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POZO SECO SINGERS

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POZO SECO SINGERS. The Pozo Seco Singers, a folk group from Corpus Christi, formed in 1964. They came together during the emerging folk rock and folk pop trend of the mid-1960s and caught the national spotlight with their hit “Time” in 1966.

Singers and guitar pickers Don Williams and Lofton Kline performed as The Strangers Two at venues around the Corpus Christi area, namely at the Del Mar College hootenannies. There, they met Susan Taylor, another folk performer and a W. B. Ray High School senior who, with other local musicians, had established the Corpus Christi Folk Music Society. The trio formed the Pozo Seco Singers. Pozo seco is Spanish for “dry hole.”

Taylor brought in area musician Paul Butts to serve as the trio’s manager. She also introduced a new song to the group—“Time,” written by Michael Merchant, a former musical partner who had left town to go to college. Butts was instrumental in getting the trio signed to Edmark Records, a small label out of Port Aransas, and in May 1965 the Pozo Seco Singers went to Gold Star Studios in Houston, where they recorded the song “Time” along with “Hello Blues and Down the Road I Go” written by Don Williams. Butts served as producer at the session. Edmark released the single with Williams’s song on the A-side. Disc jockeys across Texas, however, played the B-side, “Time,” instead, and the song became a hit in regional markets throughout the state.

The song caught the attention of Columbia Records, which sent Albert Grossman (best-known as Bob Dylan’s manager) to sign the trio. Eventually Paul Butts left as their manager. Columbia subsequently released “Time,” and the song hit Number 1 in several major markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston in 1966. Though the song did not achieve a Top 10 ranking on Billboard, because all the high rankings in all the markets must occur simultaneously, it did remain on the Top 100 for an astounding fifty-four weeks.

The Pozo Seco Singers toured the West Coast, made television appearances, and immediately began work on an album. Columbia released the album Time in 1966 and I Can Make It With You in 1967. The title track of the latter issue made Billboard’s Top 40.

Emerging at the height of folk and folk rock popularity, the Pozos traveled the United States extensively and were noted for their rich harmonies. All three played guitar, and Don Williams’s warm and gentle baritone matched with Susan Taylor’s clear full voice (she sang lead on “Time”) drew audience accolades. Their primarily folk tunes were also tinged with pop and country and included covers of “Silver Threads and Golden Needles,” “Guantanamera,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” and “If I Were a Carpenter.” Among their more notable shows was a performance given for President Lyndon Johnson at his Texas ranch.

By 1968 Kline had left the group and, for a time, was replaced with Ron Shaw. By mid-1968 Williams and Taylor carried on as a duo (under the name Pozo Seco) and released the album Shades of Time. Their final album, Spend Some Time With Me, came out in 1970. They retired the Pozo Seco Singers in 1970. Don Williams embarked on a very successful career in country music and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Lofton Kline became an independent producer/artist with MCA Records, performed at Opryland USA in Nashville, and continued in music into the early 2000s as a Christian country singer. Susan Taylor remained active as a singer–songwriter and eventually adopted the moniker Taylor Pie; she was inducted into the National Traditional Country Music Association’s hall of fame in 2015. On October 1, 2004, the trio returned to Del Mar to participate in a scholarship fundraiser. Kline and Taylor played an afternoon festival, and Williams performed at his own evening concert. The Pozo Seco Singers were inducted into the South Texas Music Walk of Fame in 2005.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

All Music Guide (www.allmusic.com), accessed September 29, 2011. Andy Bradley and Roger Wood, House of Hits: The Story of Houston’s Gold Star/SugarHill Recording Studios (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010). Corpus Christi Caller-Times, September 29, 1968. “Roots for Many Musicians Have Origins at Del Mar College,” September 16, 2004 (http://www.delmar.edu/news/musichistory091604.html), accessed October 3, 2011. Taylor Pie (http://www.taylorpie.com), accessed August 22, 2015. Graham Warwick, “Taylor Pie, Former Pozo Seco Singers Vocalist, Returns to Texas for a Rare Series of Dates in Corpus Christi, Austin,” Puff Bunny Records.com (http://www.puffbunnyrecords.com/taylor-pie-former-pozo-seco-singers-vocalist-returns-to-texas-for-a-rare-series-of-dates-in-corpus-christi-austin/), accessed September 29, 2011. Don Williams (http://don-williams.com), accessed August 22,, 2015.

Laurie E. Jasinski

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Laurie E. Jasinski, "Pozo Seco Singers," accessed October 19, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/xgp06.

Uploaded on June 4, 2015. Modified on October 25, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.