Remembering Carl Gage (March 11, 1943 - March 19, 2017)

Carl Gage

It is my sad duty to report that Carl Gage, Songmakers’ Webmaster, past Vice President, Assistant Editor of the Bard Chord and Kenny Grove Saturday Night Concert Emcee, passed away on March 19. Carl had been a member of Songmakers since August 1998. He was also an instrumental member of the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest board of directors and Vice President of that organization. Carl was a good friend to all of us. We will miss his companionship, music, joie de vivre, unbridled volunteerism and the conflagrations he called campfires. Songmakers will have a celebration of Carl Gage's life after the ice cream social during Spring Fling at Kenney Grove on April 8. Pat Cronin is gathering pictures of Carl for a poster board, so please email Pat any good ones that you have. All in attendance will have the opportunity to tell of a moment with Carl or perform/lead a song they'd like to sing for him.

Gary Lynch

Carl Gage with Board 2015

Roundup - 2015 l-r: Simon Lucas, Carl Gage, Janice Gelenscer, Dana Charette, Carol Burton, Andy Gelenscer, Sandy Lessner, Flash (Dave) Gordon, Steve Berman, Sally Charette and Barbara Greenspan

Folkworks has published Russ Paris' Facebook post about Carl:

Truly shocked and deeply saddened to read that our good friend Carl Gage has passed away unexpectedly. It’s really hard to believe that it’s true, because Carl would have been the first one to contact me and let me know!! Julie and I met Carl about 20 years ago, through the music community, which is no surprise to anyone who knew him. Carl was a member of Songmakers and has been active in hoots, camping trips, weekend getaways, concerts and countless similar activities. He has been on the Topanga Banjo•Fiddle Contest Board of Directors and was a member of BASC and Folk Alliance as well. He was very active in the folk music and bluegrass communities attending hoots and jams, performing at open mics and other venues, and emceeing concerts and events including Topanga. He was quite often in the front row or two of our House Concerts. (We’ve got tons of photos of the back of his head!!) He was also active in FAR-West, volunteered at the Live Oak Music Festival and managed websites for the Topanga Banjo•Fiddle Contest, Songmakers, musicians, hobbyists and others. Carl will be truly missed by those of us who were lucky enough to know him. Rest in peace, Carl. (I’ll be waiting for a text from you telling me that it’s all a misunderstanding. I’m holding your reservations for our next house concert.) Damn.

Patty Quintana (bass), Kathy Lynch (mandolin), Gary Lynch (dobro) and Carl Gage (Guitar) performing Carl's song, Songmakers Heart (2006)

Carl Gage

The Songmaker Story

Verbal tradition holds that Songmakers was started in the late 1940's as an informal jamming group. A recently-unearthed newsletter from 1963 reveals that the club was formally launched in 1953 as a "workshop" for songwriters. Over the years it has evolved into more of a mutual support group for songwriters, musicians and singers wanting to improve their craft, meet other like-minded folks, play lots of music together, and generally have a lot of FUN! Songmakers was incorporated in the '60s as a non-profit organization. At that time a set of by-laws was adopted, a board of directors was formed, and a more formal organizational structure was thus adopted. We don't let that interfere with our FUN, however!

Songmakers is somewhat like a folk music club, except that (we feel) we welcome and embrace a more eclectic mix of musical genres and styles, such as country, oldies (from the 20's through yesterday), bluegrass, gospel, blues, humorous songs, and of course folk. The only common thread is that everything we do is acoustic (with the exception of occasional performances before large groups) and FUN!

We currently have about 450 members.

Hoots, Song Circles, musical get-togethers and attending other musical performances and events is what Songmakers is all about. Our members are musicians ranging from beginning to professional and just plain folks that love traditional and acoustic-style music.

A Hoot is a Songmakers sanctioned, formal get-together, usually at a private home and attended by anywhere from 10 to 60 people. Everyone gets one or more turns at which time they may either Perform a song, Lead a sing-along song, request a song or performance by someone else, or simply "Pass."
Hoots are held eight times a month in locations from Orange County to Ventura County. Click on HOOTS for detailed information.
Song Circles are similar but do not have the same restrictions as hoots regarding alcohol for example and are also listed on the Hoots page.

Save your old guitar strings in the packaging that the new strings came in for the Second Strings Project
give them to any board member, Click HERE for more info

Bulletin Board

The next campout is Memorial Day Weekend at Kenny Grove (May 25-29)

Registration Form

For further details click HERE

Songmaker Badges

Current Hoot Guidelines

Kay Conroy has been converting vintage Songmaker videos from the archives to DVD's
See your latest E-Chord for details

Dana Charette’s Kenney Grove Videos are available online
Click HERE