While Doug Sahm didn’t become the country star many people felt he should have been, he had a pretty great career and is considered today as one of the most significant American artists of Tex-Mex. Dough Sahm songs epitomized the complex traditions of Texas music in a way that any artist never could.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Sahm started making Texas music at a very early age. His steel guitar talent touted him as a child prodigy who played with some of the biggest country acts at the time, such as Hank Thompson and Webb Pierce. He even appeared onstage with Hank Williams when he was only eight.
Sahm then grew up as a rock and roller through and through. Today, we’re going to look back at some of Doug Sahm’s best hits. Keep on scrolling below to find out.
1. Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone
While Doug Sahm wasn’t the first one to record “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” as it was originally released by country legend Charley Pride in 1970, it is a song that he became widely identified with. The heartbreak tune tells the story of a man looking for a warm and dry place to settle after a terrible breakup.
What makes it even more interesting is that it was named after Sahm’s hometown, perhaps the reason why it resonated with him.
Isn’t it wonderful to finally find someone just like you? Sahm found himself in the shoes of a man who remained on the sidelines at a party and was quite happy by himself – until he met his fellow wallflower. He knew right then and there that he should never let her go.
The song was written and recorded by Bob Dylan in 1971; however, it was never released until almost two decades later. In 1972, Sahm recorded his version of “Wallflower,” with Dylan singing the backing vocal. It has since been covered by many artists – this includes Diana Krall, Uncle Earl, and David Bromberg.
3. It’s Gonna Be Easy
Sahm delivers an easy groove as he chooses to believe in his own lies rather than admit to himself that she didn’t love him. The song was written by Atwood Allen, who had a modest musical footprint with a handful of credits to this name.
4. Texas Tornado
“Texas Tornado” was released as a follow-up to the success of his debut solo album, in which he showcased how good a writer, composer, and vocalist he is.
Well, Texas has some of the deadliest tornadoes in history, and Sahm came to warn everyone what’s about to come down from the sky. “Texas tornado, the Lords gonna see us through. Texas tornado, be careful it don’t get you,” he sings.
Sahm wrote “Mendocino” and was inspired by a small vacation town on the coast of California – about 250 miles away from his home at the time. He recorded the song as Sir Douglas Quintet, which was a California hippie band despite its Tex-Mex sound.
While the song got the band back on the chart, it became their last substantial hit.
6. She’s About a Mover
Sir Douglas Quintet was playing at a bar in San Antonio, Texas, when a gorgeous woman started dancing in front of the stage. Sahm then told his bandmates, “She’s a body mover, isn’t she?” which inspired the song. However, the phrase was deemed too racy for airplay, so they decided to change it to “She’s About a Mover.”
It became a breakout hit for the band, reaching No. 15 on Billboard’s UK Singles Chart, and was named the No. 1 Texas song by Texas Monthly.
7. Groover’s Paradise
By the early 1970s, the musical scene of Austin began to soar, and “Groover’s Paradise” became a hit in the city upon its release. The album was also highly praised, with critics describing Sahm as a “master whose core simplicity is completely unassailable.”
8. Ain’t Into Lettin’ You Go
From: Hell Of A Spell (1980)
While Sahm’s sales and live performances decreased in the late 1970s, he proved he was still the reigning master of the Texas Blues style with “Ain’t Into Lettin’ You Go.” The song was actually one of the eight tracks Sahm wrote for his album Hell Of A Spell.
Some More Doug Sahm Songs That Show He’s More Hippie Than Outlaw
Doug Sahm’s career spanned over four decades and encompassed a variety of musical styles, which he showcased in his songs. Here are some of Sahm’s best hits.
So, which among these Doug Sahm songs is your favorite?