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This Week in Texas Music History: Doug Sahm

by Stephen Becker 7 Nov 2009 9:32 AM

This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll remember an eclectic Texas musician who continues to defy categorization.


sahm-200Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman looks at the eclectic musical tastes of Doug Sahm.

You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Saturday on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you.

And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KERA radio’s 90.1 at Night.

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This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll remember an eclectic Texas musician who continues to defy categorization.

Doug Sahm was born Nov. 6, 1941, in San Antonio. He began performing on local radio at the age of 8. Although Sahm grew up listening to country, pop and rock and roll, he also was strongly influenced by R&B, jazz and conjunto. In 1964, Sahm formed the Sir Douglas Quintet. The group released several hit records, including “She’s About a Mover,” “Mendocino” and “Dynamite Woman.” The Sir Douglas Quintet was very much a rock and roll band, but it also incorporated other musical influences, such as conjunto, country, blues and R&B, to give it a distinctly Texas sound. Throughout the 1970s, Sahm continued forging a unique style that blended honky tonk, blues, conjunto, western swing, R&B and rock and roll. By the 1990s, Doug Sahm’s eclectic musical tastes helped form the foundation for his most successful group, the Grammy Award-winning Texas Tornados. Together with Augie Meyers, Flaco Jimenez and Freddy Fender, Sahm helped popularize the Tornados’ uniquely Texas sound throughout the world. Sahm died Nov. 18, 1999.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll look at a classic Texas dance hall that has become a world famous tourist destination.

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