Article Search...

Kinky Friedman's Golden Heart For Gold Star Kids

Written by Randy Patterson

Posted October 2020

Kinky 2019 2 By Issy Drinkall CroppedKinky Friedman. The name itself will always stick in your mind once you’ve heard it. If you’ve even talked to the man behind the name, you’ll never forget him and will always want to hear what he has to say.

The Texas humorist, songwriter, author, and all-around great guy will always regale those around him with stories and his unique insights into the world, country, state, and the human condition. When listening to him, one gets the impression that he’s relaying what he sees in the film reels in his mind. Love won. Love lost. Perceptions about man’s misconceptions. I don’t know for sure but I wonder if he’s a man who is looking back over his life (like we all do or will do) and wonder “What if? Coulda, shoulda, woulda.” I don’t know that for sure. Just a thought.

What I do know is that Kinky and his sister, Marcie, have reopened the family ranch, Echo Hill, to help Gold Star kids. In doing so, they’re Click Above To Listen To Our Interview With Kinky Friedman welcoming volunteers from all over to help in getting the camp ready for an onslaught of these deserving kids so that they can have an enjoyable time at the camp.

When I heard that Kinky and Marcie were doing this noble act, I reached out to Kinky to chat about it. I reached him at the ranch and we had a leisurely, laid-back conversation about the endeavor and life in general.

Please give this audio of the chat a close listen. Once you’re finished listening to it, please come back here and click on the Echo Hill logo located on this page. There, you will be able to learn of the various ways that you can help Kinky and Marcie with their worthy cause.

If this is the first time you're hearing of Kinky and want to learn more about the man, the following is the biography posted on his website, KinkyFriedman.com.

EchoHillLogoClick Above To Learn How You Can Help Kinky Help Gold Star KidsRichard “Kinky” Friedman isn’t your usual troubadour. The iconic song and book man has been roaming the clubs, halls and bookstores of America since the 1970s with his highly unique persona, brilliant, button-pushing songs, a pantheon of entertaining books and his trademark endless cigars. Returning to the music fold full-time in recent years, Friedman has released a trilogy of sorts featuring some of the best recordings and songwriting of his long career. The “Resurrected Trilogy” starts with The Loneliest Man I Ever Met (2015), soon followed by Circus of Life and Resurrection, all terrific collections with each one surpassing the last.

After splashing down in the corporate country world of Nashville in the early 70s, Kinky, who was born in Chicago but reared from an early age in Kerrville, TX, returned to his native Texas after releasing such notable and hilariously-charged songs as “Asshole From El Paso,” “They Ain’t Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore,” “Dear Abbie” and “Ride ‘Em Jewboy.” Kinky’s 1973 debut, Sold American, is a classic of satire and politically-incorrect genius that set him up for a career of irreverence, charm and empathy for the common man and woman. As Kinky dealt with the compromised music industry of past decades, he grew increasingly frustrated by the constant pressures from his record companies to deliver hits, which made the process of recording in the studio far from enjoyable. He stepped away from the music business proper to focus on his burgeoning literary career. A fruitful endeavor it became, successfully spawning nearly twenty deliciously witty detective novels and ten non-fiction books. Based on his own life and several of his closest friends, the characters in Kinky’s mystery novels are as timeless and effervescent as the author himself or one of his cigars.

Kinky never stopped playing music, he just stopped wanting to deal with the business aspects of it. While writing his books, Kinky kept a regular and notorious Monday gig at the infamous Lone Star Café in New York City in the early 80s, as well as the occasional jaunt across the country and abroad. He went back on the road more and more as the 90s and the 21st Century came along and finally, at the behest and encouragement of longtime admirer and musician Brian Molnar, Kinky got back into writing and recording mostly full-time about ten years ago. By 2012, Kinky was hitting the road full-time with Molnar as his right-hand man. They toured for a good five years while Brian got Kink excited about recording again, insisting he wouldn’t “be on the clock” as he was so often when under contract with the big record companies. They even recorded at Kinky’s Echo Hill Ranch. This relaxed and excited Kinky about recording again and together they picked choice covers and old or unfinished Kinky songs for his first album in decades, The Loneliest Man I Ever Met. The process and the album reignited Kinky’s love of songwriting and he quickly fell back into his old habit of putting lyrics to resurrectioncoverOrder Kinky's New LP, Resurrection, By Clicking Abovemusic. Kinky wrote so much that he had plenty of material for the two albums that soon followed – Circus Of Life (2018) and the still-new Resurrection, which is getting the best reviews of his career. Brian produced Circus of Life and Kink’s old buddy and former bandmate, renowned guitarist/producer Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm) was recruited to produce the gorgeous and timeless Resurrection. Willie Nelson appears on two of the three parts of the trilogy and had Kinky perform at his virtual July 4th Annual Picnic this year. Two new videos from Willie’s Luck Films for Resurrection add to the current virtual glow.

Kinky’s got the bug again alright, he is writing songs and new books and can’t wait to perform again. He never really stopped touring and performs with more gravitas and humor than is probably legal. As he navigates his eighth decade on this rock, the Kinkster impatiently waits for the current pandemic to fade so he can return to the theatres, clubs and book havens to regale the ever-willing public with his wisdom, humor and empathetic delivery. Once the shows get the green light, expect to see Kinky Friedman lighting up more than his cigar, for as long as it will burn.

                • Roger Len Smith 2020