Apr. 18, 2011 at 2:27pmThe Fabulous Wailer Mobile - In Memory of Ken Morrill

In 2010, Tacoma's homegrown musical heroes, The Fabulous Wailers, generously donated their beloved “Wailer Mobile”,  a 1976 Cadillac 4 door Brougham, to LeMay- America's Car Museum.

Wailer visit

Last month, founding Wailers Kent Morrill and bassist Buck Ormsby dropped by to see the car.

The LeMay Museum is very sad to announce that on Friday, April 15th, 2011, Kent Merrill succumbed to the cancer he had bravely battled for the last four years. Kent was 70 years old. He and his wife Toni had six children together, and were grandparents to twelve grandchildren.
Cadillac to Mexico AlbumAlong with the Ventures and the Sonics, the Fabulous Wailers were an all-Tacoma born band. They reached top 40 status in June,1959, receiving national attention from their hit “Tall Cool One”.

The rest is history; the group appeared on popular musical programs such as 'American Bandstand' and 'The Allan Freed Show'. The band continued to make music, eventually becoming a powerhouse of the Northwest scene. Although the Wailers members would, at times, find themselves living in locations other than Tacoma, eventually each of the original members of the band (no-one has ever left!), all came home...and stayed. “We’re Tacoma boys,” Ormsby has said. “We moved back here from the places where we were living, just to get back to our hometown.”

The Fabulous Wailers Cadillac Brougham was painted by Teddy Haggardy, the artist credited with the cover artwork from the Wailers album “Cadillac to Mexico”.

The car is equipped with a public address system, mounted to the roof, and accompanied by the sign that advertised the groups’ annual “LouieFest” music festival, well-known for featuring a huge cavalcade of talent that presents the very best in Northwest music.

Ormsby adds that “we used to ride around in this car, playing songs like Louie Louie, just blasting them out from the P.A., and announcing to the people, telling them to come to that night's show! That is, until we found out about some very strict 'noise abatement' laws within the city of Tacoma”. There it is, folks...illegal activity, Wailers style!

The LeMay Museum wishes to extend its sympathies to the entire Merrill family, as well as the Wailers family at large.

There will be a special concert celebrating Kent's life at the Temple Theater in Tacoma on Wednesday, April 27th, 7:00pm.

The Fabulous Wailers website: http://www.thefabulouswailers.com

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