San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 7th, 2008
‘Texas Drummer Boy’ Cuviello to play Natural Fest

Photo of Johnny Cuviello by Melissa Millecam for the City of San Marcos. Used with permission.By HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

Johnny Cuviello is 92, he can still give Alex Van Halen a run for his money, and he’s coming to San Marcos this month to perform at the Western Swing Hall of Fame/Natural Fest program this month on the San Marcos square.

Cuviello’s Krupa-like syncopations formed the backdrop for musicians like Bob Wills and Buck Owens for many years. He’s a treat to watch and his many fans have numerous YouTube videos posted to prove it.

Cuviello is known as the “Texas Drummer Boy” from the song of the same name popularized by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, and written by Cuviello and the legendary Herb Remington. But while Cuviello may be small in physical stature, his status is gigantic among his fans, who run the gamut between head-bangers and Texas Swing-ers. And that is a mighty long gamut.

Last October, Patsy’s Cowgirl Café in Austin had a Texas-Swingin’ 92nd birthday bash for the always busy drummer. Phenomenal musicians came out of the woodwork to play with him. A short list of last October’s jammers include such notables as Danny Levin, Billy Mata and Bert Rivera. Wherever the diminutive drumming nonagenarian goes, great musicians follow.

The Western Swing Hall of Fame/Natural Fest starts May 17  on the square downtown. For the fourth year, the San Marcos Natural Fest will meld with the Western Swing Hall of Fame events. San Marcos Main Street Program director Kelly Franks couldn’t be more delighted (Or over-worked. If you’d like to volunteer to help with set-up, the community and Western Swing fans everywhere would be grateful. Telephone: (512) 393-8430.). 

Franks has nothing but glowing praise for Cuviello.

“He’s an absolute delight,” she said.

You can see for yourself on May 17.

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