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Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)

24 Jul 11 - 03:51 AM (#3194086)
Subject: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: GUEST,David E.

Songwriter, guitar picker and author Bill Morrissey passed away earlier this evening while on tour. Another great one gone. Rest now Bill.

David E.


24 Jul 11 - 06:09 AM (#3194133)
Subject: RE: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

Guest, David E.- Please, what is your source for this shocking news?

Maeve


24 Jul 11 - 07:15 AM (#3194149)
Subject: RE: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

I'm not finding any confirmation of this report. I see no listed gigs past the 16th July, no news items. I hope 'Catter Guest, David E. will return to shed some light.

Maeve


24 Jul 11 - 08:53 AM (#3194170)
Subject: RE: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: GUEST,Rob McCausland

Philzone.org - Philzone Phansite Community Discussion Board: RIP Bill Morrissey http://bit.ly/qdJw78

also now on Wikipedia and Facebook

so sad ~ deepest sympathies to his family and friends ~


24 Jul 11 - 09:23 AM (#3194182)
Subject: RE: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

Thanks, Rob McCausland. The link Rob gave says :
***********************************
"Got word from Bill's brother Tom in Phillie last nite.... Bill Morrissey Died in a motel room in Georgia yesterday... an autopsy will be performed today.

from his manager
"Several people have called and emailed asking me to post under Bill's account as they aren't sure that all know. Very sad to say that Bill has passed away. I know that he is finally at peace but it is an extremely sad thing."

*****************************************

I'm so sad. Warm regards to Bill's family and friends, and to Ellen Karas. Thank you for all you did to help Bill keep on living and writing and singing.

Maeve


24 Jul 11 - 09:26 AM (#3194183)
Subject: RE: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Jeri

Bill's Facebook page talks about it.

I met him once. Gracious guy. And I love Birches

RIP, Bill


24 Jul 11 - 09:55 AM (#3194193)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Charley Noble

Sad news.

We booked Bill several times at the old Portland Folk Club in the 1980's and got to hang out with him before and afterwards. Bill invented what I would call "The New England Blues," ballads about blue-collar or rural characters whose lives took odd but familiar turns. Now, Bill has joined with one of his own darker ballads. Damn!

I always loved "Snow Outside the MIll" but "Birches" was also a fine song.

Charley Noble


24 Jul 11 - 10:13 AM (#3194200)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Bat Goddess

Tom (Curmudgeon) had known him a long time when I came on the scene in 1980. I knew Bill mostly from the Stone Church Sunday hoots in the early '80s when Tom was often hootmeister.

Bill's patter in between songs was even better than the songs themselves, those early songs about kids named "Jennifer, Jessica and Jason / Just like every kid across the nation." I often opined to one of the owners of the Stone Church, Ellie O'Conner, that his whole set should be taped and preserved -- especially the local humor in between songs.

Bill moved away from Newmarket, the "small town on the river" and the Seacoast New Hampshire music scene.

The last time we saw him to talk to was a few years ago when Cuzin Richard put together a New Hampshire Folk Festival on the stage at the Portsmouth Music Hall and our "Press Room Gang" had a spot. Had a bit of a chance to talk to Bill both at the party at Celtic Crossing before the show and in the green room at the Music Hall.

This is just such a surprise...

Linn


24 Jul 11 - 10:23 AM (#3194207)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Crowhugger

Just went to explore the link to Birches and some other songs. It's my loss that I am introduced to him at the end of his life (so much music, so little time). Great songs. RIP.


24 Jul 11 - 10:38 AM (#3194218)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Beer

Very sad indeed. Sympathies to his family and love ones.
Adrien


24 Jul 11 - 10:40 AM (#3194219)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

Bill and Archie Fisher had a mutual admiration and respect for each other. I remember once Bill drove all the way up from New Hampshire to see Archie for the first time, at Arnold Greenberg's "Left Bank Cafe" in Blue Hill, Maine. We had a very enjoyable visit sitting on the steps in the cafe.

