Focus on the Backroads » Photo Journeys

FOCUS ON THE BACKROADS: TEXAS MUSIC

When traveling the backroads of Texas you need a full tank (or two) of gas and some good old Texas Music!  Thank goodness for satellite radio.  Not only is Texas the birthplace of many great musicians,  the state has been in the center of the developments of many types of music including; Tejano, Western Swing, jazz, country, rock, gospel, hip-hop (not to sure about how proud we are of that), and of last but surely not least The Blues.

You can journey back to the early indian tribes that left evidence of percussion and wind instruments, possible influencing Jethro Tull, one of my favorite bands from the 70’s – but I doubt it.  Early Spanish conquistadors claimed the region that included what is now Texas, not only did they influence  music in the region also the African slaves that they brought with them did also.  By the 1820’s Mexico had declared their independence from Spain and American settlers began coming to the area – these immigrants brought Czech, German, Polish, French and other culture’s  influences to the region’s music.  The accordion had the greatest influence on early Texas music as it still does today.  This instrument was adopted by many of the musicians in this melting pot of musical change – most notably by the Mexican population.

Until the mid 1800’s slavery was legal in Texas.  Many of the early plantations were located in East Texas.  Slave work songs were the beginning of Texas blues.  As this form of music was developing on these plantations in other parts of the region folks would meet in local community centers and dance halls to enjoy music and dances from their homeland.  As these different cultures began to melt together a truly Texas sound resulted  –  Texas Swing and country music.  Bands would travel through the regions and these dance hall became the social center for all the local folks.  Over time many new instruments were added  – where would country music be without the Steel Guitar!

Hollywood definitely had a great influence on the awareness of Texas music with the birth of the “singing cowboy” traveling down those happy trails.  Later the music started to adopt a more modern sound as country, blues, jazz, and other forms of music began influencing each other – this lead the birth of Honky Tonk, R&B, and OUTLAW COUNTRY!

ROCK AND ROLL – Texas artist were in the right there in the middle of it.  One of the first  rock and roll records, ROCK AWHILE, was recored in Houston in 1949 by Goree Carter who was born and raised there.

Texas has and continues to influence music – from primitive tribal beginning, early settlements social gathering, to current major venue events.  The people who have contributed are to many to mention; a few are:

  • RAGTIME:
    • Scott Joplin
  • BLUES:
    • Big Mama Thorton
    • Blind Willie Johnson
    • T-Bone Walker
    • Freddie King
    • Johnny and Edgar Winters
    • Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughan
  • ROCK:
    • Buddy Holley
    • Roy Orbison
    • Janis Joplin
    • ZZ Top
    • Pantera
  • TEJANO:
    • Freddie Fender
    • Texas Tornados
    • Selena
    • Los Lonely Boys
  • COUNTRY:  (where do you start)
    • Bob Wills
    • Ernest Tubb
    • Gene Autry
    • Tex Ritter
    • Kenny Rogers
    • Mac Davis
    • THE OUTLAWS – Willy Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, Billy Joe Shaver
    • Guy Clark
    • Clint Black
    • Rober Earl Keen
    • Lyle Lovett
    • George Strait
    • Pat Green
    • Ray Wylie Hubbard
  • AND SO MANY MORE…..no matter what is your favorite music….all that maters is to make it the soundtrack of your JOURNEY ON THE BACKROADS!

“Goin’ places that I’ve never been.  Seein’ things that I many never see again.  And I can’t wait to get on the road again”…….Willie Nelson

 

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