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 Tejaño 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!


Blogger Mister E said...

I love that song. I've got it on a CD that Roy Ames (I think that was his name) supplied tapes for out of Japan in the '90s. First time I'd heard the song ... and before I knew Ames had such a reputation as a crook. This confirms for me that the horned up version was the single (I always thought it was best of the versions I'd heard).


8:29 AM  
Blogger Mister E said...

Oops. Need to revise that comment ... seeing the label and the pix took my brain into some kind of journey to "One More Time," the song I was really thinking of. To my ears, that's Roy's other great song ... in at least one of the versions.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I have been trying to find this for the longest time. I couldn't find it on iTunes but through Hype Machine found an old video of Roy doing this song. This is one of those "good old songs" that I forgot about, until it was performed in the film "The Commitments". Thanks again for posting this.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanx again, Red.
I have had this single in one of my boxes without knowing how good it was. By chance I ended up dj'ing a party saturday with my singles and portable record player hooked up to a set of computer speakers and guitar and keyboard amps (after giving a sort concert)- Somehow it worked out - and became a completely different set than I had expected if it had been a hifi cd/ipod set.
Treat her right got a double spin and raised the arms of the dancers.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had the pleasure of seeing the one and the only and the most amazing Roy Head perform a couple of weeks ago at Budget Rock Seven in Oakland. He's slowed down a bit from his prime, but man oh man, he rocked it! Thanks for posting this and for reminding people what rock and roll is really all about!

8:16 AM  
Anonymous jim downtown said...

hello from France

I was thinking it was a "Nine below Zero" band compo...

an amazing single!

my english is so poor I can't explain all my mind, but in one word: bravo!

(et continue comme ça!)

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Renee said...

I've never actually heard this song before, this one I heard by listening to the "Solid Gold Oldies" on the music channel on tv and was blown away! I absolutely love it!!!

R from Warrenton, VA

12:51 PM  
Anonymous mugwort said...

"Treat Her Right" Two minutes of pulsating energy. That comment refers to the song and Head's performance. Love those sax riffs.
Hey, hey, hey indeed!!!
Anonymous: Happy Roy's still got it.

7:10 PM  

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