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Texas Music Facts and Some Tales

 

  • Willie Nelson won his first Grammy in 1975 for best Male vocal performance on “Blue Eyes crying in the Rain”.
  • Willie Nelson has won 9 Grammys from 1975 to 2007.
  • George Strait only has one Grammy for Best Country album,Troubadour” in 2008 (can you believe that!!!)
  • 171 different Texas bands or musicians have won Grammys including 8 by Asleep at the Wheel and 13 by the Dixie Chicks.
  • Who ever knew? Beyoncé has 13 Grammys and Kris Kristofferson only has 5.
  • Did you know Jerry Jeff Walker was actually born in New York?
  • Roy Orbison’s “Oh Pretty Woman” released in 1964 has sold over 7 million copies.
  • Gene Autry born in Tioga, Texas can lay claim to the most popular song of all time recorded by a Texas artist: it’s” Rudolph the Red Noise Reindeer”. 12 million copies have been sold worldwide since 1949.
  • Lefty Frizzell, the pride of Corsicana, Texas was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982.
  • Kenny Rogers’ song” Lucille” released in 1977 is credited with starting the “country-pop” movement. Simply put- it was a song liked by a lot of folks.
  • Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Ray Wylie Hubbard’s song “Red Neck Woman” as number 90 on its 100 Greatest Country songs of all time.
  • The pride of Klein Texas, Lyle Lovett is credited with the 87th greatest Country Song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.  The song?  It’s “If I Had a Boat” released in 1988.
  • Jacksonville Texas- born Lee Ann Womack was named Top New Female vocalist by the Academy of Country Music in 1998.
  • Lee Ann Womack won a Grammy in 2010 for Best Country Album “Call me Crazy” and followed it up with Best Female Country Performance for “Solitary Thinking” the same year.
  • Waylon Jennings first performed live at age 12 on KVOW radio, he partnered with Lubbock Texan, Buddy Holly on his first single “When Sin Stops (Love Begins)”.
  • Waylon Jennings owns the title of “Father of Outlaw Country” given his 1976 release of “Wanted! The Outlaws” which was the first platinum country music album. It also featured Willie Nelson.
  • Billboard Magazine in 2008 Listed Kenny Rogers’ song “Lady” as #2 on its all-time Top Country Songs. Marty Robbins’ song “El Paso” was ranked 19th.  Just for the record, they didn’t name any songs from Willie Nelson or George Strait on that list.
  • In 1940 Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys appeared in their first movie, Take Me Back to Oklahoma, playing the part of dapper cowboys but performing an infectious blend of urban and country music.
  • Scot Joplin, a Texarkana Blues musician is generally credited with taking the “Texas music sound” up north in the 1920’s. He was followed by Blind Lemon Jefferson from Wortham, Texas who took his unique Blues sound to Chicago.
  • Kinky Friedman would be proud of Wilbert Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel who won the election in 1938 to the governorship with the support of his radio band, the Hillbilly Boys.
  • Ray Price had over 100 country music hits including: “Crazy Arms”,” Release Me” and his rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times” in 1996. He passed away December 16, 2013.
  • Since 1981 George Strait has sold over 100 million albums, had 83 certified gold singles and ranks 31st among all musicians for record, or cd sales.
  • Tex Ritter’s 1953 version of “Do Not Forsake Me” was the theme song for Gary Cooper’s film High Noon.
  • Tex Ritter was a regular on the Grand Ole Opry from 1965 until his death in 1974 but his son out did him in terms of fame. Anyone who ever watched Three’s Company will always remember, John Ritter.
  • Did you know Amarillo’s Kevin Flower wrote Sammy Kershaw’s single “Beer, Bait & Ammo” and Mark Chestnut’s “the Lord Loves the Drinkin’ Man”
  • In 1986 Rolling Stone Magazine named Steve Earle, Country Artist of the Year. In 2004, The San Antonio native was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for songwriting by the UK’s BBC Radio.
  • Pat Green’s “Wave on Wave” reached #2 on the country charts in 2003. Pat credits performing at Willie Nelson’s picnic in 1998 as his big break.
  • After meeting the punk rock band “the Clash” in 1978, Lubbock Texas native Joe Ely toured with the group. Ely even sang backup vocals on the song “Should I Stay or Should I Go “.
  • One of the most significant Texas musicians to call Ellis County home was born in what is now a ghost town. Ernest Tubb was born in 1914 in Crisp, Texas. In 2003 the Country Music Academy named him one of the 40 most influential musicians of the 20th century.
  • Billboard magazine first ranked Willie Nelson’s song “country favorites- Willie Nelson style” in 1966, he still holds the record for most weeks with a song in the top 10 on the country charts as well. He had 46 songs reach this level.
  • Willie Nelson only had two top 10 hits in the overall Billboard charts. “To all the Girls” topped out at #9 and in 1982 “Always on my Mind” reached #2.
  • In 1989 Larry Joe Taylor started his Music festival in Mingus, Texas with a one-day show and a flatbed trailer for a stage.  By 2014, the show had grown to 50 acts and performed 5 days in Stephenville, Texas.
  • Billy Bob’s, the Fort Worth honk-Tonk, has had 43 live albums recorded there since 1989.

Merle Haggard made the Guinness Book of World Records for buying the largest round of drinks when he bought 5,095 drinks for the entire club.  The bill totaled $12,737.50.

  • The record for most bottled beers sold in one night at Billy Bob’s is 16,000 bottles at the Hank Williams Jr. concert in 1986. The second highest record is 14,700 bottles during the Robert Earl Keen Concert in 2001.
  • Robert Earl Keen has released 5 live albums with the 2003 release of “The Party Never Ends” reaching #68 on the CMA charts. He is a 1980 graduate of Texas A & M. And it is true Lyle Lovett was his next door neighbor in College Station.
  • Nancy Griffith was born in Seguin Texas in 1953, her 1987 hit “Lone Star State of Mind’ went to #23 on the CMA charts. She’s charted with 5 songs, written 15 that have charted and performed or toured with The Crickets, The Counting Crows, Darius Rucker, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett and Emmylou Harris.
  • Gruene Hall in New Braunfels Texas was built in 1878. Some of the acts to play the hall include Willie Nelson, Gregg Allman, George Strait, Robert Earl Keen, Nancy Griffith, Jerry Jeff Walker, Merle Haggard and Townes Van Zandt
  • The Texas band: “The Fabulous Thunderbirds” was first labeled a contemporary Country blues band by their record label Chrysalis Records. After the release of “Tuff Enuff” in 1986, which reached # 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100, lead singer Jimmy Vaughn proclaimed the band had lost the “country sound”.
  • Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn was the younger brother of Jimmy Vaughn. A native of Dallas, his 1983 album “Texas Flood” reached number 38 on the charts. He won 6 Grammys, ten Austin Music Awards and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000.
  • Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Buddy Holly as its 80th best guitar player of all time. Other Texas artists ranked include Stevie Ray Vaughn at #12.
  • “Desperado Waiting for a Train” released by Jerry Jeff Walker in 1973 and named Rolling Stones Magazines’ #88 of All Country Songs of All time- was originally written by Austin transplant Guy Clark.
  • Roger Miller’s 1965 Classic “King of the Road” was inspired by a sign Miller saw in Chicago that read “Trailers for Sale or Rent”. Over 2.5 million copies have been sold since its release. He was born in Ft. Worth in 1936 and passed away in 1992.
  • The Cherokee Cowboy Ray Price was born in Peach, Texas. The town is no more. His band at one time included such Texas legends as Roger Miller, Willie Nelson and Johnny Bush.  He had #1 hits on the Country charts with 1959’s “The Same Old Me” and 1970’s “For the Good Times”.
  • After his 1999 arrest for possession of marijuana, Ray Price received a phone call from his buddy Willie Nelson. Nelson told Price “you’ve just earned $5 million in free publicity.
  • In 2000, Texan Lee Ann Womack pulled off the trifecta by having the #1 song on the Country charts, #1 song on the pop charts and winning a Grammy all for the song “I Hope You Dance”. As if that wasn’t enough, the CMA, ACM and ASCAP named it Song of the Year as well.
  • The release of “Crazy Arms” in 1956 by Ray Price spent 20 weeks at the top of Billboard’s Country charts. Price had been the lead singer for the Drifting Cowboys, the band originally fronted by Hank Williams.
  • Country ballad “El Paso” topping the pop charts in 1960 was an unusually long (4 minutes and 40 second) classic story-song. Billboard Magazine ranked the song as its #59 Greatest Country songs of all times. The irony is Marty Robbins wasn’t even Texan; he was born in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • In 1990 the Lubbock Texas group, The Flatlanders with lead singer Jimmy Dale Gilmour hit it big with the Song “Dallas”. The lyrical twists are based off the bands hatred of big cities. The band is probably best known for its individual members who include Joe Ely and Butch Hancock.
  • Wade Bowen graduated from Texas Tech and has had three CDs reach the top 50 on the country charts. 2012’s “The Given” ranked #9, “If We ever Make it Home” went to #29 in 2008 and “Live at Billy Bob’s “went to #41 in 2010. Bowen is the brother-in-law of Cody Canada.
  • When the Highway men formed in 1985 they didn’t even have a name. Columbia records simply gave credit to “Nelson, Jennings, Cash, Kristofferson” on the album credits for writing and producing the album. It wasn’t until their Jimmy Webb cover of “Highwayman” hit number 1 on the charts that the four superstars accepted the name.
  • The Highwaymen have another member who is often referred to as”the Fifth Highwayman”. Any idea who it is? Guy Clark holds the title. The Highwaymen covered his “Desperados Waiting for a train” and achieved success with the song ranking in the Top 20.
  • Bob Wills and his Playboys become Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in 1934, the most famous of the era’s western swing bands. He was born on a farm nearKosse, Texas, in Limestone County near Groesbeck
  • Bob Wills is generally credited with creating the Bakersfield sound of Country music which was later emulated by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. He had hit singles from 1934 through 1961 and totaled 57 songs to have charted.
  • Bob Wills had four hit songs with Texas or Texas cities in the Title “New San Antone Rose” (1944). “If you’re from Texas” ( 1942), “Texarkana Baby ( 1948) and “Texas Playboy Rag ( 1945)
  • Josh Abbott Formed his band in 2006 in Lubbock Texas while attending Texas Tech, the same school that produced Pat Green. Abbott’s “small town Family Dream reached #5 on the Country charts in April of 2012.
  • In 2006, Corpus Christi Native Roger Creager made Texas music history by being the first known Texas Country musician to climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. In 2003, his hit “Long Way to Mexico” went to #63 on the US country charts.
  • “Diamonds & Dirt” released in 1988 holds the distinction of having five #1 singles during a 17 month span for Crosby, Texas Native Rodney Crowell. He also produced albums with Rosanne Cash, Emmy Lou Harris and his ex-father in law Johnny Cash.
  • “Poncho and Lefty” the Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard hit from 1983 was originally recorded and written by Ft. Worth Texas singer –songwriter Townes Van Zandt
  • Steve Earle met Town Van Zandt in 1978 and proclaimed him “the best songwriter in the whole world and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that”
  • Steve Fromholtz selected Poet Laureate of Texas in 2007 recorded “I’d have to be Crazy” with Willie Nelson, “Texas Trilogy” with Lyle Lovett and also played with Dallas native, Stephen Stills.
  • Dallas-born Stephen Stills holds the distinction of being the only musician inducted twice on the same night into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame for his work with Crosby,Stills & Nash and Buffalo Springfield. He played back up guitar on several of Kris Kristofferson songs and is featured on the album “Spooky Lady’s Sideshow”
  • Kris Kristofferson born in Brownsville Texas was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985, the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004 and finally in 2006 received the John Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.
