Soul legend born in Rogers
August 08, 1935
On this day in 1935, Joseph Arrington Jr. was born in Rogers, Texas. Arrington, who later gained fame as a soul singer under the name Joe Tex, moved to Baytown at age five with his mother after her divorce from his father. In Baytown he performed song and dance routines to enhance his business as a young shoeshine and paper boy. He also sang in school and church choirs. As a high school junior, Arrington won first prize in a Houston talent contest and won $300 and a week's stay at a hotel in Harlem. During a four-week period he won the Apollo Theater's amateur night competition four times. After graduating from high school in 1955, he returned to New York City to pursue a music career. He landed his first contract with King Records and in the coming years, as Joe Tex, recorded a number of hits, including "Hold On To What You Got," "Papa Was Too," "Skinny Legs and All," and his biggest seller, "I Gotcha," which went platinum in 1971. In 1972 Arrington gave up show business and began a three-year speaking ministry for the Nation of Islam, which he had joined in 1968. Arrington returned to show business in 1975 and enjoyed moderate success until the 1977 smash "I Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)" put him back on the top of the charts. Arrington died of heart failure in 1982 at his home in Navasota.
Abilene "Top Citizen" dies
August 08, 1968
On this day in 1968, Abilene civic leader Clifton Mott Caldwell died. Born in Palo Pinto County, Texas, on May 1, 1880, Caldwell spent his early years working on the family farm and earning a teaching certificate. In 1896 he moved with his family to Breckenridge, where he met his future wife, Cora Belle Keathley. They were married in 1901 and soon moved to Caddo, where, after teaching for five years, Caldwell became the principal of the Caddo school. In 1908 he moved his family to Austin and, with a total of $400 in savings, he entered the University of Texas law school. After he graduated in 1911 they returned to Breckenridge, where in 1912 Caldwell was elected county attorney. He was then appointed county judge and later district judge. In 1917 Caldwell and his partner, Breck Walker, formed the highly successful Walker-Caldwell Oil Company. Caldwell acquired large landholdings in West Texas, and invested much of his time and profits in the future of Breckenridge. After moving to Abilene in 1922, his continuing community service included serving as chairman of the Hardin-Simmons University board of trustees, regent of the University of Texas, founding director of the Brazos River Authority, and trustee of the Hendrick Memorial Hospital in Abilene. Caldwell also donated land and operating funds for the hospital. In 1951 Caldwell was presented the "Top Citizen of the Year" award, the highest civic honor awarded by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce.
Raiders attack Norias Division of King Ranch
August 08, 1915
On this day in 1915, Mexican raiders attacked the Norias Division headquarters of the King Ranch, an episode in the "Bandit Wars" that troubled the Texas-Mexican border between 1912 and 1915. Norias is some seventy miles north of Brownsville. On the afternoon of the 8th, in response to a report about Mexican horsemen, Texas adjutant general Henry Hutchings and twelve Texas Rangers went to the ranch. Three customs inspectors and the Cameron county sheriff arrived at Norias by train and joined the first group, making a total of sixteen men at the headquarters. At dusk horsemen carrying a red flag began firing at the ranchhouse. The besieged men took cover and returned fire while the cook telephoned Kingsville for help. The raiders were variously reported to number from fifty to seventy. About two hours after dark the firing suddenly stopped and the raiders vanished. In the fight Manuela Flores, a ranch employee, was killed and four defenders were wounded. Five of the raiders were reported killed and perhaps a dozen wounded. The raid provoked outrage in the lower Rio Grande valley, and the United States Army increased its presence in the area.
posted by Jeff ~ 8.8.2011 The Texas State Historical Association