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Honky Tonk Legends is a hand-picked group of dancehall musicians, up to and including Willie Nelson, who we consider to be Legends in the Texas Honky Tonk tradition.

More musicians in these sections:
Texas Artists - Profiles of modern Texas musicians
Future Legends - The next generation of Texas music legends

   
 

Aaron Allan
D.J. Hall of Fame Member
830-875-9597
Songwriter-Singer/DJ & Emcee, Aaron Allan has written over 900 songs with 27 of them being recorded by the likes of the Osborne Brothers, Charlie Walker, Stony Edwards and Willie Nelson, doing Aaron's "Truth Number One" in 1970. He has been inducted into the Country Music Association of Texas Hall of Fame and for next year, he has been nominated for the D.J. Hall of Fame in Nashville. He has also received a "Humbie" from the outstanding Humble Time radio syndication. Over 52 years in the music business, he has spent many of his efforts in the country music radio industry. He started on KITE in San Antonio, Texas in 1948, KBOP in Pleasanton and on to the well known WOAI in San Antonio. When Aaron left KBOP Willie Nelson took his place in 1954. He continued in Ft. Worth (working with Lawton Williams), Kansas, Nashville and various other stations. He often is seen at Willie's 4th of July Picnic as Emcee. Home was Fredericksburg and New Braunfels, Texas. His main influences were a strange combination, Burl Ives and Bob Dylan! Willie Nelson and Billy Joe Shaver were also great influences on his song writing. Good examples. Well aware of the path that "country" music has taken especially from Nashville, Aaron tends to promote "True" country music. The younger generation who have followed in the foot-steps of the legendary country artists, give Aaron hope for the future of country music and radio. If not he'll write them himself, making sure there're country or as Ernest Tubb often said if his band got a little loud or fast, "Keep it country, boys." With Aaron around, we're in good hands.

Snake Atkinson
Still Rockin' After All These Years
roknsnake@yahoo.com
Snake's Home
J. Frank Wilson
The Caviliers
Lewis Elliot
Gift Shop
Born, raised and still in San Angelo, Texas (at Atkinson's Transmission Repair), Snake is a Rockabilly hero who has played many of the Honky Tonks featured on Honky Tonk Texas, USA and its companion cd-rom. He got his first guitar for Christmas as a 5th grader in 1955. He played the trombone as a member of the Edison Jr. High band and won the state competition in 1957. In high school he was branded as "SNAKE", and he formed his first band in 1960, "Little Alvin & The Regents" as the rhythm guitar player. In 1961 they changed their name to "The Fabulous Cyclones". To expose his many talents, he taught himself to play drums, lead guitar and bass to go along with his rhythm pickin. It paid off when in 1964 Snake along with "The Caveliers" recorded "Last Kiss" which went to #1 on the charts and sold 500,000 copies. It remains one of the all time classic hits. Soon they were on the road with Dick Clark's "Caravan Of Stars." Snake has a new cd Still Rockin' After All These Years (see his Home Page) on which he plays most all the instruments. Two exceptions are his pal Frank Markwood, drums on Too Many Girls, Jim Heidenheimer on piano and buddy Lewis Elliott doing a little bass work. A true part of Texas. So when in San Angelo and you think you might hear a "ping" in your car's transmission (or you need an excuse to stop to meet Snake), you know where to head. Until then check out his web site and cd.

Marcia Ball
Austin's Honky Tonk Cajun Queen
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Marcia's Home
Tour Schedule
Profile
Photos
Send a Gator-Grams
Dirty Linen
In the late 1970's, Austin was the home of a style of music, combining rock 'n roll, country, tejano, and cajun sounds from our neighbor to the East, Lousiana. Marcia Ball came to Austin fron Louisana to join with folks like Stephen Fromholz and Rusty Weir to open the doors for Willie Nelson and the next generation of Austin music. Soon Frieda and The Firedogs with Marcia and guitar wizard John X Reed joined with other bands such as Shiva's Head Band, The Mysterious Family Band, and Conkeroo to help Austin become known as "The Live Music Capital of the World." Marcia opened her own club La Zona Rosa with husband Gorden Fowler of "Two Alarm Chili" fame. "The Marcia Ball Room" was soon created under a tin roof in Austin's downtown warehouse district. Marcia's fantastic keyboard work along with her amazing vocals have brought her the attention and acclaim she so well deserves. Any of her releases are well worth it, and her live preformances are like few to be seen.

The Band
Ronnie Hawkins to Dylan & Beyond
woodstkrds@aol.com
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Home Page
Ronnie Hawkins
The Band
The Cate Brothers
Photos of the Hawks
The Hawks: Audio Files
The Band: Audio Files
Ronnie Hawkins headed out from Northwest Arkansas as one of the pioneers of "white" Rock n' Roll in the mid 1950's, and with many great hits such as "Forty Days", he soon became a teenage idol. Ronnie never forgot where his "roots" came from. On one trip back home, he met up with a youngster from the Mississippi Delta (close to Memphis, Tenn) - Levon Helm. With Levon on drums, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson were added from Canada, creating one of the greatest bands of any era---Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks.
In 1964 Levon and the guys went out on their own as Levon and The Hawks. The next year Bob Dylan called with a proposal. Soon it was Bob Dylan & The Band forming one of the most creative events in American Music: The blending of Folk, Blues, Country, and Rock music, during the Psycedelic times of the 1960's; a true "American Melody".
The Band has given us years of musical & cultural history, in a time where much was lost to political and social upheaveal. "The Weight" and numerous other songs (written by Levon, Richard, & Rick) is still the best reminder to us all of what was happening "a generation ago".
Levon, Garth and many "Family" members keep the importance of The Band in the minds of our most recent generations. Our teenage kids and their friends all have copies of Levon and/or The Band in their MP3's!
Hey, it can't be all bad, if we've taught them at least that much! Once again, Levon & the guys "Tell's it like it is!" Thanks to all of The Band, with love.

Marc Benno

hideki-w@din.or.jp
Home Page
Asylum Choir
Cover Songs
Gift Shop
Marc grew up in North Dallas as a good friend and formed Marc Benno & The Victors in high school. We had a lot of great "lake parties" at some poor unsuspecting friend's parent's lake retreat. We charged a few dollars for all the beer and evil you could stand. Soon he was dressing in all white and doing back flips on stage as "Bennie Darvon: The White Tornado." What a show that was. Each year Marc's band competed against Dallas/Ft. Worth's best bands at The State Fair Of Texas' Battle Of The Bands. This meant it all for the hot local bands at the time and there were plenty: Steve Miller, B.W. Stevenson, Bobby Rambo, Boz Scaggs, Delbert McClinton, Marc Benno, Michael Murphy, The Vaughn Brothers, and on & on. After all, this was North Texas where the blues were for real in the '50's and 60's. The Jacksboro Highway (outside of Ft. Worth) and Deep Elm in Dallas were just two of the places to hear the real blues. An hour North was Johnny's B-29, a Red River Honky Tonk that carried all the cold Coors that would pack in Mom's car trunk, right across the alcohol dry Texas line (and even closer to North Texas State University in Denton, Texas' Music school (see B.W. Stevenson). Hall Street in Dallas was a place that few dare to tred, but Marc and I and a few others would make our late evening ventures down there to be originally met with threateningly stares from the all black clientile and Artists. It was only after a few beers (at 16-17 years old) and Benno borrowing a old beat up guitar, that the crowd and band was amazed at what this white "kid" could do. We never had problems. Only leaned a lot! Later Marc wrote "Hall Street Jive". Benno headed to Los Angeles after high school and moved in with Leon Russell and Rita Coolidge on High Line Drive. The house soon became famous for what came out of the all night sessions. Leon and Marc did two Asylum Choir albums with Rita Coolidge, Clarence White (The Byrds), Jessie Ed Davis, Bobby Womack, Carl Radle and whoever showed up. Marc went on to tour with Ry Cooder (playing guitar!!!), The Doors on LA Woman and such great west coast artists as Bobby Keys, Jim Horn, Booker T. Jones, Eric Clapton, Albert Lee, Jimmie Lee Keltner, Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie, his own band and many more. Marc is one of the most talented blues guitarists to come out of Texas. He studied under the great blues master Mance Liscomb outside of Austin along with Doyle Bramhall & Doyle Jr. He did some tracks with Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble which has never been released. Soon, someday! Marc has traveled Europe with great acclaim and has numerous great releases (see the Gift Shop Link above). Marc's been a friend since way back then, and he was one of the few people who knew exactly what he was going to do "when he grew up." I'm still trying to figure it out. Thanks for a lot of fun, great music, and an education on how music transends all race and culture. Catch this guy whenever you can and get any of his great releases. Rita Coolidge has covered many of his songs and Marc's got himself an Emmy. Only in Texas. His newest is a tribute to Jimmie Reed, "Jimmie Reed's Mama". Run to get it. It's fantastic.

Arkey Blue
Owner of the Silver Dollar Saloon
Bandera, Texas

sundanc1@flash.net
Arkey's Home
Arkey's Music
With a talent such as Arkey Blue possesses, some might wonder why this singer/songwriter/entertainer is not traveling the country in a lush tour-bus playing shows before thousands of people. The reason is really quite simple: Bandera, Texas and the Silver Dollar Saloon, which Arkey has owned and played at each weekend for over 25 years. Arkey figured out how to get the world to come to him, and they do!
With his great band The Blue Cowboys, which included Texas fiddle master Caesare Masse in the '80's, and Arkey's excellent self-penned songs, he is as true to traditional country and western music as you can get, and he's darn sure Pure Texan!
Arkey sings about "cheatin', divorcin', and Honky Tonkin'," and the folks arrive from around the world to see him and the beautiful Bandera scenery.

Ponty Bone
Austin squeeze box extraordinaire
pb@pontybone.com
Homepage
Jukebox
Gift Shop
Loud House Records
Ponty's Bio
Ponty's Gift Shop
Lyrics
Ponty Bone & The Squeezetones are a magical mix of Cajun, Zydeco, Tejano, Country, folk, rock, blues music, etc. Ponty's music & personality are a rare and welcome addition to the Austin/Texas music scene. PB introduced accordion to rock and roll, creating yet another part of the unique and inspiring musical mixture which exists in the Texas Hill Country due to our varied ethnic heritage.

Ponty grew up in San Antonio where his dad had him taking accordion lessons by the age of 5. His college days led him to Lubbock, Texas, the home of Buddy Holly. By 1964 Ponty Bone and Jimmie Dale Gilmore had teamed up and became part of the "Lubbock Mafia" with Joe Ely, Jesse Taylor, the Maines Brothers, Angela Strehli, Terry Allen, Tommy Hancock, Texana Dames, Jo Carol Pierce, and Butch Hancock. It was a magical time in Lubbock.

Later, all of these artists migrated to Austin, contributing a new element to the Hill Country musical sound. In 1982 Ponty Bone and the Squeezetones began playing The "Halls" in the area such as Cibolo Creek Country Club, Gruene Hall, and Fischer Hall. The former and current band member list reads like the "Who's Who" of Austin music.

Ponty is said to have a "Romance with Music" - which is what Texas Dance Hall music at it's best is all about. I don't know about that, but catch him whenever possible, please!

