Texas Music Pioneers (N-Z) / Texas Music History Tour

The Texas Music History Tour currently includes:
Texas Music Pioneers | Texas Music Libraries and Archives | Historic Texas Music Venues | Other music tourism sites


Pioneers A-M | Pioneers N-Z

The following Texans, now deceased, made significant contributions to the art or business of music. This list of music pioneers is part of the Texas Music History Tour, a guide to experiencing in present-day locations Texas' rich musical past.

For 594 of the pioneers below, the Texas Music Office lists: website links, the instrument and genre of music played, where they were born and where they attended school, their burial site, as well as additional sites of interest.

If you have photos or information not currently listed below for any of these artists, or if you would like to suggest other Texans to be included, please email us at music [at] governor.state.tx.us. The rotating photos in our masthead are provided courtesy the Texas State Archives, the Texas Music Museum and the Austin History Center. Other photos include artist promotional photos, album covers and photos donated to the TMO.

Texas' music-related museums, libraries, archives and halls of fame frequently have public exhibits devoted to music history. Our guide to these buildings is located here.

Some of the information found below is from the Handbook of Texas Music published August 2003 by the Texas State Historical Association.

Pioneers N-Z


Pioneers A-M | Pioneers N-Z




Ruben Naranjo ~ 2
Genres: Tejano, Conjunto, Ranchera
Based in: Alice
Instrument: accordion
Birthplace: Alice Birthdate: 2/22/1945 Deathdate: 10/12/1998
Buried at: New Collins Cemetery in Alice
Ruben Naranjo is known as the "Clark Gable of Conjunto." In 1972, he formed his own group, Ruben Naranjo y Los Gamblers and toured with Eligio Escobar. His first recordings were with Zarape Records. In the middle seventies he hit it with "La Estrella," which opened the way for substantial recordings and an outstanding performing career. With over 20 albums and numerous singles to his credit, he is among the few Tejano conjunto artists who have been well accepted in both Mexico and the US.

Anton Navratil
Genres: Classical
Based in: Unavailable
Instrument: Unavailable
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: Unavailable

Bill Neely ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country
Based in: McKinney
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: McKinney Birthdate: 9/19/1916 Deathdate: 3/22/1990
Buried at: Capital Memorial Park in Austin
At thirteen he met his greatest musical influence, country singer Jimmie Rodgers, who gave him his first guitar lesson. In Austin, Neely was a regularly scheduled Wednesday-night act at Threadgill's restaurant, where he played for most of the 1950s. In 1968, he befriended another Austin musician, Larry Kirbo. The two played together for nearly twelve years, including special performances in Washington, at programs hosted by the Smithsonian Institution. Neely also played with such notable musicians as Janis Joplin, Mance Lipscomb, and Pete Seeger.
Schools: Neely dropped out of the eighth grade to look for work at the age of fifteen.

Sam Neely ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Corpus Christi
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Cuero Birthdate: 8/22/1948 Deathdate: 7/19/2006
Sam Neely was born in Cuero, Texas and began playing guitar at age ten. His family moved to Corpus Christi when he was 15 he began playing in local bands. His 1972 single "Loving You Just Crossed My Mind", reached the top 30 and his next single "Rosalie" was a mid range hit in 1973 as was "You Can Have Her" in 1974. Returning to Corpus Chrisi in 1978, he became the house act at the Electric Eel club until opening his own venue, where he was spotted by MCA records, signing to the label in 1983 and appearing on the charts with three more singles.

Photo of Peppermint HarrisHarrison "Peppermint Harris" Nelson, Jr.
Genres: Blues
Based in: Texarkana
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Texarkana Birthdate: 7/17/1925 Deathdate: 3/19/1999
Guitarist Peppermint Harris was best known for his 1951 R&B chart-topper, the classic booze ode "I Got Loaded." After first moving to Houston in 1943 and starting to play blues professionally in 1947, at such venues as the Eldorado Ballroom, he invented the stage name "Peppermint" in response to the success of other local performers with catchy nicknames: friends such as Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins, the latter of whom also helped him get his first chance to record (for the Gold Star label) in 1947 or 1948. Bob Shad's Sittin' in With label supplied Harris' early work to the masses - especially his first major hit, "Raining in My Heart," in 1950. After "I Got Loaded" lit up the charts in 1951, Harris indulged in one booze ode after another: "Have Another Drink and Talk to Me," "Right Back On It," "Three Sheets in the Wind." The combination of self-motivated creativity and susceptibility to forces beyond his control in some ways characterized Nelson's career as a bluesman, which involved recordings on over a dozen labels (including Aladdin, Money, Dart, Duke, and Jewel) and authorship of countless songs. Many of these compositions were reportedly sold outright for instant cash and therefore never properly credited to him. However, among titles for which Nelson did retain his rights as original songwriter is his greatest commercial success, "I Got Loaded." This 1951 Aladdin release occupied a spot on the Billboard Top Ten for six months and decades later was re-recorded by British rock star Elvis Costello. In 1997 Nelson released a Peppermint Harris CD called "Penthouse in the Ghetto," comprising various vintage tracks recorded in Houston in 1958, 1960, 1974, and 1975, with noted local musicians such as Clarence Green, Clarence Hollimon, Teddy Reynolds, and others.
Colleges: B.A. in English from Texas Southern University
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Peppermint Harris photo by Jeff Dunas.

