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Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)

Rick Fielding 03 Jul 99 - 06:08 PM
Tim Harrison 03 Jul 99 - 07:57 PM
dinah 03 Jul 99 - 09:43 PM
Mike Regenstreif 04 Jul 99 - 12:42 AM
Rick Fielding 04 Jul 99 - 01:34 AM
gargoyle 04 Jul 99 - 05:14 AM
Rick Fielding 04 Jul 99 - 12:02 PM
Len Wallace 04 Jul 99 - 05:07 PM
Peter T. 04 Jul 99 - 05:21 PM
Peter T. 04 Jul 99 - 05:29 PM
Tim Harrison 04 Jul 99 - 05:35 PM
Peter T. 04 Jul 99 - 05:41 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jul 99 - 06:12 PM
Barry Finn 04 Jul 99 - 06:45 PM
catspaw49 04 Jul 99 - 11:39 PM
Rana 05 Jul 99 - 12:30 PM
Eli Marcus 07 Jul 99 - 05:26 PM
Sandy Paton 07 Jul 99 - 05:41 PM
Art Thieme 07 Jul 99 - 08:08 PM
Mike Regenstreif 07 Jul 99 - 08:23 PM
Peter T. 08 Jul 99 - 10:09 AM
Rick Fielding 08 Jul 99 - 12:30 PM
Winters Wages 08 Jul 99 - 12:39 PM
Mike Regenstreif 08 Jul 99 - 01:50 PM
Winters Wages 08 Jul 99 - 04:00 PM
dinah 08 Jul 99 - 05:48 PM
dinah 08 Jul 99 - 05:51 PM
bbc 08 Jul 99 - 06:59 PM
Winters Wages 09 Jul 99 - 05:34 PM
Steven Brust 16 Jul 99 - 04:04 PM
Stephen Mendel "stedel@earthlink.net" 16 Jul 99 - 04:28 PM
Stephen Mendel "stedel@earthlink.net" 17 Jul 99 - 11:41 AM
Barry Finn 17 Jul 99 - 07:35 PM
19 Jul 99 - 01:32 AM
Saul Broudy 19 Jul 99 - 01:35 AM
Rick Fielding 19 Jul 99 - 01:48 AM
Pete Kraemer 21 Jul 99 - 04:32 PM
dinah 21 Jul 99 - 10:59 PM
Ivan Berger (iberger@home.com) 22 Jul 99 - 05:19 AM
Sid Washer 22 Jul 99 - 10:59 AM
Rick Fielding 22 Jul 99 - 12:29 PM
Ilene Thompson 22 Jul 99 - 11:37 PM
Rick Fielding 23 Jul 99 - 01:12 AM
Bruce N. Solotoff 23 Jul 99 - 02:20 AM
Saul Broudy 23 Jul 99 - 06:20 PM
Jamie Fraser-Paige - sfbearcop@aol.com 24 Jul 99 - 11:42 AM
Jamie Fraser-Paige 24 Jul 99 - 12:30 PM
dinah 24 Jul 99 - 10:39 PM
bbc 25 Jul 99 - 03:12 PM
Rick Fielding 25 Jul 99 - 09:47 PM
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Subject: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 06:08 PM

I just received some sad news about the passing of folk singer Tex Koenig. Although his roots were in New York, Tex had been part of the Toronto folk music scene for so many years he was always thought of as a Canadian. The details are still sketchy but some form of respiratory failure would seem to have been part of the cause. Tex had many friends in many countries, but since he was never a "star" it may take a while to get the news to them.

I knew him for thirty years as an evocative singer, a witty and intelligent man, and a wonderful spinner of tall tales, but even if you aren't familiar with his music you probably saw him with Mathew Broderick and Marlon Brando in "The Freshman". Tex was the "Really Large" bad guy!
"Ride on Buddy".
Rick


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Tim Harrison
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 07:57 PM

Dear Folks,

This is my inaugural visit to Mudcat which has been highly recommended to me by Rick Fielding.

I wanted to say a few words about Tex and also have a question. Tex was one of the only acts to receive a standing ovation and encore (before the sun went down that is on the main stage) at a festival I started in Owen Sound, Ontario, The Summerfolk Festival. Tex did a story called "The Wipporwill" (sp?) about a young fellow who enters a fiddle contest...sort of like the Devil Came Down From Georgia by Charlie Daniels. He told the story with such grace and aplomb (not to mention a wonderful Southern accent!) that the audience was completely charmed.

