Friday, April 15, 2011
Remembering Kent Morrill of The Fabulous Wailers
Keyboard maestro and vocalist Kent Morrill of Tacoma WA's Fabulous Wailers has passed away at the age of 70, after giving prostate cancer one hell of a fight. Morill was the only original member of The Wailers to play with the band its entire 50+ year stretch.
It is Morrill, seen here in sunglasses and a hat, whose nimble fingers on the keyboards are featured in The Wailers 1959 Top 40 hit "Tall Cool One"
At the time the boy were still in high school. They played their hit on American Bandstand and The Alan Freed Show.
The Wailers could also play garage punk. Their fuzz rocker "Out of Our Tree" was on one of the Nuggets collections and their 1961 version of "Louie Louie" with Rockin' Robin Roberts was the one the Kingsmen sloppily copied in a Portland studio and made famous. Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders says their band was borrowing heavily from The Wailers as well.
When it came time for The Wailers to really WAAAAIILL, they called upon Kent:
Morrill was also a masterful Roy Orbison tribute artist. But he should be remembered as one of the Godfathers of the Northwest Rock n Roll Scene.
Below is what may be his final show in 2010. Following surgery he appeared right where he belonged: at the keyboards and in fine voice as always.
The Tacoma News Tribune has some thoughts from fellow Wailer Buck Ormsby here
Thanks Kent! Soul-Long and R.I.P.