Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Kate Wolf Rememberance

One of the artists that I have wanted to commemorate for quite some time now is Kate Wolf. Born in January, 1942 and sadly left us at such a tender age in 1986.
My first inkling of her came from friend in 1984 who introduced me to her music and her voice. Admittedly, I listened reluctantly. I was smitten. Never have I heard such a voice and such feeling.

She started life as Kathryn Louise Allen (aka Katie Lou) in San Francisco. There is much moving and there are many relationships in her brief life. I won't delve into that here since you can read all that in her biography on the Kate Wolf website--

What I would like to mention is how her music has affected me and so many others. You can read all about her history ---radio host, performer, composer, mother, wife, etc; on the website that has been put up by her children.

"Give Yourself To Love". That song, alone, has so much meaning. Written for a friend's wedding it is used now for many occasions.It is a wonderful piece at funerals. I know some who have used it at that sad event. Truly meaningful. Her interpretation of songs by others--Leonard Cohen, Jack Tempchkin (Peaceful Easy Feeling), and so many more can make you tear up when listening.

A few little sidebars here. Bio, as said you can get on her website.

I had the delight of interviewing her children on my radio program---TRADITIONS (WFDU Teaneck NJ) which I co-host w/ Ron Olesko a while back and the insights and love they showed for Kate and how they are keeping her music alive is just a wonderful thing. I add, here, that listeners call many times to request her touching music.

Kate Wolf has appeared on Prairie Home Companion, she had the toured this country, she had a protege --Nina Gerber who has gone on to great things and has always credited Kate (with her song--Kate's Guitar), and, to my surprise, Pete Kennedy, of THE KENNEDYS , accompanied her many a time.

This is a shot of Pete Kennedy with the legendary Chet Atkins. Sorry---no shot of Pete with Kate.

Moving on now--having appeared on all these venues, having toured the country and building a wonderful following of devoted listeners and fans she, as said, sadly, left us at such a tender age.

The good thing for us is that she has left us our "inheritance". A wonderful array of music that we can use through our life's travels. It can set our mood---not politically-- but can help us overcome many of the "bumps" in life and give us an anchor to hold and reflect.

To learn more visit the website: You can also find her recordings there. Unless you are clothing deprived the T shirt part is off limits.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Bill,
Nice piece on Kate! I have a few photos of Pete and Kate lying around here somewhere...I'll try and dig them up for you.
Remind me if I don't get back in touch right away.

Maura Kennedy