I'm not sure whether Budweiser was sponsoring Tiny
On Nov. 30, 1996 Herbert Butros Khaury, better known as Tiny Tim, performed his final gig at a benefit concert at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis.
He hadn't been feeling well that day. And he'd suffered a heart attack a few weeks before at a ukulele festival in Massachusetts. So after performing an abbreviated version of his hit novelty song "Tiptoe Through the Tulips." His wife, Susan Khaury, told The Associated Press that she'd gone up to the stage to help him back to their table.
It was then when he collapsed.
"He went out with a big bang. Very theatrical," Miss Sue told the wire service. "That was his way, to collapse in front of hundreds of people."
The singer died at a Minneapolis hospital later that night.
So in honor of a true entertainer, here are some videos of Tiny singing some songs he's not normally known for.
On this one he sings "Earth Angel" on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1970 with a group called The Enchanted Forest.
Here's a "duet" with himself on Australian TV. (Sorry, but I don't recognize the song. If you know it, please tell me in the comments section.)
This is a clip from You Are What You Eat, a film by Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary.) The female singer here is Eleanor Barooshian, aka Chelsea Lee, who later was in a girl group called The Cake, (which is a story in itself.) Allegedly The off-camera band on this song is none other than The Band.)
For the last quarter century of his career, Tiny Tim was considered an "outsider" musician. In that light, seeing him perform on national TV with Bing Crosby seems almost like Frank Sinatra sharing the stage with The Shaggs. But here he is with Der Bingle -- and a nice cameo by Bobbie Gentry toward the end.
Tiny has been featured in Wacky Wednesday a couple of times before:
Welcome to this month's Big Enchilada, where we're all just dancing at Doom's Doorway. To quote the ascended master Warren Zevon, "Get up and dance or I'll kill ya!" This show includes a tribute to Billy Miller, who died this month, and the fabulous Norton Records.
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016 KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M. 10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time Host: Steve Terrell Webcasting! 101.1 FM
(This show was prerecorded. It originally aired Sept. 2, 2012) OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres Dive by L7 Mr. Big Hat by The McCool Whips Suicide Cat by Pong Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell by Iggy & The Stooges Nobody to Love by The 13th Floor Elevators Maelstrom by Rocket From the Crypt Four O'Clocker by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 I Pity the Man by The Hickoids Draggin' the Line by Tommy James & The Shondells (Russian title) by Pussy Riot Hang On by Pussy Galore Cuckoo by The Monks Milkshake and Honey by Sleater-Kinney Tiger Lillian by Kevin Coyne Hot Rod Baby by Elvis From Outer Space Somebodu Knockin' by T-Model Ford Women and Wimmen by John Lee Hooker Nancy Sinatra Tribute Set Nancy Sinatra by The Bottle Rockets How Does That Grab You by Empress of Furrs Summer Wine by Rick Shea & Patty Booker Some Velvet Morning by Firewater These Boots Are Made for Walkin' by Johnny Thunders & Wayne Kramer Lightnin's Girl by Lydia Lunch You Only Live Twice by Nancy Sinatra Prisoner of The Tiki Room by Mojo Nixon The Trip by Donovan Done Got Old by Robert Belfour No Chance by Houndog Between the Ditches by The Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band Long Black Veil by The Walkabouts The Port of Amsterdam by David Bowie Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
In the not-so-distant past, every now and then I would encounter a special sort of reader who seemed to love to play what I call “stump the critic.” This is the sort of guy — and it would always be a guy — who would go down some list in his head of obscure bands and singers until he got to ones to which I wasn’t hip.
These days I wouldn’t last long in such a game. It’s true that I don’t like a large percentage of the new crap that’s out there. But it’s also possible that there’s another factor at work. Maybe I’ve become more musically conservative in my advanced years and more cynical about what constitutes musical innovation.
But one thing I can say for myself: I was a fan of Churchwood before most people outside of Austin, which means I’m far cooler than most of those “stump the critic” twits. And Churchwood, as they prove once again with their recently released fourth album, Hex City, is a band that all true rock ’n’ roll fans should seek out.
Churchwood is fronted by singer Joe Doerr, an English professor by day, and guitarist Bill Anderson, who I only recently realized used to play with the acoustic country/punk group The Meat Purveyors, who were always one of the highlights of Bloodshot Records’ annual South by Southwest party at the Yard Dog Art Gallery. Anderson and Doerr have been co-conspirators for decades in various Austin bands.