One of the very few cds that survived the fire that burned down our house was Bill's "Night Train", on which "Birches" appears.

Listen to his tender, tough songs here:http://www.myspace.com/billmorrissey/music/songs/time-to-go-home-81011063

"It's Time to Go Home" has me in tears today.

Maeve


24 Jul 11 - 10:47 AM (#3194223)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

http://www.myspace.com/billmorrissey/music/songs/will-you-be-my-rose-81012338


24 Jul 11 - 10:59 AM (#3194227)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: GUEST,Joe Simes

Bill came down to see Archie Fisher at the club a while back and we were trying to set up a gig for him. Such a shock and a great loss.

RIP Bill!

Joe


24 Jul 11 - 11:06 AM (#3194230)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: topical tom

All my sympathy to his family and friends. RIP, Bill.


24 Jul 11 - 11:21 AM (#3194234)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: olddude

Awful news, God Bless you Bill RIP .. just awful news


24 Jul 11 - 12:27 PM (#3194280)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: C. Ham

Mike Regenstreif writes about Bill Morrissey on the Folk Roots/Folk Branches blo


24 Jul 11 - 12:28 PM (#3194281)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: GUEST,Claire Curtis

What a shock - I hadn't heard much of Bill in a while, but I remember him fondly from the Old Stone Church, back when I lived in Newmarket. Much too young for this. RIP.


24 Jul 11 - 01:22 PM (#3194331)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

"Handsome Molly"
"Robert Johnson"
"Long Gone"

I'm going to miss Bill.


24 Jul 11 - 01:38 PM (#3194342)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: gnu

I love his soft guitar pickin. RIP.


24 Jul 11 - 02:15 PM (#3194359)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Amos

This is a damnshame.


24 Jul 11 - 02:27 PM (#3194377)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

"Fifty"

"I turned fifty. I quit keeping score."


24 Jul 11 - 02:57 PM (#3194401)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Jeri

Article on NHPR.org


24 Jul 11 - 06:15 PM (#3194539)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Bat Goddess

Tom is very frustrated right now because he can't see well enough to post. Probably tomorrow there will be a time when his eyes are working.

Bill's first recording -- a 45rpm single -- of "Live Free Or Die" was recorded (by Chris Biggi) in Tom's living room in Epping, NH.

Linn


24 Jul 11 - 06:47 PM (#3194564)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Bat Goddess

That recording, by the way, was sometime before 1976. I just looked for the 45 and it's not where I remember last seeing it.

It was later re-recorded for a much later recording.

Tom met Bill in the very early days of the Stone Church.

Linn


24 Jul 11 - 07:10 PM (#3194581)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: GUEST

Poster appears to be Naemanson
One more death in 2011. Not sure I can handle much more. I hope what he described in Letter from Heaven is true.


24 Jul 11 - 07:50 PM (#3194613)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: GUEST,steve s

the late claude gross and I got him to philly to do a small upstairs room bar gig maybe about 1984, his philly premier...at least it was before I took over the Bothy in 1985. Since that night, I learned every song Bill recorded and tried to share his music with everyone I encountered. Capt. Fiddle and I had a wonderful java-fueled evening trying to identify the real-life inspirations for the characters of Edson.

I'm numb. Bill's art has haunted me for nearly 30 years. Bill's image of an old dog and a blanket and a shotgun is going thru my mind and I can't stop it.

Here's a video I did to his song about gentrification of old working towns:

http://stevea4.blogspot.com/2008/07/it-was-quaint-great-ice-cream.html

goodbye bill, goodbye

s.


24 Jul 11 - 08:32 PM (#3194632)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Bat Goddess

Captain Fiddle being Ryan Thomson, also of Newmarket, NH...

