18 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before Doug Sahm became the freakiest cowboy in the United States—and a dual icon to both the hippie and Chicano movements—he was merely the coolest white boy in San Antonio. Sahm had been a musical prodigy since he was a toddler. Then his adolescence coincided with the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, which was being blended with R&B and Tejano styles in clubs on San Antonio’s west side. Doug and his group of pals were among the only white youngsters bold enough to sneak into these raucous joints, and the precocious teenager was soon making his own set of genre-melding songs—all of which are collected on this essential Norton anthology. The songs provide a powerful reminder of the kind of hot-blooded, soul-infused rock music that was played in Texas roadhouses, but what stands out most is Sahm’s vocals. His full-bodied howl isn't simply an able approximation of Ray Charles and Guitar Slim—he equals their strength with a delivery and personality derivative of no one.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before Doug Sahm became the freakiest cowboy in the United States—and a dual icon to both the hippie and Chicano movements—he was merely the coolest white boy in San Antonio. Sahm had been a musical prodigy since he was a toddler. Then his adolescence coincided with the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, which was being blended with R&B and Tejano styles in clubs on San Antonio’s west side. Doug and his group of pals were among the only white youngsters bold enough to sneak into these raucous joints, and the precocious teenager was soon making his own set of genre-melding songs—all of which are collected on this essential Norton anthology. The songs provide a powerful reminder of the kind of hot-blooded, soul-infused rock music that was played in Texas roadhouses, but what stands out most is Sahm’s vocals. His full-bodied howl isn't simply an able approximation of Ray Charles and Guitar Slim—he equals their strength with a delivery and personality derivative of no one.

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