Some critics — and in fact their own record company, Saustex — have called them an avant-garde blues band. There’s a lot of truth in that. You can certainly hear the influence of Captain Beefheart — who put the sounds of Howlin’ Wolf through a Dadaist meat grinder — in Churchwood’s musical magic.
Churchwwod live in Austin 2015
But the band goes well beyond the Captain’s brand of blues. You also can hear echoes of Beefheart’s pal Frank Zappa in Churchwood’s knack for suddenly changing time signatures in the middle of a song. I’ve compared them to Pere Ubu.
And a current weird musical fantasy of mine is producing a split album that would have Churchwood doing songs by The Fall on one side and The Fall covering Churchwood tunes on the other.
On this album, the band’s basic lineup — which includes guitarist Billysteve Korpi, Adam Kahan on bass, and drummer Julien Peterson — is fortified on some songs by a horn section (The Money Shot Brass) and a pair of female vocalists called The Nicotine Choir.
Every track is filled with incredible blues, funk, and sometimes even metal riffs, as if the Dap-Kings were in a vicious battle with the Butthole Surfers while Doerr plays the role of oracle, unleashing barrages of verse.
By the title, you might suspect “One Big White Nightmare” is about the 2016 election. But what I hear is Doerr standing on the sidelines of some pending apocalypse laughing insanely while shooting arrows of flaming literary imagery: “Haiku: seventeen syllables/frame about a doubt with a grim conclusion/yahoo: all the Houyhnhnms in the world/are getting rounded and ridden into mass delusion …”
(Houyhnhnms? That should get a Swift response.)
Desperately fleeing from some crazy unnamed trouble is a theme that runs through more than one song on Hex City. On the low and slow “Hallelujah” (no, not the song by Leonard Cohen, peace be upon him), Doerr sings, “Yeah, we slithered out of Dodge in a ’60 El Camino/and we parked beneath a sycamore tree/the radio was playing ‘Found My Love in Portofino’ when you entered all the terms of my plea. …”
A few songs later, on “Chickasaw Fire,” he rapidly recites, “payin’ no attention ’cause I’m jailhouse broke/I drive a stolen Cadillac and into the smoke/of a Chickasaw fire. …”
Hex City itself is a dangerous adventure. And the adventure only deepens with every listen.
* The Out of Towners by Hickoids. This is a bittersweet EP by these venerated Austin cowpunks and Saustex Records flagship band. It’s a happy occasion because this is the first Hickoids release since 2013’s Hairy Chafin’ Ape Suit. But it’s also sad because the six tracks on this CD are the last recordings by the late Davy Jones, the lanky goofball guitarist known for his sweet smile, tacky plaid suits, colorful paint-flecked boots, and cowboy hats.
Jones -- a founding Hickoids member along with Saustex commander Jeff Smith -- died of lung cancer a year ago. In fact, this column is being published on Nov. 25, the first anniversary of Davy’s death.
The Out of Towners is a collection of covers of songs written by some of the band’s favorite songwriters from Texas. It kicks off with a sweet-sounding version of “I Have Always Been Here Before” by the Lone Star State’s favorite psychedelic ranger, Roky Erickson, and includes a blistering take on Willie Nelson’s hit “Night Life” and a more reverent cover of Doug Sahm’s “At the Crossroads,” a song best known for the line “you just can’t live in Texas if you ain’t got a whole lot of soul.”
The late great Davy Jones
There’s a slow, soulful song by Santa Fe resident Terry Allen called “I Just Left Myself Today,” (“I didn’t float, I didn’t fly, I did not transcend. No I just walked out on me again”) from his classic Lubbock on Everything album. And there’s “Dead in a Motel Room,” a dark rocker by the Dicks, an old Austin punk rock band that included Jones. This one has a harmonica solo by Walter Daniels of Big Foot Chester and Meet Your Death.
One of my favorite tunes here is “Cans,” which was written by Rich Minus, who is better known for writing “Laredo Rose,” which was recorded by the Texas Tornados. Minus died earlier this year at the age of seventy-five. “Cans” is the story of a homeless man. I don’t think this band has ever sounded prettier.
Here are some Videos for yas
First some Churchwood. I found some from their recent CD release party at the Hole in the Wall in Austin.
And here is America's beloved Hickoids. Smitty is woefully under-miked here, but this clip captures a big chunk of the Hickoids spirit.