Bonnie Bramlett
White Woman's Blues
bonniebramlett@aol.com
Bonnie's Home
News
Music
Shop
Bonnie Bramlett. The name says it all; it’s synonymous with ‘Icon.’ It’s a name belonging to one of the single most revered female jazz/blues/soul/rock vocalists in music history. Perhaps noted music critic Robert K. Oermann said it best for her: “Bonnie Bramlett sings like she has walked through the fires of hell, and danced with the angels.”
Over the past twenty years, Bonnie Bramlett has written songs, recorded, toured and performed with the best of the best. With the release of her new album, aptly titled “I’m Still The Same,” Bramlett is preparing to reclaim a spotlight for herself.
The voice that has been called “the greatest white female R&B voice to emerge from rock music,” is still piping through chords that have transcended musical styles and genres to find a whole new generation of believers in Bramlett. Her age defying secret is simple - Bonnie Bramlett doesn’t just sing her music, she is her music. Holding together the spunky framework of this vintage model classic rocker is the unmistakable glue of musical energy that courses through her every fiber like electricity through filament wire.
When the history books of music are opened, Bonnie Bramlett will always be indelibly written there as the blonde, soul-pounding, R&B flavored, gospel inspired, stage pacing, sweating beyond all sense of onstage glamour rock diva engine that drove Delaney & Bonnie & Friends into the hottest duo break-out of the late ‘60’s.
Between 1969 and 1972 Delaney & Bonnie issued five outstanding albums—storming the charts with hit singles such as “Soul Shake,” “Only You Know & I Know,” and “Never Ending Song Of Love” to mention a few. They shared stages, recording studios, and all night music jam sessions with such legendary contemporaries as Eric Clayton, Leon Russell, George Harrison, Dave Mason, Gram Parsons, and John Lennon. Bonnie Bramlett can look back on a gig book that looks like a “Who’s Who” of the music business. Some are gone. Some survived. The “Never Ending Song Of Love” for Delaney & Bonnie ended. But for Bonnie, the music played on. The secret of her survival, she will tell you quit honestly, is in her roots.

Dusty Britches
Western Music, Living, and Learnin'
Dusty Home
Contact Dusty
Dusty's Songs
Dusty's (and the Rhythm Ranch Hands) "Cow Camp" is a real treat out of the old West. Located in the "Cowboy Capital Of The World", Bandera, Texas. He'll entertain you and he'll feed you from his Chuck Wagon with national championship receipes. Experience what a true Western Cowboy's life is like. Camping availiable.
Noah, "The Wonder Horse," has toured the world preforming with Dusty to the amazement of thousands. So it's singin', cookin', and Noah for a great time in Bandera.
Dusty Britches, P.O. Box 1977, Bandera, Texas 78003, 830-460-8198

The Cate Brothers

cate2627@earthlink.net
Home Page
Gift Shop
New Releases
The The Cate Brothers Band originate from Fayetteville, Arkansas with roots leading back to Ronnie Hawkins & The Band. These guys, besides being excellent musicians, have been Levon Helm's backup band when he was adrift from The Band. At the time we remember thinking The Band simply couldn't get any better, The Cate Brothers stepped in. A stack of albums dating back some 40 years, several world tours and thousands of concert and club appearances have polished this band to the level of, simply put, world class. A glance at their concert credits reads like a who's-who of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, including dates with The Band, Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Grateful Dead, Jeff Beck, Little Feat, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top, The Beach Boys...and one Hall of Famer who used to open shows for them, Bonnie Raitt. Check out Ice House Records ("Just A Little Bit Cooler"). Great guys with a lot of talent & soul. These guys are true friends and real first class Artists. Find 'em and go see them. Earl Cates is one of the finest guitarist around and brother Ernie, not only is a master at the keyboards, but an excellent writer. A great show. Go see 'em and Levon is always likely to show up! Either way, it's as good as it gets.

Milton Brown
The father of western swing
History of Western Swing
Gift Shop
Milton Brown and his brother Durwood began singing at dances during the Depression at the age of 12 in Stephenville, Texas. After moving to Ft. Worth, they joined up with a young fiddler named Bob Wills to form the Aladdin Laddies in 1931 and were hired to advertise future governor W. Lee O'Daniel's Burrus Mill on a local radio show. The Light Crust Doughboys soon became one of the most famous and influential bands of all time.
A series of disputes with O'Daniel eventually caused the band to split up with Milton forming his own band, Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies. The group included vocalist Milton, Cliff Bruner on fiddle, and Bob Dunn on Hawaiian guitar, which he soon developed into the electric steel guitar. This addition to Brown's mixture of fiddles, banjo, bass, and piano created the new "Western Swing" sound.

Cliff Bruner
"The Texas Wanderers"
Cliff Bruner Box Set
Cliff Bruner was an member of Milton Brown's Musical Brownies at the early age of 18 after Milton (the "Founder of Western Swing") heard of a young teenage fiddler who had spent his youth traveling around Texas by hopping freight trains, refining his self taught talent and creating his own style (and about "starving to death"). Milton had him audition that night at Brownies Tavern in Ft. Worth, and the job was his. He remained with the number one swing band in the nation until shortly after the untimely death of Milton in 1936. He had recorded 48 songs with Milton on Decca Records.
By the time he was twenty, Cliff started his own band, the Texas Wanderers, in Houston with the great Texas pianist Moon Mullican and Bob Dunn from the Brownies on steel guitar.
They along with Pappy Selph, Caesare Masse, Adolph Hofner and Bob Wills continued to refine Western Swing to the next step creating a legacy for present day Artists like Asleep at the Wheel, Alvin Crow, and Cornell Hurd. Cliff passed away on 8/25/200, joining so many others in Hillbilly Heaven, as we like to say.
To have been able to know Cliff and spend time listening not only to his music, but his many wonderful and amazing stories, has been one of the great and heart felt thrills of my life. This is true of many of the artists we have been fortunate to know, but especially with Pappy, Cliff and Caesare. God bless you, my friends.

Johnny Bush
The Country Caruso
Cherokee Records
Gift Shop
"Whiskey River take my mind, don't let her memory torture me." Only Johnny Bush's accountant knows how many times those words have been heard in every Hill Country Honky Tonk, not to mention the rest of the world. Ever since he wrote "Whiskey River," Willie Nelson has opened and closed every show with it for well over twenty years. Johnny is a true Honky Tonk legend. Known as the "Country Caruso," he even practices breath control excercises developed by an Italian opera coach. He has serveral albums with RCA, one with Watermelon Records, and is on a couple of Cornell Hurd's CD's. Johnny appears locally at the Broken Spoke and Floore Country Store, and is liable to be seen walking on at other artist's shows to lend a hand. Johnny's a major presence in Texas Honky Tonk music. Ask Willie.

The Byrds
A New World
kadler@lyon.edu
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Home Page
Great Album Info
More Byrds
Hall Of Fame
Gram Parsons
The early 1960's was an interesting time. Elvis was in the army and Nashville was putting violins behind everybody! From Los Angeles, California four teenages formed The Byrds. Roger McQuinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark and Chris Hillman soon had took the country by storm. Few touring bands were playing outside of the black blues tours and the great Country Tours, often with several great highlighters. The Byrds and The Buffalo Springfield were amoung the first and very best progressive country bands. From these two bands come many of the best groups of our time, The Flying Burritto Brothers, The Eagles, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, etc. By 1967 Gram Parsons The Byrds as a keyboard player, but soon convinced the band that country music was the way to go. A new generation was introduced to the country sound, and this allowed folks like Willie Nelson to become established as one of the greatest outside of the strict confins of Nashville. Ask Willie about The Byrds and Gram Parsons. "Eight Miles High" meets the "Red Headed Stranger."

The Caveliers
J. Frank Wilson
Last Kiss
Home Page
Gift Shop
Snake Atkinson
J. (John) Frank Wilson was from Lufkin, Texas. He was born there on December 11, 1941. When he was growing up in the fifties the sounds of Buddy Holly and Elvis were reverberating over the airwaves and would influence his style of singing. A hip local band The Caveliers needed a new lead singer and J.Frank wanted to enlist. He passed the audition. J.Frank would leave The Cavaliers and return to Lufkin a few months later. Sid Holmes would also subsequently leave the band. Sid had been the leader of The Caveliers and after he left the void was filled by Lewis Elliott. Lewis formed a new Cavaliers including Snake Atkinson, Buddy Croyle & Mike Hodges. It was at this period of time that Sonley Roush came to San Angelo with a single that was about to change the world forever for The Caveliers, a single called "Last Kiss". It was written and recorded by Wayne Cochran who used to work as an act with Hank Cochran. The lyrics foretold a story that was based on a real life incident. In the early 60's six teenagers were driving on a highway in Georgia. One of them a, Jeanette Clark, was going on her first date. She sat in the front of the car with her date. That night the weather was foggy and the car she was in crashed into a truck that had stopped on the road. The resulting accident caused Jeanette's untimely death. In June of 1964 "Last Kiss" was released among the madness and excitement of Beatlemania and the British Invasion. By October the song had cracked the top ten charts of both Billboard and Cashbox. Not bad for a song that was recorded in one evening, over a period of tour to five hours. "Last Kiss" was #3 the last week of October when tragedy struck. In the early morning hours of October 23, J.Frank Wilson and The Cavaliers were travelling from Parksburg, West Virginia to Lima, Ohio. The car drifted left of the center plowing head on into a tractor trailer truck. The press had a field day linking the tragedy with the lyrics in "Last Kiss" about a teen-age girl who dies from a car accident in the arms of her boyfriend. A week after the accident the record was number 2 and then number one the week of November 7. While J.Frank and The Caveliers would earn a gold record for "Last Kiss", they never received much money from royalties. A #1 record and stardom with Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars still allowed The Caveliers found time to play at many of the old Texas Honky Tonks we document on this web site and our CD-Rom Honky Tonk Texas, USA. Another great Texas story - none of it made up - don't have to in Texas. Thanks to Frank, Lewis, Snake & all The Cavaliers. On October 4, 1991, J.Frank Wilson passed away.

Bruce Channel
"Hey, Baby"
Hey Baby Lylics
Rockabilly Hall Of Fame
1998 Interview
Riata Talent
Gift Shop
Hey, Baby was recorded as a flip side by a young Texas Artist, Bruce Channel. Thus began a fascinating touring and recording career in the U.S. and England. Later, hits such as "Goin' Back to Louisiana", "Mr. Bus Driver", and "Keep On", have kept Bruce at the forefront of the music scene for many years. Once in England he headlined a show featuring a relatively unknown recording group, The Beatles. In 1978, Bruce moved to Nashvillle and began writing for Nashville recording artists. Since then his successes as a writer include number one records for T. G. Shepherd on "Party Time," Janie Frickie on "Don't Worry 'Bout Me Baby", John Conlee "As Long As I'm Rockin' With You," Anne Murray's re-make of "Hey! Baby," and Mel McDaniel's smash, "Stand Up" which Bruce also had a hit on his CD Stand Up. Bruce has also had cuts by Alabama, and Oak Ridge Boys, Jerry lee Lewis and Tom Jones. He co-wrote the country hit "You're the Best, with Kieran Kane who recorded it, and "Gonna Have a Party," recorded by Alabama. Bruce received an award from BMI for two million radio performances of "Hey! Baby." His original record of "Hey! Baby" is featured in the hit movie, Dirty Dancing, and on the international sound track album, listed in Billboard's Pop Album for over three months with sales of over twelve + million units. Bruce lives in Nashville and is actively involved in song writing and music publishing. He's a great guy. Hey "Bro" do another one for us! Never miss Bruce when he's anywhere close (or far). He often tours Europe and the better known songwriters' venues across the country. Check The Saxon Pub in Austin and Poor David's in Dallas, Texas. Tell him "hey" from Martin and the gang at Honky Tonk Texas, USA. We love the guy! Bruce's latest CD includes such great musicians(besides Bruce) as Dan Penn, Chris Ethridge (bass with Bruce, Willie, Burritio Bros., Etc), Don Nix, Delbert McClinton (fellow buddy from Ft. Worth, Texas), and Willie Dixon. Check out Icehouse Records, 901-388-1108: "A Few Degrees Cooler who also handle the fantastic Cate Brothers.

Hank Cochran
Songwriter
hank@hankcochran.com
www.HankCochran.com
Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame
"I Fall to Pieces," "Make the World Go Away," "The Chair," and now after over 1000 songs, Hank gives us "Patsy" from his release "Desperate Men" showing once again that he is a Great American Treasure. Some of these written journeys through Hank's emotions were penned with Nashville's "other" greatest songwriter, Harlan Howard, and with his longtime friend Willie Nelson. It was a long road from a dirt poor Mississippi childhood and a stay at an orphanage (Hank ran away when he was ten) to become a member of the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1974. He remains as essential as ever to Country Music. Hank is Country Music! Hank Cochran is important to Texas Hill Country Music as his songs are found on every jukebox in any "respectable" Honky Tonk.

