August 23, 2010

Monday Music

The little town of Oak Grove, Louisiana was probably happy when local troublemaker Tony Joe left town. As a youngster Tony Joe started picking up a few guitar licks by listening to some of the local blues and country artists, combining that with the traditional a Cajun music native to Louisiana.

He formed his first band while still in his teens, and it wasn’t long before Tony Joe started playing at school dances, and later in the roadhouses of Louisiana and Texas. That band, Tony White and his Combo, became very popular and once played for an uninterrupted eight-month stand at a club in Kingsville, Texas.

That was in 1964. Later the band evolved, and was renamed Tony Joe And The Mojos, and still later Tony's Twilights. Over the next several years Tony Joe worked small beer joints across the South before giving up the band and starting a solo career, singing mostly his own compositions. In 1969, he was one of the performers at the Texas International Pop Festival. It was there that he first performed for the public what would become possibly his most popular composition.

Tony Joe White wrote the song, but it was made popular by another, somewhat more famous artist of the time.

The song has been covered by many musicians since Tony Joe debuted it in 1969. Here it is performed rather well by another band previously featured in this space… Los Lonely Boys.

Then there was the Blues Brothers version…

…and even late night stand-ups get into the act.

Tony Joe White has had a long-running career, both performing and songwriting. He has hundreds of tunes to his credit, many performed by legendary musicians, and he has produced 29 albums with number 30 due to be released in September 2010.

Unfortunately there seem to be no videos available of Tony Joe playing at the Texas International Pop Festival.

What a shame, since that event was Tony Joe’s turning point.


EMSNetwork said...

Nice music article! No idea so many had sung this song.


Old Weird Libra said...

Annie's mama reminds me of another celebrated mother: "I was drunk the night my mom got out of prison . . ." I wonder if the granny was Annie's maternal grandmother or not. Concentrating on a composition rather a composer makes an interesting variation.