I always found that story-telling was Tex's forte and I will miss his wit. If anyone knows where to get ahold of the story, Please let me know.

Tim


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: dinah
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 09:43 PM

Many years ago now I tried some promoting for Tex. I designed a 4 page brochure for him which showed a reproduction on the cover of an artist's drawing of Tex with his guitar and under it the words.."I sing stories, I tell songs". I am sure all Tex's friends will appreciate what Rick and Tim have said here. Tex had friends and contacts far and wide, many of them for 30 years or more. I was a late comer, only 13 years but frustrating as he could be, I always thought a lot of his many talents and never ceased to enjoy listening to him. He was a warm and entertaining friend. I met many wonderful people through Tex, Tim and Rick among them, Thanks guys.

Dianne


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 12:42 AM

Like Rick, I also knew Tex König for about 30 years. He was on the Montreal scene circa 1969 when I started hanging out. He was a good friend and a mentor to a teenager eager to pick his brains. I learned a lot from him.

After Tex moved to Toronto in the '70s, I'd usually get together with him whenever I'd come through town and I talked to him on the phone two or three times a year.

He was a difficult and frustrating man. He was also a huge man whose heart was as big as he was.

For Tim: The piece is called "The Mountain Whipporwill." It's a narrative poem by Stephen Vincent Benet.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 01:34 AM

Ahh yes, well it would have come out eventually, so I'll tell you a bit more about Mr. Koenig. See he was like Woody Guthrie, Jack Elliot, Derrol Adams, Lee Hays...wait a minute, Lee Hays fits the bill. Tex was a true eccentric in the best sense of the word. EVERYONE who knew him for more than a month has a Tex story. My first impression of him 25 or 30 years ago was "Keerist, this guy is big! About 6'4" and at least 450 lbs! Add a black beard, huge bushy black eyebrows, and you get the picture. That's why he often picked up small film roles as a "heavy". In a VERY strange co-incidence that I haven't figured out yet, I turned the TV on after hearing of Tex's passing, and his face on the screen greeted me from a film he did a few years ago with Jean-Paul Belmondo. I've never actually seen a film he was in on TV (and probably never will again) but there it was - tonight! Maybe his way of saying "so long".
I used to meet Tex for Chinese food about once a year and we'd talk for hours about politics, the American Civil War, The (dreaded) music "business", leather carving, knife making, gun-smithing, etc. etc. Sometimes Tex would go off on a tangent and talk for both of us! (for hours) He'd spin tales, each one taller than the last (with him often the protagonist) and name drop unabashedly. (once he described a recent telephone conversation he'd had with someone whom I knew had passed away several years before!) It was all to entertain. Tex knew I enjoyed his company and he was making sure I got my money's worth! Speaking of 'getting one's money's worth", When we'd divvy up the bill at whatever obscure Chinese hole in the wall Tex had ordered me to meet him at, I always got the feeling I hadn't eaten as much as I'd payed for. My friend Tim Harrison clued me in by revealing that Tex must have gotten there 20 minutes early and ordered and disposed of a couple of dishes before my arrival. Ahhaah! I thought, "you con-man, I'll beat you at your own game!" Next time, I arrived half an hour early (prepared to scoff down a quick won ton soup) but lo and behold Tex had gotten there an HOUR early and was sitting peacefully (but looking strangely well-fed) chatting in Chinese(??!!) with the waiter! I've laughed about that one for years.
He had a nice voice, sang mostly old songs, and played a small Martin Classical in a Burl Ives style. (He hated steel string guitars with a passion) Like many pure balladeers there was never a lot of work for Tex, and he often wondered why so few festivals and clubs asked for his services, especially when he saw so many plugged in singer-songwriters calling themselves "folk", when he knew what the term really meant. Like a lot of musicians who couldn't keep up with trends, and didn't have steady "day jobs", Tex lived in poverty for virtually all the years I knew him, and often supported himself by busking at the St. Lawrence Market here in Toronto. He was better than that, and I think he knew it, but being a "lifer" in folk music made him so many friends - I will miss him.

I apologize to anyone who thinks that some of my recollections of Tex (the funny ones) are coming too soon after the man's untimely death. It's just my style. I refuse to grieve over a friend's passing - although I sure miss some folks - The good memories just instantly come to mind.
r.i.p. Big Guy.
rick


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: gargoyle
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 05:14 AM

The literal German translation of his last name "Koenig" is "King." It appears he was.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 12:02 PM

I've been trying to spell it correctly. Anyone know how I get one of those things that go over the "o and e" to make it "Kernig"?