  • In 1989 the Dixie Chicks came together in Dallas, Texas. Since that time ,they have won 14 Grammy’s including 5 for their 2007 album “Taking the Long Way’. That album has sold over 30 million copies.
  • Mendocino County Line” is a song written by Matt Serleticand Bernie Taupin, and recorded as a duet by Texas country music artists Willie Nelson and Lee Ann Womack. It was a Top 40 hit on the U.S. country chart, peaking at number 22.
  • In 1984, country musicartists Johnny Lee and Lane Brody recorded a song called “The Yellow Rose,” which retained the original melody of “The Yellow Rose of Texas” but with new lyrics, for the title theme to a TV series also entitled The Yellow Rose. It was a Number One country hit that year.
  • Waylon Jennings was born in Littlefield, Texas, played bass for Buddy Holly and was one lucky man in 1958 when he elected to give up his seat on the charter flight that would crash that night and become known in music lore as “the day the music died”
  • Willie Nelson’s first Fourth of July Picnic was in 1973 in Dripping Springs, Texas.  In 1980, Willie played a concert  at the White House for President  Jimmy Carter and performed a duet with First Lady Rosalynn Carter. The song they performed: “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother.”
  • Willie Nelson’s trusty acoustic guitar, named Trigger after cowboy star Roy Rogers’ horse, is a 1969 Martin N-20. Among his many honors, Willie was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993 and, for his support of family farms, the National Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2011.
  • Any idea what Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush, Jerry Jeff Walker, Steven Fromholz, Robert Earl Keen. Pat Green, Johnny Gimble and Gary P. Nunn have in common? They’ve all shared a stage with Ft. Worth’s Tommy Alverson
  • Norah Jones, Don Henley and Sly Stone all attended the University of North Texas but did you know Roy Orbison and Pat Boone actually taught there?
  • “10,000 Towns” released by the Eli Young band in March of 2014 went to #1 on the Country Music charts. The Denton, Texas boy’s 2011 release “Life at Best” reached #3 and their “Jet Black and Jealous “cd released in 2008 went to # 5.
  • Vernon, Texas superstar Roy Orbison had 22 Billboard Top 40 hits from 1960 to 1964. His life was marred by tragedy, including the death of his first wife and his two eldest sons in separate accidents. Orbison’s vocal instrument bridged the gap between baritone and tenor, and music scholars have suggested that he had a three- or four-octave range.

 

  • Guy Clark has never recorded a number #1 song but has written “Heartbroke” which Rick Skaggs took to #1 in 1982 and “Baby I’m Yours” which went to Number 1 in 1988 for Steve Wariner. Not bad for a kid from Monahans, Texas.
  • Texas has 14 artists in the country Music hall of Fame. They are Bob Wills, George Strait, Lefty Frizzell, Waylon Jennings, Jimmy Dean, George Jones, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride, Tex Ritter, Hank Thompson, Ernest Tubb, Kenny Rogers and only female songwriter Cindy Walker.
  • From 1940 through 1990 Mart, Texas songwriter Cindy Walker had top ten hits for such artists as Gene Autry, Bob Wills, Roy Orbison, Jim Reeves, Glen Campbell, Ricky Skaggs, Ray Charles, Mickey Gilley and Merle Haggard. She is credited with over 80 songs that charted in the country top 40 during her writing career.
  • In 2004 Texas Monthly magazine began listing the top 100 Texas songs of all time. Some of the list includes #2 Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys “New San Antonio Rose” #3 Buddy Holly and the Crickets “That’ll be the day” and #4 Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. Over 40 of the songs can be heard on KBEC,  check out the list sometime at Texas Monthly.com
  • Some great songs about Texas had commercial success such as Tanya Tucker’s #5 charting of “Texas when I die” in 1978 and George Straits #1 hit in 1987 “All my Ex’s Live in Texas “ . Gene Autry had the number 1 hit on your hit Parade for five weeks in 1942 with “Deep in the Heart of Texas’.
  • “Luckenbach, Texas” wasn’t written by Waylon, Willie or the boys. It was penned by Memphis songwriter Chips Mormon and Bobby Emmons the house band organist for American Sound Studios. It did reach #1 on the Billboard Charts in 1978.
  • Since the 1970’s Johnny Gimble from Tyler Texas has won five Best Instrumental awards from the Country Music Awards and eight best fiddle Player award from the Academy of Country Music.
  • The popular television series “Austin City Limits “has used “London Home sick Blues” as its theme song for over two decades. The song was written and recorded by Gary P Nunn who by the way is originally from Okmulgee, Oklahoma but moved to Brownfield Texas in 7th
  • Gilley’s was a bar/honky-tonk founded in 1971 by country singer Mickey Gilley in Pasadena, Texas. It was the central location in the 1980 movie “Urban Cowboy”. In 1990 it ceased operation only to be re-opened in Dallas in 2003. The original mechanical bull, El Toro featured in the movie, is still in use at the new location
  • Steve Earle was raised in San Antonio, Texas and can lay claim to being named Country Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone  Magazine in 1986, In 1988 he was nominated for “best Country Male vocalist for “Exit 0”, and that same year his song “Nowhere Road “ was nominated for Best Country Song.
  • Houston born Cory Morrow joins a long list of Texas Tech ex’s to have hit the big time in Country music. Since 2001 he has had 6 albums enter the top 50 on the Country Music charts including #26 “ Songs We wish we had written” featuring fellow Texas Tech student Pat Green.
  • “What I am for “ released in January of 2009 by Pat Green marked the second album in a row for him to reach #2 on the US Country Charts. “Cannonball” released in 2006 was the first.
  • Radney Foster’s solo career in Country music started in 1992 with his release “Del Rio, TX 1959”. The album produced 4 consecutive top 40 hits. I t also happens to be his hometown and birth year.
  • Keith Urban recorded “I’m in’ in 2009. The song written by Del Rio native Radney Foster reached #2 on the charts that same year.
  • In 2005, Jack Ingram had a number one hit on the Billboard country charts with “Wherever you are”. Ingram is originally from Woodlands, Texas and studied psychology at Southern Methodist University where he was member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
  • Beaumont, Texas musician Mark Chestnutt has charted over thirty songs on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart including eight #1’s.
  • “She’s Like Texas” released in 2010 by the Josh Abbott Band from Lubbock reached #28 on the US Country charts but topped out at #5 on the US HEAT charts. That same month they sold out Billy Bob’s in Ft. Worth.
  • Gilmer, Texas’ own Freddie King was an American blues guitarist. He had a top 40 hit in 1961 with “Hide Away”. In 1993 by proclamation from the Texas Governor Ann Richards September 3, 1993, was declared Freddie King Day. This is an honor reserved for Lone Star legends, such as Bob Wills and Buddy Holly. Freddie King placed 15th in Rolling Stone Magazine′s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time and in 2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Marty Robbins and Michael Martin Murphey are the only two artists to have taken cowboy music to the status of Gold record. Robbins in 1959 with “Gunfighter Ballads “ and “  Trail Songs” and Oak Cliff Texas’s Murphey with” Cowboy Songs”. Murphey also has 6 gold albums.
  • Gary P Nunn was a member of Michael Martin Murphey’s band in 1973 when he released “Cosmic Cowboy Survivor”. This was a year after Rolling Stone magazine proclaimed On the strength of his first album alone, Michael Murphey as the best new songwriter in the country.
  • Kevin Fowler started his music career as a heavy metal, big hair band leader for “Dangerous Toys” in the late 1980’s he went on from there to found Thunderfoot in 1993, a Southern Rock band. He turned country in 1997 with his release “One for the Road”.
  • In 1994, Casey Monahan director of the Texas Music Office joined Austin area artist manager Carlyne Majer, Asleep at the Wheel band leader Ray Benson, South by Southwest Managing Director Roland Swenson and City of Austin music liaison Bob Meyer to bring to Texas a Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
  • Los Lonely Boys from San Angelo’s Texas has a#1 hit in “Heaven” during the 2003, the album was recorded at Willie’ Nelson’s Pedernales recording studio. In June of 2005 the group appeared in and episode of CMT “Crossroads” with legend Ronnie Milsap.
  • Ever hear of Jay Boy Adams from Lubbock Texas? He was classmates with Don Henley of the Eagles at North Texas in 1967.   In March, 1972 he moved on to play guitar in a little Texas rock band- called ZZ Top.  He got out of music in 1982 but operates the company Roadhouse Transportation which leases touring buses to such acts as Celine Dion, ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen and the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Sam John Hopkins better known as Lightnin’ hailed from Centerville, Texas and was ranked as the number 71 all-time greatest Guitar playersby Rolling Stone. The bluesman did unique things in his career including using psychedelic rock band the 13th Floor Elevators for back up on his 1968 album “Free Form Patterns”.
  • Earl Dibbles JR may be anonymous to you but his alter ego, Granger Smith, has done pretty well for himself. Born in Dallas, Smiths “Dirt Road Driveway’ was released in 2013 and reached #15 on the US country charts and #1 on the US indie charts. Earl Dibbles can be found in his song “the Country Boy Sings”.
  • Houston, Texas born Charlie Robinson had 5 songs chart on the US country Charts from 1999 until 2003. “I Want You Bad” went to #35. All this from a guy who got into music after an injury curtailed his football career.
  • 2012 was a great year for Cleburne Texas born Randy Rogers. He and the band had their first billboard top 40 hit with “One more Sad Song”. They have two live albums “Live at Cheathem Street Warehouse” which was their first record and the 2014 release of “Homemade Tamales- Live at Floore’s” which reached #11 on the Us Country charts.
  • Lee Ann Womack released her 5th studio album “There’s More Where That Comes From” in 2005. The music industry raved that the album was a “return to traditional country because it featured songs about drinking, cheating and delivered on a distinctive older twang and mixed steel guitar with strings. The Country Music association awarded it album of the year.
  • “Kerosene” released in 2005 by Lindale’s Miranda Lambert debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums, gained platinum certification by RIAA for shipping over 1 million copies and the album produced 4 top 4 singles. All for the girl who finished 3rd on the 2003 talent completion series “Nashville Star”.
  • Reo Palm Isle in Longview Texas has had some pretty big acts grace their halls. But how about laying claim to Brooks and Dunn as well as Miranda Lambert being your house bands.
  • Here’s a crazy one for the books: Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel opened for Alice Cooper and Hot Tuna in Washington DC in 1970. Benson was quoted as saying

“We were too country for the rock folks and we were too long-haired for the country folks. But everybody got over it once the music started playing.”

  • In 1973, Ray Benson and his Band Asleep at the Wheel moves from California to Austin at the urging of Doug Sahm and Willie Nelson. Two years later the band would star on the premier episode of “Austin City Limits”, since 1975 they have appeared 11 times on the show.
  • Talk about traveling the back roads of Texas: In 1997 “old Silver Eagle” the Tour bus for Asleep at the Wheel was officially sent to the scrap yard after the odometer read 3 million miles!!!
  • June 17 2011, then Governor Rick Perry signed Senate Concurrent Resolution #35 stating Western Swing as the Official State Music of Texas.
  • Bob Willis the Father of Western Swing music was honored in 2007 by the recording Academy with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy award. In 1999, the Rock and Roll Hall of fame honored him with their “early Influencer” award.
  • Did you know Rodney Crowell’s 1986 song “ballad of Fast Eddie’ featured up and coming Austin Texas electric guitarist Eric Johnson. Johnson who would go onto win the 1991 Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for “Cliffs of Dover”. He also had two “ Live in Austin Texas” albums one from 1984 the other from 2005.
  • While most Ellis county folks know Bill Ham was born in Waxahachie and was the producer and manager for Rock group ZZ Top; most don’t know that Bill first gained notoriety by discovering and managing Clint Black. In the 1990’s his publishing company produced numerous top 10 country music songs.
