Cody Hubach

Manchaca, Texas

Recorded with Sonobeat in 1969 & 1972
No commercial releases on Sonobeat Records
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It's May 1969 at Sonobeat's Western Hills Drive studio, where Central Texas singer-songwriter Cody Hubach is recording Hooley, a tune that eventually will make him a local legend. Multi-talented Cody not only writes folk and country songs, plays guitar, and performs throughout Central Texas, but he also creates massive metal sculptures that fill his yard. Cody's not just a multi-media artist but also quite a handyman and, as a favor to Bill Sr., welds the huge metal frame for Sonobeat's home-built steel plate reverb. And, to return the favor, Bill Sr. records the aspiring writer/singer, who at the time is just one more struggling local troubadour.

Cody records three original songs with Sonobeat in '69. Cody, who lives just beyond south Austin in the tiny rural community of Manchacha (pronounced "Man-shack" – Sonobeat's founders lived there in the early '60s), writes and sings songs about people, places, things, and emotions he knows personally. Hooley, intended as the "A" side of a Sonobeat single, is a generous and loving tribute to one of Cody's friends in Manchacha. The "B" side is Right Now Rhyme, although the third song, Bringin' That Money Home, is recorded as a possible alternate for the "B" side. The Sonobeat archives don't indicate why the single is never released but one reason may be that during 1969 Sonobeat is focusing on progressive rock bands and feels it can't successfully market another country flavored single (Sonobeat releases its first pure country single, by Ronnie and the West Winds, in 1968, long before Austin's progressive country movement takes root).

But by the early '70s, progressive rock is being displaced by Austin's progressive country movement, and Cody returns in October 1972 to record an eponymous demo album at the Sonobeat Studios on North Lamar in Austin. The album, produced and engineered by Bill Josey Sr., features ten songs, including a cover of the 13th Floor Elevators' Splash 1 and a re-recorded version of Hoolie (spelled differently than the first version Cody records in 1969). By 1972, Sonobeat has switched from more expensive vinyl to inexpensive audiocassette tape to circulate its demo albums; although the Sonobeat archives don't indicate whether Bill Sr. follows his well-established pattern of shopping demos to the major record labels, we expect that he sends Cody's material to at least one or two of them to gauge interest but must have gotten disappointing responses.

While recording with Sonobeat in '69, Cody introduces the Joseys to another south Austin singer/songwriter, Bill Wilson, with whom Sonobeat records a song demo album later in the year. Over the course of his career, Cody will sing many songs written by Wilson, and vice versa. We also find a tape box in the Sonobeat archives marked "Cody and Lonnie". The tape in the box contains dubs of the three tunes Cody has recorded in 1969. We believe, though aren't sure, that "Lonnie" may be Lonnie Wages, who at one time is one of Willie Nelson's roadies based in Austin and who may have accompanied Cody on these three tracks.

Among Cody's post-Sonobeat achievements are many self-released country-folk singles and albums, guest appearances on the albums of other influential Central Texas country artists including Willie Nelson, regular performances at honky tonks and clubs throughout Central Texas, and an appearance as himself in Willie Nelson's 1980 feature film, Honeysuckle Rose. Austin Mayor Gus Garcia proclaims October 24, 2002, "Cody Hubach Day" in recognition of Cody's efforts to establish Austin as the Live Music Capital of the World. In February 2003, Cody succumbs to cancer, leaving a legacy of songs written and sung from his heart. His friend Bill Wilson writes Ballad of Cody in tribute.

Cody Hubach personnel

Cody Hubach: guitar, mandolin, and vocals
Uncredited musician: violin
Uncredited musician: banjo
Uncredited musician: rhythm guitar
Uncredited musician: percussion

Unreleased Sonobeat recordings
Angleton Town
Bringin' That Money Home
Cocaine Blues (Walter Satterwait)
Hey Day
Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon)
Hooley (Cody Hubach)
I Shall Be Released
If I Had My Life To Live Over
I've Seen Your Face Before (Splash 1) (Clementine Hall-Roky Erickson)
Living With The Animals (Powell St. John)
Right Now Rhyme (Cody Hubach)
Tiger In The Closet (Hoyt Axton)
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The two Cody Hubach songs from the 1969 sessions that Sonobeat nearly released as a stereo 45 RPM single
Cody's Sonobeat demo album master tape, showing track assignments on the Scully 280 half-inch 4-track tape deck