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Fun Facts

Here at KBEC, we love music. That should seem obvious, since we listen to it all day everyday at the station. But, what you may not know, is that we love learning about our favorite artists. We’ve assembled a massive amount of facts and quips over the years involving many of the artists that you hear on this station. Here, we’ve put them together for your enjoyment! Scroll through and click on the pictures to show the fun facts, and check back often to see new facts!

Kacey Musgraves

Fun Fact

Kacey Musgraves is known for her progressive lyrics in the conservative country music genre. Common controversial topics in her music are homosexuality acceptance, safe sexual intercourse, recreational marijuana use, and questioning religious sentiment.

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Michael Martin Murphey

Fun Fact

Michael Martin Murphey was born on March 14, 1945, to Pink Lavary Murphey and Lois (née Corbett) Murphey, in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Texas. In Junior High, he performed as an amateur. At 17, he took his first “pro” music job, playing western songs around a campfire at a Texas ranch. By the early ’60s, he was playing clubs in Dallas.

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Charley Pride

Fun Fact

Pride is one of only three African Americans inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, and he was the first African American to perform there.

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Dixie Chicks

Fun Fact

The band formed in 1989 in Dallas, Texas, and was originally composed of four women performing bluegrass and country music, busking and touring the bluegrass festival circuits and small venues for six years without attracting a major label. The four took their band name from the song and album “ Dixie Chicken” by Lowell George of Little Feat.

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Miranda Lambert

Fun Fact

Miranda Leigh Lambert was born November 10, 1983, to Rick and Bev (née Hughes) Lambert in Longview, Texas, and was raised in Lindale, Texas. She was named after her great-grandmother, Lucy Miranda. She has one younger brother, Luke Lambert. She has English, Irish and Native American ancestry.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan

Fun Fact

Stevie Ray first picked up a guitar at age 8, despite originally wanting to play the drums.

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Willie Nelson

Fun Fact

Willie’s touring and recording group, the Family, is full of longstanding members. The original lineup included his sister Bobbie, drummer Paul English, harmonicist Mickey Raphael, bassist Bee Spears, Billy English (Paul’s younger brother), and Jody Payne. The current lineup includes all the members but Jody, who retired, and Bee, who died in 2011

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Patsy Cline

Fun Fact

In 1962, Cline took on Las Vegas and became the first woman in country music to headline her own show.

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Lee Ann Womack

Fun Fact

Lee Ann Womack was born and raised in Jacksonville, Texas. At an early age, she was interested in country music. Her father, a disc jockey, often took his daughter to work with him to help choose records to play on the air. Womack was the second of two daughters. Her mother was a schoolteacher and her father was also a high school principal.

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Patsy Cline

Fun Fact

At age of 13, Cline was hospitalized with rheumatic fever and a throat infection. It was this illness that Cline credits her signature booming voice for, saying that when she recovered her singing was forever changed.

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Patsy Cline

Fun Fact

Patsy Cline was insistent on receiving payment before performing a concert. “No dough, no show,” became her mantra.

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Willie Nelson

Fun Fact

Willie Nelson & Family tours in the biodiesel bus Honeysuckle Rose. Florida Coach built the Honeysuckle Rose I in 1983, which was replaced after a collision in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1990. The interior was salvaged and reused for the second version of the bus. Nelson is currently touring on the Honeysuckle Rose V.

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Michael Martin Murphey

Fun Fact

In 1971, the Oak Cliff native returned to TX from the Mojave desert in CA and became part of the Outlaw country movement. His unique sound combined his country, rock, and folk influences. During this period, Murphey wrote “Geronimo’s Cadillac”, a song about Native American rights that became an unofficial anthem for the American Indian Movement.

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Willie Nelson

Fun Fact

Willie Hugh Nelson was born April 30, 1933 in Abbott, Texas. Also born in Texas that same month were future TV stars Carol Burnett and Carolyn Jones (“The Addams Family”).

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LeAnn Rimes

Fun Fact

In 1997 at 14 years old LeAnn Rimes became the youngest person to win a Grammy, for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Blue”. She was also the first Country music artist to win the Best New Artist category. The same year she won the Country Music Association’s “Horizon

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Freddy Powers

Fun Fact

June 21, 2016 Seminole Texas Songwriter Freddy Powers dies of Parkinson’s disease. Among his compositions were the George Jones hit “I Always Get Lucky With You” and several Merle Haggard singles, including “Let’s Chase Each Other Around The Room” and “Natural High”.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan

Fun Fact

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s first guitar was from his brother Jimmie – a hollow-body Gibson Messenger.

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Rodney Crowell

Fun Fact

At age 11, Rodney started playing drums in his father’s band. In his teen years, he played in various garage rock bands in Houston, performing hits of the day mixed with a few country numbers. He was influenced by songwriters Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. Crowell played guitar and sang for 3 years in Emmylou Harris’ “Hot Band”.

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ZZ Top

Fun Fact

Their 1976 worldwide Texas tour featured a stage shaped like Texas as well as a steer, snakes, and cacti.