Horace "Steady" Steadman Nelson ~ 2
Genres: Jazz, Swing
Based in:
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: Unavailable
Horace "Steady" Steadman Nelson recorded 46 sessions on trumpet and vocals between 1939-1944. Many with Woody Herman, Bing Crosby and the Casa Loma Orchestra. Steady joined Woody Herman's Orchestra in 1939. He played lead trumpet on Woody's first huge hit, "Woodchopper's Ball," on the Decca lable. Steady was the featured vocalist on "Rosetta" (Decca) and 'I'm Comin' Virginia" (Decca). He also accompanied Woody Herman and other vocalists in live NBC Radio Shows and on vocal recordings for Decca Records; "Bessie's Blues," "Blues Downstairs," "Oh, look at me now," "Big Morning" and "Whatcha Know Joe" with vocalist Muriel Lane (NBC Radio).

Jimmy "T-99" Nelson ~ 2
Genres:
Blues, Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA Birthdate: 4/7/1919 Deathdate: 7/29/2007
Jimmy "T-99" Nelson was a blues shouter and songwriter with a recording career that spanned over 50 years. Like many, Nelson began singing in church. After seeing Big Joe Turner in 1941, he realized he wanted to sing the blues and Turner mentored Nelson in both music and business. In June of 1952, Nelson reached the #1 spot on the R&B charts with "T-99 Blues" on the Modern/RPM record label. The title refers to Texas' Highway #99. Nelson scored another hit while at Modern/RPM with "Meet Me With Your Black Dress On." Before settling in Houston in 1955, Nelson recorded singles for Kent, Chess, Music City, Paradise and All Boy records among others and toured the country playing the Apollo and Howart theaters. He and his wife Nettie made Houston their hometown and although he continued to write songs and sit in with other musicians, Nelson earned a living as a construction worker. After Ace Records released an album in the 1980s containing 10 of Nelson's classic singles, he began to tour again, gaining the attention of blues fans with new recordings and reissues.

Mickey Newbury ~ 2
Genres: Country, Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar, vocals, keyboards, songwriter
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 5/19/1940 Deathdate: 9/28/2002
Buried at: died in Vida, Oregon
Mickey Newbury helped revolutionize country music in the 1960s and '70s by bringing new, broader musical influences as well as a frank, emotional depth to the music. Newbury is better known as a songwriter than as a singer. Many of his songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Joan Baez, Kenny Rogers, Waylon Jennings and the London Symphony Orchestra. Newbury recorded 15 albums over a nearly 30 year period.