  • Woodrow Wilson High school in Dallas has two famous Texas Musicians as graduates. Steve Miller and Dusty Hill from ZZ Top. While Miller got kicked out of St. Marks, he can always be grateful to that school for introducing him to Boz Skaggs.
  • Worth’s Roger Miller was one of the first Country artists to have a drummer in his band fulltime. Of course it helps when the front man is that drummer. Miller died from lung cancer in 1992, and was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Famethree years later
  • In 1985 Willie Nelson released the album “Me and Paul”. Any idea who Paul is? it’s a salute to his longtime drummer Dallas’s own Paul English who started playing with Willie in 1955 in Ft >Worth. He became a regular in the band in 1966 and has played with Delbert McClinton among other musicians.
  • October 13, 1975 at Cheathem Street Warehouse in San Marcos Texas the “Ace in the hole” band took the stage with members Ron Cabel on lead guitar, Mike Daily on steel guitar and Terry Hale on Bass guitar , they also introduced a new lead singer that night – George Strait.
  • Tommy Foote was an original member of the “Aces in the Hole Band “, George Straits back-up group but he quit the band in 1983 to become the road manager for the group .
  • In 2006 the Steel Guitarist hall of fame inducted Maurice “Reece” Anderson from Dallas for his work with Bob Wills, Willie Nelson and Ray Price. He is best known though as the “A” in the world famous MSA guitar manufacturing company where he served as co-founder and president.
  • “What kind of fool do you think I am “, Tender moment” and “A little bit of you” all charted for Texan Lee Roy Parnell, They all went to #2. Overall Parnell has charted over 20 singles.
  • Joe “guitar” Hughes was a Texas blues musician from Houston. He was good friends with Johnny Copeland from Louisiana who formed the “Dukes of Rhythm”; in 1985 both were asked to play the Montreux Jazz festival with Texas Legend Stevie Ray Vaughn.
  • Most Texas blues fans know Clearance ”Gatemouth” Brown was raised in Orange Texas, and was influenced by another great Texas blues man T Bone Walker. But did you know Gatemouth was close friends with Roy Clark and actually made several appearances on the television show “Hee Haw”.
  • Happy, Texas born Buddy Know is best known for his 1957 chart topper “Party Doll”. Here’s the country twist, in the mid 1960’s he turned to his country roots, had a single “Gypsy Man” composed by Cricket Sonny Curtis. This led to a movie appearance with Waylon Jennings in the 1971 movie “Travelin’ Light”.
  • In 1955 Texan’s Buddy Knox and Roy Orbisin met Elvis Presley during Presley’s concert in Amarillo, Texas.  Legend has it that Presley told them both to get to recording because “the rock and roll thing is fixin’ to happen”.
  • Billy Walker the Tall Texan from Ralls was quite the musician in his own right but he maybe best known for his connection to two people. He passed on the song” Crazy” from Willie Nelson to his good friend Patsy Cline in 1962.
  • Ever hear the name Baldemar Huerta? He was born in San Benito, Texas and would go onto be part of the Texas super group “Texas Tornados”. You probably know him better as his stage name Freddy Fender.
  • The name Ed Bernet is famous in Texas music for his behind the scene’s influence. Ed owned the Sumet-Bernet studios in Dallas where such acts as the Rolling Stones, Fabulous Thunderbirds and Dixie Chicks would record. His tie to KBEC is he sold his famous Levee Club bar to Waxahachie’s own Ronnie Dawson.
  • Gruene Hall just outside of New Braunfels Texas has had numerous musicians grace its stage including George Strait, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Chris Issac, Stevie ray Vaughn, Charlie Robinson, and many others but it’s real claim to fame is it still flies a 48 star US Flag.
  • 1979 was a big year for Seminole, Texas native Larry Gatlin, he signed with Columbia records, released the album “Straight ahead’ His single from that Album “All the Gold from California” would become one of his biggest hits and he won the top male vocalist of the year by the Academy of Country Music.
  • Can you name the Texas music legend that has the following occupations listed on his resume: Janitor, helicopter pilot, Rhodes Scholar, movie star, recording artist with Bob Dylan, Barbara Streisand and pioneer of Outlaw country music. The name is Kris Kristofferson
  • Do you know who Buddy Holly’s first bass guitar player was- Littlefield Texas own Waylon Jennings.
  • Jerry Jeff Walker wrote “Mr. Bojangles” but it was first recorded in 1967 by Allen Wayne Darmon at the Chequered Flag Folk club in Austin.
  • Adamson High school in Dallas may hold the distinction of producing more great Texas musicians than any other school. Its graduates include Michael Martin Murphey, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Steve Fromholtz and B. W. Stephenson.
  • Governor Ann Richards proclaimed October 2, 1991 as “Stevie Ray Vaughn day”. He also has a memorial statue erected of his likeness on Lady Bird Lake in Austin.
  • The Sir Douglas Quintet haled from the Westside of San Antonio. From 1964 to 1972 the “rhythm and blues, country rock, pop conjunto band” as they were labeled by the Austin American Statesman recorded 5 albums which produced such top 2o hits as 1965’s “She’s about a Mover” and “The Rains came”.
  • Lyle Lovett has won 4 very distinctive Grammys’ , 1996 for Best Country Album “the Road to Ensenada”, Best country Duo/ Group vocals for his work with Asleep at  the wheel’s 1994 “Blues for Dixie” the same year for Best Pop Vocal collaboration for “How Time slips away’  with Al Green and then in 1989 Best Country Male vocal.
  • Woodward Maurice Ritter better known as “ Tex” became the featured singer of the New York city Madison square Garden rodeo in 1932, he would also star in the first Western radio program to air in New York, the show’s title was the “Lone Star Rangers”.
  • While most people consider Michael Martin Murphey, B. W. Stevenson and Jerry Jeff Walker country artists, each had greater financial success with their pop/crossover hits. Murphy’s “Wildfire” went to #3, Stevenson’s “My Maria’ to #9 and Walkers “Mr. Bojangles to #6 for the Nitty Gritty band.
  • Jefferson Texas born Vernon Dalhart released the first country music song to sell over 1 million copies. The song “the Wreck of the Old 97” the year 1924!!! Its success convinced major record labels to acknowledge there could be a lucrative market for country music.
  • Carnegie Hall had its first country singer perform in 1946. The artist was Ellis County’s own Ernest Tubbs.
  • Charlie Daniels Band, The Pointer Sisters, Neil Young, Merle Haggard, The Fabulous Thunderbirds Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Mellencamp, Los Lonely Boys, and Pat Green. Asleep at the Wheel, Leon Russell and Jimmy Buffett have all played at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic over the years.
  • In June of 1984 the Gatlin Brothers made music history with “The Lady Takes the Cowboy Every time”, it wasn’t the fact it would rise to #3 On the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, it was the first country song to be supported by a music video.
  • J. McFarland was a drummer, promoter and talent scout. In 1970 his band Hub City Mowers opened the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin. In 1980 Ray Benson asked him up on Stage to play with the popular Western Swing band, Asleep at the Wheel. This made McFarland the first and last drummer to play the World Headquarters.
  • Tommy Alverson recorded “Alive and Kickin” at the Chautauqua Auditorium in Waxahachie Texas on March 25, 2000. The CD includes such classics as “I don’t think I’ll go to Mexico” and “I wouldn’t Trade Texas for the World”
  • “Here it is” reached #7 on the hot country charts in 2008 for Corpus Christi born Roger Creager. The hit from the CD was “I’m from the Beer Joint” which also became a very popular video.
  • The Woodlands Jack Ingram had the first number one hit for Big Machine records. In 2005 “Wherever You Are” was the hit. Jack may hold the record for most Live albums by a Texas country singer. He’s released 6 of them.
  • In 2006, San Antonio native Steve Earle contributed a cover of Randy Newman’s song “Rednecks” for the tribute album “Sail away: the songs of Randy Newman”.
  • Corpus Christi born Rusty Weir’s hit “Don’t it Make you Wanna Dance “became a country hit when it was released on the Urban Cowboy That version was sung by Bonnie Raitt.
  • The Southern Music Company in San Antonio Texas is a publisher and distributor of sheet music. They also secured the copyrights for “The Eyes of Texas” for the University of Texas and “Aggie War Hymns “for Texas A & M.
  • Hank Thompson was born in Waco, Texas. His band the Brazos Valley Boys were named Billboard magazine’s highest rated country group from 1953 to 1965. He was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997.
  • In 2003, CMT ranked Ernest Tubbs number 21 among its forty “Greatest Men of Country Music”; he was also inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • The pride of Corsicana, Texas, Lefty Frizzell had 4 top 10 songs on Billboards top 4 hits in 1951. Frizzell was inducted into the Nashville Song writers Hall of Fame in 1972.
  • Deryl Dodd, a Dallas Native, recorded “A Bitter end” in 1998 and it rose to #26 on the US Country charts, that same year, Dodd was nominated as Top New Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music.
  • Freddy Fenders 1970’s hit “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” was first recorded in the 1959’s in the Rio Grande Valley as a blues ballad.
  • While living in Garland Texas at the age of 13 this female singer hit it big. Her debut album “Blue” rose to number 1 on the Top Country Albums chart.  She would go onto win 2 Grammy’s , three ACM’s and a CMA award all before the age of 25. Quite an accomplishment  for Margaret LeeAnn Rimes Cibrian.
  • Did you know Country music Singer LeeAnn Rimes has also written two novels, two children’s books and placed over 40 singles on American pop, country and even Jazz charts.
  • 302 Church street in College station was the place to be in 1978, sitting on the front porch at the address you would have seen Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett practicing their musical trade.
  • Robert Earl Keen has had two number 1 albums on the Us Heat Charts, the 2001 album “ Gravitational Forces’ and 2005’s “What I really mean”.
  • Pat Green’s major label debut in 2001 was “Three Days”. The Cd contained “Carry On” which would chart at #35 and the title track would go to #36.  The Cd would also be nominated for a Grammy and Green would be nominated for New male country artist of the year.
  • The Texas heritage Songwriters Hall of fame inducted Townes Van Zandt, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen in 2012. A pretty special class if you ask us.
  • The legendary Lost Gonzo band was formed in 1973 and its members have included some of Texas’ greatest musicians including Bob Livingston, Gary P. Nunn, John Inmon, Kelly Dunn, Tomas Ramirez and Donny Dolan. Others that have played in the band include Paul Pearcy, Craig D. Hillis, Herbert Steiner, Mike Holleman, Michael McGeary, Bobby Smith, Lloyd Maines, Radoslav Lorković and Riley Osbourn.
  • Guy Clark wrote “LA Freeway’ and “Desperados Waiting for a Train” , Jimmy Buffett has covered Clark’s “Boats to Build” and “Cinco de Mayo in Memphis”. Guy Clark won the Grammy Award for Best Folk Album in 2014 for My Favorite Picture of You.
  • The Gene Autry classic: “Deep in the Heart of Texas” was first recorded in 1941 by Perry Como. Autry didn’t record the song until a year later.
  • Glenn Campbell’s song “Galveston” released in 1969 reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was #1 on the country AND easy listening charts. The song was written by Texan Jimmy  Campbell by the ways is an Arkansas native.
  • Did you know that Doug Sahm, Nancy Sinatra and Charlie Pride all recorded “Is anybody going to San Antone”. Of course, KBEC plays the 1970 classic from Charley.
  • Any song that talks about Ft .Worth’s Billy Bob’s and getting hit over the head with a Harley Davidson chain should be a hit. Unfortunately Delbert McClinton never charted with “Lone Star Blues” although com ranked it as their 25th favorite song about Texas.
  • Any idea what Booker T and the MG’s and Bob Wills have in common? Both are from Texas and both received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Recording academy in 2007.