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Len Wallace
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 05:07 PM

Friends,

This is indeed sad news.

I met Tex Koenig at the Mariposa Folk Festival back in 1990. We were set to do an evening workshop.

He took a shine to me because of the songs I performed and we quickly struck up a friendship, he teaching me an old Yiddish revolutionary song called "Un du Akerst".

Every time I performed in Toronto after that he came to see me only to end up "nashing" on Chinese food after the performance.

I loved Tex for all his quirks, miseries, stories, sharing, shooting-the-shit, the horrible jokes, the mysticism, the irrationality AND rationality, taking a common occurence spinning it off to Mars, Venus and then back again to earth. I'm going to miss him.

Len Wallace


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 05:21 PM

Dear Rick, in HTML you use the squiggly backwards S "and" sign (the ampersand) --&-- followed by the instruction, for example, for an umlaut over the "o" you would go ampersandOuml and that is followed by a semi-colon. For an "e" with an acute accent you would do the same, ampersand followed by Eacute;, and so on. There are long lists of characters that show this way: you can find them on-line or in an HTML book (I don't have either to hand). The semi-colon is important.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 05:29 PM

Should have added that these are the way to add characters that you want the Web to show literally and not as a preliminary instruction, for example, those arrows -- they are ampersandlt; and ampersandgt; --< and >--some are just numbers, for example, ampersand#163; is for a pound sign -- £.
yours, Peter T.
P.S. sorry about Tex, I remember seeing him many times at the Market.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Tim Harrison
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 05:35 PM

Thanks to Mike for the information on "The Mountain Whipporwill".

Tim


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 05:41 PM

Sorry, should also have said that if you want lower case you use a lower case "o" -- ampersandouml; and so on. Also I really apologise for messing around this thread for this. I should have sent an e-mail. It was thoughtless.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 06:12 PM

Thanks Peter for the info on omelets.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 06:45 PM

Tim & Mike did you check out the thread "Words to Whippooerwill". Anyone who'd do the Whippooerwill would rate first class from the start. Sorry about your friend. Barry


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 11:39 PM

It's never too soon to remember the best of a friend. When my true friend Denny died in November, three of us conducted the funeral. Joe and Paul each gave wonderful eulogies. I, being me, told stories for 20 minutes that had everyone laughing. The loss of a friend is painful to us, but when we celebrate their life, the tears often accompany a smile.

Denny knew this. He was the most responsible man I ever knew and had indeed planned the entire funeral in advance. He even wrote us Thank You notes for doing the service which we received afterwards. To me he wrote:

"The times we had were great and I hope you didn't tell too many of them! Really Pat, I'm only sorry I wasn't there in the flesh to enjoy a rehash of our sillier antics."

When I read that part of his letter, I knew I had done the right thing, and also why I was the last to speak. From your stories Rick, I feel that I missed a great guy.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rana
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 12:30 PM

Hi,

This was sad news indeed. I remember seeing him at the TRANZAC/Cloud when I just moved to Toronto and had to go up to him and say how much I enjoyed his segment of the evening. Also remember having a ride in the back of a Hyundai Pony when Tex also asked for a ride which was accomplished. I saw Tex at various concerts and gatherings over the last 10 years and am glad to have had the opportunity.

Rick earlier mentioned living in poverty, however, I feel Tex was a very wealthy man. His richness was all the people he touched - a true wealth that you do take on with you unlike the other.

Rana


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Eli Marcus
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 05:26 PM

I too was "touched" by Tex's friendship and company. I can recall his seeming to know enough Chinese to determine which medicines to take from a chinese apothecary. He introduced me to the Chinese business man's lunches on Spadina Ave., and I introduced him to some of the younger crowd at the University of Toronto through some small musical get togethers he sang at. I seem to recall that despite his struggles with making a living, he always held his head up high, and I'm not just referring to his height.I knew Tex as a freelance photographer and occasional writer as well. Does anyone recall his exact phone number? he always told me that if I forgot his number, to think "whats up?" and to dial the numbers that correspond to watzzop or something like that. True, his stories were often as tall as him, but he also had some very interesting recollections from his Greenwich Village days. Did anyone ever see him practice Jujitsu? He always claimed to be an expert at that art too. I too loved seeing him pop up all of a sudden in the odd motion picture, and Rick, I'm certain that in some way or another it was no coincidence that he was on TV the day he passed away. Farewell Tex...from all the way in Tel Aviv


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 05:41 PM

I met Tex in 1959 when he was a student at a Colorado college (was it Wittenburg? Something like that, anyway) majoring in gunsmithing. I did a concert there, and complained that I couldn't find any silk & steel strings (I was playing an old Washburn at the time and preferred them to the nylon strings it was made for) in Colorado. Tex came up to me backstage, invited me to his dorm, and presented me with a set of silk & steels. May not have saved my life, exactly, but I couldn't have waited until nylon strings stopped stretching before my next booking, and I sure did need new strings!

