Jane Bowers

b. May 29, 1921 / Unknown
d. June 18, 2000 / San Antonio, TX


Jane Bowers Interview

Posted to the Kingston Crossroads board by Phil C on 6/20/2002, 11:38 am

During a period between 1973 and 1975 Richard Johnston [Kingston Trio. Records, 1956-1986. UWM Manuscript Collection 16. University Manuscripts Collection. Golda Meir Library. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee] interviewed all 4 Trio members and many more people with connections to the Trio. A short, but very interesting interview was with Jane Bowers.

She seemed quite bitter about the music industry and didn’t recall her dealings with Dave Guard very fondly. Prior to her association with DG she must have had some bad experiences regarding song authorship and royalties. She suspected Guard of trying to claim authorship of her songs, even suggesting that he wanted her to write songs directly to the public domain so he could put his name on them.

Bowers was a life-long Texan, possibly of Mexican heritage (Bowers was her married name). She recalled that Guard had written a spoof version of San Miguel and sang it to her. In the song he referred to Mexicans as “wetbacks” which offended her.

Of the Trio she said: “and as for the Trio, I think they had much more potential and just didn’t ‘flower'”.

June 21, 2000


BOWERS Jane Gardner Riley Bowers, born May 29, 1921, died Sunday, June 18, 2000. Preceded in death by her parents, Ethel Murphy Tobin and Lowell Meeker Riley. She was the niece of famed aerial surveys pioneer and World War 1 Ace, Edgar Gardner Tobin. Mrs. Bowers was an internationally recognized songwriter. Many of her songs were recorded by The Kingston Trio. She was honored by Johnny Cash on his HBO Special for her song, “Remember the Alamo”. “Seņora”, “El Matador”, “The Coast of California” and thirty-five other songs are still being played and re-recorded in the United States and Europe.

Due to posting of information on the internet, Mrs. Bowers has enjoyed a lively correspondence with music fans from around the world. For the past year she had been living at the Retirement Center at Incarnate Word.

Many thanks to the wonderful nursing staff at Incarnate Word. Thank you also to Sister Agnes Maloney, Sister Margaret Nugent and dear friends Sister Louise Mair, Sister Tarcisius Flaherty and Sister Mary Benizi Walsh; “Tiptop”. Mrs. Bowers is survived by her sister, Ann Tobin Rowland of San Antonio, niece, Ann Tobin Maessen, great-nephew, Julio Maessen and great-niece, Josephine Tobin Maessen and many cousins and dear friends.

SERVICE THURSDAY – 2:00 P.M. ST. MARKS EPISCOPAL CHURCH The Rev. Michael Chalk officiating. Pallbearers, E.C. Parker, III, William C. Clegg, Jr, Geoffrey J. Buckley, Wilson Parrish, Paul Pardo, Chris McDaniel and William Keedy. Interment will be private. Arrangements with Porter Loring Mortuary.

— San Antonio Express-News, June 21, 2000

Songs Credited to
Jane Bowers
Song Title
1. Buddy Better Get On Down The Line (with Dave Guard) (BMI)
2. Christmas Armadillo (BMI)
3. Christmas On The Chisalm Trail (BMI)
4. Chug A Lug (BMI)
5. Coast of California (with Dave Guard) (BMI)
6. Cotton Went Huntin’ (BMI)
7. Crispin’ Day (BMI)
8. Denton Mare (BMI)
9. Drink to the Corps (BMI)
10. Drink to the Greeks (BMI)
11. El Matador (with Irving Burgess) (BMI)
12. Fort Worth Man (BMI)
13. Giant Land (BMI)
14. Happy Birthday Baby Jesus (BMI)
15. Home to Bandera (BMI)
16. Leave My Heart (BMI)
17. Little Baby King Was Born, A (BMI)
18. Lullaby at Midnight (BMI)
19. Remember The Alamo (BMI)
20. St. Cyr (BMI)
21. Saint Francis Prayer (BMI)
22. San Miguel (BMI)
23. Sea Fever
24. Seņora (with Dave Guard) (BMI)
25. Seven Hundred Head (BMI)
26. Lullaby at Midnight (BMI)
27. Speckled Roan (BMI)
28. Tell Her For Me (BMI)
29. Thought I Heard Your Voice (BMI)
30. To Be Redeemed (BMI)
31. Torch Has Passed (BMI)
32. Trimming the Tree at the . . . (BMI)
33. Val Verde Blues (BMI)
34. When I Was Young (with Dave Guard)
35. When I Was Young (with Dave Guard) (BMI)

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