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November 1: Kinky Friedman

lawrencebush
November 1, 2014

Kinky Friedman with Muammar on February 22, 2014Songwriter, humorist, and racy raconteur Richard Samet "Kinky" Friedman was born in Chicago on this date in 1944. Raised in Texas, he got his nickname from a fellow Jewish musician because of the texture of his hair, and in 1971 he formed Kinky Friedman and The Texas Jewboys (playing on the name of the well-known "Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys"). Friedman's satiric band combined social commentary ("We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to You"), historical ballads ("Ride 'Em Jewboy," a tribute to victims of the Holocaust), and aggressive humor ("Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in Bed," a song that lampoons feminism and landed Friedman the National Organization for Women's "Male Chauvinist Pig Award" in 1973). Friedman is also a novelist and political columnist who has run for office, including governor (he received 12.6 percent of the vote in 2006), on both Republican and Democratic tickets. Politically, in the universe of Texas politics, he's on the left: He publicly supports decriminalization of pot, higher pay for teachers, women's reproductive rights, gay marriage ("they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us") and increased investment in renewable fuels. Yet he has always combined his politics with raunchiness, scattershot humor, and aggressive self-promotion to stake out territory, for better or worse, as an iconoclast. To see him singing "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Any More," look below.

"Jesus and I were both Jewish and that neither of us ever had a job, we never had a home, we never married and we traveled around the countryside irritating people." —Kinky Friedman