Linn


24 Jul 11 - 09:08 PM (#3194649)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: ChanteyLass

I knew I'd find something about Bill's death on Mudcat tonight. Every few years he would perform at Stone Soup, and I always enjoyed hearing him there. I liked his growly voice. Here's one of my favorites:


24 Jul 11 - 09:14 PM (#3194652)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: ChanteyLass

Oops Clicked Submit message instead of Make a link. To continue:
http://new.music.yahoo.com/bill-morrissey/tracks/grizzly-bear--713078


24 Jul 11 - 10:37 PM (#3194687)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Charley Noble

Bill was also always willing to share the "spotlight" with other up and coming singer-songwriters. He will be remembered.

When I was a young man, I traveled a-round;
I worked every hard bar, in every hard town;
For the whiskey, the draft beer, the porter and stout;
I sang everywhere, till I sang myself out.


Charley Noble


25 Jul 11 - 02:07 PM (#3195103)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: GUEST,steve s

Is the ms of Imaginary Runner in any shape for publication?

...knickknack shops and restaurants...everything a man could want...

s.


25 Jul 11 - 04:42 PM (#3195235)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: open mike

I first became aware of Bill thru Greg Brown...I believe he is mentioned in several of Greg's songs...one that mentions sharing poems and songs as reel to reels were traded across thru the mail...I think it might be the "Poet Game" and I think that some of Greg's fishing songs include mention of Bill-one is even called Fishin' with Bill..


25 Jul 11 - 04:56 PM (#3195243)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: GUEST,HERB VAN DAM

NOW MY FRIEND HAS LEFT THE STAGE. NO MORE ENCORES. BUT
I BET HE'S ALREADY JAMMING WITH ROBERT JOHNSON
AND OL' JOHN HURT JOHNNY CUNNINGHAM. NOW THAT'S A
HEAVENLY CHOIR!!!


26 Jul 11 - 12:20 AM (#3195494)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: ChanteyLass

Here's another write-up. http://www.boston.com/Boston/metrodesk/2011/07/grammy-nominated-folk-artist-bill-morrissey-dead/7hSt0imItlXELhTLLtR6uN/index.htm


26 Jul 11 - 12:27 AM (#3195496)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: ChanteyLass

Hmm. That didn't work. I think it is because the link is very long. Try http://www.boston.com/ and scroll down until you see the headline and click on that.


26 Jul 11 - 08:24 AM (#3195711)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Charley Noble

Here's a nice ending quote from the Boston Obit:

Mr. Morrissey's legion of fans and friends would find it poetic justice if he were now enjoying the fruits of the afterlife, as described in his song "Letter from Heaven,'' from his album "Night Train'' (1993).

"And me, I couldn't be happier. The service here is fine. They've got dinner ready at half-past nine. And I'm going steady with Patsy Cline. And just last night in a bar room, I bought Robert Johnson a beer. Yeah, I know, everybody's always surprised to find him here.''

Charley Noble


26 Jul 11 - 11:14 AM (#3195823)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Stringsinger

The song that really impressed me was one he did years ago, I think it was at Passims,
called "Living on the Edge". Does anyone know where to find it?

I thought of Bill as being a poet who actually was living on the edge.


26 Jul 11 - 11:34 AM (#3195835)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

Frank, I don't know one by that title, but of course I'm not an authority. Here's a link to Bill's discography in case I'm missing it.
http://www.billmorrissey.net/bmdisco.html. His newest recorded work is not on that list.

Remembrances from Bill's website: http://www.billmorrissey.net/...including this thread.


26 Jul 11 - 11:46 AM (#3195845)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

I like this excerpt:
"Bill once said (in an interview for the Boston Phoenix, written by Ted Drozdowski), "…If you are not taking a chance and you are not moving forward, you might as well pump gas." It's without a doubt that every day Bill had on this earth he was taking a chance, as he was always looking to push his craft and better himself as a human being and a writer. His struggles with depression and alcoholism were well known and were spoken of frequently amongst his peers and his fans. It has also been documented that throughout the past few years he was trying to keep these issues at bay. Every day was a battle. Every day he was taking a chance. And for that, he is to be admired." (http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20110725-ENTERTAIN-110729863)

Thank you for your courage, Bill.


