The Return of MERF's Fall Extravaganza

By Paul Moffett

In 1993, Wayne Young had been an officer of MERF, the Musicians Emergency Relief Fund, including a five-year stint as President, for ten years and he was burned out. The effort required to put together the multi-club benefit that MERF had been staging had worn out the guitarist-singer.

"Time to do other things," Young laughed. "Like get a life."

So Young stepped down from his position, handed off the leadership of MERF to Londa Crenshaw and others, including Mark Langley of Clifton Pizza Company and returned to a more normal existence and, more importantly, got some rest. MERF under Crenshaw and the others on the board decided to move the organization towards a "smaller is better" philosophy, with the intent of providing more money to musicians down on their luck.

Over the next ten years, the live music scene, both nationally and locally, changed, with much less work available for players. MERF, operating quietly from the sidelines, became less and less able to respond to the larger problems of the musicians. Young, hearing that the officers of the organization were once again tired out and interested in handing off the responsibilities of MERF to someone else, decided to step forward and take the reins, this time with a larger plan than before. He assembled in new Board of Directors, including some individuals from Blue Sky Kentucky and set about creating a new, replacement organization for MERF, which had been incorrectly incorporated back in 1982. The new corporation, to be called the Musicians Emergency Resource Foundation, is being incorporated as a not-for-profit 501(c3) organization, enabling the group to seek funds that were not available before.

Young and the Board decided that the best first step was to stage a big fundraising (and image-building) event in the manner of the earlier shows. As Young still had his documentation - the "Book" - from that period, putting together the multi-club event would be considerably easier than before.

That event is set of November 16 and will be familiar to anyone who was around the Louisville music scene in 1990-1993. The various clubs will host acts by style, with associated radio stations providing publicity and hosts. There are ten clubs, with over 70 bands,. Playing from 6 p.m. until midnight. Admission is $5 for any single club at the door or, for $10, you get a wristband that will get you in all 10 clubs, Here's the club/radio lineup:

Phoenix Hill Tavern:

The Saloon - Rock 95.7 WQMF and 100.5 FOX

The Roof Garden - Rock 95.7 WQMF and 100.5 FOX

The Tap Room - Singer/Songwriters 95.7 WQMF and 100.5 FOX

Jim Porters Good Time Emporium:

The Ball Room - Oldies 95.7 WQMF

The Melody Room - Variety 95.7 WQMF

Coyote's: Country 97.5 WAMZ

Stevie Ray's: Blues 95.7 WQMF

Uncle Pleasant's: - Original 91.9 WFPK

Tailgater's: - Rock 100.5 Fox/95.7 WQMF

Steam, Fire & Ice: - Jazz 93.1 Smooth Jazz

Bluegrass Brewing Company: - Jam Bands 91.9 WFPK

Rudyard Kipling - Singer/Songwriters 91.9 WFPK

Yuri's - R&B, Hip Hop KISS 98.9

Blue Martini - After Show Party Midnight - 2am

For the band line-up, check the LMN Calendar or logon to and click on the Calendar menu button.