What do legendary musicians Buddy Holly, Leadbelly, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, ZZ Top, T-Bone Walker and Freddie King have in common? They all hail from the Lone Star State.
Texas has long been a center for musical innovation. Many of its sons and daughters became famous the world over for their popularization and development of genres like country music, the blues and tejano.
The 19th and 20th centuries saw lots of mixing among the Native American, Mexican, African American and European populations that took up residence in Texas.
Its history as a ‘cultural crossroads’ is undoubtedly critical to the influence Texas has had on rock, country, blues, hip-hop and tejano. We would even go so far as to say that the rich history of immigration continues to resonate in the music emanating from the state today.
Texan music retains a clear identity despite its disparate constituents – enjoy a snippet of it with our playlist below.
If you pass through Austin anytime between now and October 14, consider checking out the Texas Music Roadtrip exhibition at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. There you can discover the origins of Texan music as we know it today, from the explosion of jazz in 1930s Dallas, to the popular emergence of country rock in the 1970s.
- That’s Right (You’re Not from Texas) – Lyle Lovett
- Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys – Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson
- The Way of the Fallen is Hard – Ray Wylie Hubbard
- Home to Houston – Steve Earle
- The Road Goes on Forever – Robert Earl Keen
- Give It Away – The Trishas
- Amarillo by Morning – George Strait
- Texas Flood – Stevie Ray Vaughan
- Southside of Heaven – Ryan Bingham
- Laredo Rose – Texas Tornados
- 40 Acres – Caedmon’s Call
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…