JOEY LONG THE TEXAS HOSS
This webpage is dedicated to my late father Joseph Earl Longoria or as most people knew my dad, Joey Long. My father was born in a small town [Zwolle] in the southern part of Louisana in the early 1930's.
My Grandparents worked the cotton fields on someone else's land to provide food and a home for my father, his brothers and one sister.
Not too many people know it, but my father had polio when he was a child. When my grandmother worked in the cotton fields she had to drag my father on a cotton sack behind her because in those days there were no such thing as babysitters. In the short time I had with my father, conversations about his upbringing were few, but the ones I did have, I'll be glad to share. I didn't meet my father until I was fourteen years old and by that time I had already been playing the guitar for two years. It didn't take long to find out that he was very repected. I had many many things I wanted to ask him.
The first was "how did he learn how to play the guitar"? As cliche' as it may sound he told me of a story. There was a black family that lived down the road from where my father and his family lived. Dad told me when he was about ten years old, while playing out in the front yard he could hear music coming from down the road so he went down to see what it was all about. He said it was the first time he had ever heard the blues. There were several old black men playing acoustic guitars, a scrub-board and a washtub string bass. He didn't remember exactly which songs they were playing but he said the music he heard really excited and moved him. Moving on a little bit, my father outgrew his polio. Just to add a little spice to the story, I was told by my father's brother that my grandmother had taken my dad to a traveling faith healer and that the faith healer cured him of his polio. This was also told to me many years later by one of my fathers very good friends. Soon after my father heard the music down the road he started playing the guitar. Since there wasn't much to do in a small town, dad set his sight's on bigger and better things. Dad talked to me about being on the Lousiana Hayride for a little while and seeing lots of Country & Western stars when he was in his late teens. But still it was all about what was going on in the big city so my father traveled to what would be his home Houston Texas. Sometime in the mid to late 1950's my dad met the famed "crazy cajun" record producer Huey.P.Meaux. Huey at the time was the man about town in Houston and up and down the Gulf coast of Texas. Mr Meaux had a eye for spoting talent and it did not take him long to see that my dad was very gifted guitarist. Not only did a very deep friendship begin, but also my fathers recording career began. My father released several recordings under Huey's publishing company. One song that put my dad on the map in Houston called "I'm Glad For Your Sake, So Sorry For Mine". The song was pretty much in the format of what was being heard in the late 50's early 60's style of music.
I would like to take a minutes to name some other great Houston players who were great friends of my dad's at this time in his life. Gene Thomas one of the nicest guy's I ever met and also a very fine singer and songwriter.
Roy Head, Houston's "white boy" version of James Brown and just all around great entertainer.
Link Davis and Link Davis Jr, two of the best musicians of all time and so many more.
In the early 1960's my father traveled all over the United States making a name for himself as a guitar hero. By the mid 60's music was changing and the day's of the "clean cut boy's" with their pressed suits were giving way to granny glasses and mod clothes. The late 60's would give way to a whole lot more insite to what was to come. Dad knew he had to change with the times in order to keep up with the ever changing trends in music. Always the ultimate showman, my father began doing a lot of stage antics that most people had never seen before. He was really impressing his audience with stunts such as playing slide guitar with a beer bottle, playing slide with an ashtray or maybe even a women's shoe, and doing it very well. Although these things might sound cheesy today it was very innovative back in the time. It was probably the first time anyone had ever seen anyone do something like that. I think that was somewhat a calling card for my father. He had a lot of "first acts" like that. He was a very, very gifted guitarist. Basically he just went where nobody had gone before.In Houston, back in the mid to late 60's "Joey Long" was the man to see if you wanted to be truly entertained. He played all the clubs in Houston and surrounding areas and every place he played was a packed house. During this time, if you were out watching my father play, it would not have been uncommon to see Johnny Winters walk through the door or Dr John, or someone of that nature. It was always rumored that a young Billy Gibbons use to check my dad out every chance he got. I guess what I'm trying to say is, my father had many friends in very high places. The 60's soon turned into the 70's and it was around this time I met my father. Actualy I met my father when I was four years old but I don't remember it. I was fourteen when my stepmother picked me up and took me to the club where my dad was playing. Words will never describe what it was like for me that night to see the man who was my daddy playing guitar like I had never seen anybody play the guitar before and would never see anybody ever play like that again. At that time it was not uncommon for my dad to be playing five or six nights a week because he was the man to see. During this time I met and heard some of the most fantastic musicians I have ever seen, still to this day. My father always surrounded himself with very choice players and it definitly showed in his live performances.I would like once again to drop a few names of some of these great players that my father played with during this time. T.A.Parker[bass player], Link Davis Jr[piano-saxaphone], Issac Payton Sweat[bass player], Jimmy Merriman[drums], Brady Plummer[bass player],and Bobby Jett[keyboards-sax]. I know there were so many more players and please forgive me if I didn't mention a name you might know, it's just that these are the people that stand out in my mind. Around 1975 music was in what I called a crossroads state. There was disco, rock music and the drug store cowboy such as Willie and Waylon. If musicians didn't or couldn't change with the times they didn't eat; so it was in this time that I heard my father first play Country & Western music. It was also the first time I met Issac.P Sweat[Ikey). All I can say is that Ikey was a good man and a very good bass player, guitarist and singer\songwriter The Lord took him way too soon from us. He was the perfect "partner in crime" so to speak for my father. They were kinda like frik and frak. They complimented each other so much when they were on stage together. The 70's were good to my father. He played almost non stop the entire decade and the times were kind to him. As I remember it, dad played steady pretty much into the first part of the 1980's but then things began to slow down a bit. The economy kind of busted in the 80's and the days of "sit down" jobs became harder and harder to find. My dad did slow down a little but in comparison to other local musicians he still had more work than most, after all he was Joey Long.
About this time, dad started playing the infamous Cedar Lounge Club in North Houston. Some folks called it the pressure cooker. Again I would like to mention the names of some of the great musicians who were playing with my dad during this time. Jimmy Merriman, Brady Plummer, Robbie Parrish, Jimmy Landry, Claude Wooley, Bobby Jett, Nicky Ocher and so many more. Around this time my father suffered a small stroke that slowed him down a little, but playing t