Clif Flynt – 2005

First entered the filk community in 1975, and became active in the Midwest after moving from New York to Michigan in 1978.

Through the following years, he was a regular feature at local filks, house parties, conventions, coffeehouses pretty much anywhere fans gathered to make music. And frequently he would bring out a guitar and start a filk when others were too shy to do so. His enthusiasm is infectious; watching him play, you can tell how much he enjoys music.

Clif played and sang in countless groups with other Midwest filkers through the years, such as The Wenches, sometimes called The Wenches (and a few of their guys) and various groupings of Bs and Cs (frequently including a Barb, a Bill, a Carol or two and a Clif). He has a talent for creating harmonies and arrangements to best suit those he’s singing with.

He is one of the most versatile of filk composers, producing original words and music that have the audience variously reduced to tears (“Ian the Grim”), or searching for a window to toss him out of (“Unreality Warp”). He made the filk room safe for horrible puns. His songs vary from the bawdy “Photon Chamber 4” to the visionary “Outer Space Rocket Trilogy”, with stops along the way for a rewritten version of the Flying Dutchman (“The Ballad of the Flying D”) and the multi-part harmonies of “Dreams”.

He released two commercial filk tapes, “Fragile Wall” (with Mary Ellen Wessels) and “Liftoff to Landing” (with Bill Roper).

He helped produce the first three issues of the first filk zine, “Kantele”,

with Margaret Middleton. Clif is amiable, patient, kind, and supportive to newcomers. A skilled guitarist, he always has time to help others, by sitting down and showing a guitar chord, explaining the basics of music theory, or working on a harmony line. He welcomes new songs and new approaches. He proselytises for the amateur performer and the magic of music. He has been generous with his time in other ways too, helping schlep boxes, collate songbooks, clean up after a house filk, or whatever else needs doing.

For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Clif Flynt is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this second day of April, Two Thousand and Five.