Texas Tornado: The Times and Music of Doug Sahm

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University of Texas Press, Feb 1, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 216 pages
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Doug Sahm was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist of legendary range and reputation. The first American musician to capitalize on the 1960s British invasion, Sahm vaulted to international fame leading a faux-British band called the Sir Douglas Quintet, whose hits included "She's About a Mover," "The Rains Came," and "Mendocino." He made the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 1968 and 1971 and performed with the Grateful Dead, Dr. John, Willie Nelson, Boz Scaggs, and Bob Dylan.

Texas Tornado is the first biography of this national music legend. Jan Reid traces the whole arc of Sahm's incredibly versatile musical career, as well as the manic energy that drove his sometimes turbulent personal life and loves. Reid follows Sahm from his youth in San Antonio as a prodigy steel guitar player through his breakout success with the Sir Douglas Quintet and his move to California, where, with an inventive take on blues, rock, country, and jazz, he became a star in San Francisco and invented the "cosmic cowboy" vogue. Reid also chronicles Sahm's later return to Texas and to chart success with the Grammy Award–winning Texas Tornados, a rowdy "conjunto rock and roll band" that he modeled on the Beatles and which included Sir Douglas alum Augie Meyers and Tejano icons Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez.

With his exceptional talent and a career that bridged five decades, Doug Sahm was a rock and roll innovator whose influence can only be matched among his fellow Texas musicians by Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Janis Joplin, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Texas Tornado vividly captures the energy and intensity of this musician whose life burned out too soon, but whose music continues to rock.


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User Review  - Bigrider7 - LibraryThing

Texas Tornado was among the most highly anticipated books that I have ever read, because Doug Sahm is my favorite musical recording artist (whose irrepressible musical joy was only matched by his vast ... Read full review


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Two Song and Dance Men
Three Summers of Love
Four The Real Old Texas Me
Five Crossroads
Six Austin after Dark
Seven The CoasttoCoast AllStar Bands
Ten Groovers Paradise
Eleven Country Boogie
Twelve Sometimes I Cry
Thirteen Wanderlust
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Nine Soap Creek

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About the author (2010)

JAN REID is a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly and has contributed to Esquire, GQ, Slate, Men’s Journal, the New York Times, and many other publications. His books include Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, The Bullet Meant for Me, Deerinwater, and Rio Grande.

SHAWN SAHM, who collaborated with Reid on the research and shaping of Texas Tornado, is a professional musician and record producer who spent many years writing and performing with his father, Doug Sahm.

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