TEX MEX

Buddy Holly and Buddy Knox shared a common bond as both were born in Texas
and recorded their million dollar chart toppers of 1957 in New Mexico. Tex-Mex
referred to the ‘rock n roll’ of such artists as the above. It had nothing to do with
Mexican music. The reference refers to Texas and New Mexico, the state, not
country.
The cheerful easy gong Buddy Knox interestingly was born on a wheat farm in
Happy, Texas, and educated at State College, Dumas, where he met Jimmy Bowen
and Dan Lanier. The tio formed the group the Rhythm Orchids in 1955 and played
mostly socials, schools, and small nightclubs.
Know was brought up on a menu of Hank Williams and Eddy Arnold and the trio
continued along this musical path until drummer Don Mills joined and introduced
the boys to rockabilly. When he left the boys set off to the Norm Petty’s small
recording studio in Clovis, New Mexico; recording Party Doll, a Buddy Knox written
song, backed with a Knox-Bowen number ‘I’m Stickin with You’ with Bowen on vocals.
In Dumas 500 copies were given out, then another 2500 discs pressed on the
Triple D Label.
Lanier’s sister, a model in New York sent a copy to music publisher Phil Kahl who
immediately with his partner Morris Levy brought the master, formed a brand new
independent Label to market both songs on a national basis. ‘I’m Stickin with You’
reached the top 20 whilst ‘Party Doll’ proved a best seller for 23 weeks.
When recording the trio often used members of Buddy Holly’s group the Crickets.
Joe Mauldin would often play Bass with Jerry Allison’s drumming propelling the
songs “Swingin Daddy’ and ‘I Think I’m Gonna Kill Myself’ (the last one being
banned in quite a few states). Knox would play rhythm whilst Buddy Holly also
played on ‘All For You.’
Knox recorded 25 titles for the Roulette Label and it is
written that although Buddy Holly’s influence has seemed more important, than
Buddy Knox, Knox did enjoy as many hits during Holly’s life time.

Footnote: Bowen went on to be a producer in Nashville and produced albums for
Glen Campbell and Kenny Rogers, also movie soundtracks such as the
1980 Smokey and the Bandit. He also produced music for the 1971 movie
Vanishing Point.