Monday, February 6, 2012

Send Buddy Tabor A Card -- Updated: Buddy Tabor Passes

--- by HarpboyAK

[note:  Buddy Tabor passed away Sunday.  HarpboyAK sent this article to me late Saturday, and I failed to get it up on time.  AlaskaPI now notes in the comments that Buddy is gone.  Please DO watch and listen to his songs posted here.]

Hidden away here in Juneau, we have one of America's finest songwriters.  Alaskans and others who attended the Alaska Folk Festival over the past 35 years eagerly awaited Buddy's performance, because he always had a new song or two that would grab you in some way.

Now we're about to lose him, and you need to send him a card.

Buddy has recorded 5 albums and last fall, released a 3 CD anthology of most of his songs.  Here are a couple of songs that show the wide range of topics he covers...

A love song from his album Meadowlark:

When Buddy gets political, he's as his best, as in the title song from Blinding Flash Of Light.

And last year, as the Occupy movement grew, he wrote Corporate Domination:

I wish Carla Wolf, who produced the previous slideshow videos of Buddy's songs, had also done one for his song about sport shoe sweatshops, Mr. Basketball Shoes, guaranteed to make you never want to wear Nike shoes again.

A year ago, Buddy and Riley Woodford produced a prophetic video, Black Crow Night:

At the time, Buddy didn't know that a year later he would be wasting away from stage 4 lung cancer.

In November, when Buddy's cancer was diagnosed, he decided to do enough chemo to give him a few more months, so that he could travel to say goodbye to some friends, including some of the lifers that he has performed for several times at Folsom Prison.  In early November, his Juneau friends turned out for a potluck dinner, auction, and concert fundraiser, and raised $10,000.  Friends in Anchorage and Fairbanks also put on fundraisers, which really helped his family, since Buddy was a self-employed house painter until he had to quit working several years ago because of his back injuries.

He's now at home with home hospice care, and tires too easily to have many visitors or deal with many phone calls.  If you appreciate his music, let him know that you care.  Send a card to him:
Buddy Tabor
PO Box 21273
Juneau, AK 99802-1273
 Do it soon.

P.S.  This is not a plea for funds, but a request for cards.  If you feel moved to make a donation, checks should be made out to Jeannette Tabor at the above address,.


Anonymous said...

Buddy died last evening.
I miss him terribly already.
We used to argue a lot about who was a dangerous poet or whether there were even any dangerous (effective) poets left in this country.
Buddy was a dangerous poet and a dear friend.

Anonymous said...

I realized I was so sad when I saw this I was rude to you.
This is a lovely tribute and well deserved praise for Buddy. We should talk real live. Take best of care, neighbor.
Phil- I apologize for bringing personal pain here to your blog. Thank you for running Harpboy's beautiful, caring letter here.
I hope folks enjoy the sample of Buddy's music if they never got to hear him.
Thank you again

Philip Munger said...


I'm so sorry I didn't post this earlier, as HBAK sent it to me late Saturday.

HarpboyAK said...

I only found out about 4 this afternoon, when I came home for a few minutes. He's at peace now.

A couple of months ago I told Buddy that there were quite a few copies of his songs available as free downloads. He told me that was fine with him, since he didn't want his family to end up with a garage full of recordings, like the family of his late friend, mentor, and Alaska Folk Festival founder "Uncle Bob" Pavitt. He said that he preferred that his songs be played and passed around, and sung by other musicians.

So in accordance with Buddy's wishes, here's a link to a site with a number of his songs. I especially urge everyone to listen to "Mr. Basketball Shoes".

Click here

Tomorrow, I'm going to buy some plastic flowers and leave them on his doorstep if I'm driving anywhere near his house.

Philip Munger said...

Thanks, Harpboy. Sorry I didn't get your thoughtful tribute up earlier.