Hail Hail, Kent Morrill – LOUIE of the Week

Kent Morrill, Tacoma 1996 - photo © Eric Predoehl/LouieLouie.net

This week, I want to focus the big spotlight on Kent Morrill of the Wailers.

Kent is a founding member of the Wailers, one of the most important rock and roll bands to ever come out of the Pacific Northwest. As I’ve spoken with a lot musicians in that region that performed during the late 1950s-early 1960s, there seemed to be a universal consensus that the Wailers were THE band that other musicians looked up to. They were THE band that combined it all – remarkable musical ability, a dynamic stage show, and a level of success that inspired so many others to to leap into the music industry.

When I interviewed Larry Coryell, he told me that the Wailers were like the “Beatles of the Pacific Northwest” – whenever they played, there were also big crowds of enthusiastic teenagers.

The Wailers played a pivotal roll in the LOUIE LOUIE universe. With Rockin’ Robin Roberts on lead vocals, they did a special arrangement of the Richard Berry song that established the prototype followed by the Kingsmen, Paul Revere & the Raiders, and countless other bands.

You can see Kent talk about their special arrangement of LOUIE LOUIE when you view the trailer that I posted on my Kickstarter page.

Kent Morrill and Buck Ormsby are the heart and soul of the Wailers, keeping the legacy of the Wailers spirit alive in the 21st Century. I am very glad to call them my friends. I was very honored when they enlisted my help for the 2007 LOUIE Fest, and they provided support for me to attend this event.

I’ve got some excellent stories from these guys, and I look forward to sharing them in my upcoming documentary.

For the past few years, Kent Morrill has been living with cancer. Lately, things are not going very well, but he’s still very active producing music and performing, as he is able to do so. I’ve been told he is showing improvement with the help of excellent health supplements, and his spirit remains absolutely optimistic.

On Saturday, April 2, Kent celebrated his 70th birthday

Today, I’d like to continue the celebration of Kent Morrill, and ask all my friends to send out good wishes and prayers for Kent as he deals with the challenges of cancer.

You can send your best wishes to Kent via the official Fabulous Wailers webpage.

In fact, if you’d like to help Kent out, he’s got some fairly astronomical hospital bills, and if you’re able to send some donations his way, I’m sure he’d appreciate it.

This week’s LOUIE is a recent performance by Kent singing with the Wailers. It’s a benefit show for the Gulf Region that took place at the Swiss in Tacoma, Washington on June 27, 2010. This one of the very special shows Kent did right after cancer treatments, and he does a great version of LOUIE LOUIE!

Rock on, Kent!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gL731avE38Q

SAD NEWS UPDATE: I just got word on Friday, April 15th that Kent has passed away.

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