PHOTOS: Kent Morrill tribute concert

By Ron Swarner on May 5, 2011

The City of Tacoma should erect a monument for Kent Morrill. I would like to remember the famous Tacoman every time I shop in the Stadium District or drive down Sixth Avenue. My guess is the capacity crowd inside Tacoma's Temple Theatre last night would agree. The free tribute concert drew tears and cheers for the Fabulous Wailer frontman who died  April 15 after a long battle with colon cancer. Former concert promoter and KJR disc jockey Pat O'Day and local concert promoter Mike Mitchell elicited roars of laughter with Morrill stories. And every Northwest music legend that performed before the dancing masses attributed their success or inspiration to Fabulous Wailer No. 1. The underlying message of the evening was there wouldn't have been a Northwest garage music scene without Kent Morrill.

Musical luminaries from around the Northwest - Steve Peterson, Neil Andersson, Gail Harris, Jerry Miller, Jim Manolides, Freddie Dennis, Jumpin' Jim Wallace, Barry Curtis, Merrilee Rush, Jeff Kathan, George Barner, Gerry Roslie and on and on - joined Buck Ormsby and ALL the members of the Fabulous Wailers on the Temple Theatre stage before packed dance floor. Many of those dancing were the same faces who use to dance in front of the same musicians during the famous rock ‘n' dance parties O'Day and others threw in the late '50s and early '60s.

True to the man it honored, it was a night to remember.

LINK: More photos of the night in our Photo Hot Spot

Photography by Steve Dunkelberger