Local musician remembers East Texan and music legend Bugs Henderson
POSTED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 10:22pm
UPDATED: Saturday, March 10, 2012 - 4:18pm
TYLER — "Blues...he was just the best blues player around here," said Lynn Groom, Bugs' friend and fellow musician.
Henderson has lost his battle with liver cancer, and Groom remembers him fondly.
In the 1960s, Buddy 'Bugs' Henderson was just a kid growing up in Tyler, Texas -- a city with a big youth music scene at the time.
He worked at a record store and eventually started his own band called "The Sensors."
His friend - piano player Lynn Groom was born and raised in Tyler. He says Bergeld Park had talent shows every Friday night featuring the local bands. The Sensors and their songs like "Caravan" were always a big hit.
"Every drummer in town had to be able to do the drum solo on Caravan! That was the standard," Groom said.
As the years went on, Lynn Groom and Bugs Henderson worked together a lot. But in the 70s, Bugs wanted to hear Lynn's ivory expertise even more.
"He asked me one day, he said 'why don't you come to my band?' and I said 'Well I've kind of got my own band.'
But bugs eventually convinced him -- under one condition.
"Not without my name on it! Yeah I'll come work with you but my name's gotta be on it too! So it became the Bugs Henderson group featuring Lynn Groom. And then I went ahead and joined. And it was great. It was one of the best bands I ever had. To this day, I think it was the best band he ever had," Groom said.
Groom says they lasted from '77 to '79.
He still has many of the bands old recordings -- preserving some memorable guitar-work from his friend Bugs.
Groom says Bugs could play any style but he eventually focused on blues...earning the respect of guitar greats.
"Ya know, Dick Dale, Ted Nugent, B.B. King and Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray, they all knew Bugs, they all played with him or had him come up and sit in with them...so he knew everybody," Groom said.
Even though Bugs Henderson never quite made it to celebrity status, Henderson, who lived in East Texas with his wife Patty and daughter Zoey just didn't seem to care about that.
On his website, Bugs is quoted as saying "I couldn't have the life I have now and be a major star. Couldn't go to my kid's ball games. I wouldn't give up that for anything,'
Bugs was 69 years old.