by himself all through the night, and I got to share a shorter version around Fresno of 14 miles. He knew every road including which ones to avoid due to vicious dogs. His outlook on music and life was always refreshing - what a gift he was to all musicians needing some personal contact with a real Old Time Musician. Sad news indeed.

20 Sep 13 - 05:24 AM (#3559996)
Subject: RE: Obit: Kenny Hall, old time musician (1923-2013)
From: GUEST,Ardie Lockman, Fresno Folk Dancer and friend

I first saw Kenny at the first ever Sweet's Mill Folk Music weekend in July, 1963; I was 15 then... My Folk Dancing Family were all invited by the Byxbe Family, organised as a pot-luck and music jam session... Besides Kenny and his first wife, was Gene Bluestein and 2 of his sons, Joel and Evo... As a dedicated Balkan Folk Dancer, I was new and largely illiterate about Early American Folk Music... As a friend of Michael Byxbe, who was a talented Banjo player and Folk dancer, I had heard a few things... With the likes of Gene Bluestein and Kenny Hall playing, my attention was greatly expanded...
    I was so in awe of Kenny that I was able to sign up Kenny to play at my wedding reception with my first wife, Jeanette, many years later... I kept count on time; Kenny initiated 16 tunes, some with differing cadence, all in a row and changed without missing a beat... Amazing!!!
    Rest in peace, old friend... You are surely in a better place, now...