Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kent Morrill of The Wailers Has Died

Kent Morrill, pianist and singer with The Wailers, died of cancer Friday (April 15) at his home in Tacoma, Washington. He was 70. Formed in 1958 in Tacoma, the band led the way for the Pacific Northwest sound that also gave us the Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders. In fact, it was the Wailers version of "Louie Louie" (backing Rockin' Roberts) that led both groups to record the song. 

The Wailers were known primarily for their instrumentals, however. "Tall Cool One" was a top forty hit in both 1959 and upon its re-release in 1964. And "Mau-Mau" is considered a classic, despite only reaching #68 in 1959. In the past ten years, Kent performed a Roy Orbison tribute when not appearing with the Wailers.