In Memoriam of Kent Finlay

In Memory of Kent Finlay
Reprinted by permission of Cara Miller, Radio Free Texas
(Publishers Note: This article was written on the day Mr. Finlay passed away but we wanted to honor his legacy also in the first edition of Bridge The Beats.)

Texas Music as we know it has suffered a great loss today. On a day that is so poignant, Kent Finlay went home on one of the most beloved and sacred days in Texas – Texas Independence Day.

Heaven has gained a truly amazing Texas loving, people loving man and supporter of those voices that may not have been heard before he gave them a voice.

Here are some of the things people are saying about Kent:

Walt Wilkins:

“Kent had a twinkle in his eye. A real light. It was dependable, from the 1st time I met him, through when he was sick a few years ago, up to when we hung out together a few days ago. A true authentic Texas-sized soul. Songwriter, singer (my God, that voice), Mentor & Friend to so many of us with kind words, sly humor & a dependable Light in his eyes.”

Nate Smith:

“Kent Finlay, thank you for your amazing contributions and impact for Texans and the world. Your amazing songs, the experiences you created for songwriters and listeners at an iconic Texas Venue, your tireless direct and indirect promotion of Texas culture, and the wonderful family of talent and music that survive you have impacted hundreds of thousand of lives. You leave this world a true Texas hero. I love you and miss you Kent Finlay.”

Randy Rogers:

“Kent Finlay, rest in peace brother. Thank you for all you gave to us. You gave us a family of musical brothers and sisters. You gave us a home at Cheatham Street. You nurtured us and watched us grow and gave so many of us wings to fly…and now you have yours. You are the reason this band exists. We are eternally grateful.”

And far too many more to even list.

Here is what I can say about him personally. Kent Finlay was truly a remarkable man. He saw the potential in all those that desired to write music and he took “Shut up and listen!” as his mantra, out of respect of all those that gave of themselves to leave a little bit of their soul on the stage, for you and me.

I will never forget him, his kindness, his gratitude for the small things. And I won’t forget his willingness to give the songwriter a place where they were respected and admired and many “discovered”.

How fitting that one of my Texas Heroes would make his journey on the most significant day in our Texas History. I love you, I loved you and I will always love you. Thank you for always allowing me to feel like I was “coming home” when I stepped into Cheatham Street.

My thoughts and prayers are with his beloved family, whether they are related by blood or just by that special connection.

See you when we meet you…… on the other side.