Hold What You've Got

Album: Hold On To What You've Got (1965)
Charted: 5

Songfacts®:

  • Joe Tex's real name is Joseph Arrington.
  • Tex was on the verge of having his contract with Dial Records torn up after three years of futility when label owner and producer Buddy Killen suggested on more try, but only if Tex agreed to follow Killen's instructions to the letter. When recording time arrived, Tex had a song about his childhood sweetheart, written on a paper bag.
  • Tex: "My first wife, Johnny Mae, was pregnant with my son, Jean was married, and I was thinking about leaving Baton Rouge, trying to get Jean back."
  • When Tex entered the studio to record this, he didn't have a melody yet, and he could barely speak with a hoarse voice. Killen suggested that the words be matched to a gospel song, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty" to take advantage of the Christmas season, and when Tex failed to hit the high notes while trying to record the song, Killen suggested that he merely talk through the part with the high notes. The "sermon" made the recording a #5 smash -- Tex's first Top 40 hit. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for all above

Comments: 4

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 3rd 1965, Joe Tex performed "Hold What You've Got" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'...
    Five days earlier on February 27th the song was at #44 on Billboard's Hot Top 100, and that was also its last day on the chart; a little over five weeks earlier on January 24th it had peaked at #5 {See 2nd post below}...
    On the day of Mr. Tex's appearance on Shindig! he had two records on the Top 100; "You Better Get It" was at #59 while the record's B-side, "You Got What It Takes" was at #72, but interestingly, he didn't perform either of them on 'Shindig!'.
  • Rotunda from Tulsa, OkOh boy! Thanks to Barry of Sauquoit, NY for the info on Joe Tex. This song hit HUGE in my area in '65. It was the first time I ever heard of Joe Tex, but I became a fan right away. He sure had a mess of hits in the Sixties and the Seventies. My personal favorite is "Skinny Legs and All." I just wondered if it was recorded live or if it was in a studio. I thought this song was hit first recording and was surprised to learn he had several releases before this that didn't do so well. It just shows you to persevere with your pursuits! Joe Tex was quite an R&B artist.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 24th 1965, "Hold What You've Got" by Joe Tex peaked at #5 (for 1 week) and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on January 16th, 1965 it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on *Cash Box's Top R&B Singles chart
    Between 1964 and 1979 he had thirty-five hits on the R&B Singles chart; with eleven making the Top 10 and four reaching #1; "Hold What You've Got" (1964), "I Want To (Do Everything For You)" (1965), "A Sweet Woman Like You" (1966), and "I Gotcha" (1972)...
    R.I.P. Mr. Tex, born Joseph Arrington, Jr., (1933 - 1982)...
    * From Nov. 1963 to Jan. 1965 Billboard Magazine did not publish an R&B Singles chart.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyThis record was his first record to chart and it peaked at No. 5; it wouldn't be until his 17th charted record before he made the Top 10 again.
    That record was 'Skinny Legs and All', it peaked at No. 10!!! {My favorite Joe Tex song}
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