26 Jul 11 - 01:57 PM (#3195959)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: open mike

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UttHuoan2Qo
the chat list of his fans is called birches...here is the song


26 Jul 11 - 10:09 PM (#3196246)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: GUEST,Mark Shea

I saw Bill twice at the Tin Angel in Philly a number of years back - a rare talent and a gentle soul. Last time had to be about 7 years ago. Always hoping he'd be back - sad to know that won't be. RIP


26 Jul 11 - 11:02 PM (#3196286)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: ChanteyLass

To anyone reading this thread after my previous post, the boston.com link seems to change daily and is now http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/obituaries/articles/2011/07/26/folk_artist_bill_morrissey_has_died/?page=full
If that link is too long and doesn't work, go to boston.com and enter Bill Morrissey in the search box at the upper left


27 Jul 11 - 07:58 AM (#3196482)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Charley Noble

Here's a You-Tube link to another haunting Morrissey song "Ice Fishing": click here for song

The last verse nails it:

"And the hole you cut freezes over, and it's like you've never been there before..."

Charley Noble


29 Jul 11 - 09:10 PM (#3198252)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

Latest information, here.


30 Jul 11 - 06:57 PM (#3198751)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Charley Noble

maeve-

Thanks for posting this update. Nice to hear Bill sing one last time.

Charley Noble


30 Jul 11 - 08:26 PM (#3198805)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

You're welcome. I intend to keep on listening.


31 Jul 11 - 09:37 AM (#3199058)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Charley Noble

Another good follow-up story by Bob Keyes about Bill Morrissey in the Maine Sunday Telegram: Click here!

I didn't realize that Keyes had any affinity for Morrissey's music.

Charley Noble


04 Aug 11 - 10:33 AM (#3201626)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Acme

The guys at Car Talk offered condolences and tipped him a nod as the writer of one of their favorite car-related songs Car and Driver.

SRS


05 Aug 11 - 12:36 AM (#3202152)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: Clontarf83

I loved this man even though I never met him nor saw him in concert. I loved his early albums, and for me his masterpiece was "Standing Eight" which I have played over and over.

A chance remark to me from a social worker in northern BC during an interview brought home to me the depth and insight of Bill's songs. The worker said that child sexual abusers often seek out small remote towns to live in. This is to give them distance from the police who can only appear when necessity requires or weather permits. Bill's "Pantherville" captures this in a terse way--like magic brush strokes from a master painter, he creates an tense brooding atmosphere, and only reveals the nature of the darkness in the last line of the song. A work of genius and experience.

God bless you and keep you Bill.


11 Aug 11 - 11:00 AM (#3206046)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: evansakes

There's a lovely tribute by Peter Cooper in http://blogs.tennessean.com/tunein/2011/08/11/peter-cooper-the-quiet-death-of-a-troubled-talented-troubadour/

Incidentally, Peter in addition to being a fine writer and musicologist is also an excellent singer and songwriter. He's played Twickfolk a couple of times (with Eric Brace)


11 Aug 11 - 11:02 AM (#3206048)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: evansakes

Sorry....that link should be The Tennessean


11 Aug 11 - 11:46 AM (#3206073)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

Thanks, TwickFolk.


11 Aug 11 - 05:34 PM (#3206284)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: GUEST,David E.

Thank you TwickFolk and thank you Mr. Cooper. An honest and well written appreciation. I think Bill would have approved.

David E.


11 Aug 11 - 06:02 PM (#3206298)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey 1951-2011
From: maeve

It's good to see you back again, Guest David E. Thank you again informing us of Bill's death through this thread.

