Sammy Allred Dead at 84

Geezinslaw Brother and institutional ATX deejay passes

Sammy Allred on the microphone (Photo by John Anderson)

Sammy Allred, singer and mandolin player in hillbilly humorists the Geezinslaw Brothers and longtime local deejay, has died at age 84, KOKE-FM reported.

The Geezinslaw Brothers, later billed simply as the Geezinslaws, were among Austin’s first breakout musical acts. The group, led by Allred and DeWayne “Son” Smith began in the Fifties and became regulars on the popular Louisiana Hayride show in addition to opening for an early-career Elvis Presley.

In the Sixties, the musical comedy duo enjoyed stints with Columbia and Capitol Records, and regularly performed their routines on major variety shows, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Smothers Brothers Show, and The Roger Miller Show. Their 1969 long-player The Geezinslaws Are Alive (And Well?) best documents their clever songs and gags.

The group, which continued into the next millennium, even forayed into rap on this Allred-led, early-Nineties single “Help I’m White and I Can’t Get Down.” The Geezinslaws were inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

A Texas Radio Hall of Fame deejay, Allred was equally beloved and controversial as a morning co-host on KVET for decades. The colorful and politically conservative Austin native was the subject of a headline-making 1997 FCC complaint filed by local activist Dorothy Richter, which ultimately didn’t result in the station’s license being jeopardized. He was suspended in 2007 after calling then-presidential hopeful Barack Obama a “clean darky,” which he did in lampooning Joe Biden’s own characterization of his running mate.

Allred returned alongside longtime friend and co-host Bob Cole two years later. He and Cole won the Austin Music Award for “Best Radio DJ” in 1993-94.

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Sammy Allred, Bob Cole, Geezinslaw Brothers, Elvis Presley, Roger Miller, Johnny Carson, Smothers Brothers, K-VET, KOKE-FM

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