This spotlight features The Fabulous Thunderbirds
In 1986 everyone was “Gung Ho” for some “Tough Guys” but did this Texas Style Blues Rock band called Fabulous Thunderbirds have it? …Maybe, but not for long. Started in 1974 The Fab T. Birds, we will call them, were no stranger to low record sales and broken record contracts. How can a band that is loved by everyone from Eric Clapton to the Rolling Stones, sell so poorly? Who knows and frankly who cares because in 1986 they caught a break that would have the whole worlds asking “Ain’t that Tuff’ Enuff??” The answer was “YES”, yes they were with this breakout single and long awaited glory. “Tuff Enuff” had front man Kim Wilson in his little beret blowin’ kisses across stage to over age, well endowed women who were trying to relive the days of the “strong old fashion man” .With their “throw back-straight ahead” Texas Blues do not let that confuse you; this was not Stevie Ray hammering away on the ol’ axe but rather his brother Jimmy Ray Vaughn trying to stay afloat and not to drown in his brothers Texas Flood and breaking away on his own guitar god journey which soon idled quicker than you can say “Wrap It Up”. ( single #2)
1986 was a great year for the T Bird boys; not so much for music as a whole, but they did manage to stay in line with another hit “Powerful Stuff” in which was featured in the movie Cocktail. BORING!!.. I know, I know but here is the kicker…Where are they now???? Jimmy Ray Vaughn soon left to rock with his brother Stevie but after his brother’s death in 1990 he’s been kicking around a solo career that stayed in the same gear since starting it 20 years ago; neutral. Preston Hubbard: bass and Fran Christina: drums are lost in space while Kim still is kicking it live and direct turning out show after show. The fans of the Fabulous Thunderbirds till this day still expects “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap It Up” at every show and from what I hear Kim delivers with an added 50 minutes of music no one’s ever heard of, well it’s a nice beer break in between the two hits…now isn’t that just Fabulous????
Dicky Dolton is a freelance contributor to Outside The Dial and part time rock fiend.