  • Hayes Carl was nominated in 2011 for artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association for his album “KMAG YOYO “ which reached #12 on the Country charts. By the way the acronym for KMAG YOYO  is Kiss My A$$  Guys You’re On Your Own and is widely used in the military.
  • Patsy Cline got her Lifetime Achievement award from the Recording Academy in 1995, ten years later Janis Joplin received hers.
  • Radio station WBAP in Ft. Worth established the basic country music format on January 4, 1923 when it aired “Barn Dance” format featuring Capt. M. J. Bonner, a veteran of the Confederate War.
  • KFJZ in Ft. Worth aired “the Light Crust Doughboys Show” for the first time in 1931. This band would go on to pioneer the western swing sound. The radio program would air on multiple stations all the way through the 1950’s.
  • Mississippi blues legend Robert Johnson made his only known recordings in San Antonio (1936) and in Dallas (1937). One of the songs was his “Cross Road Blues”.  In February 1966, prior to joining Cream, Eric Clapton recorded the song as “Crossroads” with a short-lived studio project, dubbed Eric Clapton and the
  • Duane Allen is the lead singer for the Oak Ridge Boys. Allen was born in Taylortown Texas in 1943. His formal music training included both quartet singing and operatic. He was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in August of 2014.
  • Houston’s Barbara Mandrell was the first performer to ever win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award twice.  She was also named Female vocalist of the year in 1979 and 1981.
  • From 1978 through 1983 Barbara Mandrell had a Billboard #1 hit in each year. It started with “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed’ followed by “(if loving you is wrong ) I Don’t want to be right’”, then “I was Country when Country wasn’t cool” and “Till you’re Gone” and last but not least “ One of a kind Pair of fools”.
  • Amarillo’s Kevin Fowler hit #1 on the Texas Music charts in 2011 with his single “Girl in a truck”.  His first Top 40 country hit was “Pound Signs” in May of 2010, It reached #34 on the charts.
  • “Amarillo by Morning “ was written by Terry Stafford in 1973. The song recorded by George Strait in 1982 was named #12 country song of all time by Country Music Television.
  • “Suspicion” recorded by Amarillo native Terry Stafford in 1964 had the dubious distinction of being at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 4, 1964, when the Beatles held down the entire top five.
  • Corpus Christi native Roger Creager had a great 2014. His album “Road Show” reached #20 on the US Country charts and marked his highest ranking ever. The album also reached #6 on the US heat chart.
  • On January 17, 2010, Randy  Bingham was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for “The Weary Kind” at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards. The song won Best Original Song at the 2010 82nd Academy Awards, as well as Song of the Year at the 9th Annual Americana Music Association awards. Bingham grew up In west  Texas and went to Westfield High school in Houston.
  • Linda Kaye Davis from Dotson Texas had a number one hit in 1993 with Reba McEntire, the song “Does he Love you’ also won the Grammy for Best Country Vocal Collaboration. She is also the  mother of Hillary Scott the co-lead singer of Lady Antebellum.
  • Tracy Byrd, the pride of Vidor Texas, had #1 Billboard Hot Country singles in 1993 with “Holdin’ Heaven” and then 10 years later with “Ten rounds with Jose Cuervo”. That album also featured a duet with Texan Mark Chestnut  “ A good way to get on MY bad side”
  • Tracy Byrd is the National Spokesperson for Special Olympics International for the Country Music Association.
  • Bob Montgomery is a Texas songwriter from Lampasas. He’s best known for writing “Heartbeat”, “Wishing” and “Love made a fool of You” for his Hutchinson Junior High School classmate Buddy Holly.
  • “Good Old Mountain Dew” has been rerecorded and covered by a wide variety of folk, old time, and country musicians including Grandpa Jones and Willie Nelson. Nelson’s cover reached number twenty-three on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and stayed there for six weeks.
  • March 6, 2012, Mark Chestnut released the first album on his own newly formed record label Nada Dinero Records. “Live From The Big D” contains live recordings of some of Mark’s greatest hits including “It’s A Little Too Late” and “Bubba Shot The Jukebox”. The recordings are from his performances throughout Texas.
  • With a population of 11,000 in 2010 it would be hard pressed to find three world class Country musicians from Vidor Texas outside of Beaumont. But low and behold George Jones, Clay Walker and Tracy Byrd all called Vidor home.
  • Kevin Fowler may have the best quote ever when it comes to describing Live Country Music performances “It is not an uncommon sight to see clubs all over Texas packed to the rafters; girls and boys in cowboy hats and Wranglers two-stepping next to the mosh pit, where college boys or “Man Fans” in khakis and college girls pressed up against the stage.”
  • When asked to describe Texas country music, Waylon Jennings in his 1976 Biography said “ It’s a melody and a riff where the words take you.”
  • George Strait won his first Grammy for his album “Troubadour” in 2008. It was his 25th studio album.
  • “ I saw God Today” off of George Strait’s Grammy winning “Troubadour” album was the highest debuting single of Strait’s career. It also was his 43rd number one song.
  • Miranda Lambert from Lindale, Texas had her first top 10 country hit in 2008 with “Gunpowder and Lead”. In 2009 her album “Revolution” produced two number one hits “the House that Built me” and “Heart Like Mine”
  • At 16, Miranda Lambert appeared on the Johnnie High Country Music revue in Arlington, Texas, the same talent show that had helped launch the career of LeAnn Rimes.
  • Humble Texas country artist David Kersh released his debut album in 1996. “Goodnight Sweetheart’ would peak at #6 on the Billboard Hot Country chart. The song produced a #3 single “Another You” which was written by then unknown Brad Paisley.
  • In 1997 “if I never Stop loving you’ reached #3 on the US country charts for Humble Texas musician David Kersh.By 2005, Kersh had announced that he was leaving the country music scene. On his website, Kersh wrote a letter to his fans, explaining that his “heart is just not in the music business anymore”.
  • Josh Abbott band sold out Billy Bob’s on February 10 2010 as the band supported their second album “She’s like Texas”. The title track to that album has been a mainstay of KBEC since 2012.
  • Barbara Lynn is a Beaumont Texas native who had a rhythm and blues hit in 1962 with “You’ll Lose a Good Thing”. She appeared at the Apollo Theater, twice on American Bandstand, and had her song, “Oh Baby (We’ve Got A Good Thing Goin’)” (1964) covered by the Rolling Stones.
  • Ronnie Dunn of Brooks and Dunn was born in Coleman, Texas attended 12 different schools and graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1975. His major was psychology.
  • In 1990 Coleman Texas musician Ronnie Dunn teamed up with Kix Brooks to form Brooks and Dunn, They would go on to release 12 studio albums, sell over 30 million records, have 20 number one singles on Billboard and accomplish all of this within a twenty year span.
  • Ronnie Dunn has 15 Grammy Nominations but has never won. He is a member of the Texas Music Hall of Fame. Brooks and Dunn have won more Country Music Association and Academy of Music awards than any other acts in the history of country music.
  • Littlefield Texas was the birthplace of Waylon Jennings. Between 1966 and 1995, 54 Jennings albums charted, with 11 reaching number one. Meanwhile between 1965 and 1991, 96 singles charted, with 16 number ones.
  • In October 2001, Waylon Jennings was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In one final act of defiance toward the Nashville music scene, he did not attend the ceremony and opted instead to send son Buddy Dean Jennings.
  • With Elvis Presley’s explosion in popularity in 1956, pressure was put on Saratoga Texas native George Jones to cut a few rockabilly records and he reluctantly agreed. His heart was never in it, however, and he quickly regretted the decision; in his autobiography he joked, “During the years, when I’ve encountered those records, I’ve used them for Frisbees”.
  • Rolling Stone Magazine named George Jones number 43 in their 100 Greatest Singers of All Time issue. In 2012, Jones received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
  • Jiles Perry Richardson was born in Sabine Pass ,Texas and died February 3, 1959. That date is considered “the Day the music died’ from the Don McLean 1971 song “American Pie”. Richardson was commonly known as “the Big Bopper”. His biggest hit was “Chantilly Lace”.
  • In 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1987 the American Music awards created by Dick Clark gave Willie Nelson the Favorite male artist award. Texan Kenny Rogers won the award in 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1985.
  • Dan Seal was born in MC Carney Texas and has the distinction of being the younger brother of Seals and Croft member Jim Seals.  He started out in Soft rock and was the “England Dan” in England & John Ford Coley.
  • Dan Seal starting playing country music in the 1980’s when he started a solo career. Eleven of his singles hit number one including “Meet me In Montana”, a duet he recorded with Marie Osmond.
  • Dallas W.  Samuel high school classmates John Ford Coley and Dan Seals had four top ten singles , two top twenty songs and were nominated for a Grammy. Their song “I’d really Love you tonight” actually charted for two weeks on Billboard’s hot 100 country songs in 1974.
  • Since 1997 Reckless Kelly has called Austin home, the band originally is from Bend Oregon. Their albums ‘Bulletproof” and “Somewhere In Time” both rose to #22 on the Country Music charts back in 2008 and 2010 respectively.
  • Reckless Kelly has been labeled an alternative country rock band. A pretty crazy genre for two guys who started out playing in Muzzie Braun &the Boys which was known as a western swing band and fronted by their father.
  • Cleburne Texas native Steve Helms’ hit “Nowhere but Texas “ released in 2009 is routinely played at Texas Rangers and University of Texas sporting events. We’ve been known to use it throughout the summer at KBEC as well.
  • The argument among Texas/ Oklahoma red dirt music fans is who gets to claim Stoney Larue. He was born in Taft, Texas, was raised in Southeast Oklahoma, first recorded in Stillwater , Oklahoma had a major album breakout with his Live at Billy Bob’s Texas recording in 2007 and now resides in Austin.
  • Lindale, Texas  musician Miranda Lambert’s 2013 single “all Kinds of Kinds” featured red dirt artist  Stoney Larue singing background vocals.
  • Del Rio’s Radney Foster produced and wrote several songs for The Randy Rogers bands 2005 album “Rollercoaster”. Both Randy Rogers and Steve Helms claim Cleburne Texas as their home.
  • “Trouble” the sixth album released by The Randy Rogers band in 2012 marked a milestone for the band. The track “One More Sad Song” became the band’s first Billboard top 40 hit.
  • Kyle Park is actually a native of Austin. He released his debut country album “Big Time” in 2005 and in 2011 had a hit with “Make or Break Me” on the Texas Music chart.  He has averaged playing 175 Texas venues a year from 2010 to 2014. That’s what we call a hard playing Texas musician.
  • Lubbock Texas native Lloyd Maines won a Grammy for producing the 2003 Dixie Chick’s album “Home”. It helps when your daughter is Natalie Maines, the lead singer of the band. Lloyd is arguably one of the 5 best pedal steel players in Texas.
  • For the past 45 years , San Antonian Bob Livingston has been touring pretty much non stop. As the founding member of the Lost Gonzo Band with fellow band mate Gary P. Nunn and John Inmon, Livingston has gained a reputation as a band leader, solo artist, session musician and sideman in country music.
  • Bob Livingston, lead band Member of the Lost Gonzo Band came up with the term “Cosmic Cowboy’. According to several accounts, Bob and Michael Murphey were on a roof at night, and Bob stared up at the stars and said “I just want to be a cosmic cowboy.” Not long after, Murphey penned the lyrics: “I just want to be a cosmic cowboy, I just want to ride and rope and hoot. I just want to be a cosmic cowboy, a supernatural country rockin’ galoot”.
  • In 2004, American rap artist Lloyd Banks of G-Unit recorded a song titled “Warrior” on his debut album “The Hunger for More”. The rapper’s song contained a music sample of “Hold On”, a song written and recorded by both Bob Livingston and Ray Wylie Hubbard, but never formally released. “Warrior” reached #1 on the Billboard 200 charts and went platinum.
