Named after the infamous Texas dope dealer, Fred Gomez Carrasco, who was killed during an attempted jail break from Huntsville’s Department of Corrections maximum security unit in the mid-1970’s, Joe “King” Carrasco, has devoted his career to preserving the musical genre he grew up listening to in his west Texas boyhood home of Dumas. Joe “King” decided at an early age to follow in the footsteps and to perpetuate the musical tradition and heritage of the Tex-Mex, Vox/Farfisa organ-driven rock and roll “garage sound” of such 1960’s luminaries as the Sir Douglas Quintet, Question Mark & the Mysterians and Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs.
After playing in a succession of bands around Texas in the late '60s and early '70s, Carrasco founded his horn-influenced big band, El Molino, in San Antonio in 1976. It was there he recorded his 1978 debut album, Tex-Mex Rock-Roll. Somehow this record made its way to England and was re-released by Big Beat Records. Elvis Costello once remarked to the UK press, “… that it was better than the Police."
By 1979, Carrasco moved to Austin and formed the quartet known as the Crowns where they were regulars at Raul’s on the Drag and at Duke’s Royal Coach Inn & Club Foot on South Congress. It was in Austin that Joe & the Crowns recorded their quintessential party anthem, “Party Weekend,” b/w “Houston El Mover.” From this session, Joe “King” and the Crowns also recorded “Let’s Get Pretty” b/w “Nowhere Else but San Antonio,” This single was released regionally in Texas in 1981 by Indio Records, a subsidiary of Recovery Recordings. From the success of Carrasco’s independent Austin, Texas releases, the band soon became the first American group signed to England's legendary Stiff Records. During this time Joe toured extensively throughout Europe, Central America and South America, as well as across the USA and Canada; consistently delivering high energy performances where dancing was the numero uno priority. He became the favorite of the New York music press at this time which resulted in one NY scribe labeling his new musical genre as ”Nuevo Wavo.”
Even with all this going on Carrasco knew he was ready to take his music to a new level. It was on the Stiff Records, “Son of Stiff Tour,” while traveling with a British-born Jamaican band called The Equators that Joe picked up much of his reggae influence. After returning from a very successful year on the road, he put this experience to work and recorded the reggae-flavored song "Don't Let a Woman (Make a Fool Out of You)" on his album Synapse Gap for MCA Records where he had the King of pop, Michael Jackson, singing background harmonies. In 1983, MCA released Party Weekend, produced by legendary pop music producer, Richard Gottehrer.
In 1995 MCA Records released a compilation CD set of Carrasco’s music, though this set merely scratches the surface of this seasoned songwriter's catalogue. In early 1996 Joe King’s song “Tell Me” was recorded by The Texas Tornados and sung by Freddie Fender, on their CD, 4 Aces. Joe “King” also plays guitar on the song “A Little Bit Is Better Than Nada” in the soundtrack for the Kevin Costner’s movie, The Tin Cup.
For many years, Joe has donated his time and music to make P.S.A.'s for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, helping to spread the word about keeping our beaches clean. With thousands of live performances under his belt, a dozen albums to his credit, and fans circling the globe, its little wonder Joe “King” Carrasco is still the #1 party band in music circles around the country.
The single, “Let’s Get Pretty” b/w “Nowhere Else but San Antonio,” on the Indio/Recovery label, is currently available for download purchases at: www.itunes.com
Recorded: January, 1980
Produced by: Ivan Koop Kuper
Engineered by: Chuck Sugar
Recorded at: Jasper Sound, Austin, Texas
Re-mastered by: James Hoover
Executive Producer: Billy Gibbons
# # #
Artist descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.