by Greg Johnson, Cascade Blues Association President
These past couple months are just too hard to place my mind around. Too many friends have left this world. But the passing of Steve Pringle was more than that. He may have entertained us and introduced us to new artists on the radio, but he was so much more than just another voice on air. He brought fun behind his work. He was a true believer of the genre and listening to him you just couldn’t deny that fact. When you were spending time with him in person, there was no change in his demeanor. Everybody was his friend and he would quite often greet you with a hug. Said and done, Steve was born to the blues. He bled blues and he spent his life teaching us that we wanted to love this music, too.
The morning that he left us put a large hole in many of our hearts. Many did not want to leave their homes. The heartache and mourning was too much to take it out to public. There was a fundraiser for our Journey To Memphis acts to help them travel to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge. I stepped onto that stage that day and relayed the news about Steve. Many who were not aware were stricken. But I informed them, grieve as you feel, don’t let it sit inside. But know that Steve loved the blues and this event was something that he would’ve been all over given the opportunity. He was an advocate for our local musicians and this was just the type of event that would make him proud, as did our homegrown artists. I sat on air with him multiple times to promote the Journey To Memphis and the Muddy Awards; he was always available to help promote these CBA events.
It’s hard to fathom that we will not be crossing paths any more in this world. He earned a “George Page” Back What You Believe In Muddy Award last year; fitting as it was named after another DJ with a heart much like his own, and who has also left us too soon. That award was recognizing the hard work Steve had done on radio, setting up the Waterfront Blues Radio and all the hard work he put in behind the scenes at the Waterfront itself, scheduling emcees, doing those himself, and whatever else needed to be taken care of. This year he was up for the Lifetime Achievement Award and absolutely a person who fit the mold of this honor. The CBA Board decided to follow the wishes of our members and present the award to both Frankie Redding and Steve. One of the biggest advocates for this was fellow nominee for the award Louis Pain. We made the choice and gave them both the award. It was the right thing to do.
I know that this is a family-friendly publication, but I am going to say this anyway. Fuck cancer! You continue to take away too many people who mean so much to me and others. Steve was a long time friend of both myself and my wife Cherie; as he was with so many. He attended our wedding. I had him emcee the CBA’s 30th anniversary concert. We shared emcee duties at the Jim Mesi Memorial Concert, never knowing that we would be holding one for him so soon. I am going to miss you Steve, your laughter and jokes and the information you shared about musicians that we need to check out. Farewell my friend, you have left a tremendous void in our music community that will never be seen the likes of again. With love buddy!!