Who was/is Tex Harper ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Tex Harper

alias Rudy Preston and Harry Head

The hero of this album of rocking music is a young man named Freddie Harper who, quite literally, ran away with the circus. Actually, with Tommy Scott's Medicine Show, the last of the original tent shows, groups of performers who criss-crossed rural America performing under canvas, or in school houses, or anyplace they could display their array of talents and tum a dollar in exchange for entertainment and patent medicines. The key was variety and novelty — music, comedy, circus acts, current fads. So when rock 'n' roll first emerged, country singer Freddie Harper became 'Tex' Harper singing the latest 'cat music' as a kind of bearded lady sideshow for the younger crowd. Than he was re-named Rudy Preston, imitating Elvis Presley in name as well as style. Finally he performed as Harry Head. For a dozen years, he was the lead singer and multi-instrumentalist with Scott's show.

Our man's birth was registered on 17 August 1936 as Freddie Jean Harper, in Jacksonville, Cherokee County, Texas. His father was 31 year old Charlie Childress Harper from Angelina, Texas and his mother was Nancy Lorene Repp, usually known as 'Flossie,' born in Oklahoma. She was 21 when Freddie arrived to join his four year old brother Oscar and his two year old sister Opal. Freddie attended Jacksonville High School where he was pictured in the school's Yearbook, 'The Indian,' during eighth grade, looking just that little bit different, more knowing, rebellious maybe, than the other kids. Freddie's early interest in music was fuelled when his sister Opal met and married an older local man, James Byron Paris.

He was a songwriting associate of the pioneering honky tank singer Al Dexter, also from Jacksonville, who had recently had a big hit with Pistol Packin' Mama which Paris may or may not have written. Paris wrote many other honky tank and popular songs and Freddie later said, "back when 1 was a kid my musical influences had nothing to do with other singers, but with my brother-in-law, J. B. Paris, who was a big influence on me learning to play and write music. East Texas was always a hot bed of entertainment. All of the 'Louisiana Hayride' shows that would come through town would come to the Tomato Bowl, our football stadium. 1 would always get out there and sell cold drinks. One of my best customers was singer T. Texas Tyler. All the other kids knew I sang, and they would say, 'Hey Freddie, get up and sing one'. Finally, when I was sixteen or seventeen, Tyler asked me if I would come on his show. 1 did a take-off on him doing Remember Me. He nicknamed me 'Tex' that night." Freddie also listened to the Grand Ole Opry radio show and kept up with the exploits of musicians like Stringbean, remembering, "when the Tommy Scott Show came through they had Stringbean [with them]."

Freddie went to see the Tommy Scott show one day in 1954. By now he was 18 and out of school, looking for something to do with his life. His parents had divorced, and his mother married Curtis Austin from Fort Worth, now in Jacksonville. Freddie didn't see a lot to keep him home, and said he asked Scott, "what does it take to get in this business? Tommy found out I was a singer and he got to talking with me. He started telling me it takes a lot of work, Got to listen to whoever is telling you what to do. So, Tommy Scott talked to my mother and my stepdad.

I wound up on the Scott travelling show, and 1 jumped on the train the first part of the year and stayed for twelve years." The music paper 'Billboard' confirmed in April 1955: "Tommy Scott, currently touring Arizona with his road show, is featuring a new singer in the person of Freddy[sic] Harper, of Jacksonville, Texas."

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Dig Me Little Mama (LP, 10inch)
Tex Harper aka Rudy Preston aka Harry Head: Dig Me Little Mama (LP, 10inch) Art-Nr.: BAF14006

Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays

Tex Harper alias Rudy Preston and Harry Head 10'' Vinyl in gatefold sleeve 1-LP (10”), total number of tracks: 12. Total playing time 26:35 minutes. ‘’The ‘Cat Music’ within this album is the nucleus of rockabilly and features: Tex...