Posted by themusicsover on October 23, 2011
DOB Unknown – October 23, 2011
Photo by Winker
Gene Kurtz was a beloved Texas bassist and singer-songwriter who can be heard playing and/or singing on classic recordings by the likes of Edgar Winter, B.J. Thomas, Bo Diddley, and Roy Head, with whom he co-wrote the #2 pop and R&B hit, “Treat Her Right.” It took the Beatles’ “Yesterday” incidentally, to keep it from hitting the top of the charts. Born in San Antonio, Texas, Kurtz eventually settled in Austin where he played with Augie Meyers of Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornados fame before hooking up with Head. The two soon wrote and recorded (with Head singing lead), “Treat Her Right” which went on to become one of the most famous Texas rock/R&B songs ever. Its bass line by Kurtz is one of pop music’s best. The song has since been covered by such luminaries as Otis Redding, George Thorogood, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Robert Plant, to name a few. It has also become a staple in film and television – it was featured prominently in The Commitments, as well as numerous other films and television shows. After his tenure with Head, Kurtz went on to play on Winter’s 1970 debut, Entrance. During the 2000s, Kurtz played in Dale Watson’s band for whom he wrote “Way Down Texas Way,” which the band can be seen performing on an episode of the television hit, Friday Night Lights. According to the Houston Press, Gene Kurtz was 68 when he passed away on October 23, 2011. Cause of death was not immediately released.
Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.
Posted in Americana, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Augie Meyers, B.J. Thomas, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Edgar Winter, Gene Kurtz, George Thorogood, Otis Redding, Robert Plant, Roy Head, Sir Douglas Quintet, Texas Tornados, The Beatles | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on November 18, 2009
November 6, 1941 – November 18, 1999
Doug Sahm was a Texas singer, songwriter and musician who was musical styles covered a wide spectrum, from country to Cajun to blues to western swing to rock. He was Tex-Mex. And he was Americana, some 30 years before the term was coined. A child prodigy, Sahm mastered at least a dozen instruments, his earliest being the guitar, violin and guitar by the time he was five. It was that same year he made his radio debut, and when he was 11, he made his first record. He even performed on stage with Hank Williams Sr. before he turned 12. By the end of the ’50s, Sahm was fronting his own band and touring around the clubs of Texas. In the mid ’60s, he formed the Sir Douglas Quintet, choosing the name as to be less conspicuously American during the British invasion. It only worked until Sahm opened his mouth and the band kicked into their obvious Tex Mex flavored rock ‘n roll. The band did score a top 20 hit in 1965 with “She’s About a Mover.” Three years later they hit again with “Mendocino” which cracked the top 15 and sold in excess of 3 million copies worldwide. Sahm was also a favorite session player and singer throughout his career. He’s recorded with the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and the Grateful Dead. In 1990, Sahm formed the Texas Tornados, a so-called Tex-Mex supergroup with Freddy Fender, Flaco Jimenez and old friend, Augie Meyers. The group recorded four albums including their Grammy wining debut, Texas Tornados. On November 19, 1999, Doug Sahm, 58, suffered a fatal heart attack while asleep in a Taos, New Mexico hotel room.
What You Should Own
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Posted in Americana, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Augie Meyers, Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez, Freddy Fender, Hank Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Sir Douglas Quintet | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on October 14, 2009
Freddy Fender (Born Baldemar Huerta)
June 4, 1937 – October 14, 2006
Freddy Fender was arguably America’s most popular Tejano star – at least until Selena came along. Fender is best remembered for his crossover hits of “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” and “Before the Next Teardrop Falls,” as well as his later work with Los Super Seven and the Texas Tornados. Born into a traveling circus family, Fender took to entertaining at a very young age. At 5, he fashioned his first guitar out of a sardine can and screen door wire, and by 10 he was making his first appearances at local radio stations. In the mid ’50s, after being court martialed and discharged from the Marines, Fender began touring as El Bebop Kid, doing Spanish versions of popular rockabilly and country songs. In 1959, he recorded “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights,” which quickly became his signature song. Unfortunately, just as his fame was on the rise, he was arrested for marijuana possession and sent to the notorious Angola prison farm in Louisiana. He was released three years later and all but retired from music while working as a mechanic. When Fender made his comeback in 1973, he did so in a big way, with “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” reaching #1 on both the country and pop charts. Over the next decade Fender charted 21 country hits. His career experienced yet another comeback when, in the late ’8os he joined up with Doug Sahm, Flaco Jiminez and Augie Meyers in the Texas Tornados, with whom he won a Grammy for Best Mexican American Performance. He followed that up with a stint in Los Super Seven, who along with Cesar Rosas, David Hidalgo, Joe Ely, Ruben Ramos and Rick Trevino, won the same Grammy nine years later. He won his third Grammy in 2001, this time for his own album, La Musica de Baldemar Huerta. In ailing health in later years, Fender received a kidney transplant from his daughter in 2002, and a liver transplant in 2004. He died of lung cancer on October 14, 2006 at the age of 69.
What You Should Own
Click to find at amazon.com
Posted in Country, Latin, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Augie Meyers, Cesar Rosas, David Hidalgo, Doug Sahm, Flaco Jiminez, Freddy Fender, Joe Ely, Los Super Seven, Rick Trevino, Ruben Ramos, Selena, Texas Tornados | Leave a Comment »