With his long hair and sideburns, his western attire polished with sunglasses and cowboy hat, and his Texan musical styles, Doug Sahm became one of the most admired artists in music history. Doug Sahm songs such as “Mendocino,” “Crazy, Crazy Feeling,” and “She’s About a Mover” shows how highly knowledgeable and competent a performer he is.
Well, let’s celebrate his illustrious career with these facts about the one and only Doug Sahm.
1. He’s a native of San Antonio, Texas.
Born on November 6, 1941, Doug Sahm started singing at age five. A year later, he was already strumming the steel guitar and made appearances on a radio station in San Antonio, delivering his rendition of Sons of the Pioneers’ “Teardrops in My Heart.” Sahm has since been regarded as a child prodigy on the steel guitar.
2. He was turned down by a music school teacher.
When Sahm’s mother took him to a local music school, the teacher turned him down, saying that he could not teach Sahm to read music. Sahm only played by ear.
3. He performed with some of the biggest stars at a young age.
Sahm was already playing the fiddle and mandolin when he was eight. He then began appearing at a local club, which his uncle co-owned with country artist Charlie Walker. Several more gigs came for Sahm, including appearances with Hank Thompson, Faron Young, and Hank Williams.
4. He was offered a spot at Grand Ole Opry when he was 13.
However, Sahm’s mother declined the offer, wanting him to finish his studies.
5. He organized a band with country singer Augie Meyers.
Sahm met Meyers while purchasing baseball cards at a grocery store owned by Meyer’s mother – and the two quickly became friends. They talked about forming a band, but nothing came out of it, as the two artists played with different groups.
6. He was a dedicated baseball fan.
Sahm actually followed various teams and even visited their training camps through the years. He would often miss rehearsals to watch games. On one occasion, Sahm rejected a tour just so he could watch the World Series.
7. He’s a father of two.
In 1961, Sahm met Violet Morris – an executive secretary at a department store in Montgomery – during a Christmas party. Sahm and Morris fell in love and got hitched two years later. The couple was then blessed with two sons, Shawn and Shandon. Sahm also stood as the father of Morris’ three children from a previous marriage.
8. He was once wrongly accused by authorities of San Antonio.
While visiting a restaurant in San Antonio, Sahm was seized by police officers. They searched him, his car, as well as Sahm’s companions for drugs. His fiddle even got broken during the search. When they did not find anything, the officers handcuffed and beat up Sahm. He was then apprehended for public intoxication. The case was dismissed during the trial, and Sahm tried to sue the city; however, he did not succeed.
At the time, his wife Morris had already been unhappy with their marriage – especially with Sahm’s several affairs. The arrest pushed her to divorce Sahm.
9. He died of a heart attack.
On November 18, 1999, Sahm was found dead in his hotel room in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Truly, Doug Sahm has left a mark on country music that will forever be remembered.