Maeve


10 Sep 11 - 06:42 AM (#3221042)
Subject: Bill Morrissey Article
From: Dharmabum

Interview with Bills Mom.

http://www.alternet.org/story/152353/working-class_troubadour%3A_speaking_with_folksinger_bill_morrissey%27s_mother_about_his_li


Working-Class Troubadour: Speaking with Folksinger Bill Morrissey's Mother About His Life and Legacy

By Kristen Gwynne, AlterNet
Posted on September 9, 2011, Printed on December 27, 2011
http://www.alternet.org/story/152353/working-class_troubadour%3A_speaking_with_folksinger_bill_morrissey%27s_mother_about_his_life_and_legacy

Marion Morrissey’s house, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, is decorated with small-town charm—a wood-paneled television den, framed embroidery, fall colors. She carries over a huge box of magazines and newspapers she has collected about her son, Bill Morrissey, the musician and author—some of them in perfect condition and as old as 1990—and sits down on the couch, amazed at how well-loved her son was.

"Look at this one," she says. "Rolling Stone. Four stars." Morrissey is a proud mother, and she should be: her son was a great speaker of the people, and he touched many hearts with his working-class ballads and humor. But she is also in mourning: Bill Morrissey died on July 23, 2011, of a massive heart attack.

"It's been a month now," she says. "I'm all cried out. When people ask 'how you doing?' I just say fine. The funeral, the hard part, is over. The rest of it, I'll live with for the rest of my life. The memories, I will live with for the rest of my life." Her voice is endearingly sweet, almost squeaky, like the grandmotherly narrator of a movie. But when she gets excited, her tone changes, and loud laughs erupt from her small body. She is 88, and she walks all around the neighborhood every day, but she does not own a computer and ignores the telephone the several times it rings.

It is fitting that she is the mother of the beloved Bill Morrissey. His music told the tales of humanity, colored with working-class struggles, dark love affairs, and humorous takes on society and politics. In the song “Car and Driver,” one of Marion's favorites, he discusses how he can tell the driver of a car by its make. To him, society was a hard-working struggle, but in it he found art and happiness, and an outlet from his bipolar disorder and alcoholism.

"He was the middle son,” says Marion, “He was three years younger than his older brother, and he was adorable, just like the other two. It was November 25, 1951, two days after Thanksgiving. He was beautifully born, seven pounds and seven ounces."

Bill spent his early years in Easton, Massachusetts. "It was a magnificent time because it was small-town living, wonderful neighbors, and I loved it there," she says. "Joe and Bill, his older brother, went to Catholic school at the time. And he was not quite five years old."

Here’s how Marion Morrissey’s baby grew up to be the artist that Smart Magazine called "a white bluesman, the likes of whom we haven't heard from since Hank Williams stopped riding his horse onto the stage of the Grand Ole Opry." He lived simply, but was well-loved. He was raised to respect humanity, and he grew up with his eyes wide open to the human condition.

"In those days, times were different," Marion says. She hired a "small-town, living taxi driver" to bring her boys home for lunch so she could check up on them during the school day. She says Bill and his brother Joe laughed about how happy they were when their baby brother Tom was born -- it put an end to teasing from the girl down the street.

"It was these minor things, and yet the boys still talked about it. It was a wonderful, wonderful time. I would've been content to stay there and bring up my family in that small town, not only for the charm, but the wonderful people who lived there." They moved to Connecticut when the boys were still kids. People valued the simple life, she says: "Good neighbors, good friends. It was where my two older boys became interested in sports, Little League. Bill was exceptional. He was the catcher on the team, knew the game inside out."

But it was in Acton, Massachusetts, where Bill started his career in music. While in secondary school there, he developed an interest in music and art. Following the recommendation of a teacher, he took art courses at a school in Boston. "But it was just a temporary thing,” says Morrissey. “It wasn't the love of his life. When he was 13, 14, he bought his first guitar.”

The rest is history. "Bill was into music and taught himself how to play. He would spend every penny he had on something musical,” she says. “He got into Bob Dylan, and any concert that he could afford to go to in Boston, he'd go. It was such that he practically lived through his music.”

