Guitar Man

"I'm the one who introduced guitar boogie-woogie in this country, with a song I called 'Gatemouth Boogie.' It was a big hit."

Wanting to play music is in my blood. My dad was a musician who played nothing but Cajun, country, and bluegrass. He was an accomplished performer—not recording-wise, not famous-wise, but he could play. When I was young, I would sit in with him on an old guitar, banging with him, trying to learn how to play. He didn’t teach me; he just played, and when I hit a chord that sounded like his, I’d keep going. I had fun with it.

I started playing the guitar when I was five years old. I was ten when I started playing the fiddle. I picked that up on my own too. In Orange, where I grew up, my dad played at different house parties on the weekends, to release tension from work. He worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad for about 25 years. Orange was a very small town, and everybody knew everybody. Me and the white kids used to get together with all the other musicians and play. My family invited everybody over to our house. My mom would move all the furniture out of the living room, and that’s where we’d dance all night. She would cook,

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...