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Photo's [c] Dan Folger/B.Kippa 2001 *
Heaven has a new star
April 11, 1943 - Thursday, March 23, 2006
Dan W. Folger, born April 11, 1943 in San Rafel, California died Thursday, May 23, 2006 in Bentonville, Arkansas after a lifelong struggle with the ravages of alcoholism. Known as Hickory Records Brightest Star during his recording career in the early 1960's, Dan was placed on this earth with a musical gift to release. He climbed up on a piano stool at age 3 and never stepped away until he was called Home. As one of many talented musicians and songwriters who were caught up in the bowels of what was called the Payola Scandal , Dan's 4 records with Hickory and one with Elf Records were released to flounder without a marketing plan, as frightened studio heads scrambled to find another way of doing business. Although not one of his records reached the stores, and not a single copy was ever sold at the time, thousands of fans all over the world have discovered his records, where they have been avidly traded on the internet for many years. Each song has been placed on several compilation LPs and CDs as well, as the library of master tapes has changed ownership. Dan's lasting legacy is the large body of songs he has written, many of which have been recorded by artists as diverse as Roy Orbison, Tom Jones and Nick Cave, just to name a few. They have also been translated into other languages and released by artists around the world . Many of Dan's later songs remain unpublished.Survived by a brother, two sisters, four nephews and many cousins, a memorial dinner has already been held. The family has requested that no flowers be sent and no donations be made; rather, they hope that anyone who has Dan's music will enjoy it again for awhile.Married briefly to Kathy Childress in the early 60's, Dan never stopped loving her and never married again. Lost love was abiding theme in most of his songs, even before he met Kathy. The only thing Dan loved more than his music was his relationship with the Lord. His notebook was always close by, as were the comforting prayers of many Christians over the years. As bright new musicians struggle to hear their own musical gifts, the band of Angels who help them discover it has been increased by a miracle of light this week.
Dan's sister can be reached at
Dan's Final Goodbye
March 23, 2006 10:45AM
"The Journey Home" by Brenda Kippa
"No, no, no, no, no, no", he said As he lay, eyes closed, on his deathbed Fingers twitching, hands grabbing at wires and tubes He fought to re-bargain his payment of dues
"Do they want me to die tonight?" He asked it aloud, and again he asked But no one listening, tethered to earth Could say if he'd completed his task
Somber Doctors, gentle nurses, weeping ones he loved Tried to give him back his strength Moving heaven and earth to him: (his choice) They traveled every length
Still this gentle, giving man Who loved no One more than the Lord Held himself back from the light he knew And stood instead behind the Door
"How can this be?", asked the holders-on "Why's he not running straight out with joy?" They were adding their view of a Spirit-filled man To their memories of a beautiful, gifted young boy
Yet how can we expect less than a struggle in death From a man whose life was half defined By his struggle in Life, again and again And whose music and mysteries were to stay, it seemed, In this earth, forever un-mined?
As he shook his head and furrowed his brow He talked to The One in his view While the gentlest of angel wings touched his cheek He did what we earth-bound ones do
"I worry about my brother", he said "And I've stacks of music to complete There's sisters and nephews and love I've lost I can't let go; we cannot meet"
Clear-eyed moments showed to him Those assembled for his farewell: He saw siblings, smiling through tears Intent on release and goodbye; Young, soft-spoken, learned physicians Almost strong enough to cry All around, strong nurses, each more amazing than the other Full of promise and purpose and music-to-go All hauling up the anchor for my brother
So new, they all seemed, yet so very deeply wise Watching over, standing by, they did their level best To be there each moment as he sorted it out Answering each question in his last test
He listened, he argued, he tried to change minds Through lips cracked and dry; jaw set to defy He asked first one, then another He was already much too weak to cry
Decades and decades ago, he wrote and recorded his first song It was "There Came A Tear" (readers, keep this close to heart) Then he went on about his mission, drawing people to him in trust Sharing music and God's love (he was set on Perpetual Re-Start)
This went on, year after year, `till the line's end reached out for him From the depths of a bottle of liquid hell Now, sandbagged alongside his race toward family unity He forgot for just a moment his own Master's well
Oh, Saints and Angels on High I'm aching and tired tonight Before his very last breath, I wiped away a tear That came as he ran blindly into the light
Brenda Kippa (Dan's sister) I thought this should be called "The Journey Home",
since I wrote it in the car on the long drive home,
as I cried freely and yawned only with giant,
primal silent screams)
Thanks to the amazing work of the talented and persistent Spike, I've learned more about my brother's music in the past two years than I've known over the past three-plus decades. It has been a great thrill to learn that Dan's music has been so widely recorded and appreciated. THANK YOU, EVERYONE! ~ Brenda Kippa
I had the pleasure to talk with Dan and his family over the Christmas holiday. Dan is writing new songs with new songwriting partner Mark Lee . I can't wait to hear the new music. ~ Spike
"(Baby) I Get The Same Old Feelin'" was by BECKY AND THE RED PONY (Barnaby 2031). Don Gant of the Neon Philharmonic was the co-producer. Edie Walker previously recorded for the Miami-based Mew label before her 45s on Rising Sons. It's likely fellow Floridian Charlie McCoy referred her to Buzz Cason of Rising Sons Records. I, too, would like to learn more about R.J. Benninghoff. Anyone know where I can find him? Jeff Lemlich Limestonerecords
News! 2 important songs [ Weeping Analeah and Dreamin' in the rain ] written by Dan and Mickey Newbury are on the new Double CD "The Birdwatchers". Tell 'em Spike sent you!
|For those who want more, here's a few picks from me.
For starters, you dont get any classier than Dan Folger's The Way Of The Crowd top production, great strings a top drawer ballad, and one that has been spun on the soul scene for many years, by those lucky enough to own a copy. http://www.modculture.com/reviews/review.php?id=172
[c] Dan W. Folger/Acuff - Rose Music 1967/2001
Contact me @ mailto:email@example.com
Wanted - Info on Joe Melson,Kris Jensen,and Don Gant
|I need your help! Does anyone have any infomation on Bulletin Records [Nashville] or a copy of "The Gators in Concert" on Bulletin Records # 27982? If so please contact me. Thanks,Spike|
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