  • “From a table Away’ released in June 2010 was Houston Texas born Sunny Sweeney’s first top ten charted single. Sweeney was also the first artist signed by Republic Nashville records in 2009. This is also the same label for Denton’s Eli Young Band.
  • The Eli Young Band recorded “Drunk last Night ‘ in 2013 and the song went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 country Air Play List. The Denton Texas band sold 700,000 copies of the song in 2013.
  • Gruene Hall in Gruene (now incorporated New Braunfels, Texas) lays claim to the oldest dance hall in Texas. Its’ roots go back to 1878. Schroeder Hall in once what was known as Germantown, Texas was founded in 1893 and ranks as the second oldest dance hall saloon.
  • Ronnie Wood of the Rolling stones called Hardin “Hop”  Wilson “one of the best guitar lickers and not even a bad  Texan’. Hop grew up in Grapeland ,Texas and gained the nickname “Hop” as a devolution of “Harp” due to his constant playing of a harmonica as a child.
  • Don Henley was born in Gilmer Texas , raised in Linden and in 1970 after graduating from North Texas State went to Los Angeles where he lived with another Texan – Kenny Rogers. He was a backup singer for Linda Ronstadt’s band before he and Glen Frey formed the Eagles in 1971.
  • While living in Denton Texas , Don Henley formed the band Shiloh, he was encouraged to pack up the band and hit the big time in Los Angeles by Kenny Rogers. Their song “Same old Song “ would get covered by Jackson Browne .
  • Alternative Country Music fans will claim Dale Watson as their founder. Watson has released 23 albums since 1995 without one charting on traditional US Country charts. In 2011, Watson released a video song about Tiger Airways Australia after the company charged him $500 to transport a box of CDs which they then lost and initially refused to pay compensation.
  • Bruce Robinson has written #1 hit songs for The Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw , Faith Hill and George Strait.  Bruce and his brother Charlie grew up in Bandera Texas.  He and his wife Kelly Willis released “Cheater’s Game” in 2013 and it rose to #29 on the US country charts
  • Uvalde Texas born Max Stallings released “Home to You’ in 2010. The album was produced by Grammy awarding winning Texan Lloyd Maines and earned both a Best Album and a Best Male Vocal nomination for the 2011 Lone StarMusic Awards.
  • After his divorce in 2010 from long time manager and spouse “Lip “ Hatcher, North Carolina native Randy Travis relocated to Tioga, Texas. It’s been a rough ride for the former Country Musician of The Year singer since he moved to the Lone Star state. He was arrested in 2012 and charged with DWI and in 2013 had a stroke that has left him unable to sing or speak.
  • Two Tons of Steel is an American Alternative Country and Texas Country band, from San Antonio, Texas, the band has become an institution at Gruene hall where its annual Two Ton Tuesdays Summer Concert Series draws 12-15,000 fans.
  • Texas has the distinction of being the only state that has had six different flags flown over it: Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas, The Confederate States and the United States. Willie Nelson was quoted as a saying” that’s more places than I ‘ve ever bought weed from”.
  • Guy Clark wrote  “LA Freeway “ , the song was later  covered by Roger  Creager on his Album ““Having fun all wrong Ways” and of course it was a huge hit for Jerry Jeff Walker in 1972.
  • The Wink Westerners were formed by Roy Orbisin during his teen years. The group was originally signed by Sam Phillips and was recommended by Johnny Cash after he appeared on a local television show with the band.
  • George Straits debut album “Strait Country” was released in 1981 and was only available on vinyl.
  • While George Strait has been nominated for over 80 CMA awards, he didn’t win his first one until 1985 for male vocalist of the year and album of the year. “Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind?” was his 4th solo effort.
  • Some of the more crazy duets Willie Nelson has ever played with or recorded include the song “My Medicine” with Snoop Dogg, “Write One for Me’” with Ringo Starr, “ I am a Worried Man” with Toots Hibbert and “Don’t Give Up” with Sinead O’Conner
  • “Good Hearted Woman” was first recorded in 1972 by Willie Nelson for his “The Words Don’t Fit the Picture “ album. It reached #3 on the country music charts in 1973 when it was covered by Waylon Jennings on a single. Four years later the famous Duet version would hit 31 on the Country charts and #25 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • “Wanted- The Outlaws” was the first country album to ever go platinum. It also peaked at #10 on the pop charts, with two hit singles released, “Suspicious Minds” and “Good Hearted Woman.” It was the first album released by RCA records in 1984 on that fancy new medium known as a CD.
  • “The Best of Willie Nelson” is a compilation album released in 1973 that contains 13 tracks from his first two albums “And Then I Wrote” and” Here’s Willie Nelson”. The Liberty CD release is of some note because tracks 12 and 13 are listed as 12.” Record Man” and 13.” Darkness On The Face of The Earth”, but the actual disc contains the tracks in reverse order.
  • Houstonian Kenny Roger’s song “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town” reached number six on the Hot 100 and number thirty-nine on the country chart and also sold more than 1 million copies by 1979. It was written by Mel Tillis.
  • “Good Hearted Woman” was released by Waylon Jennings in 1972. Music aficionados will tell you the liner notes on the album are even more important than the song. The liner notes describe Willie Nelson’s  first encounter with Waylon in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • The 1989 release of “West Textured” for Houston’s Robert Earl keen introduced the country to his song “the Road Goes on Forever”. The album never charted but the single has become his calling card.
  • Lyle Lovett has won four Grammy Awards, including Best Country Album (1996 for “ The Road to Ensenada”), Best Country Duo/Group with Vocal (1994 for “Blues For Dixie” with the Texas swing group Asleep at the Wheel), Best Pop Vocal Collaboration (1994 for “Funny How Time Slips Away” with Al Green) and Best Country Male Vocal (1989) for Lyle Lovett and His Large Band).
  • The Texas State library and Archives Commission issues a one year appointment for Texas State Musician, Since 2003 some of the country singers to be bestowed the title included Ray Benson in 2004, Johnny Gimble in 2005, Billy Joe Shaver in 2006, Dale Watson in 2007, Willie Nelson in 2009 and Lyle Lovett in 2011.
  • Corsicana native Billy Joe Shaver’s 1973 album “Old Five and Dimers Like Me” is considered an Outlaw Country classic, both Waylon Jennings and David Alan Coe covered several songs from the album. In 2006, Shaver was inducted into the Texas Country music hall of Fame.
  • Billy Joe Shaver is known for his hit “Live Forever” co-written by his son Eddy, the song has also been performed by the Highwaymen and Joe Ely. Shavers lost his index and middle finger on his right hand during a saw mill accident. Being his dominant hand, he subsequently had to teach himself to play guitar without those two fingers.
  • Johnny Gimble is one of the most impressive fiddlers in the western swing genre. He played fiddle on Marty Robbin’s #1 Hit “I’ll go on Alone.” Gimble was born in Tyler, Texas.
  • The Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin has an unpublished early handwritten version of “The Yellow Rose of Texas”, perhaps dating from the time of the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. The author is unknown.
  • “Amarillo by Morning” was written by Oklahoma native Terry Stafford in 1973.Stafford conceived the song after playing with his band at a rodeo in San Antonio, Texas, and then driving back to his home in Amarillo, Texas
  • George Strait is the first artist in the history of Billboard magazine to have at least one single in the top ten for 30 consecutive years It all started 1981 when his debut single “Unwound” peaked at No. 6 on the Hot Country Singles chart.
  • In 2008, The Dallas Observer ranked the top 5 Honky Tonk’s in North Texas, #5 Love and War (Plano, TX), #4 Any Metroplex venue in which Eleven Hundred Springs is playing, #3 The White Elephant (Fort Worth), #2 Southern Junction (Rockwall) and #1  Adair’s Saloon… Our question is what happened to Billy Bob’s ?
  • Carthage, Texas Native Brandon Rhyder’s 2008 release of “Every Night” was produced by Radney Foster . The song represented the first one to chart for Brandon on the Country Music lists.
  • Brandon Rhyder in February, 2010 celebrated his fast rising single, “Rock Angel,” which landed in the coveted No. 1 spot for two weeks in a row on both the Texas Music chart and the Texas Regional Radio.
  • In 2006 the band, Rio Grande was signed to Asylum-Curb Records. Shortly afterward, their first single (titled “Kill Me Now”) was released, reaching # 42 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. The Texas band members included Tommy Rennick, Danny Rivera, Fred Stallcup and Lance Leslie.
  • Eleven Hundred Springs’ 1999 release,” Live at Adair’s Saloon”, is one of the definitive albums of the late 90s Texas music scene. This album, along with popular Monday night performances at the famed Adair’s Saloon in the Deep Ellum district of Dallas, helped make the band a favorite among the college students across Texas.
  • Wade Bowen and Pat Green co- wrote the Song “Don’t break my Heart Again”.
  • Kelly Willis came to Texas after graduating from High school in the early 80’s. She attracted some interest from other Texans like Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith. With 11 albums under her belt from 1990 until 2014 she has charted three songs and 5 albums.
  • Texas on my Mind”, was recorded by Pat Green and reached number 1 on the Texas Music Chart. The song was written by Django Walker, son of Jerry Jeff Walker.Walker had written the song while a student at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
  • Whiskey Meyers is a band from Tyler Texas with a top 30 album to their credit. “Firewater” released in 2011 went to #26 on the Hot Country Music charts. Take a listen to “ Ballad of a Southern Man” sometime.
  • Deryl Dodd’s career includes a 1999 bout with viral encephalitis which resulted in a 18 month rehabilitation where he had to re-learn how to play guitar. Since 2004 the Dallas native has released some great songs including 2010’s “Death, Taxes and Texas”.
  • Dewey Wayne’s “Here for the Music” features the guitar playing of Big John Mills the 2010 Texas Musician of the year. Since the album’s release the Houston Press has nominated Dewy as “Best Country Act’ and the academy of Texas Music has named him a “Texas Music Rising Star”.
  • On October 24, 2011, the Casey Donahew Band originally from Burleson Texas released their fourth studio album titled” Double-Wide Dream” exclusively on iTunes. The album was officially released on CD on October 25, 2011. From this album, their single, “One Star Flag”, held the number one spot on Texas Music Chart almost one year to the date on October 15,2012.
  • Adair’s, a Dallas honky tonk tradition was the site of Jack Ingram Live album, was used by Don Henley in his video  “End of the Innocence” and Pat Green filmed part of his “Carry On” video there as well.
  • Despite a sizable amount of original material, Austin based alternative country band The Gourds are probably best known for a song they did not write, and for which they initially did not receive credit. In fact, for most of the 16 years following their first live performance of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice”, fans could regularly be heard calling out for the band’s cover version of the song, sometimes before their shows had even started.
  • Texas country’s roots lie in the Outlaw country movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Texan artists such as Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and David Allan Coe retreated from the Nashville Country Music scene to Austin, Luckenbach, College Station and Houston.
  • Cory Morrow, a Houston native, had been on the Texas country music scene since the mid-90s. With the release of his fourth album “Outside the Lines”, Morrow found more mainstream success on the country music charts.
  • Jack Ingram won a CMT Music Award in 2007 and the 2008 Academy of Country Music award for New Male Vocalist of the Year.
  • Conjunto legend Flaco Jimenez, the Grammy Award-winning San Antonian button accordionist considered to be the ambassador of the instrument ,received an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award in September of 2014.
  • In June of 2005 Los Lonely Boys from San Angelo, Texas appeared on CMT’s “Crossroads” show with country music legend Ronnie Milsap.