Next time I saw him was on a street in Greenwich Village, maybe around 1964 or 5. He recognized me, for some reason, and when I turned around at his "hello!," I remembered him very clearly. Let's face it, Tex presented a memorable figure! The man was a huge as his heart. He'll be missed by many.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 08:08 PM

I never managed to meet Tex. I remember hearing his name around the scene--Winnipeg Fest in '70 maybe. But reading these tales makes me really wish I'd known the man-----like I wish I'd known Jack Kerouac and Cisco---Dylan Thomas, Aunt Molly Jackson, Haywire Mac McClintoc, Billie Holiday & Charlie Parker. Gracias to all here who let me partake vicariously of the wonder that it must've been to hang out with and learn from Tex.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 08:23 PM

Rick Fielding mentioned that anyone who knew Tex König for more than a month had a Tex story. I knew him for about 30 years and have been thinking about some of mine in the past few days.

I was 15 when I met Tex in 1969. He lived here in Montreal in the late-'60s and early-'70s. I was just getting into the folk scene and wanted to know everything about folk music and the people that made it. Tex taught me a lot in my green days and we had a friendship that stretched across the decades.

Not long after we met, Tex invited me over for lunch at his cold-water flat on St. Andre Street in the east end. I arrived at the appointed hour and knocked. No answer. I waited a couple of minutes and knocked again. Soon this mountain of a man (and hey, I'm 15 years old then) opens the door wearing nothing but a skimpy towel around his waist. I had visions of my innocence flashing before my eyes.

I needn't have worried, that was just Tex.

BTW, he made a great mushroom omelet.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Jul 99 - 10:09 AM

TEX KOENIG IN PASSING

I learned today of a musician's passing.
I watched one die before
and they do not die like swans.
I passed him in the market a thousand times
and only stopped the once.
Many a time on a Saturday,
amidst the profusion of morning vegetables
brought in to nourish all those
like me, whose lives are slowly
Destroying the family farm,
He looked like a vast prize gourd
or the Buddha of Front Street East.
I only stopped the once, between the maple syrup
and the desire for some new kind of cheese, and
heard him in some great and rising song.
Caught out from the flow, I listened to the end.
"What was that?" I said below the endless noise.
"Northwest Passage," he replied.
"Oh, that is what all the fuss is about with that song."
"Yep, that is what all the fuss is about."
In memory, I am generous, and perhaps I was, and went my way.
Years have passed, and now I hear that song in his voice and others, and many more.

Rilke says: Music is the water of life, bubbling and running endlessly over
the fountain-basin of the soul.
I learned today of a musician's passing,
And into my ears comes the sound of the St. Lawrence Market fountain,
and farther off, almost inconceivably far, in a place where the light is different,
comes the sound of newly breaking ice.

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 Jul 99 - 12:30 PM

Thanks Peter, Tex would have liked that.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Winters Wages
Date: 08 Jul 99 - 12:39 PM

Were there any recordings made of Tex??? I did not know the gentelman but by all information I read..He was a great guy...Would love to hear his music WW


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 08 Jul 99 - 01:50 PM

Tex made only one album, an LP in 1984 called "Königsblende."

I don't know if it's at all available now.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Winters Wages
Date: 08 Jul 99 - 04:00 PM

There must be a copy out there somewhere, although, looking ..so far no luck. I am very sorry I did not get to hear a great artist. Maybe I will rent a video and take a look at him in the old flicks..Thanks Mike WW


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: dinah
Date: 08 Jul 99 - 05:48 PM

I thought I would add this information to thread. We are having a remembrance of Tex. Details below.

"Tex Konig-A Celebration of his life"

July 25 Tranzac Club 3-6 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto (s. of Bloor St, bet. Spadina and Bathurst. Cash bar(it's a private club and they are letting us use their space) Bring pot luck-finger food, i.e. appetizers, nibblies, desserts-we will eat in his memory. Share a story about Tex, perform a song if you are so inclined. If you have any memorabilia we will post it.

