Country Music

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From Texas Standard:

The American South has long been the backdrop for stories about country music. But a new series by a team led by veteran documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns, reexamines many old narratives about the roots and role of country music in American culture. The series, "Country Music," spans 16 hours and eight episodes, and debuts Sunday night on public television.

Julie Dunfey is the producer, and Dayton Duncan is a producer and writer for the series. Duncan says it puts great emphasis on Texans and artists with Texas roots, including Bob Wills, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Johnny Rodriguez and Flaco Jiménez. 

Tristan Ipock / KUTX

From Texas Standard:

Country music's newest supergroup, the Highwomen, just released a self-titled album of songs written by women, performed by women and telling women's stories.

Lyza Renee

From Texas Standard:

Charley Crockett is no cookie-cutter cowboy. He grew up in the Rio Grande Valley as the son of a single mother, and he lived on the streets as a wandering musician, drifting from the Valley to New Orleans and New York before winding his way back to Texas.  

But no matter where he is, he has an unmistakable sound and style that is garnering sensational reviews from Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines, where his latest collection of songs landed in the top 10 on the blues album chart.

But calling his music “blues” can be misleading because it seems to weave some thread that ties together the Big Apple, the Big Easy and that big valley in South Texas that he once called home.

Steve Earle's Guy Clark Tribute Celebrates A Songwriting Craftsman

Mar 29, 2019
Gabriel C. Pérez/KUTX

From Texas Standard:

Steve Earle has been a lot of things: an actor, an award-winning musician and one of the more famous Texas natives to call New York City home. It's been a long time since the days when he was knocking around Texas as a protégé of Townes Van Zandt.

About 10 years ago, Earle and his band, the Dukes, recorded a tribute to his mentor and partner in crime, called Townes.

Photo by Leonard Kamsler, courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

From Texas Standard:

When Willie Nelson's landmark album Phases and Stages was recorded in 1973, it was unlike anything being done in Nashville – a concept album, about a relationship coming apart. Metaphorically speaking, Nelson was separating from Nashville, too, a place where he'd long written songs for others. But where the Nashville machine kept him from doing what he loved to do, his return to Texas was a symbolic break with the conservative conventions of the country music industry.

Lee Ann Womack: 'A Sad Song Makes Me Happy'

Feb 23, 2018
Ebru Yildiz / courtesy of Shore Fire Media

From Texas Standard:

East Texas native and country singer Lee Ann Womack grew up listening to her dad's Bob Wills and Ray Price records. Her country roots run deep but she might be best known for a crossover pop song "I Hope You Dance."

That was nearly twenty years ago. It's considered her signature song. But since then, she's won dozens of accolades, including a Grammy. And she's kept recording – including with fellow Texan Willie Nelson.

Bengt Nyman/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard: There are lots of musicians who can claim to be from Texas, but only a handful who are convincing enough to make you believe they're really from the Lone Star State — even though they're not. 


Texas 'Rambler' Joe Ely Can't Be Pinned Down

Sep 18, 2015
Image via Flickr/Eric Frommer (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The argument could be made that what Larry McMurtry is to Texas letters, Joe Ely is to Texas music.

The characters that live in his songs run the gambit from lowlifes to the larger-than-life. Over the years, Ely has worked with the Clash to Linda Ronstadt to Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Tweedy, Lyle Lovett – truth be known, countless others.

Flickr/ Dave Hensley (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas has inspired a lot of great music.

To pay tribute, the Texas Standard talked to KUTX’s Laurie Gallardo last week and had her pick her top five Texas songs. But of course, that left out many favorites and classics.

The Standard heard back from listeners, compiled the comments, and brought Gallardo back into the studio to react to some of them.

Flickr/musicfanatic29 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Alright y’all — it’s time to lasso the Top 5 Texas Songs with KUTX’s Laurie Gallardo!

#5 Luckenback Texas, performed by Waylon Jennings

  • Full title is Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love).
  • A country number one, it only got to number 25 on the pop charts.
  • Luckenbach is actually an unincorporated town — not much there but a dance hall, a working saloon, and a general store.
  • The way the place got associated with music was that Jerry Jeff Walker recorded a live album at the Luckenbach Dance Hall in 1973 — an album called “Viva Terlingua.” Otherwise, the place is pretty unremarkable.

George Brainard, Austin, TX

Texas singer-songwriter Steven Fromholz died after a hunting accident this weekend near Eldorado, Texas. He was 68.

The Schleicher County Sheriff's Office told the Associated Press Fromholz was shot when a rifle discharged as it fell to the ground while being transferred from one vehicle to another.

Steven Fromholz was well-known in the Austin music scene and among fans of 1970s outlaw country. He was named a Texas Poet Laureate in 2007.

flickr.com/concerttour

Austin's got another music festival. 

Today, iHeartRadio announced a one-day country festival, featuring Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum, among others. 

The Clear Channel-sponsored, Bobby Bones-hosted festival will descend upon the Frank Erwin Center on March 29th, making it the second country music fest planned for May 2014, after Jeff Foxworthy's Natty Light-sponsored Red Fest at Circuit of the Americas. 

The Mockingbird of Mexia

Oct 26, 2010
Cindy Walker
Photo Courtesy of Texas Country Music Hall of Fame

Cindy Walker may be the biggest name in country music you’ve never heard. As a teenager in the 1930s, her songs were recorded by some of the most popular artists in the genre, including Bob Wills.  Cindy wrote one of Wills’ many hits, “Dusty Skies”, when she was just 12 years old.

Central Texas’ historic Club 21 Dancehall is no more.  It burned down in a fire over the weekend. 

Club 21 was a popular spot off Highway 21 in Uhland, east of Kyle.  The owners claim it was the “oldest continuously operated country dance hall in Texas.”  KUT News spoke to Gary Hartman about the history of Club 21.  Hartman is the Director of the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State University.