Merv George, Sr.: Popular Local Musician for Over 60 Years Passed Away This Afternoon

After a stroke on Tuesday, Merv George, Sr., popular local musician, passed away this afternoon, according to a public post on Facebook by his son, Merv George, Jr.

“He had my mom by his side and he went peacefully,” Merv George, Jr. wrote. “We were bringing him home from Redding Mercy Hospital and he waited until he got near Weaverville and could see the Trinity River before he left us.”

Merv George, Sr. began playing locally before 1960. The band celebrated giving 60 years of musical joy to the community in 2017, according to an article in the Times-Standard and was still playing gigs this summer.

On a personal note, Merv George played this reporter’s prom and thoroughly rocked the gym in a memory that has wound through my heartstrings and still makes me smile.

Thanks for the memories made of music and magic, Merv George.



  • A great loss.. He was a major figure in the Hupa community..

    • No minor keys here

      I agree. He is up there with the best Humboldt has to offer. So many years of Merv’s foot tapping rocking music. True to his craft to the end. It will be many years before another Merv entertains us. I never hear one bad thing said about Merv and his fellow band members. I am sure he is somewhere pickin and grinin.

  • I worked with Merv for over 25 years, saw him often, a fine man, great sense of humor but a legend in local music scene – His band played all of Humboldt County but saw him often at the Eureka Mini. Auditorium. Sometimes he got after me, but he was always honest in his criticism of the way we “handled” things. I admired his musicianship as well as his music! I am thankful to have known him.

  • Merv was the best preformer in this area and he will be really missed!

  • I used to go to Flynn’s Inn in Arcata back in 1969 and 70 when he was “the man” I will never forget him and what he contributed to the local music scene. He will be sorely missed.

  • how two right ewe our

    A true legend in our community. My parents love his music and passed that love on to their children. This multi-generation performer will leave a huge hole in humboldt. We just enjoyed seeing him play at the Eureka Boardwalk Thursday night concert. RIP Merv.

  • I did not know Merv well, but he played music for “The Happy Dance Club” back in the late 60’s At the Garberville Vets hall. He played a hammond b3 organ with leslie speakers. The kind that spin around in the cabinet and make a warbling sound.

    Sherm Hensel wound go nuts with spreading the dance floor wax. He said that it made him “glide better”. It made everybody else fall on their butts. I was the president of the dance club at the time. We had to have some kind of an organisation to get a live band back then. Boy have times changed.

    Merv seemed like a real decent guy. I’m sorry to hear that he is gone. My condolences to his family and friends.

  • Merv was one of the realest caring hearted and understanding men around the community. Blessings to family.

  • I used to go to Flynn’s Inn in Arcata back in 1969 when he was “the man” I will never forget him and what he contributed to the local music scene. He will be sorely missed.

  • He played dances at St.Bernard’s while I was there from ’62-’66. And the Labor Temple in Arcata, and The Keg and Flynn’s Inn, and the Muni, and the Eureka Inn – He lit it up everywhere he went. Thanks, Merv, you gave us so much enjoyment.

  • I have many wonderful memories of dancing to his music. May he be with the Angels 💕

  • Merv was a phenomenal musician, especially back in the ‘70s at the street dances during Bigfoot Days in Willow Creek. Everyone will miss him.

  • Great man and musician i am a better man for having known him. Heartfelt condolences to his great family. Thank yall for sharing him with all of us for so many years. He will be missed. Mine and im sure many others hearts go out to y’all in your time of loss…

  • I am both shocked and saddened to hear the bad news. Merv was the cornerstone of the Humboldt Co. music scene for generations, and brought us so many fond memories of happier times and great music. He will always be a legend and his name will never be forgotten. A great performer, a happy guy that always looked like he loved what he was doing. We loved hearing him rock out at our last EHS Class reunion. He was as energized and electric as always. Merv, thanks for the memories and rest in peace. Sincere condolences to his family, friends and many fans.

  • Merv George has left our community and world a better place! Merv was the consummate performer and as he aged his music blew the doors off our neighborhood venues! With all his recognition as the area’s favorite performer he remained humble, kind, a wonderful husband, father and doting grandfather! He was loved by all and will be a great loss to his family and the people of the Hoopa Valley, a community that recently celebrated “Sovereign Days” to the beat of his band in a tent on Main Street! He was a dynamo, his wife a leader of the Valley Education Programs, his son an ex Tribal Chairman, local ranger and Forest Supervisor now running the Rogue Natiinal Forest and his daughter Jennifer a local principal and teacher! Merv was a local music icon- A rock and roll era phenomena who rocked our world and will be celebrated in the next! God Bless you and your family and your contributions to the joy and happiness of so many people in a world in need of love and unity! RIP

    • Very nicely put Steve. Melody and I have many fond memories of ‘dancin the night away’ to Merv. He will be missed.

