Nights Never Get Lonely . . .

Posted: December 8, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

Back in the early 70s, the Armadillo World Headquarters (sometimes called simply The ‘Dillo) in Austin was a popular local night spot presenting some big names on stage and promoting the culture and spirit of Texas. It was located at 505 Barton Springs Rd, Austin and back then, Lone Star Beer - The national beer of Texasanother up and coming Texas name was the local Lone Star Beer. The folks at Lone Star Beer company saw the potential for promoting their brand by providing a free supply of Lone Star Beer to the artists on stage at the ‘Dillo. It was a shrewd move. Then, they started to shape up their radio advertising by casting around for a radio message and a promotional song. They didn’t like what they got from their ad agency, so they got together with Eddie Wilson, the Armadillo World Headquarters impresario, and told him they wanted a tune, not a jingle, preferably by one of the leading forces in the new Austin movement.

It worked. By the spring of 1974 Lone Star Beer was dominating the radio waves with a one-minute song performed by a series of well known local artists. The artists would just come into the studio, read the lyrics, come up with some music, and receive the same fee that they would have gotten for a club appearance. Lone Star Beer was soon running six or seven hundred radio spots a week all across Texas, plus an array of youth-lone-star-beer-long-live_xxxx74culture gimmicks. The company wanted distinctive posters too and returned to Armadillo World Headquarters, where they met up with Jim Franklin, the resident eccentric and quasi official staff artist. He went on to produce a series of memorable posters for Lone StarLone Star Beer - Jim Franklin poster, incorporating his vision of Texas, the distinctive Lone Star bottle design, and some armadillos.

Among the artists that featured in the Lone Star Beer radio promos was Freddie King. When Freddie was in Austin Texas 1974 he recorded a session, which included some spoken promos and the song, “Nights Never Get Lonely”. The song had been written especially to promote Lone Star Beer and there were five different arrangements. Fortunately, the Dolph Briscoe Centre for American History in Austin, has the tape of Freddie’s sessions which includes two different versions of the promo song “Nights Never Get Lonely”, as well as the spoken promos. Those involved thought Freddie King’s rocking version of the Lone Star Beer commercial had hit written all over it, but, sadly, his recordFreddie King painting 2 label, RSO Records, didn’t want to know.

You can decide for yourself if this was a missed opportunity, as you take a listen to Freddie’s two different versions of the “Nights Never Get Lonely”, as well as his spoken promos. (By the way, for the insatiably curious . . . Harry Jersig was the President of the Lone Star Beer company.)

 

 

 

 

Freddie King spoken Lone Star Beer promo (1):

Freddie King spoken Lone Star Beer promo (2):

Freddie King – Nights Never Get Lonely (1):

Freddie King – Nights Never Get Lonely (2):

Freddie King live at The Armadillo – promo 1

Freddie King live at The Armadillo – promo 2

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