Call 416-651-8361 or 416-651-0599 for any further information.

Thanks Peter T.-that was lovely. I know Tex would have really liked it. And thanks to everyone who has taken the trouble to post to this thread.

Dianne Myers


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: dinah
Date: 08 Jul 99 - 05:51 PM

Something I forgot to mention, there are only a tiny handful of his tapes left and right now we don't even know where they are. There are a number of the lp's left(anyone remember those. Perhaps a good fairy will help transfer this to some CD's someday.

Dianne


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: bbc
Date: 08 Jul 99 - 06:59 PM

I didn't know the man, but I know some of you & I sympathize w/ your loss. I'm sure he would be glad to know that his life mattered.

love,

bbc


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Winters Wages
Date: 09 Jul 99 - 05:34 PM

If anyone has a wish to make a tape copy of an old lp of his or one of his tunes with him performing I would be glad to re-imburse them for their trouble for a copy. I am very interested. As for the old tapes...that would be great to have a new CD out. (Fadac please copy) Regards WW


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Steven Brust
Date: 16 Jul 99 - 04:04 PM

We ate several meals together, and played music together not enough times. He introduced me to people who are still important to me. We'd speak on the phone every six months or so.

I'm going to miss him terribly. The world is poorer for his passing, but better because he was here for a while.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Stephen Mendel "stedel@earthlink.net"
Date: 16 Jul 99 - 04:28 PM

I too knew Tex, for a little over 30 years, met him in Montreal when I was still in high school. He was hired to play his brand of folk music at the school's annual ski trip up to the Laurentian Mountains. I played and sang with him and we got on well with each other and began a friendship where we saw one another infrequently (I now live in Los Angeles) and spoke several times a year. I have to admit now that I didn't like originating the phone calls because he could talk, couldn't he. I lived and worked in Toronto in the mid to late 80's and I was flush then so I took him out to eat often and almost always for Dim Sum to which he had introduced me in Montreal. I spoke with him for almost an hour about two months ago. I had no inkling of his ill health, because let's face it he always had some sort of health problem going on still I was shocked and saddened. No more multi-hour conversations at 3 am. I miss him, he was a wonderful ranconteur, a marvelous story-singer, he enriched my life and I actually have a cassette tape of his album, it's a little beat up because it's been in several cars but I treasure it, as I treasure Tex and my memories of him


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Stephen Mendel "stedel@earthlink.net"
Date: 17 Jul 99 - 11:41 AM

I found the words to The Mountain Whipporwill on site called Redfrog-Poems from Planet Earth, I think the url is http://redfrog.norconnect.no/~poems Tonight, (July 17,1999) here in Los Angeles there is a fund raiser being held for an operation in the San Fernando Valley that provide homes and jobs for retarded kids. Some of my friends have been given access to their building (which is basically unused in the evenings)on a monthly basis to jam. In return, once a year we put on a concert, mostly amateurs, all good fun, to raise money for the center. I had a couple of songs in mind, but since I found these words I am going to perform the poem in Tex's memory. I found my old cassette copy of "Konigsblende" and played it last night. I cried for my friend. I wish I had had a chance to say goodbye. I'll say it tonight.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Barry Finn
Date: 17 Jul 99 - 07:35 PM

I already posted the words to the "Mountaian Whippoorwhill when this thread was new, You can find it in a thread "Words to tne Whippoorwill" date sometime very early on probably July 4. Barry


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From:
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 01:32 AM

Tex was one in a million. I have many happy memories of time spent with him in Montreal, Toronto, Philadelphia, and at various folk festivals. Toronto will never be the same for me without Tex. Anecdotes later, when I organise my thoughts.

Goodbye, sweetums...

Saul Broudy Philadelphia, PA


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Saul Broudy
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 01:35 AM

Sorry, posting this again as I forgot to put my name in :

Tex was one in a million. I have many happy memories of time spent with him in Montreal, Toronto, Philadelphia, and at various folk festivals. Toronto will never be the same for me without Tex. Anecdotes later, when I organise my thoughts.

Goodbye, sweetums...

