Cliff has been suffering from cognitive decline. The death of Carol six years ago, the passing of his closest friend, Coffee, in January, and the recent passing of his small poodle mix, Jack, had left Cliff alone. The COVID shut down did not help, virtually eliminating opportunities to perform and share that amazing voice.
His sister Ruth is no longer able to personally care for Cliff. Key West will be losing another legend as Cliff will be moved to the Veterans Administration facility in Pembroke Pines.
I am going to miss my good friend, Cliff Sawyer. His wonderful voice and talent was equaled only by his kindness and heart felt goodness. Cliff has been through a lot in his life and had always come through it with a self-assured collective cool.
I will always remember the preparations for our five sold out Coffee Butler concerts together from 2016 - 2019. The three of us would sit together on Coffee's front porch, with a morning café con leche, selecting the music for the next performance. Cliff would ask Coffee if he remembered an old song they use to perform and would start a verse. Coffee would quickly come in and the two would start to sing. This would go on and on. I would be the beneficiary of my own private concert between two legends.
Cliff Sawyer’s magnificent voice, love of music and entertaining, and his lifelong friendship with Coffee Butler was something to behold. May you always keep your music close to your heart my friend.
© Ralph De Palma Photographer