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PARALLEL UNIVERSE: Kinky Friedman’s On the Ballot in Texas: ‘Ride ‘em Jewboy’

Posted by kinchendavid on July 17, 2006

By David M. Kinchen
 
Hinton, WV  – There’s good news from the Lone Star State: author and musician Kinky Friedman (“They Ain’t Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore,” “Rapid City,” “Nashville Casualty and Life,” “Homo Erectus”) announced Thursday, May 11, 2006 that his name will be on the November ballot for the Texas governor’s office.
 
On his Web site, kinkyfriedman.com, Friedman, 61 (he’ll turn 62 on Oct. 31), said he raised 169,574 signatures, nearly four times the amount needed for an independent candidate to get on the ballot.
 
Like just about everything else in the gigantic state that was an independent nation for almost 10 years, Texas has peculiar rules to get on the ballot, if you’re an independent like Richard “Kinky” Friedman. An independent candidate had to collect 45,540 signatures from registered voters who didn’t vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary.
 
Another independent candidate, Carole Keeton Strayhorn (any relation to jazz great Billy Strayhorn?) turned in a reported 115,000 signatures in advance of the May 11 deadline.
 
I’m a big Friedman fan, every since I heard his songs performed by his 1970s ensemble Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys. Among his backup singers are Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. I’ve got a Friedman CD and an excellent tribute album, “Pearls in the Snow,” with many groups performing more than a dozen songs written by the Kinkster. Among the groups is one that started in West Virginia, Asleep at the Wheel, performing what could be our national anthem, “Before All Hell Breaks Loose.” Other performers on “Pearls” include Nelson (singing “Ride ‘em Jewboy”), Kinky himself, Tom Waits (another favorite of mine), Delbert McClinton, Dwight Yoakam, Lyle Lovett and many more.
 
I’ve also reviewed novels by Kinky, whose mysteries (“Elvis, Jesus and Coca-Cola”, “Ten Little New Yorkers”, “Blast from the Past” and many more) are enjoyed by both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
 
Now, if I can just figure out a way to cast an absentee ballot…

(Originally published May 13, 2006)

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