Friday, 29 December 2017

Liquid Gold, Texas Tea

One of nine children, George Wilbur Husak was born in 1922 to a musical family that lived near the Gulf Coast in Southern Texas.

George played guitar on the local party circuit, and occasionally for local radio. A keen songwriter (one of his earliest composition, Please Surrender, was written in 1946), George set up his own music publishing company, Dwight Music, to handle his songs. At the end of the war he decided to move to San Francisco where he found work as a carpenter and joiner… and it was in that city that he set about recording his compositions.

For George’s Album, our Mr Husak is joined by his older brother Anton (known to the family as Tony), who plays mandolin and handles vocals on a couple of numbers. Both George and Anton were ex-servicemen, with Anton having served in the US Air Force and George having joined the army during WW2. Anton would later write a highly respected book on saltwater fishing. On George’s Album the pair play a mix of original songs and cover versions of hits by Bob Wills, Jimmie Rodgers and others.

It’s not a good record. George cannot sing or play guitar in tune – as his self-penned Call Me On the Telephone proves. Brother Anton (born in 1919) was actually a pretty decent performer, and his miserable Let's Have A Look At The Bottle is a suicide ballad with a (quite literally) killer ending that is crying out to be covered by Nick Cave. Sadly Anton decided to have his younger brother perform Indianola...

One of George’s compositions included on the album, I’m Surfing, was also issued as a 45, presumably to try and cash in on the surf craze. This means that the album must have been issued after June 1965, the month in which I’m Surfing was copyrighted (George also copyrighted another song in June ’65, And Then I’ll Know. I assume that this was the b-side). The single version is a different – and even worse - recording: you can find a version on YouTube that is clipped from a thanksgiving edition of the Dr Dement Show (hence the turkey noises that pop up half way through!). The good Doctor once cited this as the worst record ever made, and I’ve included a link to the clip to allow you to judge for yourselves. It's fellow blogger Bob Purse and the late, lamented Beware of the Blog at Wfmu we have to thank for preserving these audio files (You can download the whole album here).

Married twice (he married Sylvia and became stepfather to four children after the death of his first wife, Louise; sadly George and Louise had two children who both died in infancy), in later life George moved back to Texas and it was there, in September 2007, he passed away - having outlived his brother by 30 years.

Enjoy!


Download Telephone here



Download Bottle here


Download Indianola here


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