2020 Filk Hall of Fame Inductees

The Filk Hall of Fame honors those who have contributed to filk over the years as performers, organizers, and facilitators. New inductees are announced annually during FilKONtario. Even though the 2020 convention had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees have been named:

  • Juliana McCorison

has been attending Science Fiction conventions since 1981, sometimes under the name of EJ or Eliza J. She’s been involved with filk at such cons as VCon, Dream con, Rusty con, Orycon, and Norwescon, both in the filk room and panels. In 2000, Juliana opened her home in Victoria, and invited filkers from all over to come to a weekend long house filk. This was the inception of a 10 year tradition that became known as Pondfilk – the Pacific Northwest’s first filk convention. Juliana, and her husband Douglas, hosted the event in their own home, creating an intimate, magical gathering. She’s hosted many other house filks there as well. Juliana and Douglas also gave the seed money for the first year of Conflikt, the first Washington State filk convention.

Juliana encourages filkers with her generosity and hospitality, and has given musical instruments (including a Banjimer) to beginning filkers, But this is only a small part of the encouragement she’s given to others in creating music. She gently encourages many filkers, who have since become performers in their own right, does backup for others’ performances, and knows what people need and, more importantly, where it can be found.
Juliana is a fine performer: She has recorded a fine CD, “Not Just Lullabies From Planet Earth” with an assortment of musicians she has gathered around her. Her band, We’re Not Koi, has been delighting audiences across the continent in the past few years. She has covered songs and other instrumentals from other filkers, and has also served as a recording engineer, for her own album and other projects.
Juliana has also been the Pacific Northwest Representative to Interfilk, and runs the Interfilk auction at Conflikt each year.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Juliana McCorison is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this twenty-sixth day of April, two thousand twenty.

  • Rob Wynne

has been an enthusiastic and multifaceted pillar of the filk community since 1987.

He is a prolific and talented songwriter and performer, with a particular penchant for mischievous parody.  He writes songs in, about, and for the filk community, and maintains an archive of them on his website, www.autographedcat.com.

Rob also writes filk album and filk interest reviews articles for Aphelion, an SF webzine, and works as their WebMaven/Features Editor.

He and his partner, Larissa, are the heart and soul of GAFilk. He has been on the GAFilk Concom from 2000 to 2008 as Programming Director, and Conchair from ’09-present despite living in Seattle. Rob also has runs the convention’s very entertaining game show, “My Filk”, based on trivia from the filk community, which also preserves our shared history. More recently he has joined the Board of Directors of Interfilk.

Rob is a co-founder of Filknet which includes support for a private IRC network hosting #FilkHaven and filk-related mailing lists. #Filkhaven became a virtual meeting place for filkers worldwide. Rob is also the administrator of the chat server in that network. It was, for a long time, an online meeting point for the filk community which provided an opportunity for filkers from around the world to meet and interact. Rob’s vigilant but relaxed style of moderation made it a safe and enjoyable space where many friendships were born and flourished. In 2017, Rob and Mike revived #filkhaven on Discord, and are pleased to say that it is once again a very active online gathering spot for the filk community
In 2016, Rob started moderating a Facebook group for filkers, also based on the principles of kindness and courtesy that Rob embodies.

Whenever he’s at a convention, Rob takes pictures of all the events he’s at. He posts those, a con report, and collection of others’ con reports to a community archives, sharing the biggest communal picture he can. It may seem like a small thing, but it speaks volumes about his viewpoint and attitudes towards filk and other filkers.

He has been hosted regular house filks, since 1998; even spontaneously hold them for when filkers are visiting in town. Rob is a welcoming smiling presence at many cons. He is truly a gentle but powerful force for good within the filk community

For these reasons, Rob Wynne is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame, this twenty-sixth day of April, two thousand twenty.

  • Blind Lemming Chiffon

The filker who currently styles himself “Blind Lemming Chiffon” has been writing and making music for, and sharing music with, the filk community for decades under a variety of names.

Apparently his first experience of convention filking was at PenultiCon 2 in May of 1979. It was soon followed by his first Worldcon (at Brighton in 1979), according to his song “Ballad of SeaCon,”.

His wealth of creative songs has been covered by many other well-known filkers including Kathy Mar. He has self-produced several CDs of his songs, and many of his songs have been published in Xenofilkia. Much of his work is parody and lighthearted, however “That Old Filk of Mine,” one of his best, is a bittersweet retrospective piece. While he often wants to be overlooked, is very unassuming, and would like people to think he cannot sing well, his performance always brings a smile, or a tear, to those listening.

He has been hosting house filks in the Denver area since the 1980’s and helped run the Denver Worldcon in 2008. He continues to be a loud and frequent voice for filk, and occasionally when a filker or folk performer comes to the Denver area Lem welcomes them with a House Concert for their benefit.