    • Humboldt County ex-pat

      Very beautiful, Steve Paine! I appreciate hearing about a different side of Mr. George. I knew of him as as musician and band leader. He and his band brought great joy to many teenagers and young adults… this included me! I am sad to hear of his family’s loss as well as the loss to my home county’s music scene!
      Thank you for sharing, Steve!

    • His daughter Melodie is a teacher at Hoopa high and a medicine woman

  • A Humboldt Icon! Thank you for all the wonderful memories and music you gave us! Rest In Peace.

  • Pinch of Salt River

    RIP Merv! Thank you for the music, laughs and entertainment.
    Condolences to all of his family and friends.

  • Marietta Christensen

    Best music on the North Coast he will be missed for sure💕

  • Merv Jr, your dad was the best and we were lucky that your family shared him with the rest of us. We just enjoyed listening to him and the rest of you that were in the Merv George band and he will be missed by everyone. The only reason we went to one of my husband’s reunions was because you guys were playing. Our prayers and condolences are with you and your family.

  • man i am sorry to hear this. my condolances to the family. He was definitely a pistol till the end. i ran sound for him a few months ago and he was definitely putting on a show.

  • We took my grandma to a Karuk reunion one year in Happy Camp. They moved Merv’s band to a campground by the river. My grandma and auntie wanted to watch and hear Merv play so we stayed late. Some people were drinking and got rowdy. He stopped the music and let em have it!! You want me and my guys to pack our shit up and leave ?? What?? Nnnoo!! They behave your damn selves or we’re outta here. Of course everyone listened and behaved because they enjoyed his music and didn’t want him to leave. Merv’s music closed the age gap. All ages enjoyed his music. The end of a era. May this great legend rest in peace now because its well-deserved. He went hard right to the very end.much love and respects to his family.

    • Praying for the family and friends. Richard and I loved listening to his music and remembers Mrs. George as a very sweet person. We are sorry for your loss.

  • Gary and Pam Barker

    Some of our fondest memories and some of the best times we’ve ever had were listening and dancing to Merv George’s music. Mustang Sally, GLORIA, Running Bear and Pretty Woman!! He ” rocked them ” all!

    Rock On!

  • Played the prom at South Fork when I went there.
    He will be missed.
    A local legend.

  • Mr george played my senior graduation party it was epic

  • He played at the Ruth Rodeo back in 1972….a summer I will never forget. RIP George, we loved your music.

  • Tim and Jennifer Call

    Danced to Merv in the 60s, danced with my Granddaughter to Merv a few weeks ago on the wharf. He will be missed.

  • We always had a laugh together whenever we met, a great person, he will be sorely missed…….

  • Merv played at Eureka junior high and high school when I was a student. Then he played at Flynn’s Inn and the Keg in the early 70s. When I moved back to town in the early 80s he was playing at Fat Alberta. We have heard him lately at the Boardwalk concerts. He played at Ingomar Christmas Parties, school dances, and many reunions. We always danced and really enjoyed his music. We will definitely miss him. Our condolences to his family.

  • Blaney’s Troubadour’s, The Beatles, Merv George Combo…
    The beat goes on…and the beat goes on…

  • this was a happy and talented man. my favorite two songs he performed were little white dove and house of the rising sun.

  • One of the nicest men I’ve ever met. Merv did a shout out to me last year when he played at Bearriver Casino… I’ve known Merv for over 40 yrs and I’m truly sorry to see such a good man pass into memories..albut good memories. Prayers for his family and nothing but love. Janet Avila♥️

  • Donnie Sack says My heart is broken to hear about the passing of my dear friend and fellow musician. I can remember when I first heard Merv George and the Alstars play running bear at the Municipal Auditorium when I was 12 years old and when my brother and I would play small gigs in store openings and the like we always noticed Merv was out in the crowd listening.

  • Grew up in Arcata and HSC. Loved dancing to Merv George at the Keg and other venues
    He sounded great and made me happy.

  • Merv was “the bomb”. He was a wonderful person and musician.He has been part of our lives for all these years. It is like losing one of the family. Heaven is so lucky and is so full of wonderful music. I will never forget you Merv.

  • Worked with Merv at City of Eureka……we worked hard and had a great time and got things done!
    City never was in need. Merv was a wonderful boss and friend, he played music even when he was not at the key board, always a song in his head. Will miss him– a lot. God Bless, he can now make Heaven a happy place.

  • To the Merv George family. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to all of you. He brought so much happiness into all of our lives.

  • Sincerest condolences to the family. I live on Terrace Way 3 houses away from where he lived for a while. Top notch gentleman. Danced to his band many years, almost lived at Flynns Inn wednesday thru sunday afternoon, then we helped him load his van after the gig, he will be missed.

  • I probably danced 100 miles or more to this man’s music at the Keg of Arcata, Flynn’s Inn and other venues while attending Humboldt State from 1968 to 1972…the man was a dude…
    Thnx Merv, you rocked before “you rock” was an expression.

  • We danced to his wonderful music. He will be missed.

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