Cosmic cowboy

Doug Sahm is one of the all-time country-rock songwriters, almost up there with Gram Parsons in my book. He started out as a musical prodigy, performing as "Little Doug Sahm," then went on to lead an unlikely Tex-Mex wing of the British Invasion as head of the Sir Douglas Quintet. On the cover of their 1966 debut album -- misleadingly billed as a "best of" compilation -- they were shot in the shadows to disguise the fact that they didn't really have mop-tops.

"She's About a Mover" was their biggest early hit. It's also on the Nuggets box.

Sir Douglas Quintet - "She's About a Mover"

By the time of 1 + 1 + 1 = 4, they had dropped the Brit facade and were bringing country, rock, Tejano, soul, psych and everything else to the party.

Sir Douglas Quintet - "Catch a Man on the Rise"

The cast of collaborators on 1973's Doug Sahm and Band included Bob Dylan, Dr. John and David "Fathead" Newman, in addition to regulars like Augie Meyer and Flaco Jimenez. Although it wasn't written by Sahm, the great imagery of "(Is Anybody Going To) San Antone" suits him perfectly. "Sleeping under a table in a roadside park / a man could wake up dead / but it sure seemed warmer than it did / sleepin' in my king-size bed."

Doug Sahm and Band - "(Is Anybody Going To) San Antone"

Doug Sahm and Band - "It's Gonna Be Easy"