Joe Stead, R.I.P.

We have learned that Joe Stead has passed away. He was a folk singer who sang with everyone from Paul Robeson to Pete Seeger. Around the turn of the 21st century, his focus shifted more toward the sea with his fourth CD ‘Valparaiso Round the Horn.’ In the summer of 2001, he formed the shanty group ‘Kimber’s Men.’ If you are not familiar with Joe, click here for a more complete biography from his website.

Below is a shanty sung by Joe Stead and the Kimber’s Men, “Leave Her Johnny Leave her.” It was the last shanty to be sung before leaving the ship, which seems fitting. “For the voyage is done and the winds don’t blow …”

Kimber’s Men – Leave her Johnny leave her

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7 Responses to Joe Stead, R.I.P.

  1. Jan Christensen says:

    Rick, this is what I wrote when I posted this on my Facebook Music page just now:

    “Joe was a friend and a great singer who fought a long battle against cancer with wit, philosophy, and Nelsonian courage. Back in 2009, after a visit to New York, he posted the first YouTube video of me singing ‘The Ghosts of Ellis Island’ with my friends in The New York Packet at South Street Seaport. So sorry to hear you’ve crossed the bar, Joe — you are missed.”

  2. Rick Spilman says:

    Thanks for the memory and the memorial, Jan.

  3. Chris Roche says:

    I knew Joe from the early 90`s he was a much larger than life figure a former Heating and ventilating H&V engineer who ran a record label `Sweet Folk All’ from his home on Shooters Hill above Greenwich, His label had a number of sea song singers on it including the late Stan Hugill he made two albums with Stan seminally `Aboard the Cutty Sark’ a live album on vinyl and now on CD. (Coincidentally I am trying to gather a much as I can on Stan particularly trying to put together a time line for ships he served in I have a number of gaps) Joe had always been interested in the sea so `Kimbers Men’ was never to be a surprise formation. Joe sold his record label to the late Dave Bulmer at `Celtic Music’ much of that is now unavailable it should be. Joe was so proud of his getting Pete Seeger to perform for him along with the Chilean group Illapu at the Albert Hall and was very fond of both Paul Robeson and Oscar Brand the latter a singer of the bawdy song. I a many will miss his blog `reminisces of an old codger’ rest now Joe so long friend

  4. Nora Stead and family says:

    What an apt tribute for Joe. Thank you. We so appreciate everyone’s kind words and the opportunities to hear people’s memories of him. As Joe would say, “keep smiling, keep singing.”

  5. I live quite near to where Joe lived and I have a large picture of Joe as The boring old fart,I also know John Bromley and the Bolton Bull frog Bernard Wrigley and havn.t seen either of them for quite a while .

  6. I will miss Joe as we used to talk if ever we bumped into each other

  7. Pingback: Another Good bye | rugbyoldbloke blog