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Charley Pride

Fun Fact

Before he became a successful recording artist, he was a minor league baseball player. In 1952, he pitched for the Memphis Red Sox in the Negro American League. In 1953, he signed with the Boise Yankees (the Class C team for the New York Yankees). He continued to play even after two years in the military, and tried out for the Angels and the Mets.

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Miranda Lambert

Fun Fact

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.

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ZZ Top

Fun Fact

ZZ Top performed for President George W. Bush a few days before he was inaugurated in 2001.

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Willie Nelson

Fun Fact

In 1990, Willie Nelson’s assets were seized by the IRS, which claimed that he owed $32 million. The difficulty of paying his outstanding debt was aggravated by weak investments he had made during the ’80s. In 1992, he released The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories?. The profits of the double album and the auction of assets cleared his debt.

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George Jones

Fun Fact

Jones was married to country singer Tammy Wynette from 1969 – 1975. The songstress was 11 years younger than Jones and had been heavily influenced by his music growing up. The two first met from using the same booking agencies for tours, causing them to occasionally cross paths. The two often performed together and has numerous duets.

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Dixie Chicks

Fun Fact

In 1990, the Dixie Chicks recorded their first studio album. Then Senator John Tower’s daughter, Penny Cook, wrote them a check for $10,000.

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Lyle Lovett

Fun Fact

Lyle Pearce Lovett was born in Houston, when his family lived in nearby Klein. He is the son of William Pearce and Bernell Louise (née Klein) Lovett, a marketing executive and training specialist. He attended Texas A&M, and received BA degrees in German and Journalism in 1980. In the early 80s, he played solo acoustic sets at small bars off campus.

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Charley Pride

Fun Fact

Pride’s love for music has influenced his children. Kraig (son), who goes by Carlton, leads a band called Carlton Pride and Zion, while Dion (son) has played guitar for his father’s band.

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George Jones

Fun Fact

Jones was always very upfront about his struggle with alcohol and drug abuse, but perhaps one of the country icon’s most shocking moments was his arrest for driving a lawnmower for eight miles to a local liquor store.

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ZZ Top

Fun Fact

They appeared in the 1990 movie ‘Back to the Future 3’ as a square dance band.

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George Jones

Fun Fact

Former president George W. Bush fondly recalled at Jones’ funeral how he loved listening to White Lightning when he would work out at the White House gym.

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Michael Martin Murphey

Fun Fact

A multiple Grammy nominee, Michael martin Murphey has six gold albums, including Cowboy Songs, the first album of cowboy music to achieve gold status since Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins in 1959. . Kenny Rogers recorded an entire album of Michael Murphey songs called The Ballad of Calico, about a Mojave Desert ghost town.

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Kacey Musgraves

Fun Fact

Kacey Musgraves was discovered professionally in 2008 while living in Austin by producer Monte Robison for his independent record label, Triple Pop. This came after appearing on the fifth season of the USA Network’s singing competition “Nashville Star” in 2007, where she placed seventh.

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Merle Haggard

Fun Fact

“Let’s Chase Each Other Around the Room” was co-written Merle Haggard in 1984 and was his 32nd #1 hit!

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Rodney Crowell

Fun Fact

Rodney Crowell was born on August 7, 1950, in Crosby, Texas, to James Walter Crowell and Addie Cauzette Willoughby. He came from a musical family, with one grandfather being a church choir leader and the other a bluegrass banjo player. His grandmother played guitar and his father sang semi-professionally at bars and honky-tonks.

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Larry Gatlin

Fun Fact

Larry Gatlin was born on May 2, 1948 in Seminole, TX. His father worked in the oilfields, and they lived in several locations while he was young, including Abilene and Odessa. He was reared listening to country and Southern gospel music. His brothers, Steve and Rudy, and he have performed together since childhood and often sang in their local church.

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Clint Black

Fun Fact

Clint Patrick Black was born in Long Branch, NJ, the youngest of four children born to G.A. and Ann Black and lived in nearby Red Bank. The family moved to Texas, where G.A. Black was raised, before Clint was one year old. He was raised in Katy, TX. Black taught himself to play harmonica before he was 13, and at 14 wrote his first song.

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Patsy Cline

Fun Fact

Among Cline’s personal items recovered from her fatal plane crash included the singer’s wristwatch, a Confederate flag cigarette lighter, a studded belt, and three pairs of gold lamé slippers.

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LeAnn Rimes

Fun Fact

Margaret LeAnn Rimes was born in Jackson, MS and moved to Garland, TX at age 6. She is the only child of Wilbur Rimes and Belinda Butler. She performed at local talent shows at 5, and began her career in musical theatre. She performed in a Dallas production of A Christmas Carol, and almost landed the lead in a Broadway production of Annie.

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Freddy Powers

Fun Fact

In 1983, Freddy’s song “I Always Get Lucky With You” was a monster hit. He penned 1/2 the songs on Merle’s album It’s All in the Game, and scored some chart action writing for George Jones and Willie Nelson. With 5 solo albums under his belt, plus, his production and writing, his career is unparalleled in country music.

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George Jones

Fun Fact

Jones began his career in 1954 when he signed to Starday records. His first ‘big hit’ was “Why, Baby, Why.”

