Hitsville, Texas

A new book documents the shady past and solid-gold singles of Houston's SugarHill Studios.

Yet Wood notes that even Patterson's treacherous dealings caused a chain reaction that eventually led to more greatness at SugarHill: "The fallout from IA dealing with Patterson and crashing in 1970 was the event that opened the door for Huey to buy the studio and rename it SugarHill."

Wood's eyes get that twinkle again and he chuckles, "Sometimes things just work out great for the rest of us, because between 1971 when he bought the studio out of bankruptcy until 1986, when he sold the studio, there were over 50 charting hits produced at SugarHill."

As the authors note in the book, "Together with Pappy Daily and Don Robey, Meaux helped put Houston on the musical map of the world."

SugarHill Studios in a 1973 photo.
Courtesy of SugarHill Studios
SugarHill Studios in a 1973 photo.


Book signing: 2 p.m. Saturday, April 10, at Sig's Lagoon, 3710 Main, 713-533-9525 or

SugarHill celebration concert with Allen Oldies Band, Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man, John ­Evans, the El Orbits and more: 3 p.m. Sunday, April 11, at the Continental Club, 3700 Main, 713-529-9899 or

"And, of course, in 1975 Huey changed the entire landscape of American pop music when he cut Freddy Fender's 'Before the Next Teardrop Falls,'" notes Wood. "That was monumental. Not only was it the first single to go No. 1 on both the country and pop charts at the same time, it was also the first bilingual song to make No. 1."

What followed is one of the greatest success stories in American musical history. Between 1975 and 1983, Meaux and Fender issued 28 charting singles from SugarHill.

Houston music fans can reacquaint themselves with the great music detailed in House of Hits at the Continental Club Sunday, when numerous local artists will cover many of the greatest hits produced at this historic landmark.

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