Saul Broudy Philadelphia, PA


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 01:48 AM

Hi Saul. We lost a good one. I had to fink out on the last chinese food haul. I think you were there..with Mose possibly?
Nice to hear from you, hope all is well.
rick


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Pete Kraemer
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 04:32 PM

You know, sometimes things just smack you right in the kisser. Tex is dead? It can't be. I first ran into him at the Fool's Mate in Westport Conn. around 1964 (Don't hand me that "CT" crap!). I thought, "Here comes the biggest and most subversive Hassidic diamond merchant in history". He was as Ric F. described, only more so. If you never met Tex, you need to get out a vid of one of his movie appearances. As it turned out, he had an ancient battered brief case with the words to every single song ever written. Really. Do you know he played for Lisa Null's coming-out party back when she was a debutant! Really. The last time I saw Tex was at NEFFA in Boston three years ago; he was mesmerizing a whole new generation of potential subversives. It was magnificent. Tex is one of the main reasons I still play this music after nearly forty years. Miss him? Jeesiz, that's not even the right word for it. I don't know what the word is. May be this is all a hoax and Koenig will show up somewhere, looking like a gigantic subversive Hassidic diamond merchant carrying a battered brief case with every song in the world in it. Pete Kraemer


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: dinah
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 10:59 PM

I thought I would add a few words at this point. I have been overwhelmed reading the postings on this site and also the numbers of e-mails I have received either directly or that have been forwarded to me from someone else. All these postings are being collected together to be sent to Tex's 90 year old mother and his sister in Brooklyn. I know I will see some of you on Sunday but thanks for sharing your memories, feelings and stories.

Dianne Myers


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Ivan Berger (iberger@home.com)
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 05:19 AM

The way I make umlauts is break two eggs.... er,

The way i make umlauts in e-mail is to go into my word processor (WordPerfect), make an "ö" and paste it into my e-mail program.

Until Tex died, I didn't need to know this.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Sid Washer
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 10:59 AM

In early 1962, I was 6' and 150 lb. at the time I was introduced to this guy I had heard about from mutual friends. "If nobody else comes to your party", they said, "he will." Lots of others did come and he did and we remained good friends ever since. Tex assumed that everybody he knew knew everybody else he knew and sometimes it was even a little bit true. Nu? Much quality time was spent burning many bridges and listening to heaps of music of all kinds. I was then and am still an orthodox Classicalist (with a tiny bit of Jazz thrown in for good measure) but it was impossible not to be affected by the spirit of open-ness that surrounded Tex and made you really listen. I'll be at Howard Beach this coming Saturday with camera and recorder. bye, sid PS; as soon as I can get my hands on a scanner that works, I'll post pictures of Tex going back to the early '60s. What would be the appropriate site?


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 12:29 PM

Sid. If Tex had had the bucks to own a computer, I would have forced to check out Mudcat at gun point. (well, maybe egg-roll point) He would have LOVED our community, and been such a valued member I can't tell you. If it were possible to have the first posthumous member inducted here, I nominate Tex.
My friends, you'd have laughed, cried and wondered. And Tex would have had the time of his life.
Sid, you might try Bbc's website. I have to run to the studio so maybe someone will "blue clicky" it for you.
rick


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Ilene Thompson
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 11:37 PM

I, too have memories going back to the 60's, not the least of which was how he could tear the sh*t out of a guitar. There was one magical night in Nobody's on Bleecker St, where we were all sitting at a big table and Odetta and Tex and a few others were just wailing away, and at 3:00, they closed the bar and turned the key and it just went on until about 6:00 AM at which point we all went down the street to a bagel place for breakfast.

Jim Harrison has been leaving messages with Odetta's service, but there's been no response. She's probably on the road. Maybe someone out there might know how to contact the NY and NE music people to tell them about the memorial Saturday?

Tex's friend Linda is staying with the Harrisons. For more information, they can call Jim at home at:

212-233-3225 or at work tomorrow at: 718-321-5872


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 01:12 AM

Ilene. Odetta has been told the sad news.
rick


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Bruce N. Solotoff
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 02:20 AM

My heart goes to join you all at this time. Though not easy for anyone to deal with the tremendous loss in the tapestry of our lives, Tex being a particularly bright and eclectic set of colors, I seem to be feeling more like partying it up and telling my worst jokes in Tex's honor. As the ripple of devastating grief is affecting all of us, and, occasionally in the last two weeks I have caved in, I can't help but smiling as well. I think of Tex and I only see him smiling at me.

Without getting into 20 some odd years of friendship with Tex where I have come to know him as alternatively, a fellow child and a big brother (in the latter we traded roles occasionally) I have made myself available as often as I could when he would visit NY. We would drive around to hole in the wall places where he would get the finest leathers or gun stuff, knife stuff, and camera parts. And of course, eateries.

