Friday, May 28, 2010

South Texas Soul

San Antonio is the music capital of South Texas. This excerpt from the documentary South Texas Soul explains how the music of Mexico, Germany, and Czechoslovakia melded with rock-and-roll and later country-and-western to create a distinct regional sound. The video also includes some fine exterior shots of San Antonio neighborhoods, landmarks, and businesses:



The Texas Tornados -- comprised of the late, great Doug Sahm, the late, great Freddy Fender, the great Flaco Jimenez, and the great Augie Meyers -- cut loose on Sahm's Tex-Mex arrangement of "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone:"



Back in the late 70s, Augie Meyers often came into the bar where I worked. His drink, as I recall, was Tanqueray and tonic. He liked me, probably because I was generous with the Tanqueray. Here he is singing "Hey, Baby, Que Paso?", the San Antonio national anthem:



The Allman Brothers had nothing on Augie and Flaco's twin accordions!

Girl in a Coma is one of the new San Antonio bands. This video of their song "El Monte" is exquisite:



I don't write much about San Antonio here, but I loved going to school there and living there after. It's my favorite city, although it might be more accurate to call it a big small town. The Riverwalk is fine, but the old neighborhoods, especially the King William District, give San Antonio almost as much of its character as the people...

12 comments:

Darlene said...

The last trip my husband and I took before he got sick was to Texas and San Antonio was my favorite place. I loved the River Walk. We did drive around the area. I don't know whether we made the King William District or not, but it is a very interesting big little town. I would love to return and explore further.

Sylvia K said...

I taught school in San Antonio, then married and lived there until my husband went to Vietnam. Lots of great memories and it's always been a favorite place for me in Texas! Fun post for the day! Hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend, K!

Sylvia

Roy said...

Ah! That brought back some good memories. I was a big Freddy Fender fan and discovered the Texas Tornadoes through him. Great stuff!

tnlib said...

Wowee! Loved all of them. "Sock Hop." When was the last time I heard that? Was in Houston during the 60s and mom was in San Anonio - went over there as much as I could. Would sell my soul to the devil to be able to go for a visit.

nursemyra said...

I would pick Nina over the girl in the red dress any day

Mr. Jones said...

Nothing is more soothing to my soul than the sound of Flaco Jimenez and/or Augie Meyers ... the Texas Tornados were (and still are) a Lone Star treasure. Thanks for this one!

K. said...

Darlene: I'm glad San Antonio is such a nice memory for you. It's a special town. And that's what we always called it: "town" instead of "city."

Sylvia: You can appreciate SA best when you live there.

Roy: Freddie was actually from Corpus Christi. He had dropped out of sight at one point; on The Return of Doug Saldana,Doug Sahm introduces "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" with "This is for you, Freddy, wherever you are!"

tnlib: You mean El Diablo, I think!

NM: I'd agree with you if that wouldn't make me sound like a dirty old man!

Mr. J: My pleasure, and thanks for dropping by and commenting!

Renegade Eye said...

It is an amazing melting pot of music.

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Man, you are seriously homesick.
But we are enjoying the hell outta it!
Thanks youz.

Ima Wizer said...

Just one word, "Olmos Pharmacy"!

K. said...

Ren: You're right; it's a characteristic of Texas music in general to borrow heavily from other forms. Western swing includes heavy amounts of jazz and blues, for example. Other places have had multiple ethnic groups, but the musical influences never melded, at least like they did in Texas.

Editilla: One trip home will do that!

Ima: I used to eat breakfast there on Sundays! Great place -- they never moved you along no matter how many people were waiting.

Sabine said...

I visited SA briefly about 8 years ago and had no idea about its musical heritage. Gives Austin a run for its money!