Geoff Morris passes

Geoff MorrisWe are sorry to report that Geoff Morris, long-time Australian bluegrass radio host, has passed away after a brief and bitter battle with cancer.

Geoff had announced at the end of last year that he would suspend his Wall-To-Wall show on World Wide Bluegrass while undergoing high-dose radiation therapy to treat an aggressive tumor discovered in his head and neck in December 2012.

Sadly, the cancer got the better of the situation and Geoff passed earlier today in a Melbourne hospital. He was 70 years old.

David C. Blood, mandolinist with Mixt Company and a close friend, tells us that Geoff fell hard for the music when he first discovered it as a young man.

“He actually trained in youth as a concert pianist, and if he had stayed with that, I have no doubt he would have been very, very good. But then he heard a bluegrass band at a folk festival in Australia (possibly Hamilton County Bluegrass Band). When he discovered Doc Watson, this being in 1962, that was it. He was hooked from there.”

Geoff Morris and Milo with Norman and Nancy BlakeDespite his blindness, Morris traveled repeatedly to the US for IBMA and other bluegrass events, where he would always capture interviews with artists along with impromptu performances to carry home for his show. Friends fondly recalled seeing him ambling through the halls with his trusty sidekick, Milo, his seeing-eye dog.

Wall-To-Wall ran twice a week since 2006, and Geoff was preparing to broadcast his 500th show on WWB when it was suspended. He also hosted a bluegrass program on Phoenix FM in Bendigo, which was his home.

Kimberly Williams, publicist with East Public Relations and bass player/vocalist with The Expedition Show, fondly remembers Geoff from the time they first met several years ago at IBMA.

“We became instant friends and he came to see our band a number of times at The Station Inn when he was visiting Nashville. Geoff was the kind of person that when you saw him, you instantly felt better about yourself.  He just made you feel special. He was always smiling, always cheerful and always promoting bluegrass. He was a kind soul, a true gentleman and one of the nicest people I ever met. I’ll sure miss him.”

R.I.P Geoff Morris, on the behalf of a grateful bluegrass public.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Tommy Privette

    Geoff was a great guy, great bluegrass promoter, and friend. He will be surely missed. He is now with all the bluegrass greats that have already gone on and now playing on Heaven’s Bluegrass Stage.
    Tommy Privette–Kevin Carter and Full Assurance

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  • The Kickin Grass Band

    My heart is so sad to hear this. I remember the first time I met Geoff was in the Thursday showcase brunch line at World of Bluegrass in Nashville. He had Milo at his side yet no one else to help him navigate the food choices and I was honored to help him fill his plate and met a new friend that day. We sat together and had the most wonderful conversation which led to continued contact, emails, interviews, and his ever-present enthusiasm for all things bluegrass which infused whatever he was doing. He once told me he thought my song Run Away should have won IBMA song of the year, and knowing his conviction and passion for the music that was just as satisfying as ever being nominated or winning the actual award. I am deeply saddened by this loss and will miss Geoff greatly. May he rest well. -Lynda

  • Uncle Billy Dunbar

    Geoff joined the ranks of DJ’s on the WWB not long after myself. Over the year’s we conversed through e-mails. Geoff was such a loving fellow and working with him was really a plesure. He was truely a friend and mate to everyone around the world. Thanks Geoff for all the good year’s Mate.