Don “Sugarcane” Harris & Dewey Terry

Beginning his career as the guitar playing half of the 1950s rock duo, Don & Dewey, Don “Sugarcane” Harris, put down the guitar and picked up the violin after the lack of success for Don & Dewey. Recorded in 1962, and produced by Sonny Bono (yes, folks, that Bono), Frank Zappa has said that Don and Dewey‘s single “Soul Motion” (see clip above) on Rush Records was one of the all-time great R&B records.


In 1969, longtime Don & Dewey fan Frank Zappa got Don “Sugarcane” Harris to join his band. Zappa recorded “Hot Rats“, “Burnt Weeny Sandwich“, “Weasels Ripped My Flesh“, “Chunga’s Revenge” and “Apostrophe (‘)” with Sugarcane.

In the clip below, Don & Dewey in dazzling purple suits are caught backstage at Jack’s Sugar Shack, a now-defunct Hollywood nightspot, in the walk-in freezer, stompin’ on a blues improv with the late Gashouse Dave on Zippo lighter, Lightnin’ Willie – Dobro and vocals, and an unidentified younger fiddler:

Harris continued working until his death on December 1, 1999, at age 61, and so did Terry until his death on May 11, 2003, at age 65.

3 Responses to “Don “Sugarcane” Harris & Dewey Terry”

  1. Gut Suitman says:

    Thank you for this post! I’ve never seen him performing live…. Priceless. I just hope his footage from the 1972 Berlin Jazz Festival will surface one day. (Yes, it was when he did the New Violin Summit with Jean-Luc Ponty. I’ve only seen a fragment from the stage in another YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwrCAXIB7oQ)

  2. Gut Suitman says:

    Oops, sorry. The URL in the previous post doesn’t work properly. Here’s the correct one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwrCAXIB7oQ

  3. urbangraffito says:

    Indeed, Gut Suitman, it took a bit of digging through YT to find this bit of footage of “Sugarcane” Harris and Dewey Terry. I, too, would like to see more footage surface one day. Too bad the clip from the New Violin Summit with Jean-Luc Ponty is so brief. Damn shame.

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