And here's an old favorite tune recorded at the Davy Jones memorial in April.
Dances that drew partners close together — along with touching and embracing and all that stuff — became flashpoints for public outrage. They were badmouthed and banned from coast to coast. Fears that party-goers might do the Bunny Hug or Turkey Trot may have even led to the cancellation of the official inaugural ball of newly elected President Woodrow Wilson in the spring of 1913. ... In the summer of 1909, a bellboy in San Francisco, according to the local Chronicle, was arrested for doing the Turkey Trot at a dance hall. "I can't dance any other way," he told the judge.
If indeed Little Eva's grandmother was Turkey Trotting back in that time, here are some of the songs she would have been dancing to.
Here's a variation by Arthur Pryor, combining the Turkery Trot with another popular "animal dance" of the era, The Grizzly.
And going back even further, this is a wax cylinder recording from 1908 by the American Symphony Orchestra.
Some of the sweetest memories of my pre-teen years involve being lost in an airplane-glue haze building models. I loved the Aurora monster kits, -- and I once won a prize from a local hobby shop for my Mummy model.
But even more, I loved the Revell models from the Big Daddy Roth universe --- Mr. Gasser, Rat Fink, Drag Nut, etc. -- and their rivals, The Weird-ohs and their beach-loving cousins, The Silly Surfers from the Hawk Model Company.
One cool thing about both the Big Daddy Roth models and the Hawk models is that both had music to go along with them. In fact, the Roth-spawned Mr. Gasser & The Weird-ohs had three albums to their credit in the mid '60s.
Even as a kid I noticed that Gasser's band sounded a lot like The Weird-ohs (and The Silly Surfers.) That's because both fake groups were fronted an L.A, studio cat named Gary Usher.
By the time he got around to these bands Usher already had co-written songs with Brian Wilson including "In My Room." (Usher also was the brains behind The Hondells, who had a hit with the Wilson-penned "Little Honda." )
Let's hear some songs by these bands, starting with Mr. Gasser & The Weirdos, singing the title song of their first album, "Hot Rod Hootenanny."
As a kid, one of my favorite Gasser tunes was "The Ballad of Eefin Fink: "He's the hero of the story. But he's the villain too. So naturally the question is "Who?"
Back in the mid '60s I had a split LP of The Weird-ohs and The Silly Surfers. Here's a shoulda-been Weird-ohs hit called "Huey's Hut Rod."
Meanwhile, the best Silly Surfers tune was "Hodad Makin' the Scene With a Six Pack."
Back in the '90s, I thought I might be the last man alive who remembered this stuff. Then Pearl Jam went and covered this Silly Surfers classic
And 10 years ago, the Canadian group, The Sadies did a credible job in conjuring the airplane-glue rock spirit when they provided the soundtrack to the Big Daddy Roth documentary "Tales of the Rat Fink."
Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016 KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M. 10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time Host: Steve Terrell Webcasting! 101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)ksfr.org
Here's the playlist OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Volver Volver by Los Lobos (for Craig Mack)
(Interview: Brian Hardgroove & Surf by Southwest)
La Bajada /. Walk Don't Run by Surf by Southwest
Everything by Public Enemy with Gerald Albright & Sheila Brody
Dogs by Churchwood
Bad Man by The Oblivians
Taste the Truth by The Mobbs
Stone Fruit by The Grannies
Who's Producing You by Ty Segall
Luci Baines by The A-Bones
What's the Matter Now by The Raunch Hands
Beaver Patrol by The Wild Knights
New Structures by Nots
Huggin' the Line by James Leg
Lili Marleen by Zuch Kazik
R.I.P. Sharon Jones
Got a Thing on My Mind / The Game Gets Old by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Wild About That Thing by Sharon Jones with Alvin Youngblood Hart
Up Above My Head by Sharon Jones with Billy Rivers & The Angelic Voices of Faith
Oh Jim by Lou Reed with Sharon Jones
Money by Sharon Jones &The Dap-Kings
Compared to What by Les McCann & Eddie Harris
Listen to the Showman Twang by The Dustaphonics
Cans by Hickoids
Ever Since the World Ended by Mose Allison Substitute CLOSING THEME: Lucky Day by Tom Waits
Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 KSFR, Santa Fe, NM Webcasting! 10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org Here's my playlist : OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