Alvin Crow
The Pleasant Valley Boys
(512) 442-6189 James White
Broken Spoke
Fortunately for western swing and Country Music fans throughout central Texas, in the early '70's a young Oklahoma Fiddler, Alvin Crow, via a stay in Amarillo to put a band together, headed for Austin with the Pleasant Valley Boys. They arrived in time to play an integral part in the new Progressive Country movement, which combined traditional Country Music with a touch of Texas blues and rock 'n roll. By the mid-seventies with premier bands like Alvin's, Asleep at the Wheel, The Ace in the Hole Band (George Strait), and The Cornell Hurd Band, Western Swing regained national attention, and the "Two-Step" and "Cotton Eyed Joe" reached a new and broader group of enthusiasts.

Ted Daffan
Blue Ridge Playboys
Nashville Songwriters
Hall of Fame

Ted wrote the first Honky Tonk truckin' song, "Truck Drivers' Blues," which was recorded in 1939 by Cliff Bruner, selling over 100,000 copies. He also co-wrote two of country music's greatest songs, "Born to Lose" and "No Letter Today" with Leon Jenkins (father of Texas Hatter's Norma Gammage!). Ted also was a member of the famous Pappy Selph and the Blue Ridge Playboys band in the 1930's. It was the band of the day and the seed of Honky Tonk music.

Jimmy Day

Gift Shop Featured Artist
A Tribute to Jimmy Day
The Offenders
Riata Talent
Jimmy Day, My Dad & Elvis by Randy Willis
Longview, Texas (1955)
Everyone who saw my grandfather play the fiddle said he was the best they had ever heard. My father played the pedal steel guitar. One day, my sister Johnnie Ruth (who is 16 years older than me) brought her young beau to our home, located near Long Leaf, Louisiana, to meet our parents. Her beau's name was Jimmy Day. He saw my dad practicing the steel and ask him to teach him how to play the steel. Daddy taught Jimmy how to tune a guitar and he and another local steel player, by the name of Harold Whatley, taught Jimmy his first licks. My dad and Jimmy both played in the local Happy McNichol's Band. The first venue that they both played was called "The Wigwam." Jimmy's dad was the store manger for the local sawmill commissary operated the "Crowell and Spencer Lumber Company," located in Long Leaf. Later, Harold Whatley's brother Horace would co-write the song "Sawmill" with Mel Tillis, which became a hit. It was based on this same sawmill. Jimmy went own to play first with Web Pierce on The Louisiana Hayride, and then was the only picker to play with all three Super Stars: Pasty Cline (he was with her on her first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry and was the session steel guitarist on many of her hits such as "Sweet Dreams"), Elvis, and Hank William. Hank had ask Jimmy to join his band the "Drifting Cowboys" towards the end of 1952. He told Jimmy he only had three more gigs left on his current tour which would end New Years Eve; but Hank died New Year's Day, 1953, before Jimmy could become an official member of the "Drifting Cowboys." Jimmy was a member of Ray Price's band (he laid down the famous opening licks on Ray Price's "Crazy Arms") and later Willie Nelson's original band "The Offenders." He also played for Red Sovine, Jim Reeves, Lefty Frizzell, Ernest Tubb, Ferlin Husky, and George Jones. Country music recording artist would arrange their recording sessions around Jimmy's off-the-road schedule so he could play on their sessions. Later, when I was managing Johnny Rodriguez, I also hired Jimmy to back Johnny R. numerous times. When Jimmy moved to Alabama from Louisiana, as a teenager, he befriended a young man in high school. The young man ask Jimmy to teach him the steel; Jimmy said no way - "choose another instrument." He chose the piano, his name was Floyd Cramer of "Last Date" fame. Jimmy and Floyd played in Elvis' first band. When Elvis decided to head to California, he asked Jimmy and Floyd to join him. They both declined, citing that their dream was to be on the Grand Ole Opry. Jimmy once told me that if he had not made that decision, Rock Music would have a steel guitar in it today. Three years ago (1997), I was on stage at Willie Nelson's Annual 4th. of July Picnic with Jimmy. We were standing with Willie's former wife Connie Nelson and Willie's two youngest daughters Paula and Amy. Jimmy told Paula and Amy that they would not be here if it was not because of him because he had introduced Willie to Connie. I said, just think girls, you would not be here if my father had not taught Jimmy the steel which later enabled Jimmy to be in Willie's band. (I was booking Paula some at that time). We all laughed and took a picture together. Jimmy died of cancer January 22, 1999, at the age of 65. At his funeral, Connie Nelson (she now manages Waylon Jennings) asked me if I would be so kind as to send her a copy of that photograph; she said, "she would cherish it." The enclosed photo of Elvis and Jimmy is one of my most cherished possessions. It's inscribed: "To My life-long friend, Randy - Jimmy Day." I also have my dad's copy which is inscribed: "To my first teacher Julian, Keep on pick'n, Jimmy Day."
Thanks to Randy Willis at Riata Talent.

Al Dexter
Honky Tonk Blues
Gift Shop
Nashville Songwriters
Hall of Fame

Al's national hit "Honky Tonk Blues" in 1937, followed by his recording of "Pistol Packin' Mama" were the first songs to establish the Honky Tonk sound. His original release was the first song to ever use the words "Honky Tonk." The lyrics that exposed the hard lovin' and hard drinkin' way of life made him a famous man.

The Light Crust Doughboys

TheBoys@LightCrustDoughboys.com
Light Crust Home
Gift Shop
History of Western Swing
With help from friends and fans in Fort Worth, Bob Wills, "The King Of Western Swing" along with Milton Brown, "The Father Of Western Swing" (who died in 1936 soon after he and Bob left the band) persuaded Burrus Mill and Elevator Company to sponsor the band on a radio show. Texans of every age still still belt out “Beautiful Texas,” the ‘30s-vintage song written by the Light Crust Doughboys’ colorful sponsor, former Governor W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel and “San Antonio Rose,” penned by Doughboy,Bob Wills, remains in many a shower tenor's repertoire. In 1931, W. Lee O’Daniel, manager of the Fort Worth-based Burrus Mill, hired Bob Wills and Milton Brown and other musicians to advertise Burrus’ Light Crust Flour on the radio. Though Wills’ and Brown's tenure lasted only three years, and O’Daniel’s five, the Light Crust Doughboys themselves have set a record as the most enduring Western Swing band. People listened at noon each day for a couple of licks on Bob Wills' fiddle and Truett Kinsey's enthusiastic introduction: "The Light Crust Doughboys are on the air!" Then the Doughboys sang their theme song which began: "Listen everybody from near and far, if you wanta know who we are, We're the Light Crust Doughboys from Burrus Mill." This went over so well, it became the salutation of the Doughboys and has lived to the present. No two Light Crust Doughboy performances or concerts are ever the same. Each show is created expressly for - - and inspired by - - the individual audience, that unique group of people who will never again be assembled for that special place in time. The thrill is still the same today witha different lineup over the years. In concert each song presented for your pleasure will be announced from the stage by Mr. Montgomery or Mr. Greenhaw. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to return to those fond memories of days gone by, or to receive an experience that can be savored in your memory as a truly enjoyable experience as The Light Crust Doughboys take the stage. Remember that they have thoughtfully captured their virtuosity for your continued enjoyment on their many recordings and videos!

Johnny Duncan
Texas Singer-Songwriter
randy@randywillis.org
Riata Talent
Gift Shop
Singer/songwriter Johnny Duncan was one of the most popular country stars of the mid-'70s and early '80s. He was born to a family of noted musicians in Dublin, Texas; among his relatives were Jimmy and Dan Seals. His mother taught him to play guitar, and he was influenced by Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. While still young, he, his mother, the Seals brothers, and his uncle, fiddler Ben Moroney, formed a dance band and played at local gatherings. After moving to Clovis, New Mexico in 1959, he joined Norman Petty's group for three years. Producer Petty tried to make him into a pop star, but Duncan wasn't interested and eventually moved to Nashville. He held several odd jobs before appearing on Ralph Emery's television show in 1966. There Duncan was seen by Columbia Records producer Don Law, who signed him to work with producer Frank Jones. His first single, "Hard Luck Joe," made it to the Top 60 in 1967. The following year, his single "To My Sorrow" hit the Top 50. Later in 1968, he had his first Top 20 hit with "Jackson Ain't a Very Big Town," a duet with June Stearns. His popularity leveled off through 1970 until producer Billy Sherrill took over. In 1971, Duncan's "There's Something About a Lady" made the Top 20, and his third single of the year, "Baby's Smile, Woman's Kiss," hit the Top 15. He had his first Top Ten hit with "Sweet Country Woman" in 1973. After 1974, his career stalled, and he asked Columbia to free him from their contract, but the label wanted one more single. He recorded the Gatlin Brothers' "Jo and the Cowboy" with the then-unknown Janie Fricke and had a Top 30 hit. In 1976, Duncan's straight-ahead country singing began to catch fire, giving him two smash hits with Kris Kristofferson's "Stranger" and "Thinkin' of a Rendezvous," his first number one hit. The following year, he had three more Top Five hits, including the number one "It Couldn't Have Been Any Better." Both 1978 and 1979 saw Duncan's hot streak continue with such hits as "She Can Put Her Shoes under My Bed (Anytime)" and "Hello Mexico (And Adios Baby to You)." In 1980, his career began to wane a bit, and although he had four hits, none made it past the Top Ten. In 1981, he only had one Top 40 hit, "All Night Long." Duncan all but disappeared until 1986, when he made a minor comeback on with "The Look of a Lady in Love" and "Texas Moon." One of the very best. Never miss him.

Lewis Elliot
The Cavaliers

lewiselliott@msn.com
Lewis' Home
J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers

Lewis Elliot got his first guitar at age l4 and learned to strum a few chords before joining the Army in l953. He played bass guitar with Charlie Dalton and the Rhythm Bandits in the late 50s. He then began playing with The Cavaliers with Sid Holmes in the early '60s. Lewis became The Cavaliers band leader at Holmes' relocating to Corpus Christi in l963. In l964 they recorded "Last Kiss" with J. Frank Wilson, vocalist; Roland "Snake" Atkinson, drummer; Eugene "Buddy" Croyle, lead guitarist; and Lewis Elliott, bassist, and studio back up singers and pianist. They were fortunate to have a million seller that reached # l in Cashbox Magazine and # 2 in Billboard Magazine. This band like so many others from Texas have been in the forefront of our musical history. Who can ever forget "Last Kiss". Lewis has been managing and producing Texas talent like Snake Atkinson ever since. Thanks, Lewis for helping us all remember and be part of the history of Texas music.

Roky Erickson
They Really Changed
roky@rokyerickson.com
Roky
13th Floor Elevators
Texas Psych Group-Join Today
Roky Ericksonfirst came onto the music scene 1n 1965 playing and singing lead with the 13th Floor Elevators. The Elevators where one of Texas's finest psychedelic bands of the sixties and Roky added his own unique blend of genius. Roky was only 17 when he joined the band but quickly became the front man for the group, with his powerful vocals and song writing ability. A second pot bust in late 1968 when possession laws were even stiffer than they are now, ended with Roky pleading insanity. This was supposed to be a better choice than going to jail. However that time period was during the height of experimentation on treating the criminally insane. Roky was never quite the same after his three and a half year stint in the Hospital for Criminally Insane in Rusk, TX. Roky received shock treatments while at Rusk and upon his release 1n 1972, was convinced that he was a Martian. In the mid 70's he started recording and performing again with his new band named Bleid Alien which later became The Aliens. His recordings in this period included the albums Evil One and Creature With The Atom Brain. Both absolutely fantastic, if you could handle it. His personal and mental demons took control over the direction of his music and his life. He had another arrest over a U.S. postal mail issue in 1989 and was briefly institutionalized in the early 1990's.
God Bless the boy!
Back in the mid sixties the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Timothy Leary had all heard of this strange group from Austin and were reflecting their musical style (with Leary sending surprise packages for street parties). Much of the Beatles' "Revolver" was influenced by the Elevators.
I remember sitting at the piano bar in the old New Oreleans Club in Austin in 1965, drinking whiskey in my polyester pants and shirt every weekend with these "strange" looking characters coming through to hear The Elevators. I had New Orleans blues in one ear and the phychedelic future of music in the other. I fell hard and I thank them for it, but the blues piano added that certain Texas touch. Only in Austin. Roky and the 13th Floor Elevators were the start of a whole new breed of music that traveled with Doug Sahm to San Francisco & New York, and then on to The Beatles (George Harrison).
Tommy Hall, who is now in San Francisco looking for ET, was also a major influence in the band, writing most of the songs.
This was truly a great time in Austin, the 'Dillo was just opening, Willie> was on the way, Fromholz, Rusty Weir, Bobby Bridges, B.W. Stevenson, Alvin Crow, Kinky, etc.... and on were already changing Austin's style.

