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Joe Tex

The singer by this name was born on August 8, 1935 (some sources give the year to be 1933) as Joseph Arrington, Jr. in Rogers, Bell County, Texas and went to school in McNair, just outside Baytown. His parents were Joseph Arrington and Cherrie Warren Arrington. He was a high school athlete and played in the band. As a youth, he won a talent contest and was invited to perform in New York City’s Apollo Theater. Early on, he adopted the stage name of Joe Tex.

Image credit: discogs.com

He is likely best known as being a popular rhythm and blues recording and performing artist who had some of his greatest success in the 1960s singing and recording his own songs as well as those of others. His career was similar to that of fellow artist James Brown. The two individuals were were always near or at the top of the charts for many years. In addition to the individual rivalry, there are accounts of a personal clash between the two that became public.

In his prime, Joe Tex was a writer, recording artist and performer of tunes that would become very popular, including “Hold On To What You’ve Got,” “Skinny Legs,” “I Gotcha,” “Show Me A Man That’s Got A Good Woman,” “You Got What It Takes,” “Ain’t Gonna Bump No More” and many others mostly in the rhythm and blues genre. He had an engaging performance style and a wide number of songs that he was known for which kept him popular with fans for many years.

Joe Tex was one of the top artists of his day and any discussion of music during this period should include his name. From 1960 and extending on for almost twenty years, he had around three dozen charted hits on the United States pop and rhythm and blues charts. It was not uncommon to see his name along side other top singers of the period like Brown, Wilson Pickett, Ben E. King and Otis Redding. Redding tragically died in the crash of a private plane on December 10, 1967 and Tex served as a pallbearer at Redding’s funeral held on December 18, 1967 in Macon, Georgia.

Joe Tex was also associated with what was conceived in the mid 1960s as a soul music super group called the Soul Clan organized by Solomon Burke. At various times it included Redding, Arthur Conley, Don Covay, King, Picket and Tex but Redding died early on. The group seems to have dissolved before it made a significant impact on the music scene but they were briefly reunited in 1981 with some of the same personnel for at least one live concert.

He is usually compared and contrasted with James Brown. Their careers paralleled each other in various ways including their popularity, the genres in which they usually performed, their musical and performance styles, and the like. They were both once signed under the same record label, King Records. The conflict between the two supposedly originated in the 1950s and had several elements including mentions of their romantic involvements with the same female, cross claims of one accusing the other of copying his performance styles and/or dance moves, and the like. They sometimes made veiled references to one another in their songs. It is not difficult to find accounts of their disagreements over the years.

In latter years, he became influenced by the Nation of Islam and is said to have converted to Islam at one point. He adopted the name of Yusef (or Joseph) Hazziez, though he continued to perform under his stage name of Joe Tex. It does not appear that he ever changed his legal name. The typewritten name on his death certificate was his birth name. After his conversion to Islam, he stopped performing for a few years in the 1970s, but later resumed his career.

Eventually Arrington’s career wound down and he stopped making public performances. He continued to live in Texas and reside near Navasota, Grimes County. His father had died at the age of 37 in 1950. In 1982, Arrington died at Grimes County Hospital in Navasota at the age of 47 some three days after suffering a heart attack at his home. In some accounts, it is reported that about a week earlier, he had nearly drowned in his pool at his home. The reports continue to say that he was revived, treated at a local hospital and released. Other than this, the circumstances of the near-drowning incident seem to be unpublished. Upon his death, he was survived by his wife Deliliah, two sons and several ancestors. He is interred at Dennis Bryant Cemetery in Navasota, Grimes County, Texas.

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Posted by on September 16, 2021 in black history, entertainers, people named Tex

 

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Bob and Almeady Chisum Jones

Clipping from Denton Record-Chronicle, Wednesday 14 Apr 1949

Almeady “Meady” Chisum Jones was the daughter of Jensie Moore and John Chisum. Jensie was a former slave and lived as the wife of John Chisum in North Texas. Almeady married John Dolford “Bob” Jones in 1874 (some accounts say 1869, but Almeady was born around 1857 and their first child was born in 1875) after they met at a dance in Bonham. The couple had at least ten children.

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Posted by on June 3, 2021 in biography, black history

 

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Ivory Joe Hunter

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ivory Joe Hunter, 63, who wrote between 2,000 and 3,000 country, blues and popular songs, died Friday of lung cancer in a Memphis, hospital. Among his best-known numbers are “My Wish Came True,” “I Need You So,” “Ain’t That Lovin’ You, Baby,” “and “I Almost Lost My Mind.” – The Kane Republican (Kane, Pennsylvania) Sat. Nov 9, 1974.


Ivory Joe Hunter was born to a musical family in 1914 (some accounts say 1911) in Kirbyville, south of Jasper, Texas. There is not much between Kirbyville and the Texas-Louisiana border other than farm land and woods. His father Dave Hunter was a guitar player and laborer and his mother Anna Smith Hunter was a gospel singer and a housewife. In the 1920 federal census, Ivory Joe was one of twelve children. Both of his parents seem to have died while he was young. By the 1930 census, Ivory Joe was living with an older sister Georgia and her family, along with several more of the Hunter siblings in the Port Arthur area where he attended school. Some accounts say that Ivory was a nickname, but as far back as the 1920 census, he was listed with the name Ivory Joe Hunter and his name was given to him by his mother.

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Posted by on February 11, 2021 in biography, black history, entertainers

 

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Don Baylor

Don Edward Baylor was a major league baseball player. He was born in Austin in 1949 to George E. Baylor and Lillian Joyce Brown Baylor, and was one of at least three siblings. His father George had served in the United States Army and then been employed by the Missouri Pacific Railroad out of Austin. Don was at the least a fourth generation Texan with his father, grandfather Carey and great grandfather Amsted all having been born in Texas.

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Posted by on January 21, 2021 in biography, black history

 

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Arthur “Dooley” Wilson

Arthur Wilson was born in Tyler, Smith County, Texas. There is some question about his actual date of birth, but it is often shown as being April 3, 1886 with his mother’s maiden name being Lamkin and his father’s name being Wilson. In some accounts he is shown as being younger, but in the 1900 federal census, he is listed as being fifteen, living south of downtown Tyler with his mother Manda Wilson and brother George. Accounts of his early life often state that by age twelve, Arthur was performing in minstrel shows and that his nickname was adopted in the 1920s from his performances singing an Irish tune “Mr. Dooley.”

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Posted by on October 29, 2020 in biography, black history, entertainers, films

 

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