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The single that launched Austin's Sonobeat Records in 1967 returns

coverAUSTIN, TEXAS, March 10, 2014 - Austin's Sonobeat Records (1967-1976) was an integral seed of the Central Texas music revolution that began in the mid-'60s. Sonobeat's prodigious output introduced Johnny Winter, Eric Johnson, Rusty Wier, the Afro-Caravan, and dozens of other luminary Texas musicians to the world, but its commercial single and album releases have been out of print since the mid-'70s. That now changes.

On March 11, 2014, Sonobeat Historical Archives digitally rereleases Sonobeat Records' first 45 RPM single, A Picture of Me and Without You by the Sweetarts, one of Austin's most popular '60s rock bands. The Sweetarts' single launched fledgling Sonobeat in summer 1967, the first in a series of stereo singles and albums featuring top Central Texas musicians, singers, and songwriters released by the label during the formative years of Austin's now world-renowned music scene.

Sitting dormant on deteriorating magnetic tape for more than 46 years after its original vinyl release, Sonobeat Historical Archives has digitally restored and remastered the Sweetarts single from the original session masters. On March 11th, the digital rerelease will be available on the iTunes Store and AmazonMP3 Store as individual tracks or as the EP Austin, TX 1967. In the coming months, Sonobeat Historical Archives will digitally restore, remaster, and rerelease additional material from the Sonobeat Records vault, including singles by Lavender Hill Express (featuring Austin icon Rusty Wier), Conqueroo, Plymouth Rock, Mariani (featuring another Austin icon, Eric Johnson), Wali and the Afro-Caravan, and Rockabilly legend Ray Campi.

Sonobeat Records was the 1960s and '70s Austin-based independent record label formed by father-son team Bill Josey Sr. and Bill Josey Jr. In its 9 years of operation, Sonobeat released 22 singles and 2 commercial albums, several "white cover" non-commercial demo albums, and hundreds of unreleased tracks by dozens of Central Texas bands and solo artists. Sonobeat also pioneered mono-compatible stereo 45 RPM singles. In 1968, Sonobeat recorded blues guitar legend Johnny Winter's acclaimed debut album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, which it sold to Liberty Records, and a year later, Sonobeat sold its Wali and the Afro-Caravan album Home Lost and Found to Liberty/United Artists Records. The relatively few remaining copies of Sonobeat's vinyl singles and albums are prized among Texas music aficionados and record collectors around the world.

Sonobeat's official website (, mirrored at recounts the label's story and those of the artists it recorded. The label's historical significance in the development of Austin's now-world famous music scene is documented by Austin musician and author Ricky Stein in his book, Sonobeat Records: Pioneering the Austin Sound in the '60s (History Press, January 14, 2014).

Sonobeat Historical Archives is the collective of Sonobeat co-founder Bill Josey Sr.'s heirs, who maintain the Sonobeat website and master tape archives.

Sweetarts: Ernie Gammage (co-founder; guitar and lead vocals), Pat Whitefield (bass), Mike Galbraith (vocals), Tom Van Zandt (keyboards), and Dwight Dow (co-founder; drums). The Sweetarts' Sonobeat story is at Even more Sweetarts' history is at the band's retrospective website:

"A Picture of Me" and "Without You" were composed by Ernie Gammage.