Freddy Fender
The Pride of San Benito
vangie@freddyfender.com
Home Page
Freddy's Calender
Shopping
Gift Shop
Freddy Fender, yeah, known as of late as part of the Texas Tornados with the late & great Doug Sahm, Augie Meyers, and Flaco Jimenez. Freddy has had several careers starting with a clandestine radio trip in the 1950's & 1960's when "white" radio didn't play hispanic or black music. Freddy did it by fooling them with a name change after his favorite guitar maker, Leo Fender. It worked, for awhile.
Later with his Tornado buddies he received the acclaim he has always deserved. "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and "Before The Next Tear Drop Falls" were rerecorded.
From the boarder town of San Benito, Texas to Austin & Nashville, Freddy's done what it takes to give us all a great musical talent. Thanks, Freddy. Check out the Tornado's last CD "4 Aces" and his newest releases. A great guy and musician.

The Flatlanders
More A Legend Than A Band
Homepage
Gift Shop
The New Flatlanders
In the early '70's this gang of Lubbock natives, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Butch Hancock put together an album that 20 years later would be a hit. After meeting back up in Austin after various travels and jobs; Joe was in the circus, Jimmie an ashram, and Butch in architecture school; they have taken time from their individual sucessful careers to be "Flatlanders" again with shows and a new CD coming.
Their newest release -"NOW AGAIN" -obviously a Butch Hancock title- has been accepted world wide as a true classic. No one should miss this one. All three of these guys are at their very best. The very best of Austin! On tour around the gloge. See them and tell them martin sent you.

Jimmie Fletcher
San Antonio's All-Time Most Popular Night Club Act
West Texas Music Museum
Jimmie Fletcher
Photo: Jimmie & Lefty Frizzell; Bio by Sid Holmes: "Mr.Friendly, talented, and hard working Jimmie Fletcher became San Antonio's "All-Time Most Popular Night Club Act". Jimmie first recorded For Mercury, a major label at the time, and later on Winston. He toured with most of the members of "The Grand Ole Opry" and at one time played regular in Mexico. In San Antonio he had daily radio shows, and his theme song was, an E.T song, "Driftwood On The River". Jimmie's first wife, her professional name being Miss Billie played piano and also sang in his band. By choosing the very best talent available through the years for his band, The Drifting Ranch Hands, Jimmie provided great dance music for the large crowds that followed him. Jimmie actually made a music career out of playing just two clubs in San Antonio, "The Dixie" And "The Boots & Saddle". Jimmie ended his successful music career on a high note, in the seventies, by playing seven great fun-filled years at the famous "Ramblin Rose" in Llano,Texas. Jimmie and his wife, Frances, live in the beautiful Hill Country near Camp Wood, Texas. You can contact Jimmie at (830) 597-4118 for his Cassette...That is if you love (4 Star Rated) Honky Tonk Music!"

Blaze Foley
BFI
stewells@earthlink.net
Blaze's Home
Blaze's Songs
Townes Van Zandt
I have always been obsessed with singer/songwriters, so when I read about Blaze Foley in "Dirty Linen," I had to click up the CD and listen. It knocked me out, so I bought "Live at the Outhouse" and have been playing it every day for a week or two. Very nice picking, not unlike John Prine on "Diamonds In the Rough." "Clay Pigeons" reminds me of long bus rides when I was college and in the army. "If I Could Only Fly" is a bit of a weeper. Nice guitar and harmonica interludes and Blaze is so effective vocally, phrasing and pausing beautifully. The song goes from "If Only I Could Fly" to "If Only You Could Fly" to "If Only We Could Fly." Townes was right, this was a spiritual cat.
(thanks to, guest critic Mike)
Honky Tonk Texas, USA believes that Blaze Foley was and is a songwriter on the equal with only those like Hank Cochran, Merle Haggard, Freddie Powers and Townes Van Zandt, yeah a bit different, but it all comes from deep within and hurts to "...write it down". Thanks, guys.
Next time your'e walkin' through the back alleys of Austin, and you pass one of those big trash containers with "BFI" written on the side, remember that it stands for "Blaze Foley Inside", a true artist, with a big heart, who lead a rough life, full of love.

Kinky Friedman

Gift Shop Featured Artist
Kinkster's Home
The Hero Wall
Tour Dates
I first met Kinky Friedman in 1967 before he was Kinky. The name came afterwards–probably due to extensive curly moss or a monstro-wig personality. At the time we were both Peace Corps volunteers on the island of Borneo. Kinky always claimed his only accomplishment in the Peace Corps was to introduce the Frisbee which the natives used to make their lips big. He also wrote songs. He was an enormous crowd pleaser at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austentatious, Texas in the mid-seventies. Kinky continued to tour and write throughout the seventies. Along the way many of the artists of the day came to be his friends. People like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Danny Hutton of Three Dog Night, Lowell George of Little Feat, Rick Danko and Levon Helm of The Band and a whole host of others became Kinky Friedman fans. His influence upon those of influence continues today as both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton read Kinky Friedman books. Dwight Yoakam often quotes Kinky in interviews, and Don Imus mentions him often on his morning radio show as does Sammy Alred,the radio voice of Austin. By the end of the seventies, after touring with Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review, Kinky went solo, finishing out the decade at the Lone Star Café in New York. Soon home became the Texas Hill Country and Echo Hill Ranch. Kinky spends much of his time at the ranch writing when he isn’t out on the road autographing books. The infamous little green trailer where many of his early books were written is now occupied by an armadillo and various fungi which cover a sign from Singapore that reads "No Dumping Allowed". by Dylan Ferrero (with thanks)

Lefty Frizzell
Corsicana, Texas
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Lefty
Lefty Discography
Lefty Bio
West Texas Music Hall Of Fame/Museum
One of the finest song stylist that Country Music has ever been blessed with was Lefty Frizzell. His style of singing and phrasing became the standard, along with Hank Williams, of what Texas Honky Tonk Music had matured into. All three learned well from their influences and Honky Tonk Music's "creators," Al Dexter, Floyd Tillman, Ted Daffan, and Ernest Tubb. Lefty's amazing career stretched over 25 years with numerous number one songs, often with more than one in Country's Top Ten. At one time in 1951 he had four songs in the Country Music top ten at the same time! This outstanding achievement has never been equaled.
Lefty's life began in Corsicana, Texas, home of Billy Joe Shaver and up the road a ways Kosse, where Bob Wills was born. Although only 17 years old, Lefty started touring the south, building a loyal fan base and refining his style. A refusal of a demo tape by Little Jimmy Dickens resulted in a record company executive, who happened to hear the tape, offering Frizzell a recording contract in 1950. Over the next five years he had more than fifteen number one songs on the Country Music charts. The rest is Honky Tonk history.

Steven Fromholz
It's Fromholz's Fault
frogweb@texas.net
Fromholz
Biography
Discography
Shows & Bookings
Texas Trilogy I
Texas Trilogy II
Texas Trilogy III
...along with people like B. W. Stevenson, Rusty Weir, Bobby Bridger, Michael Martin Murphy, Ray Benson, Kinky Friedman, Doug Sahm, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and a few others who formed the mold for what was referred to as "Progressive Country." Today Fromholz remembers these times as the "Progressive Country Scare!" These were the days even before Willie Nelson came to Austin, and Steven's original musical mixture of "Guacamole Rock and Roll with Existential Bluegrass" left the Nashville Record Companies somewhat bewildered! So after a tour with Stephen Stills which proved too crazy even for Steven and a couple of record deals, Steven settled into his unique style of singing and songwriting with premier Austin guitarist Larry Nye to create a musical portfolio from "Texas Trilogy" (which some Texans claim should be the state song) to "I'd Have to be Crazy" that Willie Nelson did in a single take between golf games as Steven read the words behind him. His new web site puts Steven right up there in the new century with lots of great links, photos, sound clips and more. Jump in for a trip around "Texas Trilogy".

Johnny Gimble
Texas Swing
Johnny
Texas Swing Legacy
Nancy Fly Agency
A farm boy from near Tyler, Texas who played his first professional show at the age of thirteen and who later found himself playing Fiddle with Bob Wills in the '50's and Willie Nelson in the '80's, might seem like quite an accomplishment to most, but not to Johnny Gimble. He's still doing it with his own band, Johnny Gimble and Texas Swing.
Newer Artists are often fortunate when Johnny lends a hand (Fiddle and Mandolin) both at shows and recording sessions, adding a brilliance and musical wisdom to a new sound. He still plays with the Texas Playboys, Bob Will's band. He's also played with Ray Price, Lefty Frizzell, Marty Robbins, and on George Strait's last 8 albums. Johnny was part of the "Million Dollar Band" on Hew Haw and has made the most individual appearances on the Austin City Limits television show.

Levon Helm
Dylan to Cripple Creek
Gift Shop Featured Artist
HomePage
Ronnie Hawkins
Levon was raised up on the Mississippi Delta around Helena, Arkansas. For most boys at the time, that'd been about it.
But Ronnie Hawkins, another Arkansas boy who had made it big in the late 1950's (especially in Canada), took Levon from his mother's breast into a life of debacery and "rock 'n roll."
Soon it was "Levon and the Band", and when Bob Dylan decided it was time to put a little "rock" into Folk music, he called Levon one night and suggested "Bob Dylan and the Band."
The classic record "Big Pink" followed defining what the 60's music scence was really all about. Levon's still at it: His solo album "America's Son" is our favorite, plus several great new "The Band" CD's.

Adolph Hofner
The Bing Crosby of Country Music
Died May 30, 2000
A True Texas Legend
Western Swing Monthly
Rocabilly Review
Bio with Pictures
Gift Shop
Honky Tonk music is a mixture of several cultural influences, one of the most dominant being German/Czech dance music. Adolph Hofner and his brother Emil (Bash), were raised listening to and emulating the local "oom-pah" polka bands. When the family moved to San Antonio in 1926 and the two brothers were introduced to other styles of music, the Hawaiian steel guitar became Emil's choice while Adolph stuck with the guitar adding a country hoedown rhythm.
Adolph was born the same year as Western Swing fiddler Cliff Bruner, both in South Texas. Adolph and Emil's musical beginnings came wrapped in a package from the Sears Roebuck catalog, an ukulele. When Adolph heard Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies ("the Founder of Western Swing") who were nationally famous, his ambition and style became even more established. Other influences were Jimmie Rodgers and Bing Crosby. Adolph's sweet and flowing vocals, soon gained him the title "The Bing Crosby of Country Music." At other times he was known as "The King of South Texas Swing" and "The Sultan of Swing."

Deschamps "Champ" Hood
The Lost Heart of Austin Music
info@southcongressrecords.com
Champ's Home
Angels & Champ
Hippie Hour
Fallen Star by Jimmie Dale
Bon Haven by Champ
Champ & His Troubadours
Continental Hippie Hour
South Congress Records
There are no words adequate enough to express the profound sorrow all of Champ Hood's friends, family, and fans feel to never be able to look upon his sweet face or to listen to him play his fiddle and his blue guitar. He is gone from this earth but there is a part inside each of us where he lives. We will always miss Champ - every single day - until we too leave this earth and join him in that honky tonk in heaven.