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Larry Gatlin

Fun Fact

After high school graduation in 1966, Larry Gatlin was eligible to serve in the military during the Vietnam War. Instead he choose to attend the University of Houston. As a wide receiver on the football team, he caught a touchdown pass in a 1968 game in which his team, the Cougars, scored 100 points against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

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Merle Haggard

Fun Fact

Merle Haggard committed a number of minor offenses, such as thefts and writing bad checks. He was sent to a juvenile detention center for shoplifting in 1950. When he was 14, Haggard ran away to Texas with his friend Bob Teague. He rode freight trains and hitchhiked throughout the Lone Star State.

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Ronnie Dunn

Fun Fact

Ronnie Gene Dunn was born June 1, 1953, in Coleman, Texas. He played bass guitar in local bands during high school and he briefly studied theology at Hardin-Simmons University with the intention of becoming a Baptist preacher Dunn was “kicked out” of the school because he played in bars.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan

Fun Fact

SRV was tragically killed in a helicopter crash 36 days shy of his 36th birthday.

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Merle Haggard

Fun Fact

Merle Haggard said he was driven by a desire to have total knowledge of playing the guitar. He is described in the Guinness Book of World Records and many encyclopedias as a country singer, balladeer, and “the poet of the common man.” But, he hoped to be remembered as “the greatest jazz guitar player in the world that loved to play country”.

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LeAnn Rimes

Fun Fact

Award” for Best New Artist Of The Year, becoming the youngest person to ever be nominated and win a Country Music Association award.

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ZZ Top

Fun Fact

Frank Beard is the only member in the band that does not have a beard.

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LeAnn Rimes

Fun Fact

LeAnn Rimes was discovered by Dallas DJ/record promoter Bill Mack. He was impressed by her vocal ability. Mack’s plan to bring her success was his composition, “Blue”, which he claimed he intended to be recorded by Patsy Cline, but she had been killed in a plane crash . In July 1994, Rimes recorded the song on her independent album, “All That.”

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ZZ Top

Fun Fact

They are the longest running American rock band without any member changes.

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Waylon Jennings

Fun Fact

Waylon Arnold Jennings was born on June 15, 1937, on the G.W. Bitner Farm, near Littlefield, TX. The name on his birth certificate was Wayland, meaning “land by the highway”. Lorene Jennings changed the spelling to Waylon after a preacher visited Jennings’s parents and congratulated them for naming him after Wayland Baptist University.

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Lyle Lovett

Fun Fact

Lyle Lovett married Julia Roberts after meeting her on the set of The Player. After a 3-week romance, they eloped and married in June ’93 in Marion, IN. Why Marion? Well, it just so happens it was the ½ way point between 2 concert stops on his Summer tour. In March ’95, they divorced after less than two years of marriage, but the couple remain friends.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan

Fun Fact

Stevie Ray Vaughan is buried at the Laurel Land Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.

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Willie Nelson

Fun Fact

Willie attended Abbott HS, where he was a halfback on the football team, a guard on the basketball team, shortstop in baseball, and raised pigs with the FFA. While in school he sang and played guitar in The Texans, a band formed by his sister’s husband, Bud Fletcher. They played in honky-tonks, and had a Sunday morning spot at KHBR in Hillsboro, TX.

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Miranda Lambert

Fun Fact

Miranda’s parents met while her mother was attending camp at SMU, and her father was an on-campus undercover officer. Rick, her father is a former Dallas police officer who played in a country-rock group called Contraband in the 1970s. They later became private detectives, and worked on the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

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Charley Pride

Fun Fact

Charley Pride had a total of 10 siblings and was a son of sharecropper parents in Mississippi.

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Kacey Musgraves

Fun Fact

Musgraves’ “Same Trailer Different Park” produced hit singles in “Blowin’ Smoke” and “Follow Your Arrow”. 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.”

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Merle Haggard

Fun Fact

At 12, his brother, Lowell, gave him his used guitar. Merle Haggard learned to play alone with the records he had at home, influenced by Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell, and Hank Williams.

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Waylon Jennings

Fun Fact

Waylon Jennings married 4 times and had 6 children. He married Jessi Colter in Phoenix, AZ, in 1969. They had 1 son, Waylon Albright Jennings (aka: Shooter Jennings). In the ’80s, they nearly split due to his substance abuse, but stayed together until his death in ’02. His grandson, Will Harness, better known as Struggle Jennings, is a hip hop artist.

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Kacey Musgraves

Fun Fact

Kacey Lee Musgraves was born August 21, 1988 in Golden, Texas to Craig and Karen (née Abrams) Musgraves. Craig is the owner of a small printing business, M-Prints Printing, Inc in Mineola, Texas, and Karen Musgraves is an artist. Kacey has stated that she was born six weeks prematurely and only weighed 5 pounds.

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Miranda Lambert

Fun Fact

While still in high school Miranda Lambert made her professional singing debut with “The Texas Pride Band”. She also fronted the house band at the Reo Palm Isle in Longview, Texas, a long-running venue that had presented legends such as Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson, and the place where Brooks & Dunn started out as the house band.

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