Column #16 - published November 5, 1998
GROOVEY JOE POOVEY: Reminiscing
I hope this is gonna be the last of my columns with the word "reminiscing" in its title.
It was almost 30 years ago, in 1970, when I bought a Collector LP titled "Ten Long Fingers", after the outrageous Southern rocker by Groovey Joe Poovey.
The more I listened to this greasy Deep South anthem, the more I promised myself that one day I would meet Joe and hopefully release some of his stompin' sounds.
So in 1974 I made the trek to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to meet not only Groovey Joe Poovey, but also many of the other Texas Rock'n'Roll legends such as Johnny Carroll, Sid King, Gene Summers, Ray Sharpe, Darrell Felts (any relation to Narvel?) and Alvis Wayne, in San Antonio.
I was recording Johnny Carroll singing my song, "Gene Vincent Rock", at Quadrasonic Sound where Johnny was in charge of A&R, when Groovey Joe Poovey and Jim Shell walked in.
In the 1950s Jim Shell recorded many classic Texas Rockers such as Bob Luman, Mac Curtis, Bob Edwards, Diana Wisdom and of course Joe Poovey. He also wrote many of their songs and managed their careers.
Groovey Joe Poovey wore skintight cowboy-cut blue jeans, a flashy form-fitting Western shirt so tight that all the snaps were about to pop. Cowboy hat and pointy 1950s style cowboy boots finished off the outfit. It was a contrasting sight: the small Jim Shell in a conservative business suit and tie, juxtaposed to the very tall Poovey all decked up in flashy Western Wear!!
Regardless on how they looked both men were extremely friendly and enthusiastic, and they thoroughly reinforced my opinion of Texas being the friendliest place in the world.
I licensed 5 unissued Poovey tracks which Jim Shell recorded in the 1950s, and we made plans that someday Joe would come and record at Rollin' Rock. Unfortunately this never materialized due to lack of funds.
Over the years I kept in touch with Poovey, then maybe we didnt talk for 5-7 years, when one day I read on the Internet Rockabilly Mailing List that Poovey is hospitalized due to heart trouble. So I call him just about when he was ready to be released from the hospital. He was in excellent spirits and I was convinced that sooner or later we would see him in concert at Viva Las Vegas.
And finally the long-delayed LP, now call it CD, of Groovey Joe Poovey at Rollin' Rock, would finally, finaaaaaally, materialize.
The funds are now available. After 24 years.
Well Joe is not available. Not anymore.
Another great American Rock'n'Roll Legend has left us, way too early, way too early.
GROOVEY JOE POOVEY, we will miss you, but your savage sensual Texas Bop will always keep your spirit alive in our heart and soul.