Darlin'
written by Blaze Foley:

Oh darlin, oh darlin, Way over yonder and I'm alone, I need you oh I need you, To come back home come back home, Every morning every morning, Reach out for you I reach out for you, But you're not there no you're not there, What shall I do, what shall I do? What shall I do? Nights are lonely yeah nights are lonely, All by myself all by myself, Want you only want you only, Nobody else nobody else, Come back to me come back to me, It's been too long it's been too long, Got to soothe me come and soothe me, Come hear my song come hear my song, Let's hear that song Oh darlin, oh darlin, Way over yonder and I'm alone, Oh darlin, oh darlin, Come and hear my song come and hear my song, Oh darlin, oh darlin, Way over yonder and I'm alone, Oh darlin, oh darlin, Come and hear my song come and hear my song.

Many years ago, Champ wrote," I live upon a high hill, work my hands in wire and wood and I sing like a whippoorwill, and every night there's one thing on my mind: only that you love me until the day I die. If you love me then, you know I would not mind."
Champ, consider it done.

Warren Hood, 10412 Rawhide Trail, Austin 78736

Ray Wylie Hubbard
Redneck Mother
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Home Page
Ray Wylie Hubbard’s music is a journey through country music’s dirt roads and back alleys, but mostly his songs are introspective and brilliant. Best known for "Redneck Mother," which he’ll often open a show with just to keep the crowd from yelling for it all night, his music is really a combination of all the strains of American music. He helped define the Progressive Country Music era in the 70’s along with many talented artists like Steven Fromholz and others. Ray has learned to mold his craft and grow spiritually into a powerful artist. His release "Lost Gringo’s Lament" brought well deserved critical recognition, and "Dangerous Spirits" reveals a deep passion for his art as is evidenced by the words of John T. Davis that it "bristles with allegory, the songs populated by archetypal saints and sinners and seeking pilgrims, all sliding down a razor’s edge between salvation and damnation." That’s Ray Wylie.

Flaco Jimenez
The Tejano
Gift Shop Featured Artist
CNN on Flaco
The ethic diversity of Texas music has been influenced by as many different styles as Texas has geographical areas. Norteno (Conjunto) music, which became common in northern Mexico and southern Texas around 1936, was popularized mainly by accordion master Santiago Jimenez and then his two sons, Santiago, Jr., and Flaco. The elder Santiago learned to play European polkas and waltzes to earn a living in the dominantly German/Czech communities in central Texas. While Santiago, Jr. has stayed close to his father's musical roots, Flaco has taken the accordion ("Rey de Acordéon") and Conjunto music to new levels and to fans throughout the world.

Billy The Kid
"Outlaw or Hero"
btkog@nmia.com
Legend of Billy The Kid
Friends & Enimies Of Billy's
Billy's Sweethearts
The Bush Family
Gift Shop
Billy The Kid (Henry Mc Carty, alias Kid Antrim, alias William H. Bonney, alias Billy The Kid) came west crossing Texas to the southern area of New Mexico in the 1870's. Passing through Uvalde, Texas, he met up with loyal friend and fellow outlaw Tom O'Folliard. Previous to the infamous Lincoln County Wars in New Mexico, he was known to have frequented many of the Honky Tonks and cattle drive stops along the Chisom Trial, such as the Cherry Springs Dance Hall. Many stories remain telling of his lively demeanor and touchy temper while tranversing the Texas Hill Country. The gold and turquoise mines in the Jicarilla Mountains were a great temptation to Billy and his band of "outlaws". Sheriff Pat Garrett finally caught up with Billy on July 14, 1881 at Old Ft. Sumner and shot him dead in a cowardly act. The truth concerning the legends of Billy and other infamous "outlaws" after the Civil War (Frank & Jessie James and the Younger Brothers), has yet to be resolved.

Caesare Masse
Texas Gypsy Fiddler
Born in 1910 in a Sabine River Gypsy Camp, at age 15, Caesare headed out from Currie, Texas to Chicago on a motorbike. Caesare said, "They almost made it".
Years of stand up comedy and gypsy fiddlin' led him home to Texas. The influences of Chicago jazz mixed with Ft. Worth Hillbilly Radio Music, introduced him to such great bands as Freddie Real, Cliff Bruner, Adolph Hofner and Arkey Blue. Moving to Bandera, Texas he became a Texas legend and inspiration to such artists as Ray Benson, Alvin Crow, Johnny Gimble and Ron Knuth.
"Pickin' High" and three other great cassettes are available through Laverne Masse, 1012 Fifth Street, Kerrville, TX 78028-3645.

Delbert McClinton
From Lubbock to the Jacksboro Hwy-a long hard road
Delbert's Home
Audio
Sandy Beaches Cruise
Bio
More Recent Bio
Shop
Delbert McClinton was born in Lubbock, TX, on November 4, 1940, and grew up in Fort Worth. Discovering the blues in his teenage years, McClinton quickly became an accomplished harmonica player and found plenty of work on the local club scene, where musicians often made their living by playing completely different styles of music on different nights of the week. His most prominent early gig was with the Straitjackets, the house band at a blues/R&B club; it gave McClinton the opportunity to play harp behind blues legends like Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Bobby "Blue" Bland. In 1960, McClinton's cover of Williamson's "Wake Up Baby" made him the first white artist to have a record played on the local blues station KNOK. McClinton's harmonica was prominently featured on Fort Worth native Bruce Channel's 1962 number one smash "Hey! Baby"; brought along for Channel's tour of England, McClinton wound up giving harp lessons to a young John Lennon. Upon returning to the States, McClinton founded a group called the Rondells (sometimes listed as the Ron-Dels), which had a minor chart single in 1965 with "If You Really Want Me to, I'll Go." Although the Rondells recorded for several different labels, wider success eluded them and McClinton spent much of the '60s making the rounds of the Texas club and roadhouse circuit, where his reputation kept growing steadily.
In 1972, McClinton moved to Los Angeles, where he teamed up with Fort Worth singer/songwriter Glen Clark as Delbert & Glen. Signed to the small Atlantic affiliate Clean Records, Delbert & Glen recorded two albums in a mostly country-rock vein, 1972's Delbert & Glen and 1973's Subject to Change. Neither sold well and McClinton returned to Texas in 1974, where he was able to land a solo deal with ABC on the strength of his emerging songwriting talent. His first solo album, Victim of Life's Circumstances, was released in 1975; although he was marketed as part of the emerging progressive country movement, McClinton's music was too indebted to blues and R&B to neatly fit that tag. Genuine Cowhide (1976) and Love Rustler (1977) followed to highly positive reviews, if not much commercial attention, and other artists started to mine McClinton's catalog for material; in 1978, Emmylou Harris took his "Two More Bottles of Wine" all the way to the top of the country charts. A switch to Capricorn produced two albums, 1978's Second Wind and 1979's Keeper of the Flame; the former featured his original version of "B Movie Boxcar Blues," later a part of the Blues Brothers repertoire. When Capricorn folded, he moved to the Muscle Shoals Sound imprint and his 1980 label debut, The Jealous Kind, gave him his first Top 40 single in "Givin' It Up for Your Love," which hit on both the pop and country charts.
(see bio link for much more)

Bob McDill
Songwriter's Songwriter
Bob's Home
Bob has been awarded Songwriter of the Year in 1976, 1985, and 1989 by NSA, in 1985 by BMI and in 1994 by ASCAP, not bad for a boy from the oil filds around Beaumont (Houston), Texas.
His songs have been recorded by Perry Como ("Happy Man")in 1967, Johnny Russell ("Catfish John") in 1973, he did "Amanda" and "Rednecks, Whitesockks, and Blue Ribbon Beer" in 1973, and in the early 1970's he recorded "Short Stories", and Bobby Bare recorded "Me and McDill" in 1977.
Earl Thomas Conley did our favorite McDill songs with "We Believe In Happy Endings", which finished off this writers second marriage, in spite of little happiness, except it being "OVER". Thanks, Bob.
Bob's one of the best. Always read who wrote the songs your favorite singer puts out. When you see names like Bob McDill, Hank Cochran, etc., it's a real country song!

Patsy Montana
"I Wanna Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart"
jfrost@netconnectmo.com
Patsy's Home
Gift Shop
With the arrival of summer around the corner, the Patsy Montana Festival is once again under way. Patsy has been acclaimed as the first woman to have a top record in country music with "I Wanna Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart". Her great vocals and her great show, in a time that was not always kind to female Artists, paved the way for many female Artists including Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and on & on. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, her annual festival is held in Pineville, Mo. Try 417-223-7290 for information.

Willie Nelson

willie@willienelson.com
Gift Shop Featured Artist
www.WillieNelson.com
Sony Music
Tour Scheldule
Willie's Picnic from Yahoo
Willie Nelson's Verizon Picnic
Willie, like many other Southern children of the time, was raised with certain moral values by his loving grandparents in Abbott, Texas south of Dallas/Ft. Worth. His family had migrated from Marion County, Arkansas in 1929. These values were often at odds with the temptations of every day life even for a young farm boy. "Phases and Stages, Circles and Cycles" might best describe Willie's life. Fortunately for all of us, Mama and Daddy Nelson were interested in music and started Willie on guitar while sister Bobbie was groomed to play piano. When Bobbie played in the local church, young Willie would listen outside where he could also hear the songs of the black cotton pickers and Mexican migrant workers who camped nearby. By age 7 the Legend had begun!
For over twenty-five years Willie has performed over 200 shows a year, always culminating with his 4th of July Picnic where 30 or more bands join Willie and a few thousand people to celebrate being free enough to "celebrate" in their own way.
No 4th of July Picnic in 2001, but catch the Verizon Willie Nelsin Picnic on August 11 (see link above). You can't keep that good man down!

Mickey Newbury
A Songwriter's Songwriter
roly@breasnanlink.net
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Home Page
An American Trilogy
Mickey Newbury has had over 400 covers of his great Texas songs by other artists over the past 35 years from Elvis to Dread Zeppelin! This includes Don Gibson(12), Roy Orbison (8), Waylon Jennings (7), Kenny Rogers (7), Joan Baez(5), Brenda Lee (4), B. B. King (3), Ray Charles (3), Johnny Rodriguez (3), Ray Price, Bobby Bare, Webb Pierce, Roger Miller, and numerous other artists with a taste for true quality in Texas country music. His great hit "An American Triology" has been covered by over 50 artists!
Waylon Jennings couldn't prevent himself from singing about "...a Newbury Train Song" on his hit "Luckenbach, Texas", but when it was Willie's turn, he sang "a Jerry Jeff Train Song" refering to "Railroad Lady" by Jerry and Jimmy Buffett. Either way, Newbury is a true clasic in the style of Billie Joe Shaver and a few other great Texas artists! Mickey deserves to be amongst the excellent singers who have honored him by preforming his great songs. Only in Texas!!!!

Larry Nolen
The Original Bandit
451 It'll Do Lane, Pipe Creek, TX 78063
(830) 510-6423
One of the brightest "stars" in all of Country music is also one of its most humble. On Larry Nolen's birthday when he was 15 years old, he first stepped onto the stage at Bandera's Cabaret to the thrill of a swirling dance floor. The music kept playing and the young musician kept singing.
Fifty years later to within a day, he was on the same stage singing "Ramblin' Rose" and the rest of his many hits.
After a lot of years and many miles traveled, "The Original Bandit," as Willie Nelson dubbed him, was singing as smoothly and energetically as ever.
Larry recorded "Hillbilly Love Affair" for Sarge records when he was only 19 years old, and it remains one of his favorites to perform with his new band touring the Texas Hill Country and Europe.
He spent many nights at the Texas Star Inn, a great old Honky Tonk in San Antonio that is now a Bar B Q restaurant. His CD "The Bandit" is part of Country Music history.

Gary P. Nunn
London Homesick Blues
rnunn@galstar.com
Homepage
Gift Shop
Gary P. Nunn came to Austin in 1968 to study at the University of Texas, but he soon found himself in Michael Martin Murphy's band. He had started playing guitar at age seven. As Murphy moved on, Gary and the others formed The Lost Gonzo Band and started backing a newly arrived guitar player/songwriter who was named Jerry Jeff Walker. They, along with Steven Fromholz, Rusty Weir, and others, formed the core of the new Progressive Country music scene which was developing in Austin, Texas during the early 1970's---even before Willie Nelson took the town by storm. Gary's song "London Homesick Blues" ("Home with the Armadillo") probably best defines the period, and it has been the theme song for the Austin City Limits TV show for years. See Gary P. Nunn often at the Broken Spoke.

