were two of the main anchors of the Midwest filking scene during the 1970s and into the 1980s, when having a family led them to reduce their fannish activities.
They were the first to bring filk to the “big stage” when, at MidAmeriCon, the 1976 Worldcon, they were drafted as emergency halftime entertainment for the Masquerade, while the judges were deliberating and no one was allowed to leave or enter the ballroom. Under these less than ideal circumstances, they kept thousands of people entertained — and not rioting — by singing all sorts of things from their filkbook. This included the infamous “Chicken Song” (also known as “The Rooster”), and for years after that, fans sent them additional verses in the mail, with each pun worse than the last.
Bob is noted for his zany sense of humour. He seems to feel that most filksongs need a strong bass line, and has therefore been seen in recent years at convention filks playing a washtub bass, usually constructed on the spot from locally purchased materials. He carries a tune like a concealed weapon.
Interfilk owes a major debt to Bob, as the entire style of the Interfilk auction is descended directly from the style that Bob developed at art auctions for entertainingly and painlessly separating the bidders from their hard‑earned cash. Many of the present‑day Interfilk auctioneers learned their distinctive Midwest schtick from watching Bob. He is also credited with inventing the “5‑2‑1” rule, even more critical in the filk community than in general fandom.
Anne was filking before it was recognized as filk, singing Allan Sherman songs and an early version of “Your Mother Swims After Troopships” in a greasy spoon café in her college days. She brought a lyrical quality to her songwriting that no one else had at the time. Her songs appeared in filk books and zines, and are still topical, emotionally stirring, and inspired. They range from the silly (“Starship Unity”, “Marcon Ballroom”) to the sublime (“Harbors”, and her setting of Poul Anderson’s “Mary O’Meara”). Many of these songs are still widely sung, and Anne has, most deservedly, won Pegasus Awards for the last two. “Harbors” in particular has stood the test of time. It is a song that is poignant, yet hopeful. She has a strong clear voice, and a delicate hand on the guitar. In the seventies, all the young female filkers wanted to sing like Anne Passovoy.
Anne is known for her support of and influence on other filkers. She encourages those who are shy or plagued by self‑doubt. She is very supportive of everyone around her, be they seasoned professional or newcomer, and has a reputation as a wonderful filk GoH, never one to desire the limelight.
Bob and Anne were among the founding members of the Dorsai Irregulars in 1974, and remain active to this day.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Bob and Anne Passovoy are inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this fifth day of April, Two thousand and eight.