Page Wilson, a singer, songwriter, and radio host who was known for his eclectic and original style of music, died on March 26, 2011, at the age of 56. His death was unexpected and the cause was not immediately known, but he had suffered from various health issues for several years. Wilson was a beloved and respected figure in the local and national music scene, who had a loyal fan base and a rich musical legacy. He was also a humble and generous man, who supported many causes and charities, and mentored many young musicians. This article will explore the life and death of Page Wilson, and his lasting impact on the music industry.
Early Life and Career
Page Wilson was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1954, and grew up in a musical family. His father was a jazz pianist and his mother was a singer. He started playing guitar at the age of 10, and was influenced by various genres of music, such as country, blues, rock, folk, and gospel. He formed his first band, The Outlaws, when he was 14, and played in various clubs and venues in Richmond and beyond. He also attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied music and journalism.
Wilson developed his own unique style of music, which he called “purebred American mongrel music”. He described it as “a blend of all the roots music that I love, from bluegrass to blues to rockabilly to gospel to folk to country to rock and roll”. He said that his music was “not about labels or categories, but about the spirit and the soul of the music”. He wrote and performed songs that reflected his life experiences, his observations, and his emotions, with a touch of humor and wit. He also collaborated with many other musicians, such as Emmylou Harris, Delbert McClinton, Nanci Griffith, and Steve Earle.
Wilson released several albums, both as a solo artist and with his band, Reckless Abandon. Some of his most notable albums include Bridge of Love (1989), Father, Son, and Friends (1992), The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1995), and The Real Deal (2006). He also hosted a weekly radio show, Out O’ the Blue Radio Revue, on WCVE-FM, where he played his own music and the music of his friends and influences. He also interviewed many guests, such as Willie Nelson, John Prine, and Lyle Lovett. He was known for his warm and friendly personality, and his passion and enthusiasm for music.
Personal Life and Philanthropy
Wilson was married twice, and had two sons, Page Jr. and Jesse, from his first marriage. He was also in a long-term relationship with Reckless Abandon, his bandmate and partner, who was also his manager and producer. He lived in a farm in Hanover County, Virginia, where he raised horses and dogs. He was an avid animal lover, and supported many animal welfare organizations, such as the Richmond SPCA and the Hanover Humane Society. He also donated his time and money to many other causes and charities, such as the Children’s Miracle Network, the American Cancer Society, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He was also involved in many educational and cultural programs, such as the Virginia Folklife Program, the Richmond Folk Festival, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.
Wilson was a humble and generous man, who did not seek fame or fortune, but rather wanted to share his music and his love with others. He once said, “I don’t care about being a star. I just want to make good music and make people happy”. He also said, “I’m not a rich man, but I’m a wealthy man. I have a wealth of friends and family and fans who support me and love me”. He was grateful for his life and his career, and said that he felt blessed and lucky to do what he loved. He also said that he hoped that his music would inspire and touch others, and that he wanted to leave a positive mark on the world.
Death and Legacy
Wilson’s death was a shock and a loss to the music community and his fans, who mourned and honored him with tributes and memorials. His family and friends held a private funeral service, and a public celebration of his life at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. His radio show, Out O’ the Blue Radio Revue, continued to air on WCVE-FM, with his son, Jesse, as the host. His music and his albums were also re-released and distributed by various labels and platforms. His fans and followers expressed their sadness and gratitude for his music and his legacy, and said that he was a legend and an angel, who brought joy and light to their lives.
Wilson’s legacy and impact are still felt and appreciated by many people, who continue to listen to his music, watch his videos, and follow his example. He is widely regarded as one of the most original and influential musicians in Virginia and beyond, who created and popularized a unique and diverse genre of music. He is also remembered as a kind and generous man, who supported and contributed to many causes and communities, and mentored and inspired many young musicians. He is also cherished and loved by his family, his friends, and his fans, who keep him in their hearts and memories. He was Page Wilson, and he will never be forgotten.