Saturday, February 25, 2023

When The Swingin' Cornflake Killers recorded "Man From Mars" & "Jekyll & Hyde" in Mike Haskins' garage...

Hey dig this, here's a clip that Mr. Honky-Tonk Jukebox posted to his Instagram @thehonkytonkjukebox, saying "Some Rockabilly from Dallas @t.texed with his Man From Mars song..."

We, that is me, one T. Tex Edwards, plus The Swingin' Cornflake Killers, who at that time were comprised of Tom Battles (RIP) on guitar, Paul Orr on bass, & David Lee (RIP) on drums, with an able assist from Phil Bennison AKA Homer Henderson (RIP), who contributed an outer-space guitar break, set up our gear one afternoon in Mike Haskins' garage right off lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas Texas, back in the early 1990s. Mike recorded this gem of a tune on his home gear & captured lightning in a bottle. Hold it, maybe that was what we were drinking...
Back cover of the Jekyll & Hyde b/w Man From Mars Honey Records 45 single.
Photo by Clinton Bell (RIP).

Butch Paulson, the man who wrote & first sang "Man From Mars".

Anyhow, this here tune was written by a cat named Butch Paulson, who originally sang it backed by The Motations, on a 45 released by Virgelle Records, located in Seattle Washington, back in 1961. Dallas scenester, Mr. Bill Logan, had recently, back then, just started his Honey Records label for releasing music from some of his favorite people like the aforementioned Homer Henderson & me. Thanks Bill. Complete audio of "Man From Mars" can be heard at:
Butch Paulson's original 1961 single of "Man From Mars" on Virgelle Records.

Jim Burgett who originally sang "Jekyll & Hyde".

On the flipside, or should I say the 'A' side, is a groovy tune called "Jekyll & Hyde", originally sung by Jim Burgett (from Ceres California, near Modesto). The first incarnation of "Jekyll & Hyde" was titled "Split Personality" on Go Records from 1961. Later in 1961, Go Records issued the song under the title "Jekyll and Hyde”. We erroneously credited Jim with writing the song on the Honey Records single, but further research has discovered it was actually written by a fellow named Pat Boniface, who I could find no information on other than songwriting credits on five different singles, two of which were by our man Jim Burgett
The first incarnation was titled "Split Personality" on Go Records from 1961.

Later in 1961, Go Records issued the song under the title "Jekyll and Hyde" by Jim Burgett.

The aptly named Cricket Taylor, a local Dallas blues songstress, contributed background vocals on our version of "Jekyll & Hyde" along with another young lady who's name I can't remember. Help me out, Cricket. Audio of "Jekyll & Hyde" can be heard at:
Front cover of the Jekyll & Hyde b/w Man from Mars 45 single from Honey Records.
Artwork by John S. Hancock (from Amazing Hancock Bros.)

P.S. I still have some copies of the Honey Records single available on eBay at:

Monday, February 20, 2023

The Vagabond Loafers, the Malaga Castle, Click Mort, and how The Loafin' Hyenas began…

The Vagabond Loafers: Mikaleno Amundson, Pip Plyler, T. Tex Edwards

The Vagabond Loafers (name borrowed from a Three Stooges episode) were the first combo I was involved with after moving to Hollywood. Mikaleno Amundson was my weed buddy who lived across the hall when I first moved out west & I lived with Texas Terri Laird at the Malaga Castle for a spell. Mikaleno was a guitarist & former sailor. He'd talk about life on the big boats. We had in common a love of Chris Spedding's guitar playing & smoking weed. He had been around Hollywood for awhile & done time with Christian Death & one of Sky Saxon's later bands.

Afton Arms AKA The Happy Malaga Castle in Hollywood, California

A bunch of the Austin expatriates hung around each other out there in Hollywood. I met lotsa former Austinites I'd never known in Texas & of course a few that I did know before. Bassist Pip Plyler was one of those I hadn't known before, but Terri knew everybody with her ongoing vivacious personality & hair cutting skills. So Mikaleno & Pip & I starting jamming around with a succession of drummers & only played a couple of gigs with our combo that Mikaleno dubbed The Vagabond Loafers. Alot of guys from my generation grew up watching the Three Stooges on television & like Mikaleno, became obsessed with them. This photo is from Raji's, at a benefit for my by-then ex, Texas Terri, who'd run up some hospital bills & needed help. I don't remember much of that night except that I, for some reason, felt compelled to do a somersault cartwheel entering the stage upon the first notes of us starting our set with my song "Move It!"