Tex, a mountain of a man, always wore this vest with many pockets. In each pocket was a wealth of inventory. Stuffed to major bulging, he could pull out whatever item might be needed at the time. His hands were massive and some of his finger nails had been carefully evolved so as to pick the guitar better. He also carried around a small duffle bag whenever he was here. And it was heaaavvy. I'm a big man too. Not as big as Tex but no wimp in the pushme pullyou department. And I found the weight of what he carried on a given day daunting.

We met many times at the knife show here in New York. Tex introduced me to and tried to educate me as to the details and specific excellence of knife collecting. I have taken to it with limited success regarding the specifics of the craft but with a pleasure for the form, craftmanship, and uses. More for me, it was an opportunity to get together with my friend.

Last November we brought my son of 7 years to the show and Tex introduced him to this world. Zakaria took to it and to Tex as if they were pre-bonded. Tex taught Zak the proper ways to handle and respect knives. And he learned instantly.

At 8 years old now, I would trust Zak more than most adults to handle a blade. Not that I give him much opportunity as I still feel he is too young and inexperienced in events of the moment that a child may latch onto in play, or with other friends not as skilled or respectful. Only alone with me there.

Still, I am sharing this, one of many stories of my personal Tex legend

But how can I sum up the vast ocean of Life Stuff that my friend embodied. No question what he's meant to me. An anchor of creative comraderie, but more.

I have never known Tex to originate a cruel thought. Not that he didn't weave a spell of potentially intended revenge upon some scaliwag who was harming a friend. (I have never heard of him acting out on these.)

I have shared with Tex my unvarnished soul and he has never taken me for granted.

That Tex was a Warrior in not in doubt. Born in the year of the Dragon, he always kept his fingers on the pulse of constallations, ever trying to undertstand life's visisitudes in current events and upcoming movements.

He was brilliant in the agile workings of his mind. And sharp enough to pick up on a glimmer from you and understand the bigger picture.

Nobody's fool. He never got arrogant, only insightful.

And though forever chasing the river of abundance, he never really gave in to despair, but always had some life affirming comment which he would pour with gusto (and not a small amount of his personal opinion) into your heart and mind till the problems mattered less than simply being with him there.

Tex,

You always had faith in me.

I'll never forget you for that.

Sleep well, my friend.

You are finally awake.

Free from pain

And filled alive.

C-U-L8r

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Saul Broudy
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 06:20 PM

The small duffel bag Bruce referred to was actually a US Army rocket bag. Tex turned me on to these, and I have spent much time searching them out. The "real thing" is hard to find, but I've managed to accumulate several. They are great for carrying around spare clothes, harmonicas, etc. Now I can think of Tex whenever I use them.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Jamie Fraser-Paige - sfbearcop@aol.com
Date: 24 Jul 99 - 11:42 AM

I met Tex in 1963 and considered him my best friend, although sometimes we'd go for years without seeing one another. He only wrote me once, when my then-wife told him that Vietnam was really getting to me. I got a short, heartfelt note on small pieces of paper written in razor point ink and two colors with his "TK" chop. I probably still have it somewhere. We talked, sometimes for hours, about the things we both loved and cared about. I visited the gunsmithing school he attended in Trinidad, Colorado, just to walk the streets I'd heard about. Tex knew just about everybody worth knowing in the world. I'm glad we knew each other. He's missed a whole hell of a lot by a whole hell of a lot of people. I sent this to as many friends of ours as I had addresses for. Tex König September 10th, 1940 — July 3rd, 1999 Brooklyn, NY — Toronto, Ont. Ca.

There is silence, now, where once a great voice was heard. Tex König is no longer with us. Details are still sketchy, but according to his longtime friend Linda Evans we lost Tex sometime on Saturday, 3 July. There will be memorials in Toronto on 7/25 at the Transac Club from 3 'til 6 and New York on the weekend 7/24-7/25 for which details are not yet available..

Tex was never well enough known, either as a singer or as an actor. The few brief moments of him on film are enough to base an opinion that he had great chops as a character actor. He told me that people would recognize him from "The Freshman" and call him Big Leo. I didn't know he'd done the part and saw him by surprise. I literally fell off the couch. "Whadevah!" Pure Tex. The album and his long history of public performances in the US and Canada over a thirty-year period are testimony that he was one of the best interpreters of traditional folk music around as well as a master of more contemporary material, including some of Fred Neil's classics. He deserved far more recognition. Hell, he deserved greatness.

