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Tary Owens (l) and Grey Ghost
Tary Owens (l) and Grey Ghost (Photo By Martha Grenon)

Tary Owens 1943-2003

Sitting beside Janis Joplin at Thomas Jefferson high school in Port Arthur did little to prepare Tary Owens for his long journey in and around the music business. Owens, like Joplin, fled East Texas for Austin in the early Sixties, where he fell into the original Threadgill's folk scene and began seriously pursuing guitar. After graduating UT with a degree in anthropology and specializing in folklore, Owens made field recordings in Texas prisons as well as working with the likes of Mance Lipscomb, T.D. Bell & Erbie Bowser, and Roosevelt "Grey Ghost" Williams. He pursued music in every way imaginable, from label owner to performer, most recently with the Texas Redemptors. Owens was diagnosed with hepatitis C several years ago and later came down with cancer. He died Sunday in a hospice after treatment at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston. Owens, a member of the Texas Music Hall of Fame, was married to local chanteuse Maryann Price. -- Margaret Moser

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Christopher Gray, June 29, 2007

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Christopher Gray, June 22, 2007

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