The Vagabond Loafers at Texas Terri benefit at Raji's in Hollywood: Mikaleno Amundson, Pip Plyler, T. Tex Edwards

I'd met one Click Mort awhile before this when he came over to Terri's for a touchup on his hairdo. Click had played with The Cramps for a few months a couple years before this & hadn't played much music since. He was in the crowd that night & when he saw my acrobatics, he thought, "that's the guy I want to be in a band with." So when The Vagabond Loafers fizzled out in the coming months, he approached me about getting together & making some noise. We were gonna call our new band The Laughing Hyenas, but then we heard about another band from the midwest calling themselves that. Well, we were definitely loafers & no-counts, so we borrowed that part of my former outfit's name & became The Loafin' Hyenas.
Click & I started to hang out & "lock horns" as he called it, & choose a few covers to begin with & then write some of our own tunes. We both knew former Blood on the Saddle drummer, Hermann Senac. Then we tried to recruit Click's favorite bassist, Rob Ritter who'd formerly played with The Gun Club. But he was too busy at the time, so Hermann suggested his old buddy Ron Botelho from Blood on the Saddle to play bass. I'd met Dione Sparks (now Neva Trejo), a crazy cajun gal from Beaumont (through Texas Terri again) who could saw the fiddle & sing in French, the whole bit, so she was the next addition. She turned out to be not-so-crazy after all, but a real sweetheart. But eventually she didn't live up to Click's high standards of what he wanted in a bandmate. A trait he must have picked up from his old bosses, Lux & Ivy. Click had recently met a young fellow from Northern California named Tom Blaylock, who had been in a band up there simply called Yo. Tom played the fiddle & mandolin, so he took Dione's place. Ron was the next to draw Click's ire. So a couple of different guys played one-offs on bass with us in our later period. But when we eventually got around to recording our only album, Rob Ritter was available, & our original choice completed the circle...

The Loafin' Hyenas (photo by Margot Reyes) with Tom Blaylock, Rob Ritter (RIP), Hermann Senac, Click Mort (RIP) & yours truly...

Friday, February 17, 2023

My Brand of Blues, Marvin Rainwater, & me...

Marvin Rainwater was an American country & rockabilly singer/songwriter who was born in Wichita, Kansas. He had several hits during the late 1950s, including "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird" & "Whole Lotta Woman," which hit #1 on the UK Singles Chart. He was known for wearing Native American-themed outfits on stage & claimed to have quarter-blood Cherokee ancestry.
My Brand Of Blues” was one of several gold records he scored in 1959. The other two being "My Love Is Real" & "Half Breed”, a cover version of a John D. Loudermilk song. That same year, he recorded the original version of another Loudermilk song, "The Pale Faced Indian”, which later became a huge hit for Paul Revere & The Raiders under the title "Indian Reservation”.
My Brand of Blues” has an eerie, tortured love theme & an early Johnny Cash-type feel. I first heard it on a ‘MGM Rockabilliy Collection’ album released in Europe in 1977 that I bought as an import a couple of years later. It was among the first several batch of tunes I suggested to guitarist Joe Dickens when we started putting together the earliest version of the Out On Parole band in 1984. Not an easy song to play because of the almost arbitrary number of times playing the riff before the vocals come in each time, “My Brand of Blues” languished at the bottom of the song list & was performed infrequently. When Out On Parole reformed in the 21st century, the song was revitalized & made the cut for the 2011 sessions that birthed the new DEVIL GET AWAY FROM ME album.

"My Brand of Blues" by T. Tex Edwards & Out On Parole

Listen & Download at: 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The first song on the first Tim Buckley album that amazes me to this day...