Many of his songs focus on the struggles of mill workers and the working class, and Morrissey attributes it to his experience living in a mill town in Massachusetts, after he left home. He took a number of odd jobs—dispatcher for the police and fire in New Hampshire, an Alaskan fishing boat, a mill in New Hampshire.

"I think deep in his heart he had to experience these things to be able to put them on paper or in music,” says Morrissey. “You can't just pull things out of the sky when you don't know a darn thing about them. But over and above experiencing it, he had a tremendous imagination, which added to all that. That's the way I felt about it. This is why I felt he had such a marvelous mind."

But Bill Morrissey’s beliefs were shaped by the progressive way his mother and father thought, as well. "My family, and my husband's whole family, we're all liberal Democrats, and I've always felt Bill leaned that way,” says Morrissey. “I think living with these people in mills, and working in mills… finding how difficult it was to live in a life like that, he understood the people who lived there. People who came back from the war, who had no jobs. His leaning was toward people who could use help. Not his help necessarily, but maybe publicity. Maybe that's why he wrote the way he did."

But his mother also attributes Bill's success to his motivation. "What he had was a drive and the ambition,” she says. And you know what? Never never bragged about it. Never said 'Hey this is going to be terrific, wait until you hear it.' He wasn't that type of individual. I think that's why people liked him, I really do. He treated everybody equally, that's what I love about him."

Beautifully simple seems to be the hallmark of the Morrissey family's life, though like Bill's songs, their happiness was tinged with sadness.

When Bill lost his college deferment for the draft in the Vietnam War, “that's the one time that i really felt that there was a crisis in our family," says Morrissey. With low draft numbers, Bill and and his brother would have been among the first to go fight.

But Marion Morrissey, against the war and unwilling to send her kids to die in Vietnam, worked to keep them out of the draft. Her first son, John, joined the National Guard. Bill, after dropping out of Plymouth State, moved briefly back home, before deciding to transfer to community college. "He came back, took the report card, showed it to his father and he had three As and a B,” says Morrissey, “and he said 'Dad, I can’t go to college, I don't want it. I'm quitting.'" Eventually, Bill received a letter saying his district had filled its quota, and Bill wouldn't be drafted. "He escaped Vietnam," says Morrissey. "I attribute it to my prayers, I don't know, but he didn't have to go to Canada, and I didn't have to go with him! I’ll tell you, it was a dreadful period."

Bill's near-draft was not the first time war came up in their family. Bill's father served two years in the Pacific in the Navy, and Bill wrote a tribute to him called "A Victory At Sea." Marion's husband never spoke about the war, but he would quietly watch the show "Victory at Sea," narrated by Winston Churchill, every Sunday.

Like much of Bill's music, the song “Victory at Sea” is poignant, one more that Marion can use to visit her son. But "Birches" is among her favorite of Bill's songs, and following his death, the lyrics to Casey, Illinois are especially touching. The lyrics are, "I can't call you late at night anymore,” she explains. "And every time he plays it, I cry. It's very touching….It's just that right now he can't."

But while he can't call, he can sing to his mother, who will listen to him like she used to stay up late, listening to XPN, hoping to hear her son's voice.

Kristen Gwynne is a freelance writer and an editorial assistant at AlterNet.

© 2011 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/152353/


10 Sep 11 - 06:58 AM (#3221051)
Subject: RE: Bill Morrissey Article
From: bobad

Very touching -- thanks for that Dharmabum.


12 Sep 11 - 12:33 PM (#3222015)
Subject: Obit: Bill Morrissey Remembrance
From: Stringsinger

Bill Morrissey

I thought this tribute was very moving. I knew Bill casually in N.E. One night I was taken with a song he did, I think it was Passim's, called "Living on the Edge".
He was in the tradition of folksinger/story teller, a way of singing that is different from the conventional style of singing either classical or jazz.


