Roy Head is remembered as a one-shot artist, but he actually cut many records (some under the auspices of noted producer Huey Meaux) throughout the 1960s on a confusing variety of labels. Additionally, Roy Head cut one of the great pieces of up-tempo soul in the mid-'60s. "Treat Her Right" on Back Beat made it to number two on the R&B charts and number two Pop, and the fact that Head was white was soft-pedaled in R&B circles while the song made its way up the charts. Best known for his wild dance moves and microphone tricks during live performances Head started his recording career with a group from San Marcos Texas, The Traits. The group consisted of Roy Head on vocals, Tommy Bolton on rhythm guitar, Gerry Gibson on drums, Dan Buie on piano, Clyde Causey on lead guitar and Bill Pennington on bass. Just before their first recordings Causey joined the military and was replaced by George Frazer on lead.
In late 1963 Head met Charlie Booth at a gig in East Bernard. This meeting is what pushed The Traits to create the blue-eyed soul sound, which Head is best known for. Booth a TV repairman, turned Houston music promoter, introduced the group to Huey Meaux. In early 1964 the Traits signed with Meaux who then took the group to Gold Star Studios in Houston, Texas. At this first recording session “Teenage Letter/Pain,” were laid down, however Booth and Meaux both knew there was more to offer from this group from San Marcos. Booth, showed a lot of interest in the band’s original tune “Talking ‘bout a Cow,” and suggested cleaning up the lyrics, which became “Treat Her Right,” and was recorded at the groups second trip to the Gold Star Studios. After many personnel changes the group now recorded as Roy Head and the Traits. One big change would come by way of a new bass player, Gene Kurtz who co-wrote “Treat Her Right.” Treat Her Right was released on Don Robey’s Back Beat label where it reached number two on the charts behind the Beatles “Yesterday.”
Check out these Roy Head Treat Her Right Videos. Also included is a Rory Gallagher and Bon Jovi vids of them doing this song.
Roky Head on Shindig! in 1965
Rory Gallagher doing Treat Her Right
Bon Jovi doing Treat Her Right