The Sir Douglas Quintet: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — March 14, 2022

383) The Sir Douglas Quintet — “Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day”

How could this pop rock masterpiece not have been a smash hit? Well, being left off the SDQ’s classic ‘69 album Mendocino and not released till two decades later might help answer the question. Think Pleasant Valley Sunday without the ironic social commentary.

Steve Huey gives us some context:

Arguably the greatest and most influential Tex-Mex group ever, the [SDQ] epitomized Texas’ reputation as a fertile roots music melting pot and established the career of Tex-Mex cult legend Doug Sahm. The [band] mixed country, blues, jazz, R&B, Mexican conjunto/norteño music, Cajun dances, British Invasion rock & roll, garage rock, and even psychedelia into a heady stew that could only have come from Texas. Although they went largely underappreciated during their existence (mostly in the ’60s), their influence was far-reaching and continues to be felt in Texas . . . and beyond . . . . According to legend, the [SDQ] was the brainchild of Houston producer Huey P. Meaux, who at the height of the British Invasion took a stack of Beatles records into a hotel room and studied them while getting drunk on wine. He found that the beats often resembled those of Cajun dance songs and hit upon the idea of a group that could blend the two sounds well enough to fool Beatles fans into giving a local band a chance. . . . Meaux told Sahm his idea and Sahm quickly formed a band . . . . Meaux gave them the deceptively British-sounding name the Sir Douglas Quintet . . . . [T]heir . . . single . . . the British Invasion/garage-flavored “She’s About a Mover” . . . became a classic of Tex-Mex rock and an international hit, climbing into the U.S. Top 20 in 1965. . . . [The band] recorded one of their finest albums, 1969’s Mendocino; the title track became a Top 40 hit and a Tex-Mex rock staple . . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-sir-douglas-quintet-mn0000018708

Ah, Doug Sahm. As Adrian Mack explains:

Sahm’s good vibes weren’t just some artifact of his ’60s roots . . . . Sahm was internally groovy. It was fundamental to his nature. It’s partly why we love him so much, and . . . . [i]t . . . explains how he can come up with something as simultaneously daffy and beautiful as the amber Texas pop of [“Sunny Mill Valley”].

https://thetyee.ca/ArtsAndCulture/2011/03/24/TheGroover/

Daddy and beautiful — yeah, that pretty well sums up the song.

“When there’s nothing left to say and all the clouds have faded away, and my mind wanders out there across the bay. Just to be there in the morning with the sun coming through the trees. Well you know there ain’t no other place I’d rather be. Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day. You can feel the magic in the air. And when it’s over and the clover has left the mountainside, you’ll be king of what you survive. . . . La la la la la la la. . . . Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day. You will have a wonderful time up there. And when it’s over and the clover has left the mountainside, you’ll be king of what you survive. La la la la la la la . . . .”

I have added a Facebook page for Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock! If you like what you read and hear and feel so inclined, please visit and “like” my Facebook page by clicking here.

Here is a version by Frank Black and the Catholics:

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