(logo by Jim Franklin)
After the meeting where we decided to move forward with the store, I was trying to come up with a name. I wanted a name that would evoke the old Austin vibe. We were after all really close to Hippie Hollow and not that far from the old original Soap Creek location. Nothing seemed to work. They all seemed cliched or labored, which was the last thing I wanted. The next morning I sat bolt upright in bed and literally yelled it out:
I LOVE Doug Sahm. As a kid in Mississippi I bought an album called “The Return of Doug Saldana” for $1.39 at the local Woolco bargain bin and fell completely in love with it. I bought several others at similarly ridiculous prices and I was hooked for life. When I moved to Texas in the early 80s, a part of me was chasing Doug.
I landed in beautiful San Marcos and got a job at a record store on the town square called Sundance. I was working for a couple named Bobby and Nancy Barnard and they treated me like I was a member of their family. One Saturday morning I showed up for work and Bobby said “Chilympiad Parade today. Time to break out Groover’s Paradise”. I don’t know if you’ve been to many small town parades, but they are generally funky, rag tag affairs and this one was no exception and “Groover’s Paradise” fit the vibe perfectly. The ritual was repeated every year that we remained on the square and it made a tremendous impression on me.
I left Sundance in 1990 but stayed in touch with the Barnards. After about a year they told me “We found a new Greg”. His name was Thomas and our paths would cross back and forth for the next 20 years. It was Thomas who started the ball rolling with Groover’s and he’s been invaluable in helping me get the doors open. In October, he rang me and said Bobby wanted to decorate the store, which will seem trivial only if you haven’t visited the store yet. Every day, Groover’s Paradise seems more and more perfect a name given all the cosmic connections.
Doug left us far too early in 1999. This year (2015) has seen the release of a film of his life and a renewed interest in this most Texas of all musicians. We at Groover’s Paradise are proud to celebrate the music and legacy of the great Doug Sahm.