Archive for the ‘Mean Gene Kelton and the Die Hards’ Tag

COVID-19 Is Killing Live Music Venues   2 comments

Until COVID-19, gentrification was the big enemy of live music venues.
Now many these of these venues have closed forever because of the pandemic.
Maybe it’s time to bring back the old fashion bandstand in public parks.
People getting together to experience live music is a necessary
part of developing and maintaining a sense of community.

— kenne

Blue DoorBlue Door Texas Ice House On A Sunday Afternoon In East Texas (10/26/01) — Photo-Essay by kenne

Dancing to the Music of Gene Kelton and the Die Hards
(Gentrification Killed the Blue Door Years Ago.)













Capturing The Moment — gone, yes, but not forgotten   1 comment

Rhythm Room (1 of 1) blog framedMean Gene Kelton at The Rhythm Room On Washington in Houston, June 14, 2003 — Image by kenne


Smokin’ Joe’s Roadhouse, gone

The Rhythm Room, gone

Mean Gene Kelton, gone

gone, yes, but not forgotten —

the blues will never die.

— kenne

Remembering Mean Gene Kelton — One Year Out   1 comment

Mean Gene Kelton — Image by kenne

One year ago today, our very good friend, Mean Gene Kelton died in an auto accident. I first met Gene at a Houston Blues Society (HBS) board meeting we were attending to explore how a group we were forming, Friends of the Blues — Montgomery County, might work with HBS. The focus of our group was an educational series on the Blues, which would be offered through the continuing education department at Montgomery College. Gene expressed an interest in being a part of our new project, and for the next year he and Joni would drive from Baytown to The Woodlands once a week — to say the least, we were impressed and appreciative of their involvement. That kind of support and commitment says more than words as to the kind of man Mean Gene Kelton was.

Over the past decade I had plenty of opportunity to photograph Gene, and in recent years to also video some of his gigs. (See links below.) As fate would have it, Joy and I were in Houston over the holidays last year and were planning on being at his New Years day matinée at Rowdy Bucks in Crosby, Texas, which we had also attended two-years earlier. The video on this post contains clips from the events that followed Gene’s tragic death.


Brings shock and uncertainty –


By sudden erratic change,

Evading control –


For the future.

In the end, it’s

How we act that

Serves to

Nurture new beginnings.


Blog Postings

Flickr Sets


Rhythm Room, Smokin’ Joe’s Roadhouse and Mean Gene Kelton — Stardust of Yesterdays   2 comments

Joe Montes of “Smokin’ Joe’s Roadhouse” and Mean Gene Kelton at Houston’s Rhythm Room, 2003 — Image by kenne

Throughout a good part of the last decade, the Saturday KPFT programing included Smokin’ Joe’s Roadhouse, which appropriately Joe would take on the road to the Rhythm Room, later Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar, once a month. In June 2003 Mean Gene Kelton was live from the Rhythm Room on Joe’s show. Sadly, Smokin’ Joe’s Roadhouse, the Rhythm Room and Mean Gene Kelton are no longer with us. 

Today the Rhythm Room has been replaced by condos, Smokin’ Joe’s Roadhouse replaced by the program, “Deadbeat” and Gene, well you can’t replace Mean Gene Kelton. However, he will always be in the hearts of  the “Die Hards.”

Today while looking for some of my Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club, I ran across some of my 2003 Rhythm Room photos, each causing a trip back in time. I thought about writing a new poem, then recalled my 2005 “Stardust Memories” poem, which I share again.

Stardust Memories 

The past,
is not for replay,
only for the stardust of yesterdays

in a time and place,
gently massaging forgotten dreams

giving clues to
our stardust memories

fading for now,
only reborn to our imagination

directing the soul to
reconstruct old moments

experiencing rapture
in the joy of our love

is the stardust of yesterday,
the music of the years to come

May these words and images gently sprinkle down on our collective stardust memories.


Mean Gene Kelton @ The Corner Pub — August 2008   7 comments

Joni, Joy and Gene December 31, 2008 — Image by kenne

On an August, 2008, Saturday evening, at the Corner Pub in Conroe, Texas, I was photographing and videoing Mean Gene Kelton and The Die Hards. I had several video clips, from which I put two in the first video I ever edited. After making one movie, my inexperience caused me to lose all the clips. On several occasions since then, I have tried to find the old clips. Meanwhile, I misfiled the movie. But as fate would have it, yesterday while looking for some other video files, I found this 2 1/2-year old video.

Since the passing of Gene in late December, this video is dedicated to the memory of Mean Gene Kelton, one of Houston’s great blues & rock singer/songwriters, and all the Die Hards everywhere. We miss you, Gene!


Mr. & Mrs. “V” & KPFT Remember Mean Gene Kelton   1 comment

Buddy Brewer, Nancy McAfee, Joni Kelton & Mr. “V” (James Vaughn) at KPFT — Image by kenne

Mr. and Mrs. “V” dedicated most of their Sunday morning “Blues On The Move” program to the late Mean Gene Kelton. Many people, the real “Die Hards,” shared their stories and their thoughts of Houston’s Blues/Rock/Americana singer-songwriter, Mean Gene Kelton. I have additional photos and video I will be sharing in the next week.


Capturing the Moment — Memories of Mean Gene   1 comment

Mean Gene Kelton — Image by kenne

Memories form pages

to the book of life.

Words shared in friendship

are gentle, but firm.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted January 3, 2011 by kenneturner in Blues, Friends, Life, Music, Poetry

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Mean Gene Kelton & The Diehards

It’s been awhile since Joy and I enjoyed the music of Mean Gene Kelton & The Diehards, so when the opportunity to see them at Westfield by the Railroad presented itself this past Saturday night, we made it down to one of our old live music venues.  This time there was an additional expectation; Gene had added a piano player to the band, Clint Glaze.

Clint is a great addition to an already tight band, affording new music and jam possibilities.  Obviously, Gene and the band continue to evolve, creating new ways to bring their style of blues/southern rock/American roots music to southeast Texas music lovers.

Don’t just take my word; check out their schedule at and make a point to attend one of their gigs and judge for yourself. When you do, let me know about your experience. The more we share our live music experiences, the more we will be able to better support musicians in southeast Texas.


Posted February 4, 2010 by kenneturner in Art, Blues, Music, Photography, video

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Call It Stormy Monday — Mr. “V” with Mean Gene Kelton   2 comments

mr-v-with-mean-gene-kelton-4921-blogAnyone that is a Blues lover in Houston, Texas knows about KPFT’s “Blues On The Move” Sunday morning show, hosted by “The Love Doctor,” Mr. V (James Vaughn) and his lovely wife, Mrs. “V” (Jo).  Wherever live Blues is happening in Houston, it’s not uncommon to see the “V’s” in the house, and Saturday night at the Corner Pub in Conroe was no exception.  This time the “V’s” were there to see Mean Gene Kelton and the Diehards, along with many of the original “Friends of The Blues — Montgomery County.”  (FOBulous!)

As usual, I was taking some photos, and when Mr. V went on stage, I pulled out my little video camera. (I’m still working on the best way to upload my HD video to YouTube, so I’m still not pleased with the quality.) This was a reunion of sorts from last year Mr. V’ 69th birthday and in Memphis.

The song Mr. V does is Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday’s Just As Bad) by legendary and great, T. Bone Walker.


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