Joe Tex put in many years of hard work in the music business before finally meeting with success as a pop singer in the mid-to-late 60's.
Joe was born Joseph Arrington, Jr. in Rogers, Texas in 1933. He developed an interest in singing, particularly with gospel groups, and won a talent show in Houston while still in high school. He moved on to the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and won an amateur contest there also. He signed a recording contract with King Records in 1955, beginning a series of moves from record label to record label ... Ace, Anna, Parrot, Checker. Joe was a talented singer who met with little commercial success for quite some time, but all the while he was developing his songwriting skills and becoming an accomplished stage performer. His act became quite popular. Joe gained some notice when a young James Brown covered Joe's Baby You're Right in 1961.
He collaborated with his manager, Buddy Killen, who acquired Dial Records in Nashville. Joe Tex began recording for Dial under the direction of Killen, and finally things began to happen. In 1964 he had recorded Hold What You've Got, a song that he did not like at all and which would not be released, or so he believed. When it was, early in 1965, the record broke through to number five on the pop charts. The talented singer was 31 years old. He used the proceeds to buy a house for his grandmother. Joe recorded some songs for Atlantic that became popular in the UK, and was sent to Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Some top forty hits started coming, recorded on the Dial label under the direction of producer Killen: I Want To Do Everything (For You), A Sweet Woman Like You, and the very popular Show Me, among others. In late 1967 Joe Tex had his second top ten hit with Skinny Legs And All, and followed it with Men Are Gettin' Scarce. After a bit of a lull in his career, Dial released Joe's final top ten (and biggest) hit, I Gotcha, in 1972. To that point, Joe Tex had written all of his own hits.
Joe resumed recording for various other labels. In 1972 he became a Muslim and changed his name to Joseph Hazziez. He had one more big hit left, a novelty song titled Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman) on the Epic label, a record that was once again produced by Buddy Killen.
In his later years Joe spent time on his ranch in Texas, practiced Islam, and was a devoted fan of the Houston Oilers. As a pop performer, Joe Tex put 26 records in the top 100, nine in the top forty, and three in the top ten. He also managed to come up with nine top tens on the soul chart. He suffered a fatal heart attack in Navasota, Texas in 1982.
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