R.I.P. Roy Head, 1960s Rocker Famous for “Treat Her Right” Dead at 79

Roy Head, the 1960s rocker best known for the smash hit “Treat Her Right”, has died at 79. According to the Montgomery County Police Recorderthe cause was heart attack

“Treat Her Right” was a sensation upon its release in 1965, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100, while boasting sales that would have made it number one at just about any other time — except that The Beatles had recently released “Yesterday”. The song has been a pop culture mainstay ever since, appearing over the opening credits of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and popping up in the 1991 film The Commitments.

Head was born in Three Rivers, TX, on January 9th, 1941. His father was a sharecropper, and his love of music came from listening to Black sharecroppers singing in the field. “The melodic flow they had, it sounded like a lone wolf at night,” he told The Houston Chronicle. “They sang about pain and hurt, all that sort of stuff.”

After serving in the Army, Head joined up with a group of musicians who would soon be known as the Traits. While playing small venues in Texas, Roy Head & the Traits developed a reputation as a powerhouse live act led by their dancing, cartwheeling frontman. Head modeled himself after James Brown, and would pepper his performances with gravity-defying backbends and the occasional jump into the splits.

He continued putting out new music in the ’70s and ’80s, eventually transitioning from rock and R&B to country. To hear him tell it, his professional career was constantly beset by bad contracts and even worse drunken decisions. He claims that he once bit Elvis Presley on the ankle, and had to be forcibly dragged away by bodyguards. His son, Sundance Head, said of these stories, “I take what he says and divide by two. Then maybe something’s right with it.”

Head experienced a resurgence of popularity over the last 15 years, especially as Sundance booked spots on musical reality competitions. In 2007, Sundance was a semi-finalist on American Idol, and in 2016 he won The Voice outright. That winning run included a performance with coach Blake Shelton of “Treat Her Right”.

Sundance announced his father’s passing on social media. He wrote, “My old dad Roy Head has went to be with the lord this morning he was an amazing person and a wonderful dad. He slept away in the arms of my mother at home. I am in shock and also confused. He was a giant to me. I don’t know what else to say right now. Please keep my mother in your prayers and our family.”

The Walking Dead to End

After more than a decade, The Walking Dead is finally ready to rest. As Deadline notes, the long-running horror series will come to an end in 2022 after an expanded 11th season. But just as one zombie falls only to be replaced by another, so does a new spin-off of The Walking Dead stumble on in the show’s place. The new untitled series will star Norman Reedus’ Daryl and Melissa McBride’s Carol, and is expected to debut in 2023. An anthology series, Tales of the Walking Dead, is also in the works.

Created in 2010 by Frank Darabont and based on the graphic novels by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead revolutionized blockbuster television a year before the debut of Game of Thrones. In its first few years, TWD emerged as a ratings juggernaut and nabbed a couple of Emmys for Outstanding Makeup. But recent seasons have seen declining ratings and departing stars, and then the comic series came to an end last year. The decision to move on from the flagship program hardly comes as a surprise.

The coronavirus pandemic had already interrupted production on Season 10, pushing the season finale back to October 4th. Still, the wait will be worth it for devoted Deadheads, as Season 10 will be expanded with six additional bonus episodes. As if that weren’t enough, Season 11 comes packed with 24 episodes of undead entertainment. For those not counting along at home, that means that there are 31 more episodes of The Walking Dead set to air between now and the series’ end in 2022.

Meanwhile, the new, untitled spin-off starring Daryl and Carol was created by current TWD showrunner Angela Kang and chief Dead content officer Scott M. Gimple. In a statement, Melissa McBride explained what the role of Carol has meant to her so far, and what excites her about the new direction. She said,

“Of course, I’ve always enjoyed working so closely with Norman throughout these many seasons. In playing Carol, and as a viewer of the show, I’ve also long been intrigued with ‘Daryl and Carol,’ and by what so early on between them, even then, felt somehow bound. Their shared history is long, and each’s own personal fight to survive, even longer — the more obvious aspect of what has kept them close and loyal. But there is also a rather mysterious aspect to their fondness for one another that I enjoy, and their playfulness when the world permits. I’m very curious! Angela has a way of shaking things up in great and unexpected ways. She’s like a kid playing with the dimmer switch! I’m very excited!”

Finally, Gimple is developing the new anthology series Tales of the Walking Dead. These standalone episodes will bring in new characters as well as diving into the stories of old favorites. The timeline is not expected to be linear, and it’s possible that some of the many dead characters from TWD will find another life in these Tales.

The new shows join a crowded horde of spin-offs including Fear the Walking Dead, which is soon to enter its sixth season, the Y.A.-leaning The Walking Dead: The World Beyondset to debut next month, and a movie series starring original TWD star Andrew Lincoln.

Editor’s Note: Stay safe by picking up one of our custom face masks. A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief fund supporting independent musicians.