Friends of bluegrass musician Wade Cox, who died unexpectedly in April at 43, are hard at work memorializing their fallen companion. They are raising funds now to complete a recording Wade was working on when he passed, and to purchase a suitable headstone for his final resting place.
Cox was never a headline performer, but was a capable bluegrass musician, singer, and songwriter. But more than anything else, he was an instant friend to everyone in the bluegrass community, and he had substituted that world for the family he didn’t have. Wade knew almost everyone who was involved in the music from the once-a-week jammers to the top recording artists, and his face could be seen at festivals all over the eastern United States.
More than anything he is remembered for his easy going demeanor, his ready smile, and his willingness to pick a tune at any time of the day or night.
So far his friends have created custom wristbands with “Be More Wade Like” imprinted on them, T-shirts remembering Wade, and lottery tickets to win a custom corn hole board memorializing his life. They can be ordered by Facebook messaging them from the Remembering Franklin Wade Cox page.
Direct donations to the PayPal account for his headstone can be made online.
All monies donated or used to purchase these memorial items will be set aside to finish the CD and obtain the headstone. Everyone involved is donating their time and no one is being paid, other than the vendors producing the shirts and bands. Should more funds than are needed be donated, there is talk of setting up a scholarship fund in Wade’s name.
Wade’s close friends Jesse Smathers, David Carroll, Jonathan Dillon, and B.J. Compton had been working with him on the CD before he died. 9 or 10 tracks have been completed, but they say that he had hoped to have 13 on the finished project. The current plan is to get the rest of the tracking done this summer and have a CD available by the end of the year. Income from sales of the CD will also go into the headstone account.
A number of benefit concerts are in the early planning stages as well.
There will be a booth set up at next month’s Wayside Bluegrass Festival in Stuart, VA where these various memorial items will be available for sale. Donations will also be accepted there. There are loose plans to have a similar booth for the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention in August if enough volunteers can be found to staff it.
Anyone who would like to learn more about these efforts to commemorate Wade’s life can visit the Facebook page, or make a donation through PayPal.
Franklin Wade Cox – gone but not forgotten.