Kim Cochran

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“Little” Doug Sahm

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Douglas Wayne Sahm was born November 6, 1941, in San Antonio, Texas. Considered to be a prodigy on steel guitar, mandolin, and fiddle, he made his radio debut at age five singing “Teardrops In My Heart” on KMAC in San Antonio. He became a featured player on the Louisiana Hayride country radio program by age eight. Known as Little Doug Sahm, he would often sit in at live performances of such greats as Webb Pierce, Hank Thompson and Faron Young. In December 1952, Hank Williams took Doug on stage in Austin, Texas, less than two weeks before Williams’s death. Doug released a number of singles on various local record labels, beginning at age eleven with “A Real American Joe” backed with “Rollin’ Rollin’” for Sarg Records. As a teenager, Sahm was offered a regular spot on the Grand Ol’ Opry in Nashville, but his mother decided that he should stay in his hometown and finish junior high school. He fronted several bands during his high school years, including the Pharaohs, the Dell-Kings, and the Markays. Although he was a child prodigy in country music, he became a significant figure in blues, rock and other genres. Today Sahm is considered one of the most important figures in Texas Music. Along with Augie Meyers, he was the founder and leader of the 1960s ‘British invasion’ influenced band The Sir Douglas Quintet that scored an international hit in 1965 with “She’s About A Mover.” In 1973, Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records bought Sahm’s contract from Mercury and produced Doug Sahm and Band, a “supergroup” album featuring Bob Dylan, Dr. John, David Bromberg, and Flaco Jimenez. Sahm and Augie Meyers continued to record together for different American labels throughout the 1970′s and early 1980′s and eventually reunited with Flaco Jimenez and Freddy Fender in 1989 to form a ‘Tex-Mex version of the Traveling Wilburys’, The Texas Tornados, who went on to produce eight albums. In 1994, Sahm re-formed The Sir Douglas Quintet with his sons Shawn and Shandon and recorded the hard rock album Day Dreaming At Midnight. The same year he was also the centerpiece of the more R&B influenced album The Last Great Texas Blues Band. In 1999, Sahm inaugurated his own label, Tornado Records, in order to continue releasing his own material, as well as producing albums by other musicians, such as Ed Burleson. Shortly after the inauguration, Doug Sahm died November 18, 1999, while vacationing at the Kachina Inn in Taos, New Mexico. Sahm’s last album of original material, The Return of Wayne Douglas, was released posthumously in late 2000.

Sources and Acknowledgments
Brown, Andrew. The Sarg Records Anthology. Book Accompaniment to CD Box Set: Bear Family Records. 1999

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Adolph Hofner

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Adolph Hofner was born in Moulton, Texas, on June 8, 1916 and raised on a farm in Lavaca County, TX. Hofner’s father was part German and his mother was Czech. Growing up in a primarily Czech community, Hofner heard polkas, schottisches, and other forms of local dance music. When he and his family moved to San Antonio in 1928, he and his steel guitar-playing brother, Emil, began performing in local clubs. Their sound reflected several strands of the Texas musical mosaic. Adolph was a crooner, and Emil, like other early Texas swing musicians, emulated Hawaiian sounds. After the brothers heard the pioneering music of Milton Brown and Bob Wills, they began playing the jazz-inflected country-dance music that in retrospect was labeled Western swing. Adolph, whose smooth singing style earned him the nickname the “Bing Crosby of Country,” first recorded with Jimmie Revard’s Oklahoma Playboys, a major musical attraction in 1930s San Antonio. Hofner also cut some sides as a solo vocalist and performed on vocals with Tom Dickey’s Show Boys. His lead vocals on “It Makes No Difference Now” became a hit in its own right and inspired Hofner to form his own band in 1939. At first the band was known as Adolph Hofner & His Texans, but when they began recording for OKeh and Columbia in the early ’40s with the addition of fiddler J.R. Chatwell, they were called the San Antonians. Among their best-known tunes were “Maria Elena” and “Alamo Rag.” The band spent the early ’40s working in southern California, and during World War II, he briefly changed his stage name from Adolph to Dolph to avoid association with Adolf Hitler. After the war he began using his own name again, and in 1949 returned to Texas and in honor of new sponsor Pearl Beer, Hofner’s band became the Pearl Wranglers. He claimed to have been the first to record the classic “Cotton Eyed Joe” (1941), which has since become a standard. They recorded for the Sarg label for many years and were fixtures of San Antonio music through the 1980s. He was best known in the Texas Hill Country and the Valley as a tireless performer who knew exactly what the people wanted come Saturday night and continued to perform up until 1993 when we was slowed by a stroke. He was a durable musical icon of south Texas who helped shape Western swing, and whose dual career as a swing bandleader and Czech dance musician showed the ways in which Western swing had roots in Central European dance traditions. Hofner died of lung cancer in San Antonio on June 2, 2000. His many honors include induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame, Texas Polka Music Association Hall of Fame, Country Music Association of Texas Hall of Fame, and Western Swing Society Hall of Fame.