High Priced Chick by Yuichi & The Hilltone Boys
Closing Time by The Pleasure Barons
Pass the Bottle by Black-Eyed Vermillion
White Folks' Blood by House of Freaks
Sweet Thang by Rhonda Vincent & Gene Watson
Walk on Out of My Mind by Waylon Jennings
Pamela Brown by Leo Kottke
Honky Tonk Has-been by Cornell Hurd
Corn and Coffee by Jon Rauhouse's Steel Guitar Rodeo
Parchman Farm by Ray Condo & His Richochets
Pearly Lee by Billy Lee Riley
Not For Long by Ruby Dee & The Snakehandlers
Catch Another Train by Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders
California Blues by Martha Fields
When Sinatra Played Juarez by Tom Russell
I Used to Love Her by Washboard Hank
Get A Load of This by R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders
Slingin' Rhythm by Wayne Hancock
A Fool Such as I by Marti Brom
Long Legged Guitar Pickin' Man by Johnny Cash & June Carter
I Paid Dearly by Kim Lenz
Bad Times are Comin' Round Again by The Waco Brothers
Mudflap Girl by The Misery Jackals
Bannana Puddin' by Southern Culture on the Skids
I Just Can't Let You Say Goodbye by Willie Nelson
Mississippi Hippie by WIld Bill Cooksy
Choices by George Jones
You've Been a Good Ole Wagon by David Bromberg
Statue of Jesus by The Gear Daddies
Deep in the Heart of Texas by Dale Watson
That's What I Like by Terry Fell
Feel Like Going Home by Charlie Rich
Yesterday we celebrated the second anniversary of Wacky Wednesday on this blog. Today we celebrate the second anniversary of Throwback Thursday, my humble effort to explore the music and musicians of decades past, and, when appropriate, to show how that music reverberates in contemporary music.
One of my favorite types of Throwback Thursday posts is when I take an old song -- a folk ballad, a Tin Pan Alley classic, an old bawdy house blues, an unforgettable yet forgotten hit of yesteryear -- try to give a little history about it and show various versions of it to show how it's evolved.
Last year on the first anniversary of this feature I listed all the songs I'd featured from the first year with links to the original posts. Today, I'll list the ones I featured in the past year. (A few are from Wacky Wednesday.
It's been two years since I started the Wacky Wednesday feature on this blog.
Wacky Wednesday, was created "to introduce you, the reader to strange, funny and/or confounding music -- the type of "unclaimed melodies" that the Firesign Theatre's Don G. O'Vani was talking about when he said, `if you were to go into a record store and ask for them they would think you were crazy!' "
We've seen a lot of wackiness since Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. Last year about this time I did a Wacky Wednesday best-of. Guess what ... I'm doing it again.
Here's a sampling of wacky memories from the past year, including that time we heard some singing clowns
A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican Nov.11, 2016
I’ve said it before: If you think they ain’t making country music like they used to, you’re just not looking hard enough. You won’t find much of it on so-called “country” radio, but it’s out there. This week I look at a bunch of recent country albums I’ve been playing the holy heck out of on KSFR’s The Santa Fe Opry (101.1 FM, Fridays 10 p.m.-midnight) in recent weeks.
* Slingin’ Rhythm by Wayne Hancock. Wayne the Train is back with a fistful of mostly original, good, solid honky-tonkin’ songs with lyrics full of wicked wit and heartache — often in the same song — and lots of impressive picking. Hancock’s got a new band, including an impressive new steel guitarist, Rose Sinclair, and not one but two electric guitarists, Bart Weinburg and Greg Harkins. As usual, Hancock gives his bandmates plenty of room to stretch, while their producer, Lubbock string-titan Lloyd Maines, captures the sound that some call retro, but I call timeless.
Things falling apart seem to be a general theme here with tunes like “Dirty House Blues,” “Two String Boogie,” and “Wear Out Your Welcome,” about a love that’s disintegrated.
My immediate favorite song on Slingin’ is a brand new murder ballad — actually, a double-homicide fantasy — in the great tradition of Leon Ashley’s “Laura (What’s He Got That I Ain’t Got),” Porter Wagoner’s “The Cold Hard Facts of Life,” and Johnny Paycheck’s “(Pardon Me) I’ve Got Someone to Kill.”
Hancock’s song is called “Killed Them Both,” and that’s just what he does to his cheating sweetheart and some funky dude. Hancock sings, “Somebody heard the shots and called 911/The law’s outside to ruin all my fun …” Now that’s what I call country music!