He has made a point of attending SF conventions all over the world, including many Filk Cons, World Cons, NASFics, and others. He was the Interfilk Guest at FilKONtario in 2004 and has managed to attend our convention every year since then.

He also owns an extremely large collection of filk, all of which was paid for to support the artist.

Lemming plays a multitude of musical instruments and is at master of most of them. These include mandolins and banjos in various sizes, a cittern, 6- and 12-string guitars, and three or four variations on the ukulele theme. He promotes the ukulele to be as serious an instrument as a guitar.

Lem’s style of delivery might tempt one to take his original songs and lyric alterations lightly, but one shouldn’t be fooled; his lyrics are usually both well-crafted and thoughtful.

For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Blind Lemming Chiffon is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this twenty-sixth day of April, two thousand twenty.

The Filk Hall of Fame jury, representing all the filk cons in US, Canada, UK and Germany, selects the inductees, based on fan nominations. The 2020 jury was: C. J. Ueberal (Intermezzo, Germany); Mark Peters (OVFF, Columbus area); Sunnie Larson (OVFF, Columbus area); Rob Wynne (GAFilk, Atlanta area); Janet Maughan (DemiSemiQuaver, Britain); Chris O’Halloran (Consonance, San Jose area); Steve Macdonald (DFDF, Germany); and Judith Hayman (FilKONtario, Toronto area).

Here are the citations telling why these three filksingers were chosen for the Hall of Fame.

CATCHING UP WITH THE FILK HALL OF FAME. File 770 last covered the new Hall of Fame members in 2017, so let’s take this opportunity to catch up on the classes that were missed.

2018

has been a filker for the larger part of her life. In 1994, at the age of fifteen, she performed a cute filk at a German Star Trek convention, as an entry in a filk song contest. Three years later, she showed up at the first FilkCONtinental. She was hooked, and became a constant presence and mainstay in German filk fandom, and overseas fandom, ever since.

Organizing is her thing, and she is very good at it, so it came as no surprise that she volunteered very early for jobs that needed doing behind the scenes at FilkCONtinental. Later, when it became apparent that Germany was ready for a second filk convention, and another small relax con had ceased to happen, she started one together with Steve Macdonald. Das Frühlingsfest der Filksmusik (DFDF, the Spring Festival of Filk Music) has now been running since 2009. Among other things she handles all the questions concerning the DFDF hotel, and is responsible for a good working relationship there that is constantly improving. She also hosts the con website, and deals with issues such as registration, finances and virtually everything else except programming

For FilkCONtinental, If anything needs to be done at short notice, she is there to lend a hand. If a member of the ConCom cannot get there, she will take turns at shuttle service and behind the scenes organisation.

She is a translator, having assisted FilkCONtinental in translating from German to English for several years, and currently handling those for DFDF. She has also assisted in the translation of Filk Hall of Fame pages into German, to help spread the word among the non-English speakers. She is an entertainer, and an improv comedian (for which she also offers workshops – even at little or no notice), a poet, and a promoter of new ideas. She has taken part in hosting some small, house filk events. Most of all she cares deeply about the filk community and its continuous development. You can always count on her.
Whether locally or internationally, she is always interested in and up for shenanigans, bringing a lot of fun to all she does. Sib may come across as calm and serene at first, but she has a wicked sense of humour and her silliness is contagious. She is a unique writer, with a witty and hilarious approach. She makes songs out of subtitles, episode titles from TV shows or of linguistic topics, frequently taking a sideways approach to a topic. Shall we just say “Evil Eyeball”?

Sib has been Interfilk guest at OVFF in 2008 and a guest at Harmuni in 2010. She has been nominated for a Pegasus Award, twice. She does not seek the limelight,

For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Sibylle Machat is inducted in to the Filk Hall of Fame this twenty-first day of April, two thousand eighteen.

Entered fandom in 1978, at the Phoenix Worldcon, enticed by college friend, Bob Laurent and found filk at the same time, because of luminaries like Bob Asprin and Gordy Dickson. There followed many conventions, including the infamous “Juanita Coulson versus the riverboat whistle” convention where he acquired his first small pamphlet of filksongs.

In the wake of the 1980 Westercon in Los Angeles, Paul Willett, Gary Anderson and Ev Turner stared LAFA – Los Angeles Filkers Anonymous – to host filksings in homes in the greater LA area and fill the void that, then, existed. Paul was the one out front, in public, who composed the monthly Flyer for the next filksing, and collected names, addresses, and money for postage, to start a regular mailing list. In August, 1981, the single-sheet flyer became a four page ‘zine, with news, gossip, and the occasional filksong, often written by Paul. It got a name: The Philk-Fee-Nom-Ee-Non (aka PFNEN for short). Issue #14 was the breakthrough – expanded to sixteen pages, eight of them filksongs. Paul kept this going monthly up to Issue #47 in October 1985. It quickly became what was one of the biggest filk zines of its time. It was influential in popularizing filk on the West Coast, and it is the only filk zine to be nominated for a Hugo (1984) . This lead to introducing SoCal filkers to a number of major filk performers they would never have seen without traveling themselves.

