The beginning of the Austin music scene
(Re)discover the roots of Austin music
Celebrating James Polk and the Brothers
Dr. James Polk plays jazz. With a passion. The Austin Jazz Society's Hall of Famer, keyboardist extraordinare, and bona fide Austin music legend has spent most of his adult life performing joyous music throughout the U.S. Born in Yoakum, Texas, but making Austin his home since 1959, Sonobeat Records releases a funky single by his '60s band, James Polk and the Brothers (plus some sisters), in 1969.
Celebrating Wali and the Afro-Caravan
Originally from the Bronx, Wali Rahman does his military service at Austin's Bergstrom Air Force Base in the late '60s. During his off-duty hours, wali brings together a band of fellow Black airmen who pioneer Afro-jazz in Austin's thriving '60s club scene. Sonobeat releases a single in 1968 and album in 1970 by Wali and the Afro-Caravan that to this day are considered percussion-driven Afro-jazz classics.
Celebrating Jean Manor
Lesser known today than deserved, Austin blues-rock pioneer Jean Manor begins playing Austin's nascent nightclub scene in 1959, forming Jean and the Rollettes. An accomplished, self-taught rhythm and blues guitarist, Jean continues to perform until around 1990. Sonobeat records a Jean Manor original, Sorry 'Bout That Shuffle, circa 1970, that shows off Jean's wicked blues guitar licks and top notch band.
Celebrating Geneva and Her Gentlemen
Smooth jazz makes Geneva and Her Gentlemen among the most popular acts in Austin, Texas, during the 1960s and '70s. House band at Austin's tony Club Seville at the Sheraton Crest Hotel (now The LINE Austin), in 1969 Sonobeat is fortunate to record five tracks showcasing the trio's musical talents. We lose band headliner Geneva Rawlins in June 2020 but will forever celebrate her life in music.
Celebrating The Royal Light Singers
The Royal Light Singers, one of America's most enduring gospel groups, records two singles for Sonobeat in 1971, one commercially released and one a custom issue for sale exclusively at the group's performances. Dating from 1946, today the Austin-based group is called The Sensational Royal Lights and performs a repertoire of classic and original Christian songs throughout Texas.
Rediscovering Bill Miller Group (Cold Sun)
Austin, Texas, has a singular history as one of the birthplaces (if not the birthplace) of psychedelic rock music. Not long after the 13th Floor Elevators introduces the electric jug in 1965, Bill Miller introduces the electric autoharp, played in a technique (like the electric jug) certainly not intended by the instrument's inventor. Time to take a trip back to visit The Bill Miller Group...