Texas Blues Guitar legend Buddy Whittington

Buddy Whittington's Six String Svengali song lyrics


In the 60’s civil rights were causin’ a rift
ideas and opinions were beginnin’ to shift
a lot of young Americans hadn’t been hipped
but the blokes and the birds saw the blues as a gift

It was back when the Beano was boss
we were just tryin’ to get our point across
payin’ the price, no matter what the cost
back when the Beano was boss

Voice of America beamin’ in
blastin’ John Lee Hooker and Guitar Slim
while Muddy and the Wolf were groovin’ in style
at the far left end of your AM dial

It was back when the Beano was boss
we were playin’ the blues, we didn’t give a toss
with a bone to pick and an ocean to cross
back when the Beano was boss

A Les Paul through a Bluesbreaker two-twelve
was the rig du jour, it was louder than hell
‘Can you please turn it down? We’re way in the red!’
Young EC never heard a single word he said

There’s been nothin’ like it, before or since
it’s all quite sterile in the present tense
those days of abandon are sadly long gone
Mike Vernon’s in Spain, and Gus Dudgeon’s gone on
Once at the Crossroads I heard it again
that signature sound singin’ in the wind
and John and the band still play in your town
forty six years on, still knockin’ miles down
but back when the Beano was boss
if you didn’t live it, it’s truly your loss
the soul intact, but the innocence lost
back when the Beano was boss

You know I just couldn’t sleep a wink last night
too worried what the others might think
if I arrived at the joint with an axe sportin’ points
and painted polyurethane pink
lookin’ like a Picasso or Dali
that’d been a few rounds with Muhammad Ali
flashin’ LED’s, ‘lectrit tunin’ keys
endorsed by some six-strang Svengali

I knew I had to have some deadwood
deadwood, magnets, switches, solder and wire
somethin’ straight offa Leo’s workbench
both Lover/McCarty and Lennon/McCartney inspired

So I sold that ol’ Jackson on Ebay
headed for the git-tar store
fightin’ a foolish fixation for a Fullerton Fender
fashioned in fifty-four
now the guy behind the counter was distant
he just kinda stood there lookin’ bored
thinkin’ ‘A mere mortal like this, he ain’t on MY client list,
I got stuff this clown could NEVER afford!’

‘Cause I’m dealin’ in deadwood
deadwood, magnets, switches, solder and wire
the kind Eldon played with The Playboys
long before Jimi ever set it afire

Walked right past the wretched Gretsches
very seductive but I never could get
that ol’ hillbilly twang, or the whole Bigsby thang
and I could never work a thumbpick like Chet
sauntered over to the Michigan Maple
‘The Curly Gates’ of 3D flame
but I could pay off the house and buy anothern’ down South
‘fore I could ever buy into THAT game

I’ve had about enough deadwood
the whole thang’s beginnin’ to raise my ire
you know an old Fender’s nice but considerin’ the price
I think I sound about the same on a Squire


When I met you baby
I knew you were the one
I did all I could do to get next to you
and get all of my I do’s done
Only gonna do it one time baby
I’m in it for the long haul
I tried to chill but couldn’t get my fill
now I’m fully up against the wall

The clouds open up and the sun starts shinin’
when you come a walkin’ my way
I don’t know what it is that you brought here witcha
but I hope it’s here to stay
Because I’ll never get enough of your sweet love baby
no matter what you do
Never gonna lose the taste for your sweet stuff
My world revolves around you

I feel that heavenly light
everytime the sparks ignite
Electromotive force right from the source
well I could feel it from the time I kissed her
now we’re current baby
dynamic and right on time
you got my meter nailed, the needle’s off the scale
and I’m lackin’ the capacity to try to resist ya

A one-to-one rationality
You and me at unity
Oscillatin’, cohabitatin’
Resonatin’ at frequency

The clouds open up and the sun starts shinin’
when you come walkin’ my way
I don’t know what it is that you brought here witcha
but I hope it’s here to stay
Because I’ll never get enough of your sweet love baby
no matter what you do
never gonna lose the taste for your sweet stuff
My world revolves around you

