RIP: Kent Morrill of the Wailers

Kent Morrill of the Fabulous Wailers

Yesterday, we lost another important player in the LOUIE universe.

Kent Morrill of the Fabulous Wailers has left the land of the living.
Kent Morrill of the Wailers

Just a few weeks ago, I wrote about Kent, discussing his battle with cancer. I was hoping he’d beat that problem, and live to see the completion of my LOUIE documentary, but unfortunately that wasn’t meant to be.

Kent never stopped working, even while dealing with the pains of cancer. Quitting was not an option. He continued to made plans for new recordings, and even had a solo gig lined up in June at the Snoqualmie Ballroom.

Today, I’m feeling quite grateful to have known Kent, and be fortunate to have him participate in this documentary project of mine.

My friend Merri Peterson Sutton has been working very closely with the Wailers organization, helping produce fundraisers for Kent as he dealt with what turned out to be the final stages of cancer. On the day of Kent’s death, Merri shared this very special little tidbit via Facebook…

Toni, Kent’s wife, said Kent was singing LOUIE LOUIE in his sleep last night. Ya gotta love that!

INDEED! What a wonderful memory!

Kent’s hometown paper, the Tacoma News Tribune, described Kent’s voice as such:

The voice lands somewhere between Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, sailing up and down, wailing.

The Sky Valley Chronicle put the legacy of Kent Morrill and the Wailers in proper perspective:

If you were a teen in the Northwest in the 1960’s, all the hot dance action centered around gigs where The Wailers played and you had all their records at home.

Vinyl dude. Pure, original, shiny black, warm toned vinyl records.

You could say The Wailers were the Northwest’s version of The Beatles before there was a Beatles.

The Oregon Music News, one of the first websites to break news of Kent’s death, discusses Kent’s faith and one of his other musical forays- the finest Roy Orbison tribute show anyone’s ever undertaken.

One of the more diverse music productions that Kent participated in was a song he created entitled “Would You Like to Live Forever?” which addresses Kent’s thoughts on the after-life.

If this isn’t the time to share such a video, I don’t know when is.

In the meantime, I continue to work on finishing my epic documentary, where Kent is a very important part of this project. On my Kickstarter fund-raising page, you can see Kent talking about LOUIE LOUIE at the 2:40 mark on the trailer video.

We will miss you, Kent.

5 comments to RIP: Kent Morrill of the Wailers

  • Brian Semple

    Kent was the 1st R&R singer I ever saw live. I hope he’s joined with former band mates Rich Dangel, Ron Gardner, and Robin Roberts. If there’s a rock and roll Heaven, I KNOW they got a hell of a band! Brian Semple (coat check guy @ the Target Ballroom Burien Wa. circa 60’s)

  • Dorothy

    Kent Morill had one the good for sining R& as well as RB music. I because a fan of The Fabulous Wailers when I heard him sing Dirty Robber I have a fan and suppoter going on 56 years. Rest in Peace you earn it.

  • Bryan

    I had the pleasure of knowiing Kent in the mid 1980’s when he played with “The Jets” in the
    San Diego area, WHAT A VOICE! I also watch him perform in Vegas, as a RoyOrbison impersonator, He was just the Best!

  • Jerry McCourt

    I remember Kent from a gig he played at the Tacoma Country Club in the last 50’s, early 60s; that was a pre-Wailers group, I believe. When I heard that he was with the Wailers, I recommended the group and my classmates an I auditioned them for a dance at Bellarmine HS. They did a great job and I’ve been a great fan ever since. Their Louie, Louie is so much better than the Kingsmen.

  • George Panos

    I had the pleasure of knowing Kent from !984 when a Band called California recorded songs for Warner Brothers. I was a member of the band as a vocalist guitarist. I have copies of those recordings plus songs we did on our own that everyone
    might not be aware of.

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