Doug Clark & The Hot Nuts
"See That Girl Dressed In Pink, She's The One That......."
Nut History
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In 1955 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, "The Tops" were formed from a group of students attending Lincoln High School. The group was organized by Doug Clark in an attempt to earn money playing at nearby UNC fraternity parties and other school functions. The Tops first played for Phi Delta Theta fraternity and continued on to play for most every other one there after that night. The following year, the group broke up and founded a new group called "Doug Clark's Combo." This group continued playing the local fraternity scene as well as the Square Club in Durham, NC on Sunday nights. After picking up a new song called "Hot Nuts," (listen to it here!) the group became recognized for this instant hit. From this song arose...DOUG CLARK AND THE HOT NUTS! From the mid-50's to today, Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts have been playing their addictive music at colleges and universities all across the United States. Their style of telling dirty jokes and singling out audience members has proven extremely successful for the band. Although the Hot Nuts have often been booked for "censored" shows, the crowd ALWAYS ends up begging for the raunchy style that has made them famous.
We here at Honky Tonk Texas grew up listening and being good friends with these guys. They were not just some fraternity "toga" band, but some great guys with a weird sense of humor and a great ability to play the blues in a way that college "kids' would dig it and not even know the great blues. God bless Doug and the guys.
You gotta thank Dallas promoter Angus Wynne and Don & Tom Lively for financing many a great New Years Shows. Of course, we can't forget Ruth Ann Lively for being out of town when "The Nuts" were in her house. What a teenage blast!

Gram Parsons
"The Grievious Angel"
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Gram
Home Page
Gram was well known around Los Angeles in the late 1960's, but not until he joined up with The Byrds in 1967 for their "greatest" release Sweetheart Of The Rodeo did the rest of the world take notice. Byrd headman Roger McQuinn needed a keyboard man, but he got a lot more. Soon Gram had written the majority of the new album, helping to create a new blend of Roll 'n Roll and Country Music. Some called it Progressive Country, others say it saved Country music from the grasp of Nashville (overproduction & violins). After a dispute with McQuinn about touring in South Africa (due to its segregation), this southern boy left the band before the tour. When they returned Chris Hillman (along with Chris Ethridge and Sneaky Pete Kleinlow) formed the Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram, creating a sound that changed the World. Songs written by and the style of the true legends of country music were evident in Gram's future works. Willie Nelson credits Gram with opening the ears and minds of America's youth to country music and allowing him to achieve the recognition he so well deserves. Check The Band, The Eagles, Pure Praire League, The Greatful Dead, Bob Dylan (Nashville Skyline), Crosby (ex-Byrd), Stills, Nash & Young, etc. for those influenced by Gram. The story goes on and on. Check these web sites for the rest of an amazing story, and give Gram a thought now and then. We all owe him a lot!

Johnny Paycheck
Take This Job and Shove It
marty.martel@nashville.com
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Johnny's Home
There's a lot of good songs from an Artist who, because of various commercial & personal reasons, missed out on the "Outlaw Boom" in spite of being one of the only true outlaws in the bunch.
Johnny Paycheck, he played in Ray Price's band, with Willie later replacing his bass position. Johnny's rough attitude often left him in various fixes, but with one of the great commercial sucesses, "Take This Job and Shove It" brought acclaim and #1 in the charts, along with million in law suits. Heck yeah. Say it how you mean it.
A minor incident in a bar with a .22 and another patron, left Johnny in limbo for awhile. From this came one of country music's greatest songs, "Old Violin": "Tonight I feel like an old violin, soon to be put away and never played again".
Hear a clip on his web site. Get this, if just for all our brothers who are locked up and miss the Hill Country sunsets each night.

Elvis Presley
'The King Of Rock 'n Roll...Did It His Way'
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Elvis' Official Site
Elvis' Home - Graceland
Elvis Sightings
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Heartbreak Hotel for the Night!
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1955 Tour Scheldule
Elvis Diary
This early photo of a young Elvis Aaron Presley was taken in Longview, Texas in 1954. The famous steel master Jimmy Day, also at a very young age, is shown providing some of his excellent steel work (see Jimmy Day-Legends). Elvis was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. He and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in 1953. Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager. In 1954, he began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture. He starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking, live concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas. Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards for 131 different albums and singles, far more than any other artist. Among his many awards and accolades were 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which he received at age 36, and his being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees. Without any of the special privileges his celebrity status might have afforded him, he honorably served his country in the U.S. Army. His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture. Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977. Note Elvis' tour dates in Longview (see Photo) and at Cherry Springs Dance Hall.[Photo from Randy Willis]

Ray Price
The Original Country Legend
marty.martel@nashville.com
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Fan Club
Ray's Bio
In 1954 "Release Me" was a smash hit for Ray. In 1956 "Crazy Arms" was on the charts for 45 weeks (knocking Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel" out of #1!), and in 1959 he recorded "Heartaches By The Number" and was also voted "Favorite Male Vocalist." Next came "Nightlife" by a young songwriter named Willie Nelson. Soon Willie took Johnny Paycheck's bass position in Ray's Johnny Bush. He had the "Album of the Year" in 1971 and has had three Gold Albums, including his duet with Willie in 1980. All country music fans owe a lot to Ray for his influence on many younger Artists, but more importantly for stubbornly maintaining his true country style. Ray still plays many shows a year (several at Floore Country Store) and is always great to hear. He is a true Texas Legend.

Tex Ritter
America's Most Beloved Cowboy
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Take Me Back to Oklahoma
In east Texas at an early age, Tex Ritter knew that he wanted to become a lawyer to correct injustices which he painfully saw through his young eyes. Singing was a hobby for this young lad, who would become known throughout the world for radio shows, over 67 movies, song writing, Broadway shows, television, numerous hit records, personal appearances, and his recording of "Hillbilly Heaven," one of the greatest recording performances of all time.
In 1922 Tex entered pre-law at the University of Texas but was soon learning ballads of the mountains, black slaves, and cowboys from J. Frank Dobie, the famous Texas folklorist. His studies gave way to a radio job in Houston in 1929, for which he became known as the first cowboy balladeer on radio. The Depression brought Tex to Hollywood where he made 60 Western movies between 1936 and 1945, one with Bob Wills. He became Capital Record's first Country-Western Artist. In 1945 he held the top three spots on Billboard's record charts! His success continued for years to come, playing many Honky Tonks with Slim Roberts and shows with Larry Nolen. Today, Tex is certainly in "Hillbilly Heaven" along with many more of our Texas Honky Tonk Heroes.

Marty Robbins

sdaens@earthlink.net
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Official Home Page
Photo Album
Early Photos
Fan Club
UnOfficial Page
Marty Robbins sang Country, rock 'n roll, and pop music throughout his career. He maintained hits on the charts nearly every week for 20 years, including several "crossovers" to the Pop Music charts. He tried to return to his pure country roots with his smash recording of "El Paso" which spent 26 weeks on the Country charts and hit #1 on the pop charts in 1959. He also appeared in 18 movies. In 1982 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame along with Lefty Frizzell. Marty Robbins had said playing the road was like robbing Wells Fargo: "ride in, take the money, and ride out again." He knew the road well and was a favorite in numerous Texas Hill Country Honky Tonks.
Marty was tremdously important not only in Texas Music, but in all styles of music, as the first artist in the "Nashville vain" to blend Country music with "Border Music" (Tejano). Later artists such as the Texas Tornados (Doug Sahm, Freddy Fender, Flaco Jimenez, and Augie Meyers) cut their teeth on songs like "El Paso". 'nough said!

Slim Roberts
"Texas Songwriter Supreme"
4927 View Dr., San Antonio, Texas
(210) 924-1924
Hold My Love at mp3.com
As Slim Roberts says, his "name is not exactly a household word." While this very well may be true, he continues to greatly contribute to Texas Honky Tonk music. Slim is a multitalented Artist, as comfortable with a guitar as the fiddle, and he sings pretty darn good too. He is also is an extraordinary songwriter, with material which is similar in style to some of Merle Haggard's and Freddie Power's collaborations.
Years spent on the road with Tex Ritter and Johnny Bush helped tone his great writing talent into his cassette "Slim Roberts" which contains 11 songs, all of which should be hits by someone soon. He still plays with Arkey Blue at his Silver Dollar Saloon in Bandera, Texas if you're lucky enough to catch this great talent.

Coach Darrell K. Royal
UT Historical Coach & Friend of Many a Musician
randy@randywillis.org
Coach Homepage
Riata Talent
The man who led The University of Texas Longhorns to three National Championships and continues to remain the state of Texas' most legendary football coach -- Darrell Royal! In 1956 Coach Royal became head coach of the Texas Longhorns bringing his folksy sense of humor called "Royalisms" and an innovative style of football that produced almost instant success. As an innovator, Royal is credited with two major changes in collegiate football, the "flip-flop" and the famed wishbone formation backfield. Royal assumed the dual role of athletics director and head football coach in 1962, positions he held for 14 years. After retiring from football, Royal accepted his present position of special assistant to the president on athletic programs. During his tenure as athletics director, the Longhorns won seven national titles – three in football, two in golf, one in baseball and one in basketball. He was the driving force in the upgrading of basketball and swimming by bringing in Abe Lemons and Eddie Reese as coaches. A native of Southwest Oklahoma, Royal began his life in football as a high school star in the early 1940s. He was an all-American quarterback at the University of Oklahoma. He served as head coach at Mississippi State University and the University of Washington. His coaching record during the 1960s earned him the honor of Coach of the Decade by ABC-TV. He took Texas from a 1 – 9 season in 1956 to a 6-3-1 finish in 1957. A trip to the Sugar Bowl started the Longhorns on the first of 16 bowl appearances they would make over the next 20 years. Under Royal's leadership, Texas won three national championships and 11 Southwest Conference championships. In his more than 20 years as head coach, Royal's Longhorns carried the best record in the nation over that period. They finished in the top 10 nationally 11 times, and he coached 77 all-Southwest Conference players and 26 all-Americans. When Royal started as a tailback for his hometown high school in 1941, he weighed only 124 pounds. Royal still holds records -- or the longest punt return (96 yards) and the most pass interceptions in four years (17) -- at his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma. During his first season at UT, he made an estimated ,000 a year. A native of Hollis, Oklahoma, Royal was made an honorary Texan by the Texas House of Representatives after his first UT season. He also refused to pray before games, once commenting, "I think the Lord is neutral about these things." Royal and his wife, Edith, regularly visited with LBJ and Lady Bird in the White House, on the Johnson Ranch, and in Acapulco. In 1991, to help settle Willie Nelson's tax debt, Royal paid 7,350 for his friend's Pedernales Country Club after it was seized by the Internal Revenue Service and sold at public auction. He had often played golf there. Referring to his friendship with the singer, an avowed pot smoker, Royal once assured fans that that he had never touched marijuana himself: "Heck no -- never have, never will." Texas Monthly

Doug Sahm
Sir Douglas
November 6, 1941 'til November 18, 1999

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Doug
Brief History
Memorial Page
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Doug In Texas Monthly
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Petition for the R&R Hall of Fame
Insurgent Country
Doug Sahm was the singer and guitarist who showed the world the glory of Texas music with the Sir Douglas Quintet in the '60s through his '90s stint in the Tex-Mex supergroup Texas Tornados. The San Antonio native defined the Austin redneck rock scene with his 1974 album "Groover's Paradise." "You just can't live in Texas if you don't have a lot of soul," Sahm sang on a signature tune called "At the Crossroads." That was his motto until the end. "He could play anything -- Cajun music, country music, rock, blues, Mexican conjunto music," said Antone's founder Clifford Antone. "And it wasn't just people in Texas who knew it. He was always playing places like Canada or Scandinavia or Japan or wherever, and there'd be people that have known his music since (1965's) "She's About a Mover." Sahm began his musical career as 6-year-old Little Doug, a pint-sized steel guitar prodigy who performed on Nashville's Grand Ol' Opry and once played seated on Hank Williams' lap. During the early rock 'n' roll explosion, he formed his own bands and had regional hits while still in high school. Sahm traveled frequently between Austin and San Antonio, which was home base for the Texas Tornados. He formed the group with Freddy Fender, Flaco Jimenez and Augie Meyers. They produced seven albums, including "Live From the Limo" and the Grammy-winning, 1990 self-titled debut, which included such hits as "Who Were You Thinkin' Of" and "(Hey Baby) Que Paso." His musical connections reached far beyond Texas. He took part in sessions for two different Grateful Dead albums, while Bob Dylan can be heard on Sahm's recording of "(Is Anybody Goin' to) San Antone." Younger groups such as Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt and the Gourds have also recorded and performed with Sahm.
by his friends, Michael Corcoran & Chris Riemenschneider
By the way Betty Ritter has started a petition to put Doug in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. Sign the petition below.