  • Los Lonely Boys 2006 album,” Sacred”, features the song “Outlaws”. The band sings the verse about the “missing outlaws, just like me.” Willie Nelson, who is credited on the album, also provides a verse which makes reference to his hit “On the Road Again”.
  • Rock band Little Feat released the 1990 video “Texas Twister’ featuring many scenes of the famous Gruene Hall honky tonk. The video received heavy rotation on MTV and transformed Gruene Hall into the most popular dance hall in Texas.
  • Would you believe us if we told you that the Luckenbach Dance Hall is actually in Fredericksburg. Ok so technically it’s only their mailing address but it still seems so wrong to us.
  • Country music’s first broadcast nuptials occurred on April 14,1948 when Hank Thompson married girlfriend Dorothy Jean Ray onPappy Hal Horton’s KRLD Dallas radio show.
  • Don Walser was born in Brownfield, Texas.He started his first band, The Panhandle Playboys, at age 16, and shared bills with another aspiring Texas singer, Buddy Holly. In 2000 he received a lifetime “Heritage” award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and he and the Pure Texas Band played at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Glenn Douglas Tubb born in Texas is a Songwriter married to Dottie Snow Tubb. The song “Skip A Rope “ written by him and Jack Moran, performed by Henson Cargill was nominated for a Grammy in 1969. His uncle was Ernest Tubb.
  • Bill Ham is a Waxahachie, Texas music impresario, best known as manager, producer, and image-maker of the blues-rock band ZZ Top. Ham also gained prominence in the country music world by discovering and managing multi-platinum singer-songwriter Clint Black.
  • James Wallace Adams, known as Jay Boy Adams (born c. 1949), is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Lubbock and San Antonio, known particularly for his talent for storytelling in his songs.In 1999, Adams joined George Strait’s national tour.
  • Don Allison (March 26, 1962 – May 24, 2011), was a musician and vocalist from Lubbock, Texas. He performed at the Cactus Theater in Lubbock in such productions as Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story.He became the lead singer for the J. Belly Blues Band, which performed at the since defunct Lubbock blues club known as “Belly’s.”
  • Cody Jay Canada (born in Pampa, Texas) is an American southern rock/alt-country artist. From 1994-2010, Canada was the lead singer of Cross Canadian Ragweed. In 2011, Canada founded the group The Departed.” Some Old, Some New, Maybe a Cover or Two” released in 2013 reached #35 on the US country charts and was 311 on the US folk charts.
  • Sarah Jarosz album “build me up from the Bones” was nominated for two Grammy’s in 2013. She plays mandolin, banjo and guitar.  She signed her first record deal when she was 16 years old. Jarosz was born in Austin, Texas in 1991, and raised in Wimberley, Texas.
  • Freddy Fender’s “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” topped the Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart at No. 1on August 9, 1975. The song was recorded at SugarHill studios in Houston and produced by Huey Meaux. The single remained at No. 1 until August 16th when it was dethroned by another Texan Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy”.
  • In 1959 Claude Gray records “Family Bible” written by Willie Nelson. The song shot up to #10 in the Billboard charts. That was Willie Nelson’s first hit record as a songwriter. The song was recorded at “the Abbey road of the South” better known as Sugar hill records in Houston.
  • Texas native Sam “Lightnin” Hopkins (1912-1982) began recording with Bill Quinn in 1947 at Gold star records the predecessor to the famous Sugar Hill studios. These recordings would inspire George Jones to use the facility in 1955. “Why Baby Why” was recorded entering the Billboard charts October 29, 1955 and staying on the charts for 18 weeks.
  • John Lester “Johnny” Nash, Jr. (born August 19, 1940 in Houston Texas is an American pop singer-songwriter, best known in the US for his 1972 comeback hit, “I Can See Clearly Now”. In May 2006 he was singing again at SugarHill Recording Studios in his native Houston recreating many of the songs originally recorded on analog equipment.
  • “Firewater” released by Tyler Texas country group Whisky Meyers reached number 26 on the Hot Country charts during 2011. Their record company is Wiggy Thump. Their song “Anna Marie” reached #1 on the Texas Music Charts.
  • In 1986 and ‘87 San Antonio, country music artist Rosie Flores had 4 singles chart on US Hot Country charts, the songs were “I am Walkin”, “Crying over You” , “Somebody Loses, Somebody Wins” and “He Cares”.  In 1997 she toured as a member of Asleep at the Wheel and has appeared on Austin City Limits and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
  • Dan Rollins won a Grammy in 2003 for his songwriting. Rollins was formerly a band teacher in Texas and one of his fellow teachers would typically say at 3:30, “Let’s go grab a beer, it’s five o’clock somewhere.” Guess you can figure out what the song was  !!!
  • Dotson Texas native Linda Davis won a grammy in 1993 for her duet with Rebba McIntyre. The song “Does he Love You’ also reached #1 on the Billboard Country charts.
  • Jimmy Ray Dean born in Plainview Texas on August 10, 1928 was an American country music singer, television host, actor and businessman. Although he may be best known today as the creator of the Jimmy Dean sausage brand, he became a national television personality starting in 1957, rising to fame for his 1961 country crossover hit “Big Bad John”. The song won Dean  a Grammy. for Best Country & Western Recording.
  • The Texas Music office lists 528 recording studios in the State. 172 of these specialize in recording country music. 384 specialize in rock or rap.
  • Jeannie C. Riley was born in Stamford Texas in 1954. “Harper Valley PTA’ was released in 1968 and went to #1 on the Billboard Pop and Country charts
  • As of 2014 there were 622 Clubs , dancehall and small live music venues registered with the state of Texas Music office that play country music as their primary genre.
  • Doug Sahm was born in San Antonio Texas. Sahm began his musical career singing and playing steel guitar, mandolin and violin as “Little” Doug Sahm. He made his radio debut at the age of five. When he was eleven, he played with Hank Williams Sr. at the Skyline Club in Austin, It was Williams’s very last performance.Williams died on New Year’s Day of 1953.
  • There are 10 members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame who call Texas home.Mac Davis (2006) Woody Guthrie (1970) ,Don Henley (2000),Buddy Holly (1986),Scott Joplin (NA),Kris Kristofferson (1985), Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter (1970),Willie Nelson (2001),Roy Orbison (1989),Jimmie Rodgers (1970),Harvey Schmidt (2012), and Stephen Stills (2009).
  • Bob Dylan mentioned Corsicana artist Billy Joe Shaver in his song “I Feel a Change Comin’ On” –Dylan sings, “I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver, And I’m reading James Joyce”.
  • Johnny Horton won a Grammy for Best Country & Western Performance for The Battle of New Orleans in 1959. While Horton was born in Los Angeles, he was reared in Rusk, Texas and attend Lon Morris College in Jacksonville Texas where he played basketball, he also briefly attended Baylor University
  • Max Stallings was born in Uvalde Texas , attended Texas A & M and before going into music was in product development for Frito Lay. His album “live from the Granada” in 2009  achieved critical acclaim.
  • While living in New Mexico, Oak Cliff’s Ray Wylie Hubbard wrote “Up against the Wall Redneck Mother”. The song was recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker in 1973.
  • While Houston born Robert Michael Nesmith was best known for being a member of the pop rock group The Monkee’s , he got his musical start in Los Angeles in 1964 playing with Michael Martin Murphy in a band called the Trinity River Boys.
  • Some of the country acts that played the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin during its heyday from 1970-1980 include Willie Nelson, Michael Martin Murphy, David Alan Coe, Charlie Daniels Band, Emmy Lou Harris, The Lost Gonzo band, Earl Scruggs and Steven Fromholtz.
  • The final concert at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin took place on December 31, 1980. The sold-out New Year’s Eve show featured Asleep at the Wheel and Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen. Some reports say the show ended at 4 a.m., while others claim that the bands played until dawn.
  • Ryan Beaver released his first album “Under the Neons” in February of 2008. The Emory, Texas native had 3 single hits off the CD including “ I shoulda kissed You”, and “ Streets of Austin” as well as the  title track. Country Weekly described his lyrics as “thoughtful, introspective, and extremely well crafted” in their December 10, 2012 issue.
  • The album “Cowboy Like Me” released by Huntsville Texas artist Cody Johnson in January of 2014 reached #7 on the Us Country The album sold 8,000 copies in its first week of release.
  • Between October 2004 and February 2008, Amarillo artist Trent Wilmon released 3 albums that all charted in the top 40 on the US Country  His self -titled  debut album in 2004 went to #22,  “ A little More Livin’ “  released in 2006 went to #19 and “Broken In” from 2008 reached #33.
  • Can you name the Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the year for 1978? This artist was also nominated for that same award from 1976-1981.  He was originally from Floydada, Texas  and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.  The artist is Don Williams.
  • In 1978, Texan Don Williams took home the ACM single record of the year for “Tulsa Time”. After seven years with folk Pop group The Pozo-Seco Singers, Don Williams began his solo country career in 1971. He would go on to be known as the “gentle giant” of country music for his smooth bass-baritone voice.
  • Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers had a total of 33 top 40 singles in their career spanning the 1970’s 80’s and 90’s. Larry started his Nashville Career as a backup singer for Kris Kristofferson.  Larry was born in Seminole, Texas in 1948.
  • Larry Gatlin’s last charted single was in 1989 the song was “Number one Heartache Place”.Gatlin underwent surgery on his vocal cords in 1991 after that. In concert, he had begun to struggle with the high falsetto notes that were featured prominently in most of his songs. After recovery, Gatlin worked briefly with an opera coach and his vocals took on a powerful operatic style in the early 1990s.
  • Mark Powell and Lariat won the Academy of Western Artists song of the year for “Dublin Dr. Pepper’ in 2012 .The band was labeled “top Texas Swing Band” by I.D.A. in 2008.
  • Even though he was born in Mississippi, Moe Bandy is best known as a Texas singing cowboy. He began rodeo at the age of 16 and was active on the Texas tour until 1962 when he began playing honky Tonks and bars around San Antonio. In 1975 a song written by his friend Lefty Frizzell would chart at #7 on the hot country charts. “Bandy the Rodeo Clown” would become Moe’s signature song.
  • Ray Wylie Hubbard is originally from Hugo, Oklahoma but attended Adamson High school in Dallas with Michael Martin Murphy and enrolled at the University of North Texas as an English major.
  • Cleburne Texas artist Randy Rogers co-wrote the song “Somebody Take me Home” a song recorded by Kenny Chesney on his 2005 album, “The Road and the Radio”.
  • Texans Radney Foster and Randy Rogers co-wrote several of the songs on Rogers album “Rollercoaster’ In early 2005. Foster also co-produced the album.
  • “Homemade tamale – Live at Floore’s” was released on April 15, 2014 by the Randy Rogers band. It reached #11 on the Hot Country charts and #14 on the US Indie charts.
  • Cleburne Texas native Randy Rogers had his first top 40 hit “One More sad Song” in 2012. The song from his album “Troubled” would reach #38 on the Billboard Hot Country charts.
  • In 1982 the Academy of Country music awarded its Top new Male vocalist to Oak Cliff, Texas musician Michael Martin Murphy.
  • Michael Martin Murphy graduated from Adamson High school in Dallas. In 1 972 Rolling Stone Magazine honored him with Best New Singer-Songwriter in the Nation, for the album Geronimo’s Cadillac
  • In the summer of 1975, “Wildfire” became a chart-topping hit for Michael Martin Murphy , reaching #2 in Cash Box and #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Over 2 million copies of the song have been sold.
  • In 1971, Michael Martin Murphy was signed to A&M Records by Bob Johnston, who discovered him in a Dallas club, the Rubiayat. Johnston had produced some of the country’s most popular recording artists, including Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash,
  • In 1966, Houston-raised J. Thomas and The Triumphs released the album, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Pacemaker Records). It featured a hit cover of the Hank Williams song, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry“. The album would go on to sell over a million copies.
