Roberta Rogow – 2013


has been involved with filk music since 1973.  In that time she has written literally dozens of songs.  Most of the earlier ones were to well known melodies; later she began using original music.  These songs have appeared on her seven cassette tapes and four CDs.

She published eighteen issues of her ‘zine, Rec Room Rhymes, plus Sing a Song of Trekkin’ between 1977 and 2012, including both her own songs and those of others.  She helped introduce people from different fandoms to filk with lyrics appearing in, for example, the old Star Trek and Star Wars fanzines.  All of these, along with her recordings, were instrumental in the development of media inspired filk in the 1980’s.  She co-authored the Filkindex (Volumes 1 & 2), a fanzine publication of filk songs and filk performers (1980s), with Carol Kabakjian.  She also published the communally written songs from the many parody writing workshops she has led, probably the first publishing credit for many aspiring songwriters.  She was a member and frequent contributor to the now defunct APA Filk.  Her 1991 book, Futurespeak: A Fan’s Guide to the Language of Science Fiction, was one of the early mainstream non-fiction books to mention and explain filk.  More recently, she has turned her hand to novels and short stories.

She has sold filk music recordings, songbooks, and other material from filk artists through her dealer’s tables at conventions and by mail for over two decades.  Roberta has assisted or run filk programming tracks at many conventions.  In recent years she has stepped up to run filk several times at Philcon & Lunacon.

Roberta is known as a performer that con organisers can rely on to show up ready to sing when open filk starts, help get the circle started, and help carry it until critical mass is achieved.  She will laughingly admit to sometimes monopolising a circle, but is also well known for her early bedtime.  Always entertaining, she has served on panels, led open filks, and performed concert slots at many fan conventions.  In performance, she is well rehearsed, and has a vast repertoire. Roberta has often been the only filk presence at professionally run conventions, media cons, and even a mystery con or two, or one of a very few filkers in attendance. Her concerts or other opportunities to perform have been the first exposure to filk for many.

For forty years, Roberta has been a spokesperson and representative of filk.  She gives an introduction to filk that is very accessible to science fiction and media fans.  Some of the people she entertained have been lured in to becoming a participant in the circle, instead of audience. She encourages emerging filkers, offers praise for their songwriting efforts and helps to promote their work.

For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Roberta Rogow is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this twentieth day of April, Two thousand and Thirteen.

Photo credit: Phil Mills