found filk at her first convention, Equicon, in 1973. She walked into the lobby where a group of fans were gathered around a piano, singing the “Orcs’ Marching Song”. She promptly joined them.
In the late 1980s, this California filker created and moderated the first filk discussion group, shared over the Fidonet. This later became the newsgroup alt.music.filk and, later still, with assistance, rec.music.filk. All of this brought filk to a wider, global audience. It is impossible to overstate the impact this had. For the first time, filkers had frequent and immediate contact with other filkers all over the world. Thanks to Kay, we became an international on-line filk community. She is one of those who, very early, built the base, on which other people could establish their own creativity, and participate in the exchange of the world wide filk culture.
While moderating the newsgroup, Kay also created the first compilation of filksongs, collected from the Filk Echo and provided for download in May of 1990. She was an original contributor to SMOF.com’s Filk Primary Source List, which gave access to source information on filk parodies to general fandom and to runners of conventions. Her long-lived, and frequently updated “Filk FAQ” remains a valuable resource for anyone trying to understand the filk community. If you do an on-line search for “What is Filk?”, one of the first links to come up is Kay’s “Filk Frequently Asked Questions”.
Kay is creative and organized, qualities valued by conventions she worked on. For several years, she has been the driving force behind ConChord’s “Kazoo Awards”. Under her administration, these awards have become a fun way to recognize song writers, in competition against their peers, as determined by unique categories each year. She has also been nominated for one herself.
Kay rarely seeks the limelight herself. She will often perform a one-shot at cons, but otherwise only sings in circles. She has also written a huge number of filksongs, some of which have been published in Xenofilkia. She really was and continues to be an outstanding ambassador for filk.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Kay Shapero is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this eighteenth day of April, two thousand fifteen.