Kent Finlay, Dreamer: The Musical Legacy behind Cheatham Street Warehouse

Kent Finlay, Dreamer: The Musical Legacy behind Cheatham Street Warehouse

Kent Finlay, Dreamer: The Musical Legacy behind Cheatham Street Warehouse

Kent Finlay, Dreamer: The Musical Legacy behind Cheatham Street Warehouse

Synopsis

Though not a household name for the general public, Kent Finlay (1938-2015) was one of the world's best-known and best-loved promoters, mentors, and gurus of Texas music. In 1974, he founded the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos as a venue for live music and an incubator for young talent. In 1977, he drove to Nashville and took with him a young, unknown singer named George Strait. On that trip, Strait recorded a demo that laid the initial foundation of his sensational career. Finlay's friends and fans also include such Texas music fixtures as Todd Snider, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jack Ingram, James McMurtry, Joe "King" Carrasco, Marcia Ball, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, Hayes Carll, Omar Dykes (Omar and the Howlers), Terri Hendrix, and Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel). These and many others have contributed first-person interviews to this volume, which pays tribute both to Finlay and to his unselfish love for Texas music and musicians.

Excerpt

I hope you enjoy reading the story of my friend Kent Finlay. He was a huge part of my early career, and I’m sure it was destiny that we met. We played together, tried to write together, had more than a few beers together, and just plain had a lot of fun together. His part in Texas music history is huge. He and his great little honky-tonk with indoor toilets gave me and a whole host of others a place to learn our craft and to learn how to be, sing, and play music on stage. Thanks, Kent, for believing in the up-and-coming Ace in the Hole Band, with a totally unknown singer who had big dreams—and for helping make those dreams a reality. I’ll never forget those days. Thank you, my friend. You are the Man.

—George Strait July 2014

George Strait, email interview with Brian T. Atkinson, July 10, 2014. For Strait’s early years performing at Cheatham Street Warehouse, see Gregg Andrews, “It’s the Music: Kent Finlay’s Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos Texas,” Journal of Texas Music History 5, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 13–15. For Strait’s first trip to Nashville with Kent Finlay, see Peter Cooper, “George Strait’s Career Has Endured Like No Other,” Tennessean, March 21, 2014, www.tennessean.com (accessed January 25, 2015). For the yellow 1976 Dodge cargo van that Kent Finlay and Darrell Staedtler used to drive Strait to Nashville for the first time, see Craig Hlavaty, “The Story of the Van That Took George Strait to Country Stardom,” Houston Chronicle, February 16, 2015, www. chron.com (accessed February 16, 2015). For more on Strait’s gratitude toward Kent Finlay and Cheatham Street Warehouse, see “George Strait: the Cowboy Rides Away, 2014: the Last Concert,” YouTube, www.youtube.com (accessed January 25, 2015).

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.