Front row center
top down, chrome was gleamin’
the salesman was screamin’
I wanted her bad but couldn’t figger out how
to meet those easy terms:
‘Half down, the rest NOW’
so I’ll wire up that muffler
I’ll put on that patch
‘cause baby I got the itch
but I ain’t got the scratch

Hot red lipstick
black lace and leather
she had it goin’ on
she had it together
with the face of an angel
and the body of a centerfold
looked like high scheduled maintenance
at frequent service intervals
I knew all along that I was way overmatched
‘cause I sho’ had the itch but
I ain’t got the scratch

Somethin’ catches your eye
An’ ya just gotta have it
You better rethink it ‘fore you reach out and grab it
‘Fore ya reach in your pocket
An’ pull out that plastic
Do your self a favor
Break that bad habit

I called up my accountant
‘bout a house on a hill
seventeen rooms, a pool as big as the bill
I’m massagin’ the numbers
no way to nudge it
with your Dom Perignon palate
and your Blue Ribbon budget
so call your friend at the mint
and have ‘em print a fresh batch
‘cause baby you got the itch but ya ain’t got the scratch
You been around long enough, you know there’s always a catch
‘cause baby I got the itch, but I ain’t got the scratch


Well I was knockin’ down walls with a rhythm stick
That was hardern’ Chinese arithmetic
‘til this deflated condition started keepin’ me down at nights
Now like ol’ Papa Goose I was a proper gander
‘til I just couldn’t rise to my usual standards
I was still in the runnin’ but I just wasn’t hittin’ the heights

Doc said its somethin’ that I oughta address
But it really wasn’t nothin’ that should cause distress
Probably workin’ too hard, happens to us all once or twice
You’re grey at the temples, carryin’ excess baggage
better cut out the corned beef and kick up the cabbage
if you know what’s good for ya, better take ol’ doc’s advice

I had to go see Alice
to cure what’s ailin’ me
A little bit of elation
via Viagravation
when the factory features starts to failin’ me

So I tried to time it all just right, and by about 7:30 on date night
I was well on my way an’ I was feelin’ it comin’ on fast
When my baby called up and she broke our date
She said ‘I’m real sorry honey, but I gotta work late’
and I was standin’ there salutin’ a flag about three-quarter staff
I tried to watch the news in this altered state
but I kept gettin’ hung up on Nancy Grace
an’ I thought, ‘Holy Mackeral, this must be some powerful stuff!’
So I grabbed the remote and commenced to clickin’
Doin’ all I could do to keep from chokin’ that chicken
When I passed that infomercial ‘bout firmin’ up your hips, thighs, and butt

I had to go see Alice
she always reassures me
for just a little advancement
a little andro-enhancement
to remove any doubts ‘bout your masculinity

Add a little zest to your funfest
a little boost to your roost
back at the love nest
I had to go see Alice
She’s changed my life you see
Threw away my pinups, now she can do chin-ups
put a whole new slant on the frolic and festivities

When what you need to improve on is gettin’ your groove on
it ain’t no fallicy
But if that tower o’ power lasts more’n four hours
better hit the ER and turn off the TV


Started out on a soapbox in ‘63
doin’ the back porch boogie in cowboy ‘E’
I had a Monkey Ward’s git-tar and a Silvertone amp
but I was workin’ on becomin’ a Fender Champ

Bought a Kalamazoo throwin’ the Fort Worth Press
Some Black Diamond Strings and a naugahyde vest
Anticipatin’ stardom at the school stage ramp
Finally gettin’ a shot at bein’ a Fender Champ

Melonhead said, ‘Forget the macho stuff,
and learn how to play your guitar’
well that’s all well and good, but somebody should
run the spotlight and tend the bar...
‘TEND THE BAR!’ (tend the bar...)

