Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Roy Head and others RIP

The death of Roy Head at the age of 79 has come as a shock. He was a dynamic performer. a real wild man whenever he appeared on a stage and a great showman. He was a blue eyed soul singer, but also successful in the fields of rockabilly and country. Born in Three Rivers, Texas, he formed his band, the Traits, while still at school and recorded for the San Antonio based TNT and Renner labels. Later he signed with Scepter but the big breakthrough came in 1965 when he met up with Huey Meaux and recorded 'Treat Her Right' in Houston, which was released on Back Beat. It was a smash hit (and a number one in my personal top ten) and sold heavily at a time when British acts dominated in the US. Follow ups, including 'Just A Little Bit' and 'Apple Of My Eye' were also successful and 'Same People', recorded for Dunhill, also sold well. He moved into the country field in the seventies and eighties and had success with 'The Most Wanted Woman In Town', 'Bridge For Crawling Back', 'The Door I Used To Close' and 'Come To Me' among others.

I first saw Roy live in 1995 when he replaced Freddy Fender in Doug Sahm's Last Texas Blues Band at a show at Tipitina's. He was a regular performer at the Ponderosa Stomp and his high octane act and wildly over the top performances were always one of the highlights. The photos above and below show Roy at a Stomp related show at the Ace Hotel in New Orleans in 2016.

Roy at the Stomp in 2017.

Roy with Doug Sahm's Last Texas Blues Band in 1995.
Roy at the Ponderosa Stomp in 2005.

A few of Roy's many albums.
Sadly there have also been other music deaths, including Terry Clemson, formerly of the Downliners Sect. Terry appeared at a Tales From The Woods show in 2016 and made a great impression. I wrote at the time: 'Sadly one of the artists booked to appear on the show, Danny Rivers, was too ill to perform, but his replacement Terry Clemson, once a member of the Downliners Sect, was an excellent replacement. A great guitarist, the place really rocked to a selection of numbers made famous by Chuck Berry (Roll Over Beethoven, Carol, Route 66 and The Promised Land), Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Ricky Nelson and Conway Twitty. This was all familiar material, with no Sect numbers on show, but exciting, with two excellent guitarists on stage and a driving beat throughout. The crowd loved it.'  After his time with the Sect Terry was a member of the Houseshakers, who backed Gene Vincent on his European tours, and the Hellraisers.
Another who has died is Pamela Hutchinson, aged just 61, a member of the Emotions, whose biggest hit was 'Best Of My Love'. 


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