This Week in Texas Music History: Damita Jo Deblanc
This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a singer who seemed to have an answer for everything.
Damita Jo Deblanc was born in Austin on August 5, 1930. Although she and her family moved to California when she was still a child, Deblanc maintained strong ties to Central Texas. In fact, she returned to Austin years later to attend what is today Huston-Tillotson University. DeBlanc first made her mark in music while performing under the stage name Damita Jo in the post-World War II R&B scene in Los Angeles.
Her most successful recordings were those that echoed themes from other hit tunes. For example, her song “I’ll Save the Last Dance for You” was written in response to the Drifters’ 1960 smash hit, “Save the Last Dance for Me.” Damita Jo’s greatest success came in 1961 with the tune “I’ll Be There,” her answer to Ben E. King’s classic song “Stand By Me.”
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll visit a Dallas bowling alley that featured everything from sock hops to glam rock.