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Brainstory - Digging SA

A partnership with TPR Music and Friends of Sound Records, Digging SA uncovers sonic gems recorded in San Antonio - connecting our audience to the music and the history of local musicians. Digging SA is supported by The Espee.

Brainstory, a jazzy soul trio from California’s Inland Empire, came by Friends of Sound to hear some deep soul cuts from three groups with ties to the east and west sides of San Antonio.

Their roots in jazz and Chicano soul music connect to the crooner-style vocals of some local groups from the 1960s.

The first track we shared was Sad Little Boy by The Three Dudes, formed by Charles Russell, Lawrence Alexander, and Reginald Whitaker at Sam Houston High School on the east side of San Antonio, TX, in 1966.

In 1967, The Three Dudes recorded their first single on Satin Records, owned by Joe Anthony, E.J Henke, and Henry Carr. The single was I’m Beggin’ You b/w Sad Little Boy.

After releasing their first single, Abie Epstein of Cobra Records invited the group to perform backing vocals for the Commands’ new single Chain Gang (Sam Cooke) b/w Must Be Alright in 1968.

The group was backed by San Antonio funk outfit Mickey & the Soul Generation.

The next track, My Heart Is Broken by The Four Dudes. The Four Dudes were an evolution of The Three Dudes when the group added singer Kenneth Ball in 1968.

The group decided to move to Houston and record a single on Savid-J which was a play on the label owner's name James Davis.

They recorded Hurt Took the High Road b/w My Heart is Broken in 1969. The group was backed by a local funk band called The Heavy Accents.

The final track we shared was by a group called The Volumes. They were formed by childhood best friends and cousins Robert Williams and Ronnie Wallace when the two attended Poe Middle School in San Antonio, TX in 1964.

While attending Brackenridge High School, Robert and Ronnie added Vernon Shannon and identical twins James and Joseph Garnett to the group and entered the Brackenridge High School talent show.

The group recorded I’m Gonna Miss You b/w Never Been So in Love for Hector Valdez’s label, Garu. During this session, they were backed by a local group called The Royal Revue. The single was engineered and produced by Soul & Tejano legend Manny Guerra.

The group disbanded when the father of the Garnett twins didn’t allow them to tour in California.

Producers - Roberto Adrian Martinez and Rae D. Cabello

Director and Editor - Jacob Glombowski

Sound Engineer - Alfie De La Garza

Videographers - Miranda McCardle and Jacob Glombowski

Special thanks to Friends of Sound Records San Antonio, Big Crown Records, and Ray Limon.

Roberto "Rob" Martinez is a Texas Public Radio writer and contributor. He produces TPR Music's Digging SA and host of the Lonesome Lounge Sessions.