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R.I.P., Cynthia McQuillin

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Just discovered that filksinger-songwriter Cynthia McQuillin died two weeks ago, on January 14, of renal and respiratory failure, at age 52.

I didn't know her personally, but I've been listening to her music on and off since about 1986, when I bought my first filk tape, the Off Centaur sampler tape, Quarks and Quests (I can't remember whether that was where I first heard her song "Gay Vampire Boogie" or not, but the tape definitely contains songs by her), and I was pleased to see her live at various Bay Area conventions over the years. I'm sad to hear that she's gone.

Here are some postings about her that give some sense of how widely loved and respected she was in the filk community:

  • filk.com forum thread; includes a copy of her induction in to the Filk Hall of Fame in 1998, which noted that she had written over a thousand songs and over 300 of those had appeared in recordings and/or songbooks, including a few that were picked up and performed by professional folk and rock musicians. (I'm not sure what percentage of her songs had original music and what percentage were words by her to existing tunes, but I know a fair number of her songs had original music.)
  • memorial from Allison Durno of filk trio Urban Tapestry
  • JohnO's LiveJournal, with photos and some info about Dr. James/Jane
  • obituary by Arizona fan Gary Swaty (notes that McQuillin was an editor--or maybe slush reader? I'm not sure--for MZB's Fantasy Magazine back in the day)
  • Pegasus Awards bio page from a couple years ago.

1 Comment

soooooo sorry to hear about this loss and really sorry to be so late in posting. i met Cynthia sometime in the late 70's early 80's at a filk here in Los Angeles. yes along time ago and do to the wonderfulness of her soul and sweetness of her person, her help to a limping young man whom she had lay down with his knee in her copious lap and sang softly to him and did her best to heal a damaged limb, and did a dam fine job of it. and when i walk normally on that leg i think of her with fondness and love... knowing she is gone will just make the walking all that more important as a memory of Cynthia. bill armstrong


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