Cody Hubach

Manchaca, Texas

Records with Sonobeat in 1969 & 1972
No commercial releases on Sonobeat Records
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Cody is a regular performer at The Red Lion night club in downtown Austin during the late '60s and early '70s (this particular ad appears in the March 25, 1967, edition of the Austin Statesman newspaper)

It's May 1969 at Sonobeat's Western Hills Drive studio in northwest Austin. Singer-songwriter Cody Hubach is in session, recording Hooley, a tune that eventually will make him a local legend. A regular performer at The Red Lion club on West 6th Street in downtown Austin, Cody not only writes country-folk and blues songs, plays guitar, and performs throughout Central Texas, but he also creates unique metal sculptures that fill his yard as well as local art galleries. His scuptures – that range from huge to only inches tall – depict motion of every kind, and his favorite pieces feature wings and wheels with hidden motors that bring them to life. Commercial welder turned artist, as a favor to Sonobeat co-founder Bill Josey Sr., Cody welds together the huge metal frame for Sonobeat's home-built steel plate reverb that adds an echo effect to audio recordings. And, to return the favor, Bill Sr. records the aspiring singer/songwriter.

I'm a self taught singer and intend to stay that way. If I start listening to other people, I'd start imitating them for sure. And that would be the end of my originality.
Cody Hubach quoted in a February 15, 1970, feature story by Candy Lowry in the Austin Statesman newspaper

Cody records three original songs with Sonobeat in '69. He grows up just south of Austin in the tiny rural community of Manchacha (pronounced "man-shack" – Sonobeat's founders live there in the early '60s), and begins writing and singing at age 14. His songs are about people, places, things, and emotions he knows personally. Because so many of Cody's songs reflect local people and places, Cody's becomes known as the "Manchacha troubadour". 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 an equally strong candidate for the "B" side. Unfortunately, Sonobeat never releases Cody's single, and the Sonobeat archives don't indicate why. However, one likely reason may be that during 1969 Sonobeat is focusing on progressive rock bands and feels it can't successfully market another country-folk 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, Austin's progressive rock movement 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, again 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 audiocassettes to shop its demo albums to national labels. Although the Sonobeat archives don't indicate whether Bill Sr. submits Cody's demo to any of the majors, we expect that he offers themn to at least one or two, including to his friends at Columbia Records in Nashville, to gauge interest.

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. Cody and Bill share the stage in a folkfest that closes the 1969 Zilker Hillside Theater's summer season on August 10th.

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: banjo
Uncredited musician: percussion
Uncredited musician: rhythm guitar
Uncredited musician: violin
Uncredited musician: woodwinds

Unreleased Sonobeat recordings

Bringin' That Money Home (Cody Hubach)
Hooley (Cody Hubach)
Right Now Rhyme (Cody Hubach)

Produced by Bill Josey Sr.
Engineered by Rim Kelley
Recorded at Sonobeat's Western Hills Drive studio, Austin, Texas, on May 5, 1969
Recording equipment: ElectroVoice 665 microphones, ElectroVoice Slimair 636 microphones, Sony ECM22 electret condenser microphones, Scully 280 half-inch 4-track tape deck, Stemco half-inch 4-track tape deck, Ampex AG350 quarter-inch 2-track tape deck, custom 16-channel 4-bus mixing console, Fairchild Lumiten 663ST optical compressor, Blonder-Tongue Audio Baton 9-band stereo graphic equalizer, custom steel plate stereo reverb, 3M (Scotch) 201 tape stock
Angleton Town (Cody Hubach)
Cocaine Blues (Walter Satterwait)
Hey Day (Cody Hubach)
Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon)
Hoolie (Cody Hubach)
I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan)
If I Had My Life To Live Over (Cody Hubach)
I've Seen Your Face Before (Splash 1) (Clementine Hall-Roky Erickson)
Living With The Animals (Powell St. John)
Tiger In The Closet (Hoyt Axton)
Produced and engineered by Bill Josey Sr.
Recorded at Sonobeat's North Lamar studios in Austin, Texas, on various dates in October 1972
Recording equipment: ElectroVoice 665 microphones, ElectroVoice Slimair 636 microphones, Sony ECM22 electret condenser microphones, Scully 280 half-inch 4-track tape deck, Stemco half-inch 4-track tape deck, Ampex AG350 quarter-inch 2-track tape deck, custom 16-channel 4-bus mixing console, Fairchild Lumiten 663ST optical compressor, Blonder-Tongue Audio Baton 9-band stereo graphic equalizer, custom steel plate stereo reverb, Ampex 681 tape stock
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The two Cody Hubach songs from the 1969 sessions that Sonobeat considers for release 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