Wired For Sound

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Leon Payne on Hacienda 008


Leon Payne at WOAI in San Antonio, circa mid-1950s. 


Cry Baby Cry b/w Lot's Wife Looked Back (Hacienda 008)


One of two singles Leon Payne made for the San Antonio-based Hacienda label around 1961 (the other was "Reflex Reaction" b/w "The Banter Song," Hacienda 003), "Cry Baby Cry" has never been reissued. Payne's "San Antonio Years" are not well-documented, despite lasting 17 years (1952-1969) as opposed to his brief but far better documented "Houston years" (1948-1952). Soon after these singles for Hacienda, he re-signed with Starday, recording a series of albums and singles for the rest of his career. Having no further hits after his massive "I Love You Because" (#1 for two weeks in January, 1950) did not affect his income, as royalties from other artists covering his songs is rumored to have made him one of the wealthiest people in country music in Texas. The Associated Press reported that his estate was worth $40,000 at his death in 1969, the value equivalent of $277,000 today. 

"Cry Baby Cry," not a particularly memorable lyrical effort from Leon, nonetheless is worth keeping for the fine steel guitar solo. "Lot's Wife Looked Back" is a novelty-gospel number, a rarity in Leon's songbook. 

Postscript: it is possibly Jerry Shea playing steel guitar. 




 "Cry Baby Cry"
 

"Lot's Wife Looked Back" 

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