* Live at the Big T Roadhouse, Chicken S#!+ Bingo Sunday and Under the Influence by Dale Watson. Dale Watson may be the hardest working honky-tonker in Texas. He’s known to play gigs without taking a single break. He even works holidays. I saw him play the Continental Club in Austin last Christmas — and he’s scheduled to play there on Thanksgiving this month.
Watson always seems to have a new album. In fact, he’s released not one but two in recent weeks.
One album is a live show from his favorite Hedwig, Texas, haunt, known for bingo games that use live poultry instead of balls to determine the numbers being called.
The other is an album full of cover songs made famous by the musicians who most influenced him.
Big T Roadhouse features a bunch of old Watson tunes, including ought-to-be classics like “I Lie When I Drink,” “Where Do You Want It” (an ode to Billy Joe Shaver’s infamous shooting incident), and one of his best trucker songs, “Birmingham Breakdown.” There area couple of Merle Haggard favorites, “The Bottle Let Me Down” and “The Fugitive,” plus my personal favorite here, a spirited cover of Jerry Reed’s “Amos Moses.”
And speaking of covers, Under the Influence is a true treat. Watson performs Bob Wills’ “That’s What I Like About the South,” Buck Owens’ “Made in Japan,” and two relative Haggard obscurities: “Here in Frisco” and “If You Want to Be My Woman.”
My favorites are Watson’s version of “You’re Humbuggin’ Me,” a classic recorded by Lefty Frizzell, Rocket Morgan, Ronnie Dawson, and others, and Danny Dill’s “Long Black Veil.” That’s a well-worn chestnut first made famous by Frizzell. But Dale’s treatment is unique. He actually makes this ghostly murder story swing.
* Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars … by Dwight Yoakam. Yoakam undoubtedly was the best-known neo-honky-tonker of the 1980s.
Though he’s dabbled in bluegrass before, this is Kentucky-born Yoakam’s first all-bluegrass album. All the songs are new acoustic versions of old Yoakam originals, including the title song of his first album, “Guitars, Cadillacs,” refitted with fiddles and banjos.
All but one, that is.
The album ends with Prince’s “Purple Rain.” And while a lot of people chuckle at the thought of a bluegrass rendition of Prince, this is nothing to snicker at. Yoakam kills it. Without a trace of irony he finds the soul of the song and makes it into the perfect hillbilly tribute to the ascended master from Minneapolis.
* Southern White Lies by Martha Fields. She has roots in Texas and Oklahoma, though these days Fields is living part-time in Bordeaux, France.
But just because she’s across the ocean doesn’t mean she’s forgotten her musical roots. Last year, with a band of Frenchmen called House of Twang, she released an album full of rocking country boogie called Long Way From Home. But while that one was fun, her new acoustic banjo- and dobro-driven record is much deeper and hits much harder.
With a strong, throaty voice, Fields sings about her Southern heritage with stark honesty. A major theme running through several songs on Southern White Lies is how poor, rural people are manipulated by politicians and big business to keep them poor and ignorant for the sake of keeping up the supply of cheap labor and soldiers for wars.
There’s a real current of righteous anger running through many of these songs. Fields sums it up in “American Hologram,” singing, “No pot to piss in, believe in that trickle down/Snake handlers and TV tellin’ ‘em it’s for the best ... No need for education, no money for schools/Easier for Limbaugh, to play ‘em like the fool.”
A tasteful handful of covers like Woody Guthrie’s “Lonesome Road Blues” — better known as “Going Down That Road Feelin’ Bad” — and Janis Joplin’s “What Good Can Drinkin’ Do” adds a little levity to the album. “Pandering politicians, we need more musicians,” Fields sings in the title song.
I didn't know former Attorney General Janet Reno. But I know her niece Jane and Jane's husband Ed. And I learned about her death this week via a sweet eulogy to her that Ed posted on his Facebook page Monday.
Reading Ed's tribute reminded me of this a cool music project that Reno had envisioned and Ed, a musician in Nashville, co-produced. Released in early 2008, the double-disc collection was called Song of America.
And it was, in the words of a wise old journalist, "a big, old, various-artist collection of songs outlining the strange and complicated history of this great land — both the official version and various alternate views that go beyond the wars, political campaigns, and other stuff they teach in school. There are patriotic tunes, protest songs, musical re-tellings of historic events, and songs about changes in our society."
Below is a Good Morning America feature on Song for America.
Below are a few tracks from Song of America.
This one, by Suzy Bogus, is really snazzy!
And here is a rocking version of a Johnny Cash song, "Apache Tears" by Scott kempner, formerly pf The Dictators and The Del-Lords
So rest in peace, Janet Reno. Thank you for your song.
Twenty three years ago today a Russian scientist and inventor named Leon Theremin died at the age of 97. But he left behind a strange musical instrument that he originally called the etherophone, with which he seemingly could pull music out of thin air.
The instrument would come to be known as the Theremin.
Theremin invented the contraption in St. Petersburg shortly after the Russian revolution. It consisted of a small wooden cabinet which contained glass tube oscillators and two antennae that produced electromagnetic fields. In 1922 Theremin demonstrated his instrument in the Kremlin for Lenin, who reportedly was pretty darned impressed.
"Theremin played Lenin pieces including Saint-Saens' `The Swan,' " a 2012 article in the BBC Newssaid. He then guided Lenin's hands -- the right one moved to and from the vertical antenna, changing the instrument's pitch, the left one moved to and from the horizontal antenna, controlling the volume.
Lenin sent him on tour in Russia to show off Theremin and his Theremin as an example of Russian progress and ingenuity.
In 1927, Theremin traveled to the U.S., where he played Carnegie Hall and licensed RCA to build his instruments.
But the BBC article said the real reason he came to the U.S. was to engage in industrial espionage. "He had special access to firms like RCA, GE, Westinghouse, aviation companies and so on, and shared his latest technical know how with representatives from these companies to get them to open up to him about their latest discoveries," Theremin biographer Albert Glinsky told the BBC.
Here is a video of Theremin demonstrating his instrument in 1954,
The Theremin was praised by composers like Edgard Varese (he demonstrated one at a lecture at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in 1936 according an article in Theremin.info. But it didn't really catch on in American pop culture until the '40s and '50s in movie soundtracks like the ones below.
Hungarian composer Miklos Rozsa used a Theremin in Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound as well as this 1945 noir classic.
The Beach Boys brought the Theremin to rock 'n' roll with "Good Vibrations" in 1966. But the rocker who seems to to have the most fun with a Theremin is Jon Spencer, who usually does a Theremin number in his shows with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. This is a strange clip from some even stranger TV I just found.
Tuesday was the 72nd birthday of Richard Samet Friedman, better known to the Free World as Kinky Friedman, country singer, comic agitator, mystery author, failed politician, animal lover, cigar aficionado and 1973 Male Chauvinist of the Year.
Happy birthday, Kinky!
A couple of months before I ever heard Kinky's music, I learned about him from an article in a newspaper somebody had left in a little chapel that was part of a Methodist church in downtown Oklahoma City. That was on September 11 (!), 1973, back when I was doing my first big hitchhiking trip. The chapel at that time was open 24 hours and turned out out to be a good place to crash for a new amateur hobo.
But the main thing I remember about my stay there was reading that article about this crazed Texan -- whose band was called "The Texas Jewboys" -- who sang songs with titles like "The Ballad of Charles Whitman," "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed" and "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore."
I knew I was going to love this guy. God must have wanted me to find Kinky or He wouldn't have left that newspaper in His chapel.
And a couple of decades later I was extremely honored to be asked to open for him at a couple of gigs (1992 and 1995) at Albuquerque's El Rey Theater.
Kinky's songs were pretty radical back in the early '70s. But the thing is, they're probably more radical today. If he were more famous, his combination of fearless irreverence, wicked dark humor and outright blasphemy would get him banned from many college campuses (he don't give one Texas hoot about your "safe places"), condemned by religious leaders and shunned by all polite society.
Here are the three songs that made my eyes pop when reading about them in that paper at that Methodist chapel.
God love ya, Kinky!
Let's start with the song that earned him the National Organization of Women's Male Chauvinist of the Year award, "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed."
Kinky uses all sorts of racial slurs in "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore." But remember, they're coming from the mouth of an idiot racist -- who in the end gets his just deserts from "one little Hebe from the Heart of Texas."
Kinky was a student at the University of Texas in Austin when Charles Whitman raised his ruckus in the belltower. "The Ballad of Charles Whitman" was recorded only six years after that violent tragedy.
And while looking for the above song, I stumbled across this little feature with the Kinkster talking about the Whiitman shootings.