Sources and Acknowledgments
Brown, Andrew. The Sarg Records Anthology. Book Accompaniment to CD Box Set: Bear Family Records. 1999
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Cecil Moore

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Cecil Moore was born on a farm six miles from Luling, TX on July 5, 1929. He began playing music in the late forties with Clarence ‘Sleepy’ Short, a fiddler who’d worked with some of the top bands in Houston and San Antonio. As a duo, Cecil and Sleepy appeared at area nightclubs like The Bluebird Inn in Kingsbury and the Shamrock Inn in Luling. The Korean War put Cecil’s music career on hold for a couple of years, but by 1953 he was out of the military and forming his own band, The Notes, who took up residence at the Flamingo Club in Seguin, holding down a regular gig there for a few years in the mid-fifties. Charlie Fitch had been aware of Moore for some time, but for whatever reason did not record him until 1958 (and only then after Cecil agreed to help finance the session). Moore recorded Walkin’ Fever and (I Lost My) Little Baby at ACA in Houston on March 22, 1958. Sales of the single were encouraging and for the next several years, Moore became a steady presence for the Sarg Label and the South Texas music scene. In 1964, Moore recorded the instrumental tune Diamond Back that went on to become the single most successful Sarg record. The response upon its initial release on April 7, 1964, was immediate. Of the radio stations that issued their own charts, Diamond Back hit the Top 10 in San Antonio, Houston and Austin. Atco picked the record up for national distribution and sold several thousand records. The attention Moore garnered from Diamond Back was inevitably brief, but fun while it lasted. He appeared on several television shows performing the tune, and managed to play some of the biggest clubs in Texas. He was also one of the opening acts for the Roy Orbison – Everly Brothers concert at the Houston Coliseum in the summer of ’64, where he played his hit in front of 13,000 screaming kids. Moore continued to record for Sarg, among other labels, for the remainder of the sixties and into the seventies. He received an unexpected boost to his notoriety and income when in 1993; The Max Weinberg 7 began playing his original composition Gotta Go as a recurring theme song on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Cecil Moore passed away on February 9, 2006.

Sources and Acknowledgments
Brown, Andrew. The Sarg Records Anthology. Book Accompaniment to CD Box Set: Bear Family Records. 1999

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Larry Nolen

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Larry Nolen was born in Mineola in Northeast Texas in 1933 and moved to San Antonio as a child. He began his professional music career as a rhythm guitarist in 1946,at the age of 13, when he joined The Mountain Rhythm Band, a family band that featured Boy and Gene who later achieved success as The Jacoby Brothers. Smiley Whitley, leader of one of the most famous western swing bands in Texas, recognized a star on the rise and invited Larry to play with his band, Smiley Whitley and the Texans. They performed most Saturday nights at Bandera’s famous Cabaret Dancehall and also hosted a radio show at San Antonio’s KONO / KMAC radio station five days a week. In 1954, Nolen left the Texans, started his own band Larry Nolen & The Bandits and released “I Need You Now” and “Hillbilly Love Affair” on Sarg Records. Nolen went on to share the stage with Elvis Presley, Porter Wagoner, Spade Cooley, Hank Thompson, Doug Sahm, Marty Robbins, Johnny Paycheck, Roger Miller and George Jones frequently appearing on The Louisiana Hayride and more than fifty Grand Ol’ Opry Road Shows. Larry has been inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame for “King of the Ducktail Cats”, the Texas Western Swing Music Hall of Fame with the Texas Tophands, and the Bandera Music Hall of Fame as a Living Legend. A few of his hit records include “I Need You Now“, “Please Talk To My Heart“, “The Bandit“, “Hillbilly Love Affair” and “Ramblin’ Rose” which was recorded by Nat King Cole. Larry currently lives on a ranch near Pipe Creek, Texas with his wife, Dixie. He owns and operates Bandit Records, his own private recording studio on the ranch. Larry continues to perform live at venues and events throughout Texas and has recently recorded his latest CD, “Hangovers Sure Hang On”.

Sources and Acknowledgments
Brown, Andrew. The Sarg Records Anthology. Book Accompaniment to CD Box Set: Bear Family Records. 1999
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Al Urban

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Al Urban was born on a farm in Gonzales, Texas, on March 1, 1935. He began playing the guitar in his mid-teens and formed his first band, The Daybreakers, in the early fifties and obtained a regular gig at the popular Log Cabin Inn north of Luling. In 1956, Urban recorded his original songs Lookin’ For Money and I Don’t Want To Be Alone at Gold Star Studio in Houston. Al sent the master Tape to Charlie Fitch who agreed to release it on Sarg Records. The record debuted on November 30, 1956 receiving rave reviews from Billboard magazine. It was a modest hit and sold respectably. Urban was invited to appear on the Louisiana Hayride on the strength of the single. He was a prolific songwriter often returning to Bill Quinn’s Gold Star Studio on his own dime to record his compositions. George Jones was using the same studio during the same period and the two often shared the same backing band. Charlie Fitch released four more Urban records and passed on several others. Disgruntled with Fitch, Urban started his own label, Fang to promote his releases, and eventually recorded for several other small labels as well, including Kash and Tennessee. He continued to be an active performer, but tiring of the nightly grind; he began concentrating more on songwriting. His windfall came in 1971 when Charley Pride recorded several of his songs including the hit ,I’m Beginning to Believe My Own Lies that was included on the Grammy award winning album Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs.

Sources and Acknowledgments
Brown, Andrew. The Sarg Records Anthology. Book Accompaniment to CD Box Set: Bear Family Records. 1999

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