Pappy Selph
Blue Ridge Playboys
In 1934 fiddler Leon "Pappy" Selph put together a band that was the culmination of all the previous musical styles in Texas and the forerunner of today's Honky Tonk music. Ted Daffan, who wrote "Born to Lose," played the Hawaiian steel guitar, and Floyd Tillman, who wrote "It Makes No Difference Now," was persuaded to join as guitarist and lead singer. Floyd had just left Adolph Hofner's band and was 19 years old. Pappy Selph and the Blue Ridge Playboys soon became the hottest group in Texas.
Pappy is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. He first played "The Orange Blossom Special" on the Grand Ole Opry in 1931.
Pappy will be remembered in our hearts forever. Together with Caesare Masse they're playing some beautiful music you can still hear late some nights in the quite of the Texas Hill Country.

Billy Joe Shaver

shaver@billyjoeshaver.com
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In 1939, the back blocks of central Texas brought into the world a guy, that was, in later years, to write songs that would help create a new stream in country music. That stream was later to be known as 'Outlaw Country'. Billy Joe Shaver has written many great songs that have been recorded by artists whose careers headed down different tracks at different points in time. his songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Elvis Presley to Stonewall Jackson to Dallas Moore to Waylon Jennings. During the early 1970's, country music was at the cross roads. In 1973, Waylon Jennings released an album titled "Honky Tonk Heroes". This album is widely considered the album that kick started the 'Outlaw Country' stream of country music. "Honky Tonk Heroes" consists of 11 tracks. 10 of which are Billy Joe Shaver penned originals. During this period, his songs were recorded by some of the most popular artists in outlaw country. Artists like, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Bobby Bare all recorded his songs. With his son Eddy he achieved new acclaim with another generation. During a Shaver show, "Dad" was often heard saying "slow down Eddy." Sometimes he did. Remember Eddy Shaver, the kid who learned at an early age to play the guitar 'cause his songwriting Daddy was short a finger for pickin'. Eddy filled in just fine, becoming one of the country's top players. He was taught as a child by Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers Band to play and Billy Joe gave him the love of a good song and the spirit to go with it. Never miss Billy Joe! He's up at Poodie's Hilltop Bar & Grill on Hwy 71 near Spicewood or around Austin often. Thanks Eddy and Billy Joe.
For Eddy: January 20, 1962 - December 31, 2000. Say "Hi" to Hank.

B.W. Stevenson
Austin's Smoothest Voice
Gift Shop
Austin City Limits
Home Sweet Home
B.W. was amongst the first along with Stephen Fromholz, Marcia Ball (Frieda & The Firedogs), Shiva's Head Band, Willis Alan Ramsey, The Conqueroo, Milton Carroll, Rusty Weir, Doug Sahm, Michael Murphey and a few others who migrated to Austin in the late 1960's to start the sound which soon led to a new revial in "country" music which has often been described various ways and by Fromholz as "The Progressive Country Scare". At the same time Gram Parsons, Steve Miller (Dallas) the Byrds, Boz Scaggs (from Plano), Chris Ethridge and others were getting into a similar groove on the West Coast. B.W.'s release of My Maria in the early 1970's brought attention not only to a talented artist but to the whole new music "scene" in Ausin. The Doobie Brothers had a huge hit with the song, and B.W. had several more great releases.

B.W. came from Dallas' Bryan Adams High School through North Texas State University (Texas's acclaimed music school)in Denton, Texas. He met up with Michael Schroeder and Randy "Poodie" Locke (who played opposite tackle to "Mean Joe Green" on the "Mean Green" football team). Soon Poodie and Michael went on the road with B.W. as road manager (Poodie) and guitar specialist. After Willie Nelson stumbled into Austin, Poodie and Michael were on the old yellow "Porter Wagoner" bus helping Willie be Willie! A tough job! While these guys were up in school in Denton, most of their evenings were spent a few miles up the highway at Johnny's B-29 Bar-B-Q across the Oklahoma line (you couldn't get any liquor north of central Dallas, especially Coors which was a treasured commodity out of Colorado at the time. But Johnny could fix that)! At same time the Dallas area of Texas was producing other great Artists such as Marc Benno (Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge, The Doors, Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie, etc.), The Vaughn Brothers, Delbert McClinton, Michael Murphey, Steve Miller and on and on. The State Fair, held each year in Dallas, was always a gas with these guys giving it all in the "Battle Of The Bands." Dallas was a good place to grow up in with these guys' rock 'n roll and the great bands on Hall and Elm Street such as Freddie King, The Panthers and other great blues artists. Dallas and North Texas was conservative and tough in these times, but Deep Elm and the Jacksboro Highway gave us all a place to escape to a great blend of Texas white rock 'n roll and the fantastic black blues Artists who were known only to a few brave souls who ventured out to where "good white boys" just didn't go. B.W., Marc, Steve, Boz, myself and our friends had a lot of trouble following the strict social/racial rules of the time. Too damn bad and thank the Lord for it....and thanks to B.W. for having the voice and talent that brought the attention to the other great Artists for the World to soon enjoy. "The Voice Of Austin." Only in Texas. Thanks, BUCK. Make sure to pick up Rainbow Down The Road, the last from our friend and pal B.W. with Willie, Johnny Gimble, Willis Alan Ramsey, John Inmon, Mickey Rafael, JJW, Fromholz, Steve Burton, Bobby Rambo, and on and on. God Bless you, buddy.

Mr. C. B. Stubblefield
Mr. C. B. Stubblefield
"Stubb" was born Christopher B. Stubblefield in Navasota, Texas, as one of nine sons from parents he describes as "real good cooks." In the 1930's, Stubb's family moved to Lubbock, Texas to pick cotton, and it was during this time Stubb learned to cook by working in local restaurants and hotels.In the 1970's, Stubb's restaurant became the heart of an explosive music scene and was ground zero for musicians like Joe Ely and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Other famous musicians who would "play for their supper" included Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Robert Cray, George Thorogood, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Linda Ronstadt, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Although small in size, Stubb's Restaurant was always filled with good friends, great music and plenty of Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q.

Jimmie Rodgers
Kerrville, Texas

"Father Of Country Music"

Hank Thompson
King Of Honky Tonk Swing
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Hank's News
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Hank
Hank has combined Western Swing with Honky Tonk music over six decades mixing big band music, fiddle sounds, and steel guitar creating yet another new "sound" of country music. From small Texas clubs to Hollywood and then the first country band to play Las Vegas, with well over 60 million albums sold, Hank and The Brazos Valley Boys have done it all, including 15 weeks in the top ten with "The Wild Side Of Life" in 1951 (Kitty Wells answered with "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.")
From a Bohemian family around Waco, Texas, Hank's music has blended in and added to our great Texas traditions. Other great hits like "Humpty Dumpty Heart" and "Whoa Sailor" have made Hank a true Texas hero, friend, and inspiration to numerous other artists like the great Larry Nolen, who has worked many shows with Hank.
Thanks, Hank

Sonny Throckmorton

randy@randywillis.org
Riata Talent
Songwriters Hall Of Fame
Sonny Throckmorton has recorded for the elite of major labels such as Capitol, MCA, Mercury and Warner Brothers. Sonny has written 17 #1 hits and many more number 2, 3, 4… He has been the Nashville Songwriter Association International’s Songwriter of the Year four times. Sonny was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter Association International’s Hall of Fame in 1987. He had over ninety songs recorded in just a six month period. Two major motion pictures have been based on Sonny’s hit songs: "Middle Aged Crazy" and "I Wish I Was Eighteen Again." Other number one hits written by Sonny are "Friday Night Blues," "I Feel Like Loving You Again," "I Had a Lovely Time," "I Wish You Could Have Turned My Head," "I’m Knee Deep In Loving You," "If We’re Not Back in Love by Monday," "It’s a Cheatin’ Situation," "Last Cheater’s Waltz," "Middle Age Crazy," "She Can’t Say That Anymore," "Smooth Sailing," "Thinking of a Rendezvous," "Trying to Love Two Women," "The Way I Am," "Why Not Me," "Stand Up," "Where the Cowboy Rides Away," and "Made for Loving You." The list of number 2, 3, and 4’s is to great to list. Another true country hero. See him often at the Saxon Pub in Austin.

Floyd Tillman
The Father Of Honky Tonk/Cheatin' Music
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Texas Music Source
Country.com Bio
peermusic Bio
One of the most fortunate things to happen in Texas, besides the surrender of Santa Anna, was the arrival of the Tillman family in Post from Ryan, Oklahoma, where their son Floyd had been born on December 8, 1914. Post was in cotton country by Lubbock, and the Tillmans were sharecroppers.
Floyd had his first #1 hit in 1944 with "They Took the Stars Out of Heaven," but the song that best exposed his life/love and that of many others for years to come was "Slippin' Around," the first cheatin'song. No kiddin'.
Floyd is one of country music's greatest composers and song stylists, and along with Ernest Tubb, Al Dexter, and Ted Daffan originated what we now know as "Honky Tonk Music". As much as Bob Wills is "The King Of Western Swing", Floyd, Al and Ted created Honky Tonk Music. Both I and Jack Daniels thank you.
Floyd's the real thing. Without Floyd, there would be no Honky Tonk music.
Still in the Austin area, he has toured with everyone from Cliff Bruner & The Wanderers (the country's hottest band in the early 1930's), Pappy Selph & The Blue Ridge Playboys in the late 1930's, to Willie "Slippin' Around" Nelson in his great 1970-1980's band which included Willie's present "gang" plus Floyd, Grady Martin, Chris Ethridge (The Flying Burrito Brothers), and Johnny Gimble, who played fiddle next to Bob Wills!
A great guy who has had as much influence on present day country music as a combination of Hank Williams and Gram Parsons. We love this one.
He goes to the island for sure! Ask Willie.

Texas Tornados

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Texas Tornados
Doug Sahm Memorial page
Freddy Fender
Augie Meyers
Doug Sahm, Freddy Fender, Augie Meyers, and Flaco Jimenez were the core of The Texas Tornados. Various combimnations of the band existed from Sahm's days in Austin and earlier in San Francisco. Augie operates his own studio north of San Antonio, Flaco is still picking up Grammy's, and Freddie is busy recording and touring. If you want Tex-Mex music....this is the best.

Ernest Tubb
The Texas Troubadours
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ET Bio
ET Record Stores
West Texas Music Hall of Fame/Museum
Country Boy Ernest Tubb never dreamed that his boyhood hero Jimmie Rodgers (who lived in Kerrville, Texas before his death in 1933) along with tonsillitis would lead to a new element of American Culture, Texas Honky Tonk Music (along with Floyd Tillman, Al Dexter, and Ted Daffan). Previously it was called hillbilly music. Ernest wanted to be heard above his often rowdy crowds, so he became one of the first country stars to add an electric guitar (for volume) in 1941. This, along with the loss of his tonsils in 1939 which limited his ability to yodel like his hero, forced Ernest to develop his own style.

