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Home / Entertainment / Houston country star Doug Supernaw dies at 60

Houston country star Doug Supernaw dies at 60



Country singer Doug Supernaw was born in Bryan and grew up in Houston’s Inwood Forest. The breadth of his recording career fell between 1993 and 1999. This short period of time shows the great unfulfilled hope of country music traditionalists.

Supernaw came here as a wealthy and tired tenor in the early 90s, blending perfectly with struggling songs. His debut album “Red and Rio Grande” ranked No. 1 in single sales, with more than 500,000 sales. But the struggle with mental illness, addiction and the law consumed his career and disappointed him, but he was ready to go.

That kind of comeback has never come. Supernaw died Friday nine months after being diagnosed with lung cancer and bladder cancer. He was 60 years old.

Richard Landis, who produced Supernaw̵

7;s first album, called him “a true colorful spirit of freedom.”

Supernaw’s songs on streaming services such as Spotify provide limited evidence that he was the highlight of the neo-traditional country music movement in the 1990s. “Red and Rio Grande” can be played, and today’s record still sounds as comfortable as worn-out boots: his voice is unobtrusive, but expressive, telling the story of the era when mainstream country music still exists, characters use violin and pedals The best story made of steel. Related to this type of story. Can play his third album “You Still Got Me”. However, “in-depth thinking of shallow thinking” is not available. These three albums represent a good start for Supernaw’s career.

He released “Fadin’Renegade” in 1999, and the title of the album sounded prescient and tragic twenty years later.

Supernaw was born in the 1970s, where he clearly absorbed the voice of country singers like Gene Watson. At Eisenhower High School, his interests ranged from golf to music. He attracted the former to a college scholarship. Although the school was not suitable, he withdrew from the University of St. Thomas.

He works in the oil field to make money, while writing songs in his spare time and playing shows on weekends. Supernaw made a bet on himself in 1987 and then left Houston for Nashville to work as a staff writer. Music City did not offer much appeal, so he returned to Texas and formed a dirty Tonk band, which attracted enough attention to get him to sign with an RCA subsidiary to release “Red and Rio Grande”.

This album is a set of unpretentious songs, blending the vulgar feel of Texas with top Nashville instrumentalists. Supernaw composed or co-wrote four of the 10 songs. His views on Aaron Barker’s single “Honky Tonkin’Fool” hit the lowest point on the singles chart in 1993. Later that year, one of his co-authors, “Reno” (Reno) rose to fourth place and achieved star status.

Kenny Rogers cut the name “I don’t call him Dad” in the late 1980s, but Supernaw found a painful resonance in this song, which is that the divorced father talks to his son and the son doesn’t care. Mother’s new boyfriend. He pushed the song to the top of the country singles chart.

Landis oversees the early success of Supernaw. He met the singer at a country music radio seminar in the early 1990s and was moved by the musician’s confidence.

“Where did this tall, tall man in a cowboy hat come to me and say,’Are you Richard Landis?’ He said, “I’m from. . . “-He mentioned his experience-“It’s nice to meet you”. I thought, “Here is some bull market. “But I asked what I could do for him.”
Supernaw handed him a demo cassette. “I’m very impressed,” Landis said. “Not only his voice, but also his writing.”
Landis associates Rogers with “I don’t call him Dad” and thinks this song is suitable for Supernaw. They tried to make the song sound correct but failed, but because there was an hour left in the recording time, they tried the song again. He said: “I know Doug is best at photo lyrics and some royal music.”

At the record company party celebrating the success of the song, Landis said: “Doug put his arm around me and said:’Hello.'”

Supernaw’s next two albums will create a few more hits, although 1995’s “Not Enough Hours at Night” approached the top of the charts and ranked third. His 1995 album “You Still Got Me” included “She never looked back,” which is Nashville songwriting legends Jim Lauderdale and Frank Dykes ( Frank Dycus) co-created work.

Lauderdale said on Friday: “Doug is very active on and off stage.” “I like his voice. (We) were very excited when he cut out “She never looked back” and he did. Arrived.”

By 1999, Supernaw recorded the independent record company’s “Fadin’Renegade” alone. At that time, Supernaw’s personal life began to disintegrate, and the writer John Nova Lomax recorded the long and painful process in detail.

Supernaw’s behavior is unstable and he is sent to prison and court more often than in the studio. Public drunkenness, possession of marijuana, non-payment of child support and assault of police officers are just a few charges against him.

However, some people in the industry have a more gentle memory of Supernaw.

After Supernaw recorded a Lauderdale song, “He tracked us down and gave us two gifts, which is rare for artists,” Lauderdale Say. “His kindness and consideration touched me. His enthusiasm and openness are real.”

In the 13 years since the “Houston News” story was published, Supernaw has participated in some performances, which shows that he is resuming his career. His music anthology was released in 2017, bringing hope to new music. But earlier this year, he announced that he had cancer. A month ago, his wife shared on Facebook that he has entered hospice care.

Supernaw’s death was on the second day of the Country Music Awards, which is often referred to as “the biggest night of country music.” However, the traditionalism passed down through his music will make Supernaw an outsider to modern country music because it encounters a crossroad every few years. The accusation that country music is popular is almost as old as country music itself. However, Supernaw’s short and brilliant career is a reminder of the value found in embracing decades of tradition.

Lauderdale said: “The country singer has many twists and turns, but Doug used his inner strength and the love of his family, friends and fans to make him come home. He shared that big heart until the end.”

andrew.dansby@chron.com


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