Monday, May 14, 2007

Roy Head and the Traits - Treat Her Right (Back Beat 546)

Treat Her Right

This song just kills me. Two minutes and five seconds of in your face Texas swagger that just doesn't let up. How cool is Roy Head, man?

When this record was released in 1965, Roy and his band The Traits had already been a fixture on the southern 'fraternity circuit' for almost ten years. They had some hot local records down there in TejaƱo country, but this is the one that busted things wide open. Huey Meaux had paved the way when he managed to maneuver the Sir Douglas Quintet into the #13 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 that April with She's About A Mover (no mean feat considering this was at the height of the 'British Invasion').

Roy and the Traits did even better, steamrolling their way to the #2 slot on both the Pop and R&B charts that September. Treat Her Right would spend two weeks at that position - bested only by The Beatles (Help!) and James Brown (Papa's Got A Brand New Bag)! Not bad. Roy would hit the Hot 100 six more times in the sixties, then go on to cut the cult classic The Same People You Meet Going Up You Meet Coming Down in 1970 before charting 24 more times on the Country charts through the mid-eighties.

His set with Lil' Buck and the Topcats at this year's Ponderosa Stomp was simply amazing, with the 64 year old Roy showing no signs of slowing down. His legendary on-stage acrobatics (crawling across the floor on his belly at one point) just wowed the crowd, and his soulful growl sounded better than ever. The man is an absolute trip, and a true character whose sense of humor shines on through his music.

He's a lot of fun to watch!