Monday, November 07, 2005

Buttoned Down in H-Town

Houston is somewhat well-known as the comic launch pad for Bill Hicks and Sam Kinison, but I had no idea The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart was recorded there.

According to this story by Bruce Westbrook in today's Houston Chronicle, the million-selling album was recorded in 1960 over two nights at the Tidelands Motor Inn, a now-demolished motor hotel adjacent to Rice Univeristy and the Texas Medical Center.

"We were taping the show, and the first night we had a drunken woman in the front row who kept saying, 'That's a bunch of crap,'" Newhart tells Westbrook. "You could hear her (on the tape) clearer than me. So we taped both shows Saturday night, and out of that we put together my first album."

Newhart is back in Houston tonight to receive the Denton A. Cooley Leadership Award.

I seem to recall sneaking into their tropically-themed swimming area during the hotel's waning days in the late Eighties, but that might've been a sister property called the Tides Inn. I don't remember if the Tides and the Tidelands were one in the same or not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I listened to a good chunk of this with my mother on the drive to New Mexico a few weeks ago. Very funny stuff. It's amazing how much mileage Newhart can get out of a fairly limited set-up.