The Suttons have been singing and playing together almost from the moment they first met. First actually met. Strange story, that.
Bill and Brenda met online way back in the Jurassic before the days when everybody met online. Bill ran the 64-megafathom virtual hot tub on CompuServe’s Thrusady (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) night sf and fantasy forum, and Brenda ran the virtual drink droid. They talked weekly for many months. In all those conversations, neither ever mentioned music or singing or that they planned to attend BayFilk 2, a filkcon in the San Francisco area.
It’s all author Larry Niven‘s fault. That’s their story, and they’re sticking to it. Before she started publishing fiction, then filker Misty Lackey used to play a game called “Make Larry Cry” in which she urged people to sing sad songs at Larry to rank their water-production. She pushed Bill into singing his “Pilot’s Eyes” and…nothing. Not one teeny tiny teardrop. Larry left the room, and joined a hall circle where Brenda was singing. Desperate to find out why Larry didn’t cry, Bill joined them (where he learned that Larry didn’t cry because the song contained an easily-fixable science error.)
When Brenda eventually stood to retire for the night, Bill finally spotted her name tag with a “Hey, I know you!” And her response of “Hey, I know you, too!” He walked her to her room, gallantly carrying her guitar, and said good night. They’ve been pretty much inseparable ever since, singing and performing and organizing music conventions, and running Interfilk, and teaching lyric writing, traveling the world and having a fine old time.
Bill and Brenda Sutton have been Music Guests of Honor at nearly every filk con around the world and at plenty of other places too numerous to mention. The Suttons were inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame – 2001. In 2014 they were Music Guests of Honor for Detcon 1, the 2014 North American Science Fiction Convention.