Jerry Housely: a Remberance

Jerry Housely
picture supplied by 
Gypsy Laura Cleveland
     Jerry Housely was a warm and generous individual. Through all the changes in his life, his concern for his community was apparent. This explains why I saw him entertain career possibilities as divergant as policeman and folk singer. His love of music was as strong as his love for humanity. To be Jerry Housely's friend was to know he cared about you.
      Jerry was the first person to offer me a gig in Austin at a small new folk club in the back of Luigi's Pizza called "TheOther Side." In its time, The Other Side heard the music of Pat Mears, George Ensle, Darden Smith, Emily Kaitz, Brian Cutean,Gary P. Nunn, Clyde Buchanan... the list goes on and included me, a hitchiking songwriter stuck in Austin on his way to Mexico. Jerry hosted a Sunday Night open mike that became the hot spot of the week. We were all learning from each other and the proliferation of new songs had a guaranteed quality showcase every week. I wrote seven songs that winter, each of them as unique as the influences I was being exposed to.
      That was the winter John Lennon was shot and I was at the Other Side when I heard the news. It was also the winter I first met many of the friends I now consider family.
      In celebrating Jerry's gift for encouraging talent, one mustn't forget Jerry's own sweet singing and guitar playing. In addition to his own original songs, his interpretations of LisaGylkison, Clyde Buchanon, Butch Hancock, and in particular, RickCardwell, all displayed emotion in a gentle crooning voice.
      Each year I return to Kerrville and I am reminded of Jerry’s friendly greeting and concern for the ranch and its annual inhabitants. When I felt most dejected and belittled for my akward avant garde approach to making music, I would hear Jerry’s voice around the fires, “Ky... won’t you sing us a song now?”