Texas Tornados: Hey Baby Que Paso

THE TEXAS TORNADOS was a sort of early super-group: Freddy Fender; Flaco Jimenez (the "Father of Conjunto Music"); Augie Meyer, who's Vox Continental Organ was a defining sound of the Sir Douglas Quintet; and Augie's SDQ bandmate Doug Sahm, the late "King of San Antonio Music."

I remember the day Doug described Cohunto Music to me. When he got excited Mr Sahm would get right in your face and talk really fast, "Man Cojunto is German and Norteno Mexican fusion music of Texas mixed with Rock and Country...you're going to love it Donnie, everyone who hears us does."

I must admit to a bit of nervousness in the Club he took me to, dark and reeking of generations of spilled beer and a mostly Mexican crowd glaring at me. "Don't worry baby you're with us, just don't talk to anybody." Since I didn't speak much Spanish, "Uno Fria Cerveza," there was not much chance of my having a conversation...so I stood at the side of the stage and watched and listened.

As usual Doug was right, the music was infectious, it rocked and the crowd loved it. The Texas Tornados would go on to tour the world including shows at Bill Clinton's Inauguration and the Montreux Jazz Festival where they absolutely killed. But some of their best shows were on their home turf in South Texas including this video shot at Greune Hall in Greune, Texas (pronounced Green) in 1992 by Visual Artist Frank Bonilla.

A quick aside: Greune Hall is literally treated like a Cathedral in Texas, although it's a house of worship with a beer license, and one of the great places in America to see live music. The Hall was built in 1878 and is Texas’ oldest continually operating and most famous dance hall.

A couple of years ago my wife and I and our friends Gregg and Lynda made the pilgrimage to Greune to see the legendary Ray Benson and his great country swing band, Asleep At The Wheel, it was one of the most fun nights ever. So here are Doug, Flaco, Augie and Freddy playing, HEY BABY QUE PASO with a bit of a blurry video and great audio in 1992. @therealdonrocks

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