  • Houston native B J Thomas  in 1975 had a number one song on the adult contemporary, Billboard top 100 and Us Country chart with  “(Hey Won’t you play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song”
  • In 2014 BJ Thomas received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award for the song “ Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” . He had earned a Grammy back in 1977 for Best Inspirational Performance for “Home Where I belong”
  • Palestine Texas native Gene Watson was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002 and inducted into the inaugural class of the Houston Music Hall of Fame in August 2013. His first country hit was in 1975 with” Love in the Hot Afternoon.”
  • Little Texas was founded in 1988 in Nashville. Prior to the band’s formation, Tim Rushlow lead vocalist and Dwayne O’Brien began playing together in Arlington, Texas. When Little Texas reunited in 2004, Rushlow made a legal attempt to keep his ex-bandmates from using the Little Texas
  • Little Texas’ second album,” Big Time”, was issued in 1993. Their most successful album, it was certified 2×Platinum by the RIAA and gold by the CRIA. It also produced a minor crossover hit in leadoff single “What Might Have Been”, a No. 2 country hit that also reached No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 16 on Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks.
  • Natalie Louise Maines Pasdar (born October 14, 1974) is an American singer-songwriter and activist who achieved success as the lead vocalist for the female alternative country band the Dixie Chicks. Born in Lubbock, Texas, Maines considers herself a rebel who “loved not thinking in the way I knew the majority of people thought.”
  • Natalie Maines first commercially released work was background vocals on Pat Green’s debut album,” Dancehall Dreamer”, produced by her father Lloyd Maines and released in 1995. She would go on to be the lead singer for the Dixie Chicks.
  • Of the Dixie Chicks’ twenty-five singles, six have reached Number One on the Billboard country singles chart: “There’s Your Trouble”, “Wide Open Spaces”, “You Were Mine”, “Cowboy Take Me Away”, “Without You”, and “Travelin’ Soldier”. Love’m or hate’m , they still sell records.
  • Gary P. Nunn was designated Official Ambassador to the World by Texas Governor Mark White in 1985. Governor White proposed that the song” London Homesick Blues” (Home with the Armadillo) become the official state song of Texas!
  • In 2007 The Nashville Songrwiters’ Festival honored Waylon Jennings with a Lifetime achievement award.
  • In 1997, Waylon Jennings stopped touring to be close to his family. To set an example about the importance of education to his son,  Jennings earned a GED at age 52. He would pass away in Chandler, Arizona in 2002 due to complications with diabetes.
  • Kelly Brianne Clarkson from Burleson Texas won the first season of American Idol in 2002. She would go on to win two Academy of Country Music Awards, two American Country Awards, and a Women’s World Award. All before she turned 30 years old.
  • Hubert Neal McGaughey in 1993 had two back to back number 1 singles with “no Doubt about it ‘ and “ Wink” both found on his platinum Certified album No doubt about it” . By the way you may know him by his professional name Neal McCoy.
  • In 2005, Neal McCoy and his manager Karen Kane founded a label called 903 Music. His first single for his own label was “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On”, which reached the Top 10 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 2005.
  • Rusty Wier signed recording contracts with ABC Records ,20th Century and Columbia Records throughout the 1970’s, writing or co-writing most of the material for all the albums he released. He appeared on Austin City Limits in 1976 and 1977, delivering his unique brand of “Rusticana.”
  • Lonestar began in 1992 as a band named Texassee. This name was derived from the fact that all five members were natives of Texas, and met in Nashville, Tennessee’s Opryland USA theme park.
    Lonestar first charted on Hot Country Songs in late 1995. Nine of the band’s singles reached number 1 on this chart: “No News”, “Come Cryin’ to Me”, “Amazed”, “Smile”, “What About Now”, “Tell Her”, “I’m Already There”, “My Front Porch Looking In”, and “Mr. Mom”, with nine more reaching Top 10 on the same chart.
  • In the spring of 1971 three traveling Texas musicians happened into Lubbock Texas, one had been knocking around Europe while the one had been fronting the band the Hub City Movers, while the third member had been studying photography and architecture in San Francisco. This chance happening became the Flatlanders with Butch Hancock, Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.
  • Robert Henry “Bobby Keys’ was born in Slaton Texas in 1943. He started touring at age 15 with Bobby Vee and fellow Texan Buddy Holly. He is best known as being the main saxophone player for the Rolling Stones. He’s featured on Joe Ely’s “Lord of the Highway” album and several Harry Nilsson albums.
  • Lubbock Texan Mac Davis wrote three hit songs recorded by Elvis Presley, “Memories”, “In the Ghetto” and A “little less Conversation”.
  • In 1980, Mac Davis hosted an episode of The Muppet Show. He performed “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked On Me” and “It’s Hard To Be Humble”.
  • In 1974,Mac Davis was awarded the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year award. Some of Davis’s other successes include the songs “Stop and Smell the Roses” (a number one Adult Contemporary success in 1974) (Popular No. 9), “One Hell of a Woman” (Pop No. 11).
  • Charley Pride resides in Dallas Texas and in 2010 became a  special investor minority owner in the Texas Rangers professional baseball team. In 1952, he pitched for the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro American League.
  • In 1971, Charley Pride would release what would become his biggest hit “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'”, a million-selling crossover single that helped Pride land the Country Music Association’s prestigious Entertainer of the Year award, as well as Top Male Vocalist.] He won CMA’s Top Male Vocalist award again in 1972.
  • n 1967, Charley Pride became the first black performer to appear at the Grand Ole Opry since harmonica player DeFord Bailey, who was a regular cast member of the Opry from 1925 through 1941, Pride also appeared in 1967 on ABC’s “The Lawrence Welk Show”.
  • Buck Owens was born in Sherman Texas in 1929, in 1960 Billboard Magazine named “him most promising new country and western singer”. In 1968 Owens and the Buckaroos performed for President Lyndon Baines Johnson at the White House, which was later released as a live album.
  • Buck Owens was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996. He was ranked No. 12 in CMT’s 40 Greatest Men of Country Music in 2003. In addition, CMT also ranked his band the Buckaroos 2 in the network’s 20 Greatest Bands in 2005.
  • Tex Ritter, originally from Murvaul, Texas sang at the first televised Academy Awards ceremony in 1953, the song was  “High Noon”, which received an Oscar for Best Song that year.
  • In November 2003, the Austin Chronicle listed Ray Benson’s favorite songs about Texas. From 1 to 10 they were “Miles and Miles of Texas”,  “I Got Texas in My Soul”, “Beautiful Texas” “San Antonio Rose”, “Remember the Alamo”, “Texas Me and You”, “Screw You, We’re from Texas”, “Texas Blues”, and  “You’re From Texas”.
  • Jimmie Rodgers’s first Blue Yodel, which became known as “Blue Yodel No. 1 (T for Texas) ”, was recorded on 30 November 1927 in the Trinity Baptist Church at Camden, New Jersey. The band Lynyrd Skynyrd also performed “T for Texas” on their 1976 live album . Johnny Cash also recorded a cover of “T for Texas”, which can be heard on his posthumously issued box set “Unearthed”.
  • The Recording Industry Association of America’s Top-Selling Albums of All Time have two Texas artists listed. The Dixie Chicks and Kenny Rogers. “Wide Open’ by the Dixie Chicks has sold 12 million copies and their album “fly sold 10 million.” Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits” has sold 11 million copies..
  • Gilmer Texan Don Henley could claim the top selling album of all time by a Texan when you consider the Eagles Greatest hits has sold 42 million copies worldwide. The bands album Hotel California has also sold 32 million copies.
  • If you take all the works of George Strait from 1984 to today, his total album units sold are over 100 million, ranking him as the #2 Country singer of all time only surpassed by Garth Brooks. Just for comparison’s sake remember the Beatles have sold over 600 million albums and Elvis has 500 million to his credit.
  • In 2014 Kacey Musgraves from Golden Texas was nominated for a Grammy as Best new artist. She released the single “Keep it to Yourself” that year and it charted at #40 on the US Country chart and #232 on the US Country Airplay chart. Musgraves won the Academy of Country Music award for album of the year in 2014 for “Same Trailer Different Park”.
  • Golden Texas artist Kacey Musgrave co-wrote Miranda Lambert’s 2013 single “Mama’s Broken Heart”. That same year Rolling Stone magazine listed “Follow Your Arrow” at number 39 of their list of 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time, and said that Musgraves was “one of the loudest symbols of young country musicians embracing progressive values.”
  • Did you know Texas musician Max Stallings has a degree from Texas A & M in Food Science? He originally worked in product development for Frito Lay. He has also received a star on the South Texas Music Walk of Fame in Corpus Christi, Texas.
  • “Aviator” by Taft, Texas native Stoney Larue reached #17 on the Us Country charts in 2014 and #15 on the US Indie charts.  It also marked the first time Stoney had two songs supported on the album with videos.
  • Jason Eady is originally from Jackson, Mississippi but got his country music break in Fort Worth’s Stockyard bars where he often played nights while  working in the IT department of a local bank. Eady’s fifth release was 2012’s “AM Country Heaven” was highlighted during KBEC’c Featured artist Friday segment . The song was an  artistic and commercial breakthrough that cracked the Top 40 on Billboard’s Country Albums charts.
  • Texas musician Walt Wilkins won the 2011 International Blue grass Music association song the year in 2011 for “Trains I missed”.  The San Antonio native plays 130 –150 shows a year primarily in Central Texas and with his band the Mystiqueros.
  • Miranda Lambert’s “Platinum “ and Lee Ann Womack’s  “the Way I’m Livin” were nominated for Grammy’s in 2014, Miranda brought home the trophy at the 57th annual Grammy’s. The win marks the second Grammy for the Texas-born singer. In 2011, she won Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “The House That Built Me.”
  • The 57th annual Grammys honored San Antonio native Flaco Jimmenez  with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Jiménez, who gained mainstream popularity as a member of the crossover bands The Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven, is a five-time Grammy Award winner.
  • Crosby, Texas musician Rodney Crowell played guitar and sang for three years in Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band.
  • Rodney Crowell has won two Grammy Awards in his career, one in 1990 for Best Country Song for the song “After All This Time” and one in 2014 Best Americana Album for his album “Old Yellow Moon”.
  • Abilene Texas born Eric Paslay has released four singles for the EMI   His third, “Friday Night”, was a Top 5 hit on Country Airplay in early 2014. The song was originally recorded by Lady Antebellum, and Paslay’s version appears on his debut album, released in early 2014.
  • Hank Thompson was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997.
  • In May of 1982 Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson had a chart topper with “Just to Satisfy you”, the irony comes in that the song they replaced was Willie’s classic “Always on my Mind”.
  • “Always on My Mind” was recorded by Brenda Lee, Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson. Nelson’s version became not just a country chart-topper, but a pop classic, as well – peaking at No. 5. The song also netted back-to-back CMA Song of the Year statuettes for writers Mark James, Johnny Christopher, and Wayne Carson in 1982 and 1983 – making it only the third song to win the award twice. Nobody has done it since.
  • Rusty Wier was inducted into the Austin Music Awards Hall of Fame in 2002.In November 2007, Wier was diagnosed with cancer.] He died on October 9, 2009, age 65.
  • Abilene Texas native Aaron Watson’s 8th album was released in 2008 . “Angels & Outlaws”, reached No. 4 on the S. Billboard Heatseekers chart, No. 28 on its Country Albums chart, and landed in the Billboard Top 200.
  • Aaron Watson’s 2004 album, “The Honky Tonk Kid “, was produced by Ray Benson and features an appearance from Willie Nelson.Watson was born in Abilene, Texas and attended Abilene Christian University.
