Filk History Crowdsourced

Gary McGath has announced that he is crowdsourcing the book Tomorrow’s Songs Today: The History of Filk Music. When the work is complete it will be published as an e-book tracing the history of filk from early conventions to the present day. McGath expects the book will be published by the end of this year, but is looking for financial assistance to make it happen.

For more information…

Obituary: Joe Bethancourt

Musician Joe Bethancourt (b.1946) died on August 28. A professional musician, he worked as a session man in LA during the 1960s before moving to Arizona, where he had a lengthy career. He helped found the Arizona chapter of the SCA and performed under the name “Master Ioseph of Locksley.” Bethancourt was a musical guest of honor at Fencon VIII and was inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2013.

Pegasus Nominations

The finalists for the 2014 Pegasus Award have been announced. On-line voting is open to anyone with an interest in the filk community until October 19. The winners will be announced at Ohio Valley Filk Festival the weekend of October 24-26.

Best Filk Song

  • “Acolytes of the Machine,” by Dr. Mary Crowell
  • “Child of the Library,” by Piers & Gill Cawley
  • “Pageant Legend,” by Ju Honisch & Katy Dröge-Macdonald
  • “Paper Worlds,” by Talis Kimberley
  • “Snow White, Red Road,” by Cheshire Moon

Best Classic Filk Song

  • “Apology,” by Bill and Gretchen Roper
  • “Before The Dawn,” by Mike Whitaker
  • “Grandfather,” by Gary Hanak
  • “I Am Stardust,” by Lloyd Landa
  • “Storm Dancing,” by Tom Smith

Best Performer

  • Cheshire Moon
  • Copy Red Leader
  • Tim Griffin
  • Stone Dragons
  • Toyboat

Best Writer/Composer

  • Tim Griffin
  • Phil Mills
  • Ben Newman
  • Ada Palmer
  • Eva Van Daele-Hunt

Best Adapted Song

  • “Meat,” by Kathleen Sloan
  • “Midichlorian Rhapsody,” by Jeff Bohnhoff
  • “Snitch Ball Wizard,” by Steve Macdonald
  • “Threes Rev. 1.1,” by Duane Elms
  • “TIE After TIE,” by Debs & Errol

Best Song of Passage

  • “City of Doors,” by Dr. Mary Crowell
  • “Outward Bound,” by Cat Faber
  • “Persephone,” by Michelle Dockrey
  • “Scarlet Town,” by Cathy McManamon
  • “Starlight & Saxophone,” by Tom Smith

For more information…

Obituary: Carol Kabakjian

Philadelphia fan Carol Kabakjian (b.1954) died on May 15 following a four-year battle with cancer. Kabakjian served as secretary and archivist for PSFS for several years and worked on Philcon. She was responsible for the Con suite at Millennium Philcon. She founded ConCerto and published the filking fanzine The Philly Philk Phlash.

Filk Hall of Fame Inductees

Three new members were added to the Filk Hall of Fame at FilkOntario. The Filk Hall of Fame honors performers and organizers. It was founded in 1995. Nominees are suggested by members of fandom and the winners are selected by a panel of judges from a variety of filk conventions.

The 2013 inductees are

  • Cecilia Eng
  • Roberta Rogow
  • Volker Tanger

For more information…

Obituary: Mara Brener

Filker Mara Brener (b.1952, Mara Berlin) died on February 27. Brener and her husband, Harry Brener, attended their first convention, LACon II, in 1984. Brener began composing and singing at a young age, but didn’t discover filk until that convention and she and her husband spent the majority of the con in the filk room and their songs were subsequently published in the fanzine Filk Fee-nom-ee-non. Brener was Guest of Honor at Leprecon 30 in 2004 and Contata 2005. In addition to her filk career, she was an artist who worked in oils and stained glass.

Obituary: Sheila Willis

Filker Sheila Willis died in late February or early March. Willis was part of the filk trio Technical Difficulties, which was the first group to win a Pegasus Award for Best Performer, in 1989. Willis also performed with Julia Ecklar.

Ian Wins Grammy

Science fiction fan and singer Janis Ian won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word on February 10 for the audio version of her autobiography Society’s Child: My Autobiography. She beat former President Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, Rachel Maddow, and Ellen Degeneres to take home second Grammy Award (she has been nominated nine times). In addition to her music, Ian has written short stories and edited an anthology, has performed at the Nebula Awards and has attended the Worldcon multiple times.

For more information…

Pegasus Nominations Open

The form to nominate for this year’s Pegasus Awards for filk is now on-line. Nominations close on July 25. People can nominate up to five works/people in five categories. The winners will be announced at Ohio Valley Filk Fest.

To nominate, or for more information…

For the results of the brainstorming poll…

Obituary: Chris Croughton

British fan Chris “Keris” Croughton (b.1956) was killed in an head-on collision on November 10. Keris was active in the filk community from 1991, often running sound boards. In addition, Keris was a musician and a founding member of the n’Early Music Consort. Keris was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2007.