Happy Birthday to Timothy Charles Buckley III, born on February 14, 1947. "I Can't See You" is the first song off his first album from 1966. From this album sleeve, he may look like just some random folksinger. The latest in a never-ending line of folkies at the time. But from the first crashing notes it becomes evident that no, this isn't your average 1960s folkie. Yes, it's semi-electric folk, but there's also jazz, punk, & avant-garde elements here, in a tenor singing (his high school friend) Larry Beckett's beautiful poetic lyrics. And as he did for the rest of his life, Tim Buckley broke the rules. Leading off this, his very first Elektra Records release with not the most commercial radio-friendly tune of the collection, but the least.
I first heard Buckley at 13 years old, early in 1968, when my local Dallas "underground rock" station KNUS, the first of it's kind in Big D on the FM side of the dial that played at least one album cut from almost every new LP release of the time, & practically none of the Top 40, that dominated AM radio back then. It was where I first heard The Velvet Underground, The Jeff Beck Group, The Red Crayola, Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera, Condello, The Ill Wind, & on & on. I'd save up my lunch money allowance all week, & on the weekend head over to Preston Record Center & pick out an album by the coverart & what I'd heard on KNUS radio. One week they were playing Tim Buckley's long epic, "Goodbye & Hello", the title song from his more psychedelic second album. So that was what I picked out to purchase with my hard-hoarded cash & was first introduced to the varied music of Tim. For some reason I never went back to this first album until much later in the 1970s. Maybe it was that folksinger cover. After the obviously drug-induced cover photos of "Happy Sad" & the likes, that first album coverart never struck my fancy until I later realized just how brilliant & different Tim Buckley was. But once I finally did investigate further, Wow!
But on to my own musical career. When I was finally putting together my last & possibly final musical project in 2017, my damaged hearing required a lower volume, different approach that started out as just a trio with my pals Eric Hisaw & Dan Hoekstra on guitars, & turned into a combo simply called The T. Tex Edwards Group, when we later added JJ Barrera on bass & Shawn Peters on drums. It had started out as a songwriting project with Hisaw. After years of mainly playing covers of semi-obscure 60s Brit & off-kilter C&W nuggets, I wanted to see if I could still write some meaningful songs like I had years ago with Mike Haskins in The Nervebreakers & Click Mort in The Loafin' Hyenas. I had started writing things down during a month-long rehab torture at Austin Recovery, & upon my release, contacted Eric about possibly getting together & putting some music to my scribblings. We cranked out a few songs & added a Tim Harden tune, a Bob Dylan song, along with some reworkings of some of my earlier Nervebreakers & Loafin' Hyenas originals. Plus this song from Tim Buckley, that I absolutely fell in love with upon my first listening all those years ago. When we later recorded our batch of originals, this song, (along with Gary Stewart's "Single Again"), were the only two cover songs that we recorded at those sessions. Hopefully sometime soon, those recordings will see the light of day...

Sunday, February 12, 2023

A new 1981 version of Tex & the Saddletramps record "Slave Lover" in Will Clay's Cumberland Avenue basement

Todays Memories confronted me with an old youtube from Tex & the Saddletramps. "Slave Lover” is a great song written & originally sung by George Jones on his 1963 Mercury Records album ‘The Novelty Side of George Jones’. An album that I ran across & immediately loved, early in my fandom of the Possum. Once Mike Haskins & I reassembled Tex & the Saddletramps, which had started out as a rockabilly/C&W-sideband from The Nervebreakers in 1979, a couple of years later with original drummer Russell Fleming, Key Kolb on guitar, & Donny Ray Ford on bass & backing vocals, this is one of the first tunes I wanted to do. A very uptempo tune with lotsa stops & starts about a poor henpecked guy forced to cater to his lover’s every whim & command.

Tex & the Saddletramps - Slave Lover

The Novelty Side of George Jones’ on Mercury Records 1963

A short while later, five or six songs were recorded by Will Clay, a saxophonist & all round funny guy who loved to laugh & crack jokes, who Mike & I had known since he was one of the younger guys that used to come hang out at rehearsals for the pre-Nervebreakers band we were in called The Idiots, circa 1974. The other 3/5 of The Idiots went on to form a local band called The Toys. Will had set up a little recording space down in the basement of a house on a hillside on Cumberland Avenue, just down the street from the Dallas Zoo in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. Coincidentally, right down the street in the other direction from Lee Harvey Oswald’s famous Beckley Avenue garage apartment. Where “the shadows pointing every whichaway” photo of Oswald holding the rifle allegedly used to kill the president was taken. A photo whose authenticity had been questioned by the first wave of conspiracy theorists for decades.

