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Doug Sahm The Subject Of Forthcoming Documentary

Rolling Stone Magazine

Every now and then history lets someone really important fall through the cracks. At one time San Antonio had a major mover in popular music. Writer and historian Joe Nick Patoski says Doug Sahm is a great example.

"He was a child prodigy, he was playing on KMAC radio at the age of six in San Antonio. He appeared on the Louisiana Hayride, he recorded for Sarge Records in the early fifties."

Sahm was known for the 1960s group Sir Douglas Quintet, and later, of the Texas Tornados. Sahm’s a whole lot bigger a deal than San Antonio realizes.

"Of all the people I’ve run across, in my 40-plus year history of writing about Texas, Doug is the most interesting, the most evocative, most representative character ever. No one tells the story of Texas music like he does," says Patoski.

This from the guy who wrote books on Willie Nelson, Selena and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Patoski grappled with trying to make larger-than-life Sahm jump off the pages of a book, but realized Sahm deserved something else.

"This story needs to be told. [But] it needs to be told in a way where you can hear Doug talk, and you can hear his music," Patoski explains.

So writer Patoski has become a documentarian. At 4 p.m. this Sunday at the South Texas Popular Culture Center, Patoski will show a five-minute segment from the film he’s producing. Music critic Jim Beal, Jr. will moderate a panel with Augie Meyers, Flaco Jimenez, Sahm’s son Shawn, and Patoski. The stories will flow, and Patoski has hundreds of them.

"San Antonio does not get its recognition as being this incredibly influential place for music, and really defining the culture of Texas," Patoski says.

That may be due for a change, and the South Texas Popular Culture Center event may be a start. Patoski recommends that if you're coming, you should come early. He expects large crowds.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii