ONE FOR THE BOOKS – SUGARHILL STUDIOS CELEBRATES PUBLICATION
HOUSE OF HITS: THE STORY OF HOUSTON’S GOLD STAR/SUGARHILL STUDIOS
New book available from University of Texas Press, launch events scheduled April 2010
(HOUSTON, TX) 3.10.10 – The legacy of SugarHill Recording Studios is now documented for posterity with the release of the book, House of Hits: The Story of Houston’s Gold Star/SugarHill Recording Studios. House of Hits chronicles the past 69 years of ‘music making history’ at the legendary facility. The book was written by chief engineer Andy Bradley along with acclaimed music historian Roger Wood, and is already being sold in local stores including Sig’s Lagoon and Cactus Music.
Readers get a “behind the console” view, starting with the humble beginnings of founder, Bill Quinn in 1941 WWII Houston. Quinn–a recording engineer who pre-dated the home recording studio phenomenon by some 65 years–started a one-room operation that has survived to become the multi-studio facility that exists today. The book chronicles the growth and changes in the recording industry spanning seven decades of Texas music history.
Over the years the location has been known as Gold Star Studios and International Artists. In the 1970’s it purchased by hit producer Huey Meaux and renamed SugarHill Recording Studios. SugarHill became Meaux’s home base for his Crazy Cajun Music label where careers of Texas legends Freddy Fender, Doug Sahm and many more were launched.
SugarHill’s roster boasts luminary artists including Lightnin’ Hopkins, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Junior Parker, Clifton Chenier, Sir Douglas Quintet, 13th Floor Elevators, Freddy Fender, Kinky Friedman, Ray Benson, Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams, Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child.
Bradley, an employee since 1985 and current partner of SugarHill, took on the project as a labor of love and began his narrative at the urging of a friend, Sig’s Lagoon owner Thomas Escalante. Over the last decade, Bradley tracked down and recorded the personal accounts of over 100 recording artists, engineers, employees, label owners and music industry professionals to stitch together a comprehensive timeline of events at the famed studios.
In 2007, Roger Wood–the author of two award-winning books, Down In Houston: Bayou City Blues and Texas Zydeco–agreed to collaborate with Andy to transform the raw material into a book prospectus and eventually a complete manuscript. The duo contracted with Wood’s previous publisher, the University of Texas Press, to complete the project by the end of 2009. Wood notes, “Andy’s extensive research, combined with his firsthand knowledge of the recording business, laid the foundation for a narrative that I soon realized was epic in scope–covering seven decades, hundreds of musicians and studio insiders, and practically every imaginable genre of postwar American popular music.” Bradley added, “When I first heard they were going to publish the book I was exhilarated, but quickly realized that there was something more important than simply becoming a published author. He would have to become an historian as well: “I expect that House of Hits will serve to correct the many wrong perceptions of Houston and that people will begin to understand how important it is and has been to the livelihood of the Gulf Coast music scene. Moreover, the stories of so many wonderful artists who shared their talents have finally been told.”
A two day book-signing event and concert are planned in Houston on Saturday, April 10 & Sunday, April 11, 2010 at local record store, Sig’s Lagoon, 3710 Main Street, and The Continental Club, 3700 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002. The concert will feature live performances by John Evans, The El Orbits, Allen Oldies’ Band, Umbrella Man and will include special appearances by Roy Head, Kenny Cordray, Paul English, Tommie Lee Bradley and more. The concert is free and donations will be accepted to benefit the Musicians’ Benevolent Society.
WHAT: SugarHill Recording Studios book signing and benefit concert
WHEN: Saturday, April 10, 2010 at Sig’s Lagoon 2 – 5p.m., 3710 Main Street, and Sunday, April 11, 2010 at The Continental Club 3 – 7p.m., 3700 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002
Tags: 13th Floor Elevators andy bradley Beyoncé Bobby “Blue” Bland Book Clifton Chenier Destiny’s Child. Freddy Fender George Jones gold star studios Guy Clark House of Hits Junior Parker Kinky Friedman Lightnin’ Hopkins Lucinda Williams Ray Benson Roger Wood Sir Douglas Quintet sugarhill recording studios University of Houston Press Willie Nelson