It’s Time To Enshrine Doug Sahm!

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If there were a Mount Rushmore in Texas of our state’s greatest musical artists, the head of Douglas Wayne Sahm would rightfully be there, next to Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan.  “Sir” Doug Sahm is the godfather of Texas music and during his career he brilliantly covered rock and roll, country, blues and of course Tex-Mex.  Today’s Austin music scene – in fact all of Texas music – would not be the same without the influence of Doug Sahm.  So why isn’t he in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Sahm performed as a teenager on the streets and stages of his hometown San Antonio but in 1965, producer Huey Meaux gathered a motley group of musicians around Sahm and tried to beat the Beatles at their own game.  The Sir Douglas Quintet had a hit with “She’s About A Mover” – cut at Meaux’s Sugar Hill studios in Houston – and audiences soon realized the musicians weren’t British moptops at all.

In the late 1960s Sahm moved to San Francisco and his new hippie lifestyle produced some new music, including the hit “Mendocino,” which showed he hadn’t forgotten his Texas roots.  Sahm kicked through the 1970s with a stint at Atlantic Records, which produced the brilliant “Wallflower” (a Dylan composition that featured a guest appearance by Bob his own bad self).   In 1976 Sahm teamed up with Creedence Clearwater Revival’s rhythm section (Doug Clifford and Stu Cook) to produce the Texas hippie classic Groover’s Paradise.

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The Texas Tornados

In the 80s Sahm reunited the Sir Douglas Quintet and played neo-punk music, but with that ever-present Tex Mex flavoring.  Finally in 1990 he appeared with legends Freddy Fender, Flaco Jimenez and his Quintet keyboardist Augie Meyers in the country-rock supergroup the Texas Tornados.  Sahm died in 1999, alone in a hotel room in Taos, New Mexico.  In Austin’s Auditorium Shores park, there is a statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan (who, by the way, is now qualified to also be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) but just a few hundred yards away, overlooking everything, is a hill – named after the late, great Doug Sahm.

Here is a selection of Sahm’s finest from over the years.  If you want a bigger taste of this great artist, seek out the “Live From Austin TX” CDs featuring the Sir Douglas Quintet and the Texas Tornados performing live on the “Austin City Limits” TV show.  The final selection here, “Texas Me,” concludes with Sahm’s telephone answering machine message and it’s from The Return Of Wayne Douglas, a posthumous CD from 2000. 

MP3: “She’s About A Mover” by the Sir Douglas Quintet

MP3: “The Rains Came” by the Sir Douglas Quintet

MP3: “Mendocino” by the Sir Douglas Quintet (live from ‘Austin City Limits’)

MP3: “Nuevo Laredo” by the Sir Douglas Quintet

MP3: “Down On The Border” by the Sir Douglas Quintet (live from ‘Austin City Limits’)

MP3: “San Francisco FM Blues”

MP3: “Wallflower” (with Bob Dylan)

MP3: “A Little Bit Is Better Than Nada” by the Texas Tornados

MP3: “Who Were You Thinkin’ Of?” by the Texas Tornados

MP3: “4 Aces” by the Texas Tornados

MP3: “They’ll Never Take Her Love From Me”

MP3: “Texas Me”

The Doug Sahm Pages

 

One Response to “It’s Time To Enshrine Doug Sahm!”

  1. I second the motion and I’m not even from Texas! Doug Sahm is IMPORTANT and should not ever be forgotten.

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