One in a Crowd: Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove

Kickstarter appeal of new film about Austin legend

Doug Sahm, the musical legend behind Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove
Doug Sahm, the musical legend behind Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove (Photo by Nelson Allen, courtesy of the filmmakers)

Important rule for anyone considering making a music documentary: Getting the rights to all the songs you want can be costly and difficult. So a new film about a legend of the Austin music scene is looking for help from the scene he helped found to get those rights secured.

Joe Nick Patoski may be a first-time filmmaker, but his fingerprints are all over the history of Texas music journalism. A former senior editor at Texas Monthly, he's been the biographer of Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Selena, and even spent a stint managing/cat-wrangling seminal Austin rockers the True Believers. Now he's landed himself a director's credit on IMDB with his documentary Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove, chronicling the life and times of everyone's favorite fake aristocrat.

Who was Doug Sahm? As the filmmakers describe him, he was the Texas cat of Texas cats, and Texas’ musical soul, all about the groove. From his faux-British Invasion emulators the Sir Douglas Quintet, through the original Tex-Mex supergroup the Texas Tornados, Sahm was arguably the progenitor of the Austin music scene, the original cosmic cowboy. Admired by Dylan, friends with the Dead, Sahm may be the most influential Texas musician you've never heard of, or even heard. Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove aims to correct both of those omissions.

Full disclosure: Austin Chronicle Editor and co-founder Louis Black is one of the film's executive producers, along with award-winning documentarian and Arts + Labor founder Alan Berg and producer Dawn Johnson (Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt).

Patoski's film debuted to sell-out crowds at SXSW 2015 (see "Texas Me", March 20), but he needs to get the rights cleared for over 40 original Sahm songs, performances, and compositions. The total bill for that comes in at $75,000, and with less than a week to go, Patoski is still $30,000 short. Without those rights, the film will never get to fulfill Patoski's dream of spreading the word about this forgotten legend of Texas music.

This isn't just about getting the film out there around the world. This is about getting Sahm into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and that's why there's a petition accompanying the fundraiser. Even if you don't have a cent to contribute, you can still see your name alongside Carolyn Wonderland and Denny Freeman by signing up (just scroll to the bottom of the Kickstarter page for the link).

Feel like helping out? Head over to the Kickstarter appeal, or find out more at

One in a Crowd (formerly Kickstart Your Weekend) is a series intended to showcase Texas film and tech projects that are crowdfunding their way to a goal, be it distribution, a prototype, or production costs. If you have a project that we should know about, email us at

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