Isaac Payton Sweat
Born: July 19, 1944 in Port Arthur, Texas
Died: June 23, 1990
Isaac Payton Sweat graduated from Nederland High School and attended Lamar University, although he dropped out after only a few months because playing music at night and attending school during the day proved too difficult. His father and uncles played in bands such as "The Fruit Jar Drinkers" and "Firestone Boys". They played "hoedowns" at dance halls in the local area. Sweat picked up the banjo at age 13 and then played the guitar in several high school rock bands. He played in a group called The Continentals where he made eight dollars a night, but they only lasted a year.
Blues guitarist Johnny Winter and Sweat were acquainted through their band activities and at Lamar. Sweat joined Winter's band. They had a number 1 regional hit called "Eternally". The band toured for three years traveling in an ever-widening radius which eventually went as far as Georgia. Sweat played bass on the Johnny Winter's Columbia Record release "White, Hot & Blue", a very successful album. After a few years in the "psychedelic" scene, Sweat cut his hair and began playing conservative country.
Sweat cut a vocal version of the Al Dean instrumental standard "Cotton Eyed Joe" in 1980 which became a regional hit. However, he did not like, or understand the business side of the record industry and felt that he didn't get what he deserved from his best-selling recording. He also recorded versions of Cajun standards including Matilda and Jole Blon.
In Nashville he recorded 'A Redneck Is the Backbone of America" and three other songs for Telstar Records, the last of which was "The Day the Music Died".