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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Tornados’

Died On This Date (October 23, 2011) Gene Kurtz / Respected Texas Musician; Wrote “Treat Her Right”

Posted by themusicsover on October 23, 2011

Gene Kurtz
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.

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Died On This Date (October 14, 2006) Freddy Fender / Tejano & Country Music Great

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

20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Freddy Fender - Freddy Fender

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