Daddy said an education was my ticket in
but I never went to Princeton like them Deluxe Twins
Professor Mel Bay and The Ventures burnin’ the midnight lamp
prayed The Lord’d let me be a Fender Champ

In Copenhagen its cold, in London its damp
the promoter buys the postcards, but you buy the stamps
one town you’re a treasure, the next you’re a tramp
too late to turn back from bein’ a Fender Champ


When he was just a kid down in Texas
he was seein’ the wrong side of life
Learnin’ his craft, growin’ up way too fast
and stayin’ up too late at night
Didn’t care nothin’ ‘bout goin’ to school
or drivin’ a hotrod car
Sunup to sundown, you know that he could be found
with an amp and an old guitar

It was a six string romance
give these boys a chance
six string romance

Well the boys in the band, they wore out that ol’ van
tourin’ north, west, east and south
The joints were jammed with legions of fans
they were spellbound and open-mouthed
Mr. Record Man came to see them
and they knew what he had on his mind
when he said ‘Now boys, this is the one,
you know your time has come
Won’t you sign on the dotted line?’

It was a six string romance
give these boys a chance
six string romance

Texas Trios
Man, they been rockin’ from the get-go
them Texas Trios
like the Pecos, the Brazos and the Frio
Buddy Holly, Jerry and Joe B. (Lubbock in the 50’s)
Johnny Winter, Tommy and Unk (at Woodstock)
Billy, Frank and Dusty (Tres Hombres)
without a spare wheel in the trunk
Texas Trios

Four strang and six strang, kick, hat and snare
Somebody just sing it
man, we’ll get the rest o’ the way there
Bugs, Rockin’ Ron and Bobby (Armadillo in Austin)
Stevie, Tommy and Chris (Double Trouble)
John T, Paul and GJ (Motherlode in Fort Worth)
Linda, Curly and Nitz
Texas Trios

Texas Trios
Lowdown and mean
them Texas Trios
Nothin’ you don’t need
Jojo, Henry and Ringo (Los Lonely Boys)
never had a George, Paul or John (Texican rock n’ roll)
they make one to the power of three (Hermanos en armonia)
equal three to the power of one
Texas Trios
(Guardalo en la familia)


Well, my cook put me on the back burner
secretary put me on hold
The preacher man put me on the prayer list
and the landlord put me in the cold
Well, the doc done put me on a diet
‘fore the undertaker puts me on ice
The post office put me on a ‘Wanted’ poster
And the boss done put me on nights

My baby done put me on notice
I put our little romance in doubt
So I put her on the ‘Do Not Call’ list
until she put the welcome mat back out
Po-leece put me in handcuffs
‘cause they put me at the scene of the crime
The judge done put me in the slammer
An’ here I am puttin’ in time

Reporter done put me in the papers
TV put me on the news
Tax man put me in an audit
which put me smack-dab in the blues
Trash man put me in the garbage
and put me on the curb with the junk
The dealership put me in a new Cadillac
and the payment’s done put me in a funk


An instrumental dedicated to the relaxed, resourceful, resilient Texans of the Bolivar Peninsula, particularly (but definitely not limited to) Crystal Beach, where our family had spent countless carefree hours until Hurricane Ike caused almost total devastation in 2008.




I had a chance encounter with an old friend
out in town over the weekend
he was goin’ his way, and I was goin’ mine
We’d planned to get together
but you know sometimes it takes forever
to set priorities in line
We sat down for a quick drink
decided we’d meet next week
get the families together, catch up on old times
But as I shook his hand goodbye,
I noticed something in his eye and it was clear
maybe we should have just one more, while we’re here

When I think of the time I’ve let slip past
while that inverted hourglass
Is slowly, surely turnin’ right-side up
Have I lived the life I’ve meant to,
used all the days I’ve spent to love the ones that matter
in my life so much?
Have I mended all my fences,
have I come to my senses
come to grips with all my worries, hopes and fears?
We’re not guaranteed tomorrow
you can’t go back and borrow days and years
So let’s try to make each day count,
while we’re here.

While we’re here
when we’re young and strong
While we’re here
when the ones that we belong with
need to know the most that we are near
While we’re here
when we’re old and frail
While we’re here
when our actions fail
to show the ones we love we hold them dear

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Last updated June 25, 2013

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