Here is a photo by Vern Evans of saxophonist Will Clay sitting in (actually standing) with Tex & the Saddletramps at a Lower Greenville Avenue Street Dance. There's Ron Gulley & Michael Brown leaning on a vehicle, with me singing & James Flory on bass & Paul Quigg on guitar & Russell Fleming's drums...

"Slave Lover” was the first tune we recorded there & it turned out the best, with right on the money playing & strong backing vocals from Ford. That version of the band soon splintered & our original bassist, Linda Shaw came back into the fold. But the raw, tinny sound captured on Clay’s ancient analog equipment had a certain charm to it. Years later in 2009 long after Will’s passing, Mr. Bobby Beeman, onetime bassist of the legendary Stick Men With Ray Guns band, ran across a third generation (maybe that’s why it sounds sort of tinny) copy of the sessions & contacted me about posting them to youtube. Which is where they’ve sat until the present. With the ease of uploading & posting old tapes to Bandcamp that I recently discovered, Mike Haskins & I are working on a Tex & the Saddletramps collection featuring the tunes from the Cumberland sessions, plus several more from a session that produced “Move It!” at the late Songbird Studios on lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas, & a few songs that Rocky Langston (RIP) recorded for release on his ‘Steel Rok Presents’ cassette. Sort of the Tex & the Saddletramps album that never was…

Here are some photos of the lineup on "Slave Lover" at a Flykiller party in a warehouse in downtown Dallas (not sure who took these photos). First here's Mike Haskins with Donny Ray Ford in background:

Next, here's me with Key Kolb in the background:

Russell Fleming under the Flykiller logo:

The "Slave Lover" lineup of Tex & the Saddletramps at a Lower Greenville Avenue Street Dance in front of Curtis HawkinsStack O' Tracks record store:

Friday, February 10, 2023

The story of The Loafin' Hyenas first club gig at Raji's in Hollywood when Lux Interior & Rob Ritter showed up

 This photo that came up in yesterday’s Memories is from when the Hollywood, California band that I was in, The Loafin' Hyenas, played our first club gig at Raji’s, the epicenter of Hollywood underground bands at the time. I think this was 1988. At that point the band consisted of myself on vocals, former Cramps guitarist Click Mort, a wild cajun gal from Beaumont named Dionne Sparks (now Neva Trejo) on fiddle, & the former rhythm section from the band Blood on the Saddle, Ron Botelho on bass & Hermann Senac on drums. This is the lineup that recorded our first single “Scatter” (about Elvis’ chimpanzee) b/w “Move It!” (a reworking of one of my earlier songs from Tex & the Saddletramps days) that was one of the early releases from Long Gone John’s Sympathy For The Record Industry label (SFTRI 008). Hear the song "Scatter" here:

And what a night it was. I don’t remember much from our performance, but I do remember who was there in the audience that night. In the photo below just to the left of the speaker cabinet (& darkly in the first photo), you can see original Gun Club bassist Rob "Graves" Ritter in sunglasses (yes, after dark AND indoors) sitting on the floor with his friend Tim Farris from the band Celebrity Skin. Rob was our favorite & the first bass player Click & I recruited for The Loafin' Hyenas & he jammed with us once when we were in the early stages of writing songs & putting the band together. But Rob was too busy at the time playing reunion gigs with 45 Grave & soon joining the band Thelonious Monster, to have enough time to devote to our project. He did return toward the end of The Loafin' Hyenas & contributed some beautiful bass lines to our only album, THE LOAFIN’ HYENAS on Patrick Mathè’s New Rose label out of France.

Also that night Click had invited his old bosses from The Cramps, Lux Interior & Poison Ivy Rorschach, who surprisingly showed up & crowded into the stuffy basement room at Raji’s where the bands played. I remember Lux pointing out in conversation afterwards in his humorous goofy manner, “Hey, we’re both lead singers with three letter names that end in ‘x’ Lux & Tex!”. I had invited Chip Kinman from Rank and File, a band that I admired & had opened shows for a couple of times back in Dallas at The Hot Klub, who also showed up.
The next photo is still-my-sweetie Karen Kritter & I, in one of Raji’s booths.

Then this last image is a flyer made by Click Mort. I don't remember if this was the same night as the one that I'm describing in this post. But it would make sense since Lux produced the first Mad Daddy's LP...