Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page

Joe Houston (born July 11, 1926, Austin, Texas) is an American tenor saxophonist who played jazz and rhythm and blues.


He lived with his mother and sister in the suburb of Bastrop. He studied trumpet in school and changed to saxophone later. As a teen he began emulating a touring band by buying a red suit with white pants. One fortunate night in 1941 a saxophone player did not show for a gig with the band and Houston took his place. Between 1943 and 1946 Houston toured with that band through Kansas City and Chicago and throughout the Mid-West. After World War II Houston returned to Texas, and recorded with the pianist Amos Milburn and singer Big Joe Turner. Turner got Houston his first recording contract on Freedom Records in 1949. Houston moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and played with King Kolax, Betty Roche and Wynonie Harris.

Eventually, Houston formed his own band The Rockets, and moved to Los Angeles in 1952. He scored his only two chart hit singles in 1952 with "Worry, Worry, Worry", and "Hard Time Baby" both which peaked at #10 on Billboard's R&B singles chart.

Houston has not remained active musically since suffering a stroke in 2005. His last record was released in the 2000s though his last major chart hit ("Hard Time Baby") was fifty years earlier.

Source: Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia)

joe houston