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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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Oveta Culp Hobby

The name Oveta Culp Hobby is probably somewhat familiar to Texans, whether or not they may know who she actually was. She was born Oveta Hoover Culp on January 19, 1905 in Killeen, Bell County, Texas to Isaac William Culp (1870-1934) and the former Emma Elizabeth Hoover (1881-1959). Isaac was born in Coryell County to John Robinson Culp and the former Mary A. Dole. John Robinson Culp’s parents were Josiah C. Culp, Jr. (1819-1879) and Rachel Eaton. Less is probably known about Josiah than his son John Robinson Culp or grandson Isaac William Culp, but Josiah is believed to have come to Texas from the southeast prior to the Civil War and served for some period in the Confederate Army, possibly the entire time in the Frontier Brigade, in Texas having enlisted in Gatesville.

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Posted by on September 9, 2021 in biography, texas women, world war 2

 

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Movie Cowboys’ Texas Ties: Some are True, Some are False

Film studios were known for occasionally exaggerating the resumes of their stars back in the early days. One example was the film resume of singing cowboy actor Ken Maynard. His biography said he was born in Mission, Texas when in reality he was born in Vevay, Indiana. It could have either been an inadvertent miscommunication or an intentional statement to give him more of a “Texas” connection, but Maynard (1895-1973) had a long film career, appearing as a western actor in about 90 productions. One biographical paragraph says that Maynard learned to ride horses and rope in Texas when he was a boy, but it is not clear whether the family lived within the state, or if they did, for how long. Maynard is believed to have worked with circus or wild west shows before becoming and served in the Army in World War I. The rest of his resume may well have been factual.

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Posted by on August 19, 2021 in entertainers

 

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Anne Gwynne

The actress known as Anne Gwynne was born Marguerite Gwynne Trice in Waco, McLennan County, Texas on December 18, 1918. Her parents were Jefferson Benjamin Trice and Pearle Guinn Trice. Her father was in a number of businesses, but seems to have worked as a traveling salesman from time to time. They lived at 1308 N. 15th Street in Waco, just outside of the downtown business district.

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Posted by on August 5, 2021 in biography, entertainers

 

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Eliza Allen Houston Douglass

Elizabeth Ann Allen was the first wife of Sam Houston. Quite a bit younger than Houston, she was born in 1809 to John and Laetitia Saunders Allen in Tennessee. The Allens were a wealthy family of the Gallatin area. Houston was born in 1793, so he was some 16 years older than Eliza when they married in 1829. Some accounts will give her age to be sixteen but according to genealogical sources, she was about twenty. Although they were only married about eleven weeks, the reason for their separation and eventual divorce has been the subject of speculation ever since.

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Posted by on July 22, 2021 in biography, sam houston

 

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