Former owner of Gilley's dies at 81 | Pasadena/Baytown news | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle: "Sherwood Cryer, whose honky-tonk Gilley's created a lasting image of the Houston area as a blue-collar, redneck boomtown after it was immortalized in the movie Urban Cowboy, has died. He was 81.
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“He was dumb like a fox,” said Sandy Brokaw, the public relations manager for Cryer and his partner Mickey Gilley, for whom the bar was named. “He didn't say much, but he was one of the smartest people I ever knew, a welder by day who put that club together at night. He was a marketing genius.”
Cryer's genius was most evident in the mechanical bull he invented, the bucking, spinning mechanical ride that brought lines of people into the Pasadena bar and made for Urban Cowboy's most memorable scenes — John Travolta, Debra Winger and Scott Glenn taking turns atop it. He and employees would scour area streets for padding for it."