first discovered filk at Windycon in October 1979, when some friends in the Dark Horde of the Society for Creative Anachronism dragged him to Windycon. Since then, he has made invaluable contributions to the filking community, both in fan activity and in performance and recording. Computer columnist by day, filker by night, Frank has left a long trail of musical mayhem in his wake.
Frank is one of the finest humorous song writers in filk. Nearly every song is a classic and sung with enthusiasm at filk circles everywhere. His hits include “Never Set the Cat on Fire,” “Grandfather’s Clock,””Lola the Engineer,” “Like a Lamb to the Slaughter,” “Little Fuzzy Animals,” “Starship in High Gear,” “Cheap Lawyer,” “The S-100 Bus,” and the notorious “When I Was a Boy.” His filk songs have inspired decades of filkers, and generated many parodies. His music has been played on radio. His lyrics have found their way into fiction. In addition to creating songs that are enduringly funny, he was one of the first to use topicality and political commentary. His 1980 version of “Moscow Nights” was a sensation, because no one had ever done anything like it before.
Frank has won four Pegasus Awards, including one for classic filk song, and has been nominated nine additional times.
Frank’s songs were on some of the earliest filk tapes. He has appeared on a number of filk convention albums from Off Centaur and had three tapes, “Frank Hayes Live”, “Don’t Ask”, and “Never Set the Cat on Fire”; the last was re-released on CD.
He deserves credit for bringing “Frank Hayes’ Disease” out into the open (and giving the rest of us someone to blame.) An engaging but memory-challenged performer, Frank lent his name to the condition of forgetting your own lyrics in mid-performance. Watching Frank in the throes of his ailment continues to reduce audiences to paroxysms of laughter.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Frank Hayes is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this fourth day of April, Two thousand and nine.
Photo credit: Michael Pereckas, aka Beige Alert