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Kinky Friedman

May 1 • Southgate House

By Brian Baker · April 25th, 2011 · Sound Advice

It has been said about outlandishly larger-than-life characters that if they didn’t exist, someone would have to invent them. Texas singer/songwriter/author/raconteur/politician/animal activist/cigar aficionado Kinky Friedman finds himself at the crux of a fascinating paradox: If he didn’t exist, his exploits are so incredible that only he could imagine someone as improbable as himself. And he has done just that on more than a few occasions.

Born in Chicago and raised in the Lone Star State, Friedman’s musical career began with a college band at the University of Texas but he came to tarnished prominence with his formation of the Texas Jewboys in 1971. Friedman’s 1973 debut, Sold American, received some late-night FM airplay, capitalizing on rising interest in Country Rock.

Only Friedman’s eponymous sophomore album in 1974 actually registered on Billboard’s album chart. Many of his songs were generally deemed unsuitable for radio, including “Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed,” “They Don’t Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore,” “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to You,” “Ride ’Em Jewboy” and his version of Chinga Chavin’s “Asshole from El Paso.” Some of Friedman’s personal highlights include his claim of being the first full-blooded Jew to play the Grand Ole Opry and the certifiable fact that his taping of an Austin City Limits concert in the ’70s remains the only episode in the show’s history to ever go unaired.

After scaling back his music career, Friedman focused on writing, the bulk of his nearly 30 books built around a fictional detective based on himself (although he has written a number of nonfiction books, including his latest, What Would Kinky Do? How to Unscrew a Screwed Up World). Friedman founded an animal rescue organization, markets his own brand of cigars and ran for governor of Texas five years ago, coming in fourth out of a field of six. The news that he’s back to making music is as welcome as six matching lottery numbers; they don’t make Jews like Jesus or Kinky Friedman anymore.

KINKY FRIEDMAN plays the Southgate House Sunday. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.



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