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Famous Like Me > Singer > F > Kinky Friedman

Profile of Kinky Friedman on Famous Like Me

Name: Kinky Friedman  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 31st October 1944
Place of Birth: Palestine, Texas, USA
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Richard F. "Kinky" Friedman, (born October 31, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American singer, songwriter, novelist and, currently, a candidate for the office of Governor of the State of Texas, United States.

Born in Chicago to Jewish parents, Friedman's family moved to a ranch in central Texas during his childhood. He had a keen interest in both music and chess at an early age. Friedman graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts, double-majoring in Psychology and Plan II Honors. He then served two years with the Peace Corps in Borneo and other areas of the southwest Pacific Ocean.

Friedman currently lives at Echo Hill Ranch, his family's summer camp near Kerrville, Texas, just outside of Medina. He also founded Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, whose mission is to care for stray, abused and aging animals; more than 1,000 dogs have been saved from euthanasia.

Music career

Friedman formed his band, The Texas Jewboys, in the early 1970s. Friedman's father objected to the name of the band, calling it a "negative, hostile, peculiar thing."

Arriving on the wave of country rock following on from Gram Parsons, The Band and The Eagles, Friedman originally found cult fame as a country and western singer. His repertoire mixed social commentary ("We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To You") and maudlin ballads ("Western Union Wire") with raucously politically incorrect humor ("Get Your Biscuits In The Oven and Your Buns In Bed"), while his "Ride'em Jewboy" was a remarkably effective extended tribute to the victims of the Holocaust. Friedman was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live in October 1976.

Selected discography

  • Sold American (1973)
  • Kinky Friedman (1974)
  • Lasso From El Paso (1976)
  • Under the Double Ego (1983)
  • Old Testaments and New Revelations (1992)
  • From One Good American To Another (1995)
  • Classic Snatches from Europe (2000)

Writing career

After his music career stalled in the 1980s, Friedman found a new lease on life as a detective novelist. His books have similarities to his music, featuring a fictionalized version of himself solving crimes in New York City and dispensing jokes, wisdom, Texan charm and Jameson's whiskey in equal measure. They are written in a straightforward style which owes a debt to Raymond Chandler.

Friedman has also written a regular column for the magazine Texas Monthly since April 2001, although it has been suspended during his run for governor of Texas; his last essay appeared in the March 2005 issue.

Selected bibliography

  • Greenwich Killing Time (1986, ISBN 0688064094)
  • A Case Of Lone Star (1987, ISBN 0517694271)
  • When The Cat's Away (1988, ISBN 0517075644)
  • Frequent Flyer (1989, ISBN 0688081665)
  • Musical Chairs (1991, ISBN 0688091482)
  • Elvis, Jesus and Coca-Cola (1993, ISBN 0671869221)
  • Armadillos and Old Lace (1994, ISBN 067186923X)
  • God Bless John Wayne (1995, ISBN 0684810514)
  • The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover (1996, ISBN 0684803771)
  • Roadkill (1997, ISBN 068480378X)
  • Blast From The Past (1998, ISBN 0684803798)
  • Spanking Watson (1999, ISBN 0684850613)
  • The Mile High Club (2000, ISBN 068486486X)
  • Stepping On A Rainbow (2001, ISBN 0684864878)
  • Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch (2002, ISBN 0684864886)
  • Kill Two Birds and Get Stoned (2003, ISBN 006620979X)
  • Curse of the Missing Puppethead (2003, ISBN 0970238363)
  • Prisoner of Vandam Street (2004, ISBN 0743246020)
  • 'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out (2004, ISBN 0060539755)
  • Ten Little New Yorkers (2005, ISBN 0743246039)


In the early 1980s, Friedman ran a semi-serious campaign for Justice of the Peace in Kerrville, Texas, but lost the election.

In 2004, Friedman began a serious campaign to become the Governor of Texas in 2006. One of his stated goals is the "dewussification" of Texas. Among his campaign slogans are "How Hard Could It Be?" and "Why The Hell Not?" He's hoping to follow in the footsteps of other entertainers-turned-governors, including Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Ronald Reagan. When the campaign finance reports came out after the second quarter had ended, Friedman shockingly outraised former Democratic Congressman Chris Bell.

Friedman is friends with both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both of whom have invited him to visit the White House. He wrote about his friendships with them in his November 2001 column ("Hail to the Kinkster") for Texas Monthly.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Kinky Friedman