Paul was also a ringleader in the cabal which started, in1983, Con-Chord, the of Southern California filk convention, along with Gary Anderson, Eric Gerds and Chris Weber. Alternating with Bayfilk for the first few years, Paul, Gary, Eric and Chris built up Con-Chord to 2015. He served as Conchair twice and as Toastmaster in 2004.

All of the institutions Paul established continued, long after the originators have moved on to other endeavours. LAFA still meets every month, except when ConChord, or a Westercon or Worldcon are in LA. Con-Chord, which was first held in 1983 continued every year until 2015

Paul also is a filk songwriter of a number of songs most notably, “Ronald Regan Carl Sagan San Diegan Pagan” and “Cold Equations”, both published on Off Centaur tapes. The former was a cult hit at conventions through the early ’80’s with attendees wearing pins depicting the individuals named in this filk song. It is still popularly sung at LAFA filksings, it is also known and sung by filkers in both Australia and New Zealand (as discovered by a fan during visits to disCONtinuity in Auckland, 1994). Filk songs which stand the test of time are testaments to their writers and a tribute to filkdom.

During the 1980’s, Bob Laurent would send Paul off for weekends to various cons, to do another job, as the recording guy for Bob’s “Wail Songs”. He got his son Steve to flip tapes at a few ConChords and Consonances when he needed a break.

For these contributions to filk music and the filk community Paul Willett is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this twenty-first day of April, two thousand eighteen.

2019

attended his first open filk at Marcon in 1989; that weekend he wrote his first filk song. He is a performer who has a growing repertoire of both original songs and parodies. He has produced a boundless output of songs, ranging in tone from the hysterical (“Naked Mole Rat”), to the perennially crowd-pleasing (“Perky Goth”), to the haunting (“Elizabeth Dane”) to the touching (“My GAFilk Song”). They are warm and humane and full of clever wordplay, perfectly matched to his delivery and demeanor. They have won awards and made us laugh and cry. Three of his songs have been honoured with Pegasus nominations; four have been included on the Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle recordings. In concerts and filk circles he not only performs his own songs, he also covers songs by less well-known filkers, to promote the work of others who can’t make it to the con. The fact that he has done all this without playing any instrument other than his own voice is encouraging to all those in filk who are not gifted with instrumental ability, proving by example that it can be done.

Randy, along with his late musical partner Kira Heston, was sent as Interfilk guest to Consonance in 2012.

He has been a tireless ambassador for filk, and been pivotal in bringing many a newcomer into the fold, including many people from outside of filk who have stayed to enrich our community.

He has also been the prime mover behind making his home convention, Confluence, a hotbed of filk, like a filk convention combined with a regular convention. In addition to the usual concerts and panels, he has written and organized multiple filk musicals performed at Confluence.

People are regularly delighted they find themselves in a circle with Randy, and look forward to hearing him sing. It’s a lovely and fitting bonus that he’s one of the nicest people around.

For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, W. Randy Hoffman is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this 13th day of April two thousand nineteen.

has been the closest we have ever had to an official filk archivist. Over the years, he amassed and catalogued an incredible collection of filk convention material, recording many performances, from concerts to filk circles. He also ensured that performers had an opportunity to obtain copies of their performances.

In his archivist role, Harold worked to identify and preserve as many recordings of filk music as he possibly could, and put together a huge collection of tapes made at conventions and housefilks, as well as filk from other sources. This was all backed up digitally off site to prevent loss. He was also wise enough to assign people to carry on his work of preserving this collection. Because of this work, people in the distant future will have the opportunity to listen to our music. In his recording, Harold was very respectful of people’s wishes and intellectual property rights. As noted on his website (FloatingFilk.com) “Do Not Record requests are always honoured“. He was courteous to a fault.

He also made a CD-R of the concert recordings for Interfilk donation.  Over the years, he donated over a dozen such recordings to Interfilk.

He has also contributed to MASSFILC’s songbook index by making books available for indexing. He digitized filk zines, and, with the zeal of a completionist, attempted to collect them all. He made rare back issues available to Interfilk, along with copies of the digitized files.

Harold assisted in running sound at too many cons to mention, and ran filk programming at I-Con 2008 and I-Con 2009, and was Techno-Guest at ConCertino 2009.

Harold was a volunteer’s volunteer, from as early as the mid-1990s. At every filk convention he attended, he volunteered for the sound crew. He could often be seen during set-up and tear down, often under the stage, or climbing on chairs to get the equipment carefully and efficiently up or down.

For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Harold Stein is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this 13th day of April two thousand nineteen.

[Update 05/02/2020: The 2020 citations were posted shortly after this post went live. Thanks to Allan Pollard for the update.]

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