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Biography: Gary P. Nunn

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With over four decades of country music under his belt, you don't get much more iconic than Gary P. Nunn!

 

Gary P. Nunn is internationally famous for his live performances, his songwriting, and his producing.

 

Nunn was born in 1945 in Oklahoma, but by sixth grade had made the move to the west Texas town of Brownfield.  He excelled in school as both an honors student and an athlete - he even formed his own band.  He attended both South Plains College and Texas Tech University after graduating high school, but eventually found himself joining a garage rock band called the Sparkles around 1965.  The following year, the Sparkles were signed by the Nashville-based Hickory Records label and released their first single, "the Hip", which soon became a hit in Austin.  Two more singles were recorded in 1967 that went on to some acclaim: "Hipsville 29 B.C." and "No Friend of Mine".  It was during this time that Nunn officially moved to Austin and enrolled into the University of Texas as a pharmacy major.  In 1968, he left the Sparkles and started playing with a fellow musician named Rusty Wier in a band called the Lavender Hill Express, a group known as something of a precursor to the "cosmic cowboy" movement that was to hit Austin in the following years.

 

PBS's Austin City Limits is the only television show to receive the National Medal of the Arts and has featured Nunn's "London Homesick Blues" as its theme for over three decades.

 

By the early 1970s, Nunn was playing regularly with big names in the Outlaw Country scene like Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Michael Murphey.  An incredibly talented musician, Nunn played a wide variety of instruments including bass guitars, keyboards, and vocals.  In 1972, Nunn joined Murphey in London to record the Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir album at the world famous Abby Road Studios.  After returning to Texas, Nunn was one of the founding members of the Lost Gonzo Band alongside Bob Livingston.  The Lost Gonzo Band recorded with Jerry Jeff Walker in 1973 at the legendary Luckenbach Dancehall for his Viva Terlingua! album, featuring Nunn's "London Homesick Blues" which he had written during his free time in the UK.  By this time, Nunn's songwriting abilities were well known and artists like Willie Nelson, David Allen Coe, and Rosanne Cash were charting with his work.  By 1976, the Lost Gonzo Band decided to put out a record under their own name called The Lost Gonzo Band.  1978 saw two more records, Thrills and Signs of Life.  Although none of the albums charted, they were all well received and did well enough to get the band onto Austin City Limits multiple times.  The Lost Gonzo Band decided to take a semi-permanent break in 1980 and Nunn struck out on his own.

 

 

Nunn currently lives in Austin and still performs regularly!

 

Producing had always been an interest of Nunn's during his early career in music, so once he left the Lost Gonzo Band he founded the Guacamole Records label and began anew as a solo artist.  Over the next few decades, he would release twelve albums, start the Terlingua North Chili Cook-Off and Music Festival, and would appear on numerous television shows, specials, and continue touring worldwide as a Texas music icon.  He would occasionally reunite with the Lost Gonzo Band as well as with friends like Murphey, Nelson, and Walker for various concerts and events like appearances on Austin City Limits.  His greatest pride was his admittance into the West Texas Walk of Fame, where he is featured alongside other music giants like Buddy Holly and Bob Wills.  You can visit the official Gary P. Nunn homepage here!

 

Discography (with the Lost Gonzo Band):

(1975) The Lost Gonzo Band

(1976) Thrills

(1977) Signs of Life

(1992) Rendezvous

(1995) Hands of Time

(1998) Dead Armadillos

 

Discography (as a solo artist):

(1983) Pride of Texas - Live at Dingwall's, London

(1984) Home with the Armadillo

(1987) Border States

(1989) For Old Times Sake

(1993) Totally Guacamole

(1994) Road Trip

(1996) Under My Hat

(1997) What I Like About Texas: Greatest Hits

(1999) Nobody But Me

(2000) It's a Texas Thing

(2001) Greatest Hits: Volume 2

(2004) Something for the Trail

 

Songs on KBEC 1390:

"London Homesick Blues"

"Terlingua Sky"

"What I Like About Texas"