Rest in peace, Huey P.
Rest in peace, Huey P.
Bid to honor Western swing music hits sour note in Texas Legislature Does Western swing icon Bob Wills’ work represent Texas music better than Van Cliburn’s? Or Roy Orbison’s? Or Brave Combo’s? Or Johnny Winter’s? Or…?
By KAREN BROOKS Austin Bureau firstname.lastname@example.org
AUSTIN — An effort to make Western swing the official music of Texas could see miles and miles of opposition, as one Hill Country music lover finds herself in the opening stanzas of a debate over what defines “Texas music.” “When we’re talking about a symbol, we’re talking about culture and heritage and history, and something that has been long lasting,” said Paula Jungmann, a Boerne housewife who is pushing for the legislative declaration. “When I look at Western swing, that is what I see.” But while she counts no time in politics, Jungmann is discovering that elected officials and creative artist types are pages torn from the same songbook in two big ways: You never know what they’re going to do, and you’ll never get them all to agree on anything. Some musicians — and the “Beer-drinkers and Hell-raisers” who love them (thank you, ZZ Top) — are wondering whether lawmakers should be trying to define and symbolize Texas music in terms of one genre. Particularly if it leaves out Hank Williams’ pain songs, Newbury’s train songs and “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” “The official sound of Texas should be Texas music in all its glorious facets,” said Texas writer Joe Nick Patoski. “No official proclamation is necessary when everybody knows we make music better than anybody else.”
The lecture series is sponsorsed by the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities, the McFaddin-Ward House Museum and the Beaumont Public Library. The series features lecturers that discuss Texas historic themes. The lecture is free and open to the public. For information, call Lamar University at 409-839-2993 or the McFaddin-Ward House at 409-832-1906.
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…and while you’re at it, come see this movie at the Paramount, 4:30 pm Weds and see how it all began.
Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW chronicles the origins and early evolution of the SXSW Music Festival, from breakthrough performances to fights over how to handle growth. It follows the four founders as they navigate through the successes, backlash, criticism and even arson to become the biggest music industry event in the world.
My latest book, published by Texas A&M University Press in conjunction with the Sand County Foundation, is now available from TAMU Press http://www.tamupress.com/product/Generations-on-the-Land,6465.aspx and fine booksellers across Texas and American West.