I've known Tex for over thirty years, since the days of the Cafe World, the Renzi, the Four Winds, the Bagamin and a host of coffee houses and folk clubs in New York, Miami, Montreal and San Francisco. It was on this coast I last saw Tex, en route from the Vancouver Folk Festival back to Toronto with a slight detour. He played a couple of gigs, including filling in for Kate Wolf at a festival in the Marin Headlands. That was over twenty years ago. A combination of timing, finances and our combined stubbornness kept us apart except for phone calls late at night that sometimes lasted for hours and were like hanging out at a distance.

We shared a love for folk music, firearms, samurai movies, unsubtitled Chinese sword swingers and Chinese food. Tex came to Oakland with his wok and Chinese cleaver as well as Baby, his Martin and a Navy duffle full of work shirts and chinos. He was one of the best Chinese chefs I know and taught me just a few of his skills. He also found a great dim sum house and a cheap second floor noodle house within two days of hitting town. He managed to find people we hadn't seen in years who lived right under my nose. He was like that; I doubt if there is another like him.

I can't believe I'll never hear his voice live again; and no one else will ever get away with calling me sweetums. I'm often accused of being overly nostalgic. I'll cop to it; I am. I miss the days in the Sixties when we all had goals and ideals of a lofty nature, when we solved the problems of the world time and time again and Tex played the tunes and told the stories. "We can't go back but we can always look behind . . ." and carry the memories. Perhaps Tex is somewhere singing to a different crowd composed of people we knew and some we didn't. I hope there is a round table large enough for all of us; our times will come and it won't be long.

Jamie Fraser-Paige, July 1999


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Jamie Fraser-Paige
Date: 24 Jul 99 - 12:30 PM

Tex played nylon strings because his fingers got torn up by steel. He used to say he had "paper skin." He also worked very hard to keep his nails on his right hnad strong, using Knox gelatin and anything else reputed to work, including clear hard nail polish. His Martin -- and the guitars of several other people he knew -- had a clear plastic guard that surrounded the soundhole, top and bottom. He shared this with anyone, true to his always generous nature.

Tex was linked to so many people -- long before the "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" -- that sometimes it seemed as if I was always saying, in relation to some performer, writer, actor or other "Yeah, Tex knows him/her/it/them." His tales, always told with an eye for detail and couched in the best artistic tones weren't as tall as many might think. I was around for several of them or have heard them told -- a little awestruck -- by others who were there.

His time in the Village, when I first knew him, was a weird and wonderful time, and to those who weren't there -- and some who were -- much that happened on a daily basis would seem like fantasy. His ability to weave stories into powerful, evocative images worked so well that his sung version of "I Must Down to the Sea in Ships" (which those of us of a certain age learned in school as a poem by John Masefield) moved my Dad, a tough critic of all the arts, to tears and endeared Tex, chief among all my "beatnik, no-goodnik" friends to my Dad for the length of his life.

So long, kid.

Jamie


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: dinah
Date: 24 Jul 99 - 10:39 PM

To everyone who took the trouble to add to this thread over the last 3 weeks I extend my sincere thanks. It is Saturday night and I am going to print off these wonderful messages to share tomorrow at our "Celebration" of Tex's life.

I truly believe that his greatest legacy(beside the music, of which we don't have enough)is his friends. And it has become very clear in the last 3 weeks how many there were (and what a wonderfully diverse group they are.

Goodnight, sweetums, wherever you are....

Dianne


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: bbc
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 03:12 PM

By request, Tex's photo can be seen at bbc's Mudcat Resources site--the first entry on the Memorial Photos page. My best wishes to all his loved ones & friends.

bbc


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 09:47 PM

Ahh, my precious Mudcat friends. You'd have enjoyed the afternoon SO MUCH! Old Tex had some rough years at the end. No money, and his only profession being "balladeer" can make life hard. His extra large size, consequent health problems, and lack of transportation often meant that he couldn't get to gatherings exactly like the one held in his honour. Jeez it's sad he wasn't there to partake in the music and good cheer. A number of folks looked skyward and said "Tex is watching us", but hell, I wish he'd there in person. On the stage..at the buffet table, and in the audience, singing along.
Mudcatters were well represented. Dinah and Rana did great organizing and Paul Mills, Michael Miland and Tony Burns represented us well.
So Long Tex
Rick


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