07 Jan 13 - 09:31 AM (#3462605)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: maeve

Here's a tender tribute to Bill:
"Song for Bill"
© 2011 Tom Smith (Scroll about halfway down the page.)


07 Jan 13 - 09:33 AM (#3462609)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: Elmore

Very good. Thanks, Maeve


07 Jan 13 - 09:58 AM (#3462620)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: Jeri

Ooh, slide on down a little farther and listen to the song Bill did about Robert Johnson. (Song here, on YouTube) The part about the wind was perhaps where the reference to rain came from?
Thanks, Maeve!


07 Jan 13 - 10:33 AM (#3462638)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: maeve

Found this too
Bill Morrissey - Party at the U.N.


07 Jan 13 - 10:46 AM (#3462645)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: maeve

"These Cold Fingers" youtube (Warning- sad one)

Classic Morrissey Fishing a Stream I Once Fished as a Kid


07 Jan 13 - 10:53 AM (#3462650)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: maeve

I hadn't heard this one before: As Long As the Sun

Last one for today, since I've already made too many posts here for one day. Sad and happy to "see" Bill again.
Bill Morrissey video from Toogenblik, Haaren (Brussels), April 15 2005.


07 Jan 13 - 11:33 AM (#3462667)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: Elmore

One night at the Me and Thee in Marblehead, the main act was terrible. Also, the room was cold. We went out to the kitchen to drink coffee. After a while we heard Bill's voice for the first time. He did a short, but memorable set. Saw him many times thereafter. Great writer, great sense of humor.


07 Jan 13 - 10:43 PM (#3462977)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: GUEST,David E.

A very good friend of Bill's, Cormac McCarthy (the song writer, not the book writer) has a new cd called "Collateral" which is simply brilliant. I would suggest that anyone who admires Bill's craft would certainly appreciate Cormac. Check him out if you're not familiar with him, you'll be glad you did. Bill would want you too also.

David E.


08 Jan 13 - 08:05 AM (#3463078)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: Bat Goddess

Back in the early '80s at the Sunday hoots at the Stone Church in Newmarket, NH, EVERYBODY performed -- Bill Morrissey, Cormac McCarthy, Doug Clegg, Tom Hall (Curmudgeon who was often hootmeister), Susie Burke, Cosy Sheridan, Doug Johnson from Newburyport...many more.

Back in those days I wished every Sunday when Bill was onstage that I could record his patter between songs even more than the songs. He was a great comic as well as a singer. And a lot of his humorous songs (such as the one about "named Jennifer, Jessica and Jason / Just like every kid across the nation") never were recorded.

Linn


09 Oct 14 - 02:01 PM (#3667581)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: GUEST,Cuzin Richard

I miss Bill. I used to listen to him with Greig on stand up bass, Cormac McCarthy, & Ed Gerhard ( driveway Wilson ;back then ) together at The Stone Church in the mid 70's, then started booking them, delivering them contracts where they pumped gas during the day at a Newmarket Mobil gas station down on 108. Bill lived right next store to The Stone Church ! Bill was at my NH Folk Festival in 2006. Cormac and Bill were amazing co-writers and story tellers, as good as it gets.


10 Oct 14 - 12:36 AM (#3667706)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: GUEST,David E.

I tell people that if Bill had left a will, he would have left his fans to Cormac McCarthy. The man is seriously talented and I believe, about to hit the road for a few gigs. Catch him if you can and pick up his new cd. Great stuff

David E.


12 Oct 14 - 09:47 PM (#3668490)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bill Morrissey (1951-2011)
From: ChanteyLass

Mark Erelli will be releasing the CD "Milltown," a tribute to Bill Morrissey at Stone Soup Coffeehouse in Rhode Island on December 6. At the time of Bill's death, the police of course began dialing the numbers he had recently called from his cell phone. One of them was the woman who books Stone Soup's performers. He had a gig scheduled at Stone Soup. The call from the police was how she learned that he had died. It didn't feel right for me to post that on this thread until now.