Formed in Tacoma, Wash., in the late 1950s, The Wailers, also referred to as The Fabulous Wailers, has often been called the first garage band. The group released a version of “Louie, Louie” before The Kingsmen and Paul Revere & The Raiders recorded their own interpretations of the often-misinterpreted song. The band’s first hit was the 1959 single “Tall Cool One” and the band’s “Out Of Our Tree” was included in the compilation Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968. In 2010 The Wailers partnered with The Ventures to release the album Two Car Garage.
Morrill went on to form Etiquette Records with Wailers bassist Buck Ormsby in the early 1960s. In recent years Morrill split his time between touring with The Wailers and appearing as the lead Roy Orbison impersonator in a production that has played cities ranging from Las Vegas to Moscow.
A memorial service will be held April 23 in Tacoma. For more information on the life and times of Kent Morrill, click here for TheFabulousWailers.com.