Music 01

Samuel Anthony Mason

March 6, 1946 ~ October 6, 2021 (age 75)

Obituary

Samuel Anthony Mason died on October 6, 2021, in Shreveport at the age of 76 after a short illness. He was born on March 6, 1946, to Jane Fullilove Mason, a Shreveport native and Franklin Mason, a native of Frankfort, KY.
Burial will take place at 1 p.m. on Friday October 22 at Forest Park Cemetery 3700 St. Vincent Ave. in Shreveport. A memorial celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday October 23 at the Church for the Highlands, 520 Olive St. in Shreveport
Sam was a graduate of C.S. Byrd High School. After briefly attending Centenary College, he moved to Kentucky in 1969, enrolling at the University of Kentucky. He immediately became active in the antiwar movement there.
He famously interrupted a visit by First Lady Pat Nixon to Lexington, KY. The Lexington Leader reported that in addition to cheering crowds of supporters Mrs. Nixon was greeted by a group of anti-war protesters. "Mason, a long-haired UK student, led a small gathering of hippies singing and playing the guitar at the airport when Mrs. Nixon first arrived". The article went on to report that a spokesman for the group shouted, "We're here for Sam Mason, not Mrs. Nixon".
Sam held a variety of jobs throughout his life – insurance salesman, telemarketer, restaurant worker, janitor, handyman, landscaper – but it was writing and performing music and supporting other artists that was his lifelong passion. Some of his most memorable compositions are Third World Vacation, Babes from Beirut, Girl from East Jesus, Queen of Karaoke and Lexington Hotel. He also formed several popular bands during his time in Lexington including The Twinkettes and Greg Greaser & The Cadillacs. He even directed an iconic film called The Active Ingredients Meet Elvis in Hell.
Although his songs never made the Billboard charts people throughout the U.S. have been singing them for over 50 years. He influenced many musicians who went on to successful careers, including Sherri M. McGee, who was the drummer for the Twinkettes. She said, "If it hadn't been for Sam my life might have been completely different. Sam was my mentor in the 80s. He introduced me to anybody and everything creative in Lexington – musicians, artists, writers".
When his mother's health began to decline in 1993, he returned to the South Highlands neighborhood where he had grown up to care for her. He was famously inept at maintaining motor vehicles. In his later years he switched to riding a bicycle. When his mother needed more care than could be provided at home, he visited her daily at the nursing home, traveling six miles each way by bicycle.
He influenced many Shreveport musicians and was active in the local arts scene. He was one of the founding members of Shreveport's poetry magazine, Sunday at Four, and was a member of the Trapped Truth Society. He was rich in friends. A Facebook Group, Friends of Sam Mason, was set up for his friends to share memories of him. It already has nearly 200 members.
Shreveport's own Alan Dyson said of Sam, "If he joined in your protest or march, he could be counted on to raise the ire of exactly the right people, with exactly the right words. He was both a spear and a shield for the causes he championed. A grand eccentric, a type of town crier, a hoarder of mysterious objects, papers, a poet, a rogue, an artist. Probably more than any other artist I know, Sam did only, and exactly what he wanted. Until he left".
He is survived by a sister, Prudence Mason Runyan and brother-in-law Stan Runyan, of Wyndmoor, PA; a nephew, Ben Runyan, of Philadelphia, PA; a niece, Abigail Romanul, of Melrose, MA; and many wonderful friends. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that you contribute to either of these organizations that were very dear to Sam's heart.
Highland Center Ministries
You can donate via their website https://highlandcenterministries.org/donations or mail contributions to the address above
Bluegrass Railroad Museum
175 Beasley Road
Versailles, Ky 40383
Mail checks to the address above

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Samuel Anthony Mason, please visit our floral store.


Services

Graveside Service
Friday
October 22, 2021

1:00 PM
Forest Park Cemetery
3700 St. Vincent Ave
Shreveport, LA 71103

Celebration of Life
Saturday
October 23, 2021

2:00 PM
Ashford Road, Houston, Louisiana, Shreveport

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