Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ken Graydon

It is with deep sadness that I report that Ken Graydon passed away last night, Saturday, July 29th. Many of you may remember that Ken was diagnosed with a brain tumor during last year's Encampment. He underwent treatment this year for this and other cancers. He fought hard and lived life to its fullest during this last year, singing and writing with his usual energy and talent. His music will live on in all of us. We will miss him dearly. Our condolences to his wife Phee and his entire family.

About Ken:

Ken Graydon’s roots are firmly planted in the west. His father was a working cowboy in the Seligman, Arizona area in the 20s. His young antics are the grist for some of Ken’s poems. Ken’s mother designed the family home, an adobe ranch house, in the San Joaquin Valley north of Bakersfield, California. It was built of adobe blocks made nearby. She filled it with Indian and Mexican pots and artifacts. This was Ken’s home where money was scarce and work was hard. The family raised cotton, olives and horses. Ken worked with his parents making it happen which left him with great respect for work and the people who do it. He turned his focus toward cowboys and men of the sea and railroad.

Ken learned as a young kid that he could sing. His mother, younger brother and he sang three part harmony while riding in the car. He learned later that he could write. His songs and poems reflect the wisdom and wit of men who made their way by the strength of their hands and keenly developed native intelligence.

Ken Graydon has come to represent finely crafted poetry and song, not in the sense of the number of CDs and books sold and top gigs on the circuit but rather in the deep respect people give his work. He’s set some California and Arizona history in riveting poems that capture the story better than any textbook can do. He’s told the story of his father’s antics as an Arizona working cowboy in the ‘20s.

“Singer, writer, historian and gentleman, Ken Graydon is one of my heroes and a genuine California folk music treasure.” Dave Stamey


  1. We are so sorry for the loss of Ken, and send our deepest sympathy and prayers to Phee and his family. We are praying for soothing healing; for your comfort and support.

    We believe the Lord's promises of suffering no more on this earth and reuniting with our loved ones in God's heaven.

    Ken's far reaching contacts are no doubt sad, but surely grateful to have been blessed by such a fine and upstanding fellow.

    Thank you, Ken, for warming our hearts with enduring cowboy poetry, stories, and songs!

  2. Lots of Love Phee. I will miss Ken deeply, I still can't believe that's he's no longer with us. I look forward to continuing to learn his songs so that I can share them with people wherever I go. I'm looking forward to many more years of good times with you. Keep up the artist's spirit and know that you have many friends around you.