This Week in Texas Music History: Dean Beard
This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a West Texas wild man who contributed to both 1950s rockabilly and 1970s pop.
Rockabilly pioneer Dean Beard died on April 4, 1989. Born in Santa Anna, Texas, on August 31, 1935, Beard was still a teenager when he befriended a young singer named Elvis Presley, who was touring throughout West Texas in 1955. Inspired by Elvis’s growing popularity, Beard traveled to Sun Records in Memphis to record in 1956. However, Sun Records didn’t sign Beard, so, he returned to the Lone Star State. Nicknamed “the West Texas Wild Man,” Dean Beard became popular for his energetic performances and such rocking numbers as “Rakin’ and Scrapin’.”
Although never well-known outside of West Texas, Dean Beard had a strong regional following. He also performed for a while with local Texas artists, James Seals and Dash Crofts, who went on to form the highly-successful 1970s pop duo, Seals and Crofts.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll recall a natural disaster that inspired a folk anthem