The Last Chorus for Musical Friends

From The Folknik Nov/Dec 1998

Lal Waterson, born 1943, died of lung cancer September 4. Lal with her sister Norma, brother Mike and friend John Harrison (replaced later in the 70s by Martin Carthy) were the legendary traditional group, The Watersons, known and loved throughout the United States. She also recorded Waterdaughters albums with her daughter Marie, sister Norma and niece Eliza Carthy and in 1996 a critically acclaimed recording of originals with her son Oliver Knight. She is mourned not only by her immediate family but also by her extended, worldwide musical family.

Gene Autry of singing cowboy fame died October 2 following a long illness, he was 91. He began his claim to fame in the mid-1930s, and continued to perform in films, on radio and television or in his own rodeo until 1964. His theme song was "Back in the Saddle Again" his horse a chestnut stallion, Champion. He came by his cowboy image honestly having been born in 1907 on a small cattle and grain farm in Tioga, Kansas. He was a prolific songwriter of some 300 tunes including Here Comes Santa Claus and That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine.

Luke Baldwin, well known in Bay Area folk music circles during the 1970s, died of a heart attack in Arlington at age 47. For those 10 years he wrote songs and played music while working as a cook, janitor and journalist on the side. During that decade he recorded one album The Tattoo on My Chest, and published a songbook, Twenty-Odd Songs. Later he earned a masters degree and a doctorate from Harvard and at the time of his death was provost at Lesley College in Cambridge.

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