New series: Deep South – Roy Head

We’re going to give our “Your Sister’s (Record) Rack” series a rest for the time being. But we’re starting a new weekly series, “Deep South,” which focuses on artists who came up and in many cases performed almost exclusively in the southern United States.

Why the South? Well, tell me if you can think of any other places that have produced music like New Orleans, and Memphis, and Nashville, and Austin. The list goes on and on. In this series we hope to spin a few records that originated from those places, and connect the dots by visiting smaller areas in between.

Today let’s begin in our home base of Houston, Texas, with Roy Head. Roy is best known for his 1965 hit “Treat Her Right,” which is perhaps one of the best examples of that curious genre known as “blue-eyed soul.”

“Treat Her Right” was cut in Houston’s own Gold Star studios, with legendary producer Huey Meaux at the dials. The song reached No. 2 on the pop charts, and has been covered in ensuing years by the likes of Jimmy Page, Bruce Springsteen and many others.

Roy cut this hit and many follow-ups with his band the Traits, which formed in 1958 when most of the members were still teenagers. Head would leave the band behind in the 1970s for a solo career. He would cut rockabilly, lots of soul and even some psychedelic stuff before he settled into a country genre but he never repeated the success he had in 1965 with “Treat Her Right.”

Head still lives and works in the Houston area and he is a fixture on the Ponderosa Stomp, the annual roots music festival held each spring in New Orleans. Roy’s son Jason “Sundance” Head was a contestant on Season 6 of “American Idol.”

MP3: “Treat Her Right”

MP3: “Apple Of My Eye”

MP3: “Treat Me Right”

MP3: “Boogie Chillun”

MP3: “Just A Little Bit”

Roy Head at the Ponderosa Stomp

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