Conway Twitty
Hello darlin'
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On June 5th, 1993, the world lost a Country Music Legend and "The Best Friend A Song Ever Had". During his amazing 37 year career, Conway Twitty's music touched the hearts of millions. As the only entertainer in any genre of music to have more number one hits than any other artist, Conway's legacy will endure for generations to come. We invite you to poke around the website and learn about Conway's career and his life. You can visit the Message Board and read post by other Conway Twitty fans worldwide, and even leave your own. You can check out the Discography, and find out about Conway's amazing string of Number One Hits. We have provided links to purchase Official Conway Twitty Merchandise from the offices of his son, Michael Twitty. Read Biographical information about Conway, his life, and his family and friends. Learn about his music and songwriting. You can view pictures of Conway throughout his life, photos of his family and friends.

Jerry Jeff Walker
Mr. Bojangles
webmaster@jerryjeff.com
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Homepage
The life of a traveling troubadour brought Jerry Jeff Walker to Austin in 1971, but the "essence of his music" had been forming for many years. During his journeys, many roads have been traveled and many a story told. After all, that’s what Texas Music is all about.
A stop in New Orleans in 1965 resulted in an evening spent in the drunk tank with an old soft shoe dancer named Bojangles. Between bemoaning a dog lost years ago, he entertained Jerry Jeff with his dancing and stories. The song "Mr. Bojangles" soon made Jerry Jeff famous.
In Austin during the beginning of the "Outlaw" or Progressive Country Music era, the women were gorgeous and the beer was always ice cold, and besides that, there were a bunch of folks like Doug Sahm doing Country music! Jerry Jeff showed up, decided to stay and joined up with the "Lost Gonzo Band."
In 1973 they recorded "Viva Terlingua" live at the Luckenbach Dance Hall, and twenty years later Jerry Jeff took the band back to Luckenbach to commemorate the first album and recorded "Viva Luckenbach."
It was even better, and it keeps going. The Gypsy Songman still can paint a picture with his words.

Don Walser
The Pavorotti of the Plains
donwalser@donwalser.com
Gift Shop Featured Artist
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"You let the roots die, and you loose the whole darn tree," says this "newly discovered" veteran of Honky Tonk and western swing music, always with some good ole cowboy yodeling thrown in. Don Walser has spent his life keeping Country Music's rich past alive and vibrant. He is loved by everyone from alternative rock fans to hardcore country traditionalists at the Broken Spoke and Club 21. He has fans both nationally as well as internationally, with his shows mixing original material with that of his heroes Bob Wills, Hank Williams, and the Sons of the Pioneers. During his 39 years with the National Guard, Don worked at night to perfect his great talent at every chance given. He has said that it's his life's goal to keep that music alive. Don spent lot of time alone in his youth in west Texas, so country radio and the silver screen cowboy legends became his daily companions. He started playing the guitar in his early teens and shared shows with Buddy Holly and Elvis. In 1984 he moved to Austin and put together the Pure Texas Band. Within a few years he became a very popular local Artist with several fine CD's (Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel co-produced a couple) and retired from his day job to devote all of his time to his craft. It wasn't long before the rest of country music learned of this truly unique talent. Playboy magazine referred to him as "the Pavorotti of the Plains," and the Austin Chronicle called him "the greatest Country singer in the world." That's even bigger than Texas!

Rusty Weir
The Original Black Hat Saloon
matew@eastex.net
Rusty
Poor David's-Dallas
Saxon Pub - Austin
Rusty is a true Texas legend, after many a years and life's experiences, he preforms several times weekly in the Austin area. Rusty along with a few others created the Texas Progressive Country Scene (or "scare" as Fromholz calls it). Rusty is a great guy who always puts on a great show. Catch him at the Saxon Pub in Austin for a real treat.

Kitty Wells
The Queen Of Country Music
P.O. Box 1189
Madison, TN 37115

Gift Shop Featured Artist
Kitty's Home
Tour Dates
Kitty Wells, the "Queen of Country Music", was born Ellen Muriel Deason, in Nashville, Tennessee on August 30, 1919. She created the role for all other female country singers to follow. "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" recorded in 1952, was her first number one song, and she was the first female to sell a million records and reach number one in the country field. Her recording was in answer to Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side Of Life" recorded the year before and gave the woman's side of Honky Tonk life. For 14 consecutive years she was voted the nation's number one "Country Female Artist" by all of the trade publications. No other Country female artist has ever topped her achievements.

Asleep At The Wheel

aatw@gte.net
Gift Shop Featured Artist
The Wheel
Band Bio
Shows
"For Bob Wills, it was always about the music, about making it swing and making it sizzle. He understood groove, showmanship and the gray areas between the genres that made for the most potent musical hybrids. There was something about the way he did what he did that's been inspiring musicians and music lovers ever since." It was in the aftermath of 1999's critically acclaimed -- and quadruple Grammy winning -- Ride With Bob that Asleep at the Wheel's towering big boss man, Ray Benson, noticed an equally giant hole in the band's storied catalog. Over the course of the last three decades, Benson and the Wheel have boldly defied the fickle lures of the mainstream -- and thrived -- by sticking to their noble cause of keeping that distinctly American of art forms, Western Swing, alive and kicking. Along the way, they've entertained thousands and won praise and admiration from everyone from Willie Nelson to Bob Dylan, George Strait to Van Morrison.

Hank Williams
The Father Of Modern Country Music
musicinfo@cmgww.com
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Home Page
UnOffical Page
UnOffical Page
In a day when barn dances and fiddles dominated "Hillbilly" music and overalls were proper attire, Hank Williams took Country/Western music, along with the rest of the World, by absolute storm. A shiney white suit with matching cowboy hat and boots, gave but a slight clue as what was to come. When the guitar chords started and his voice whined out "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", Country music was changed forever. Hank recorded 250 songs until his death at 29, and each one is still an important part of his legacy.
"Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Cold, Cold Heart" give more evidence of words that were lived and not just "made up". Many a teardrop has fallen over the years as a Hank song is played by some band or radio station. He shaped modern Country/Western music into the Country Music we know today.

Bob Wills
The Texas Playboys
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Bob Wills Museum
Music Clips
Ponca City News
The best known of all Western Swing musicians was "The King of Western Swing," Bob Wills. Born in Kosse, Texas, the family soon moved to Turkey, Texas in the panhandle. Bob's dad was a country fiddler who played barn dances, and this along with the musical styles of the black field hands, influenced Bob, who combined them to help create Western Swing.
In 1930 he joined up with Milton Brown, guitarist Herman Arnspiger, and Durwood Brown as the Aladdin Laddies in Ft. Worth, and their fame spread quickly. The next year Burrus Mills sponsored them on radio as the Light Crust Doughboys. The mill's manager W. Lee O'Daniel became their master of ceremonies, but "Pappy" O'Daniels' domineering control of the band along with his rambling introductions, created enough friction for Milton to leave, and for Bob to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma. O'Daniel ended up as Governor of Texas, as he had planned all along.
When in Austin stop by the "Tourist Trap" room at James White's Broken Spoke. Besides various other country music memoribilia, he has on display Bob's cigar he was smoking when he proposed to his wife. His mother in law saved it over the years. Stick around for a chicken fried steak and some real country music.

Jesse Winchester
powerful writing talent...and gentle vocals
info@jessewinchester.com
Jessie's Studio
Biography
Discography
Gift Shop
Jesse Winchester is one of the top singer-songwriters of his generation. No lesser an authority than Bob Dylan was quoted to that effect in the liner notes for Winchester's Best of CD. This talented artist was born and raised in the American South, but relocated to Canada to avoid being drafted. His early inability to tour in the US may have permanently stunted his commercial success as a recording artist, since he never achieved sales commensurate with his artistic achievements.
Other performers were quick to recognize the merit of his songs, however, and Winchester has enjoyed consistent success as a songwriter, with other artists recording his compositions.
Throughout all Winchester's body of work, perhaps influenced by his decision to move to Canada, there is a deep concern for human decisions and their consequences, with a careful eye on what is lost, as well as what is gained, at each fork in the road. His best songs always treat their characters with dignity, and recognition that there are no easy answers to the human dilemma.
Jesse Winchester first gained notice as a protege of the Band's. Levon Helm taught him to play drums and mandolin. The album had much of the rustic Southern charm and rollicking country-rock of the Band. Winchester's other immediate appeal was a certain sense of mystery, a Southern American expatriate living in Canada.
His songs reveal a powerful writing talent (recognized by the numerous artists who covered them), and Winchester's gentle vocals made a wonderful vehicle for delivering them.

Steve Young

budayoung@aol.com
Home Page
Discography
Schuldule
Lyrics
Gift Shop
Steve Young has never fit comfortably into categories. He follows his own musical and spiritual quest, weaving together Southern roots with a wide experience of life, and creating new traditions in American music. Young was born in Georgia and grew up in Alabama, Georgia and Texas in a family which moved frequently in search of work. By the time he had completed high school in Beaumont, Texas, he was playing guitar and writing songs which incorporated influences of folk , country , gospel, and blues musicians and people like Hank Williams , Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and others. Settling into a solo career, Steve Young became an integral part of the movement which defined the California country-rock sound. Appearing on Steve's 1969 classic album, Rock, Salt & Nails were fellow pioneers like Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, Bernie Leadon and Gram Parsons. Through 12 albums and countless live performances, Steve Young's music has remained fresh and aggressive, with a sense of deepening spirituality, and a consistent intellectual and artistic challenge, to himself and to his audience. Hank Williams Jr.'s cover of "Montgomery In The Rain" remains a classic. Certainly the most-covered Steve Young song of all is "Seven Bridges Road," which has been recorded at various times by artists like Joan Baez, Rita Coolidge, Iain Matthews, the Eagles and, most recently, country band Ricochet. While Steve has lived in country music towns like Nashville and Austin, and his songs have had a strong impact on the direction of country music, he rejects the country label for himself. Wherever he has gone, he has filled the dual role of ambassador for American music and student of the cultures of others. Young's live performances express the depth and power of his vision. As a writer, recording artist and a live performer, he is an artist at the very peak of his powers -- quite simply , not to be missed.

Townes Van Zandt
A Gifted Soul
jeanene.vanzandt@nashville.com
Gift Shop Featured Artist
Original Site
Van Zandt Central
A Far Cry From Dead
Blaze Foley
Townes & The Elevators!
Townes can only be compared to a very few. Some folks were fortunate to understand that there were many spirits in Townes. I saw him at The Catus in Austin on many occactions, but the most touching was the night he sat on the fountain outside crying, unable to once again poor his heart and soul out to another room full of friends. After a few words he headed inside for yet another gig. He'd be gone tomorrow, for sure.I hate to think what he and Blaze Foley are up to theses days.
"A friend of mine told me that you once nearly joined The 13th Floor Elevators. Is that so?" : Well, I lived with Roky Erickson, who was the lead singer. He was like a brother of mine. He decided I should play bass. And I don't play bass. I told him, "Roky, I don't play bass." And he said, "You play guitar, you can play bass." So I went and bought a bass, and Tommy Hall and Danny the drummer came all the way from Houston down to Austin to meet the new bass player. (chuckles) We're drivin' to a Dunkin Donuts or somewhere and Tommy Hall says, "Townes, what kinda bass you play?" I said "I play a cherry Gibson," which I got the day before. And he said "No, I mean who do you play like?" I said, "I'm not sure." And he said "I mean what style do you play?" And I said "I dunno, I've never played the bass before." (laughs) And it was just like screech! "Roky!" And Roky's crazier than me, y'know. Screech! "Roky! I wanna talk to you!" And they dropped me off back at the commune and took Roky out and talked to him, and that's as close as I ever got to playing with The 13th Floor Elevators, heh, heh, heh. from Scram Magazine #4

 

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Note: If you're concerned because you think someone should or shouldn't be on our "Legends" or "Future Legends" lists, please remember that we spend a lot more time drinking and listening to music than we do attempting to come up with adequate musician categorization schemes. These lists are based on our research into Texas Hill Country Dance Halls, the Austin music scene and drunken opinions we wrote down on napkins late one night at the Texas Chili Parlor.

           
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