All Hail "The Thunderbird"

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Note Peacock stamp at the bottom.

Eminent local blues scholar Dr. Roger Wood e-mailed Rocks Off this morning with an unexpected discovery he made while listening to the Never Ever Land International Artists compilation I wrote about last week:

"Here's the big surprise it yielded for me:

On the third ("Pot Pourri") disc, track number 4 is credited to Big Walter. Upon hearing it, I am certain that the singer/pianist is Big Walter "The Thunderbird" Price - probably the oldest surviving blues singer from Peacock Records.

Price in more recent years
He was born in either 1914 or 1917 (either way, he's in his 90s), and he scored a mid-50s hit with Peacock with the song "Pack Fair and Square" (which, btw, I first heard - and dug - as covered by the J. Geils Band on its early-'70s Full House Live album). I did a 1997 cover story interview with Walter for Living Blues [magazine], and of course, he is featured in Down In Houston [Wood's 2003 local blues tome]. We are good buddies.

Anyway, it blows my mind to learn that Walter recorded for IA. I knew about the Free Form Patterns LP that IA produced with Lightnin' Hopkins (at Gold Star Studio), but I had no idea that Walter (who was a good friend of Lightnin's) also recorded for the company."

Wood wrote an article for the Press marking Price's 87th birthday in 2001. And believe it or not, the venerable bluesman even has a MySpace page, where you can hear "Pack Fair and Square." Check it out. - Chris Gray

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.