  • “Don’t You Wanna Stay” is a duet recorded by American singers Jason Aldean and Burleson Texas native Kelly Clarkson from Aldean’s 2010 album, “My Kinda Party”. Aldean and Clarkson performed the song together on the 44th annual Country Music Association Awards on November 10, 2010.
  • In 2007, Mario Flores formed The Soda Creek Band in Helotes, TX.. In August 2010, Mario released his first full length CD “Fighting the Fool” featuring some of Texas finest musicians and songwriters. He earned his first Texas Music  #1 with “Got a Bad Feeling.”
  • Clay Walker was born on August 19, 1969 in Beaumont, Texas. He has charted 30 country singles, including six Number Ones: “What’s It to You”, “Live Until I Die”, Dreaming with My Eyes Open”, “If I Could Make a Living”, “This Woman and This Man”, and “Rumor Has It”.
  • Clay Walker described his voice to CMT as “raspy [and] rugged.”. He cites George Jones (also a Beaumont native) as a primary influence, as well as James Taylor and Bob Seger; he has also said that, because he grew up in a largely African-American neighborhood, his singing style was influenced by rhythm and blues music.
  • As legendary Texas songwriter Ray Wiley Hubbard opines, “Bob Cheevers is one cool scarecrow gypsy poet who writes and sings the romantic beautiful truth. When he releases a record, I listen.” Chevers released “On Earth as it is in Austin’ in 2014 with duets featuring Austin stalwarts Stephen Doster, Warren Hood, Will Sexton, Dustin Welch, Walt Wilkins and Van Wilks.
  • Bandera Texas Country artist Charlie Robinson  is known for playing classic rock covers during his live shows. Some of these include: “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Highway to Hell” (AC/DC), “Call me the Breeze” (JJ Cale), “Rocket Man” (Elton John), and several Rolling Stones songs, including “Dead Flowers” and “Honky Tonk Women.” He also plays several songs associated with Willie Nelson, including “Whiskey River” and “Stay all Night.”
  • Vernon Texas native Roy Orbisin began his singing career as part of the Wink Westerners and went on to have hits such as “Crying” and “Oh! Pretty Woman”.
  • Tanya Tucker was born in Seminole Texas. While Tanya’s 1972 version of “Delta Dawn “  made it to number six, Helen Reddy recorded a version that made it to number one the following year. Tanya finally topped the charts the next year with “What’s Your Mama’s Name?”
  • Robert Michael Nesmith was born in Houston Texas in 1942. He would go on to be a founding member of the pop group The Monkee’s. He would influence the country charts in the mid 1970’s through songwriting, producing and talent development. In 1977 Rolling Stone magazine stated “ Nesmith has been considered one of the pioneers of country rock.”
  • The Champs were an American rock and roll band, most famous for their Latin-tinged instrumental “Tequila.  The band had 3 Texans as its core members, Houston’s Glenn Campbell , Jim Seals from Sidney  and Dash Crofts  from Cisco .
  • Kristoffer Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas. In 1985, Kristofferson joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash in forming the country music supergroup, The Highwaymen. In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • In 1971, Beaumont’s Janis Joplin, who dated Brownsville artist Kris Kristofferson for some time until her death, had a number-1 hit with “Me and Bobby McGee” from her posthumous  album “Pearl”. When released, it stayed on the number-one spot on the pop charts for 12 weeks and was on the Country charts for 6.
  • Christopher “Chris” Layton (born November 16, 1955) is an American drummer who rose to fame as one of the founding members of Double Trouble, a blues rock band led by Stevie Ray Vaughan. In 2001 he released a solo album “Been a long time” featuring vocals by Willie Nelson.
  • In 1974 San Benito Texas native Freddy Fender recorded “Before the Next Teardrop Falls.” The single became a number one hit on the Billboard Country and Pop charts. It sold over a million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in May 1975.
  • Between 1975 and 1983, Freddy Fender charted 21 country hits, including “Since I Met You Baby,” “Vaya con Dios,” “Livin’ It Down,” and “The Rains Came.” “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” became Fender’s second million-selling single, with the gold disc presentation taking place in September 1975.
  • Bobby Emmons was born in Corinth, Mississippi spent most of his musical life in Memphis and Nashville and was known as a great session player for piano and organ. So What’s the tie to Texas? Well, Emmons wrote this little song for Waylon Jennings that kind of became the National anthem for Outlaw Country. Thank you Bobby for writing “Lukenbach, Texas”.
  • Mickey Guyton was born in Arlington Texas in 1984, she was inspired to begin a singing career after, at the age of eight, she saw LeAnn Rimes sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the start of a Texas Rangers game. Her first single released in the winter of 2015 was “Better Than You Left Me”. The song debuted at number 56 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
  • “Sam Riggs wears a legacy of honest country, makes good rock, writes lyrics that matter and straps on a stage presence second to none.” says- Ray Wylie Hubbard . Pretty high praise for the Austin resident.
  • “Dancing All Around It” the first single from Mike Ryan’s BAD REPUTATION album went to #1 on the Texas Music Chart 9/29/2014. Mike was greatly influenced by his grandfather Paul, who directed the Texas National Guard Band for over 20 years.
  • Steve Young is a Beaumont Texas high school graduate and song writer known for outlaw classics such as “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” (covered by Waylon Jennings) and “Montgomery In the Rain” (covered by Hank Williams, Jr.).His best-known composition is “Seven Bridges Road”, which became a major hit forthe Eagles when they included a cover of it on their live album in 1980. Earlier covers of the song were done by Joan Baez.
  • Kent Finlay opened the doors of San Marcos, Texas Cheatham Street Warehouse in June of 1974 as a music hall, to develop, perpetuate and promote Texas music in its most natural state – the honky-tonk.George Strait and Ace in the Hole played their first 50 or 60 gigs on this very stage.
  • Tracy Lawrence was born in Atlanta, Texas. His studio albums have accounted for more than thirty singles on the Billboard country music charts. Of these, eight have reached number one: “Sticks and Stones” (1991), “Alibis”, “Can’t Break It to My Heart”, “My Second Home” (all 1993), “If the Good Die Young” (1994), “Texas Tornado” (1995), “Time Marches On” (1996) and “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” (2007).
  • Sebastopol, Texas is the home of Cody Johnson . Johnson’s fifth album, Cowboy Like Me, was released on January 14, 2014. The album was Johnson’s second produced by Trent Willmon. It sold 8,000 copies in its first week of release, debuting at number 7 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and number 33 on the Billboard 200.
  • In 2006, Amarillo native Trent Wilmon released “A little More Livin”, its lead-off single “On Again Tonight” became his highest chart entry at 27, the follow-up “So Am I” peaked at 59. Willmon’s other songwriting credits include cuts by Little Big Town, Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Randy Houser, Roger Creager, and Kevin Fowler.
  • Bobby Pinson was born August 10, 1972 in Tulsa, Oklahoma but raised in the Texas Panhandle.
  • In 2008, Pinson began writing with Toby Keith, including the singles “She’s a Hottie”, “She Never Cried in Front of Me”, and “Lost You Anyway”.He also has several cuts on sSugarland’ 2008 album” Love on the Inside”, including its first three singles: “All I Want to Do”, “Already Gone” and “It Happens”, all of which were also Number One hits.
  • Born in Lone Star and raised in Austin, Texas, Darwin Macon grew up around In February of 2015 KBEC added his song “I Still Drink About Her” to its rotation after receiving numerous positive responses during the songs debut during the stations “Featured Artist Friday” segment.
  • The Natalie Rose Band: Winner of the 2012 San Antonio Music Awards (SAMA) for: “Best Country Band” ,Winner of the 2012 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Frontier Club: “Battle of the Bands”, Natalie has opened for such Country Legends as: Ray Price, Charlie Pride, Ronnie Milsap, Roy Clark and Kevin Fowler . The bands song “Shivers was a KBEC “ featured artist Friday” selection in the winter of 2014.
  • Rumor Town is a South Texas band that KBEC stumbled onto after listening to “She’s Never Been This Gone Before”. How can you not like a band that describes themselves as Playing the best in Country Music, old, new and original, playing the best in Classic Rock, put them all together and you have just entered Rumor Town.
  • Scott Burgess and the Gringo Kings formed in May of 2007.Scott is from Watauga, Texas. The band has released five singles from 2013 and 2014 and all five charted on the Texas Regional Radio Report, The Texas Music Charts, and The Roots Music Charts.
  • In 2009, George Strait broke Conway Twitty’s previous record for the most number-one hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart when his 44 number one singles surpassed Twitty’s 40. Counting all music charts, Strait has amassed a total of 60 number-one hits, breaking a record also previously set by Twitty, and giving him more number one songs than any other artist.
  • Jerry Jeff Walker married Susan Streit in 1974 in Travis County, Texas. They have two children: a son, Django Walker, who is also a musician and a daughter, Jessie Jane. In addition to his residence in Austin, Walker has a retreat on Ambergris Caye in Belize where he recorded his “Cowboy Boots and Bathing Suits” album in 1998.
  • The Lost Gonzo Band was founded in 1973 and toured and recorded with many of Texas’ most colorful musicians including Jerry Jeff Walker, Michael Martin Murphey, and Ray Wylie Hubbard. The original members of the band were Bob Livingston, Gary P. Nunn, John Inmon, Kelly Dunn, Tomas Ramirez and Donny Dolan. Over the years, the band has also included Paul Pearcy, Craig D. Hillis, Herbert Steiner , Mike Holleman, Michael McGeary, Bobby Smith, Lloyd Maines, Radoslav Lorković and Riley Osbourn.
  • Any idea what Texas Musician graduated from Waco Texas Vanguard College Prep school and his father was an Air Force officer and actor. Try Pat Green.
  • Pat Green collaborated with the Josh Abbott Band on the 2011 release of “My Texas”. The song can be found on Abbott’s “Small Town family dreams” album.
  • “Texas in 1880” is a song written by Radney Foster, and recorded by American country music duo Foster & Lloyd. It was released in 1988 as the third single from the album Foster & Lloyd. The song reached #18 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks cha In 2001, Foster covered it with Pat Green on the album Are You Ready for the Big Show? This version peaked at number 54 on the country charts.
  • Gary P Nunn’s own songs have always served him well, being recorded by stars like Willie Nelson (“The Last Thing I Needed, The First Thing This Morning”)which hit #2 on the Country charts and Rosanne Cash (“Couldn’t Do Nothing’ Right”), which hit #15 on the country singles charts).
  • Mark McKinney from Big Springs Texas snagged his first Number One spot on the Texas Music Chart and TRRR in early 2013 with “She Ain’t Leavin’,” the debut single off of his album, “Standing My Ground.In the summer of 2008 during a tour in France, McKinney won the French Country Music Award for “Live Performance of the Year” for his concert at the Equiblues Festival in St. Agreve France. He is in great company- previous winners of this award include Brad Paisley, Jamey Johnson, and Dierks Bentley.
  • Thom Shepherd moved to Austin Texas in 2011 and has written 5 number one songs: David Ball’s “Riding with Private Malone”, Craig Morgan’s ”Redneck Yacht Club”, Kevin Fowler’s “Beer Season” Josh  Abbott and Pat Green’s  single  “My Texas’ and Kyle Park’s  “The Night is Young”. To top that Thom is a two time cancer survivor.
  • Crosby Texan Rodney Crowell won grammys for Best Country Song for After All This Time (1989) and Best Americana Album (with Emmylou Harris) for Old Yellow Moon (2013)
  • Sarah Dodds, Shauna Dodds and Dick Reeves won Grammy’s for Best Recording Package for Asleep At The Wheel Still The King: Celebrating The Music Of Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys (2015)
  • Kacey Musgraves won two  grammy’s  for Best Country Song for Merry Go ‘Round (2013) and Best Country Album for Same Trailer Different Park (2013)