David "Fathead" Newman
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: saxophone, flute
Birthplace: Corsicana Birthdate: 2/24/1933 Deathdate: 1/20/2009
David Newman was born in Corsicana, Texas on February 24, 1933. His family moved to Dallas where he graduated from Lincoln High School. As a teenager, Newman played professionally around Dallas and Fort Worth with Charlie Parker's mentor, Buster Smith, and also with Ornette Coleman in a band led by tenor saxophonist Red Connors. In the early '50s, Newman worked locally with such R&B musicians as Lowell Fulson and T-Bone Walker. He studied theology and music on a scholarship to Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas for two years before going on the road full-time with Buster Smith. In 1952, Newman formed his longest-lasting and most important musical association with Ray Charles, who had played piano in Fulson's group. Newman stayed with Charles' band from 1954-64, beginning as a baritone and soon becoming the star tenor soloist. While with the Charles band, Newman concurrently recorded as a leader and a sideman with, among others, his hometown associate, tenor saxophonist James Clay. The first of these albums was Ray Charles Introduces Fathead Newman. Upon leaving Charles, Newman stayed in Dallas for two years. He then moved to New York, where he recorded under King Curtis and Eddie Harris; he also played many commercial and soul dates. Newman returned to Charles for a brief time in 1970-71; from 1972-4 he played with Red Garland and Herbie Mann. Newman parlayed the renown he gained from his experience with Charles into a fairly successful recording career. In the '60s and '70s, he recorded a series of heavily orchestrated, pop-oriented sides for Atlantic, and in the '80s he led the occasional hard bop session, but Newman's metier was as an ace accompanist. Throughout his career he recorded with a variety of non-jazz artists; Newman's brawny, arrogant tenor sound graced the albums of Aretha Franklin, Dr. John, Natalie Cole, Herbie Mann and many others. His stretch of six successful albums as an independent artist continued into the 2000s and included tribute albums to Duke Ellington, Mr. Gentle, Mr. Cool, and to Ray Charles, I Remember Brother Ray. David "Fathead" Newman passed away January 20, 2009 at the age of 75 from pancreatic cancer.
Schools: Lincoln High School
Colleges: Jarvis Christian College

Roy Newman
Genres: Cowboy/Western
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: piano, guitar, accordion
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 11/12/1899 Deathdate: 2/23/1981
Buried at: died in Dallas
Roy Newman worked as a staff musician at WRR Dallas by his mid-20s. He formed the Wanderers with Dick Reinhart and Bert Dodson, on mandolin and bass. Later Alfredo Casares joined on fiddle and Jim Boyd eventually replaced Reinhart. The Newman group sometimes had as many as ten staff musicians from WRR who were also part of Bill "Cowboy Rambler" Boyd's band. Each group, though, had its own distinct style. Between September 1934 and June 1939, Newman's group recorded seventy-two sides. These were primarily released on Vocalion and other ARC labels.

Hoyle Nix
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Big Spring
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Azle Birthdate: 3/22/1918 Deathdate: 1985
Buried at: Mount Olive Cemetery, Big Spring
Hoyle Nix was a prominent western swing bandleader, best known for writing the western swing standard "Big Ball's in Cowtown." One of the most popular band leaders ever in the state of Texas. He played 39 years professionally before his death. He and his West Texas Cowboys filled dance halls, VFWs, rodeo dances, and clubs for many years, keeping Western Swing alive. Nix often shared a double bill with Bob Wills and was a guest on Wills' final album "Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys For The Last Time." In 1954, Hoyle Nix and his brother Ben built The Stampede dancehall in Big Spring which served as a home base for the Nix band for many years.

Armond A. "Eddie" Noack
Genres: Country
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 4/29/1930 Deathdate: 2/5/1978
As a songwriter, several of Eddie Noack's songs were recorded by top artists, including Johnny Cash, Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow (who scored a major hit with "These Hands" in 1956) and recently Elvis Costello. During the '60s, Noack had many of his songs - including "Flowers For Mama," "Barbara Joy," "The Poor Chinee," "A Day In The Life Of A Fool" and "No Blues Is Good News" successfully recorded by George Jones. A fine performer somewhat in the style of Hank Williams, Noack is perhaps more appreciated today as a singer than he was in his own time.

Colleges: University of Houston; Baylor University

Grady Lee Nutt
Genres: Country
Based in: Amarillo
Instrument: Baptist minister, television personality
Birthplace: Amarillo Birthdate: 9/2/1934 Deathdate: 11/23/1982
Grady Lee Nutt, Baptist minister and television personality, was licensed as a Baptist minister at the age of thirteen. After college, he married his high school sweetheart, moved with his wife and two children to Louisville, Kentucky, serving as minister of music at the Southside Baptist Church and later as pastor of the Baptist congregation in Graefenburg, Kentucky. Nutt went into the entertainment field in 1969 as a lecturer-entertainer and soon averaged about twenty speaking engagements a month, plus additional engagements for charitable causes. His career continued on the rise in 1979, when he joined the regular cast of the "Hee Haw" television series. His homespun stories as a preacher on the show won him billing as the "Prime Minister of Humor." In all, Nutt recorded six albums and wrote several books.
Schools: Alice Landergin Elementary School; Nixon Junior High
Colleges: Wayland Baptist College; Baylor University; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wilbert Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel
Genres: Country
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Malta, OH Birthdate: 3/11/1890 Deathdate: 5/2/1969
W. Lee O'Daniel's musical career began in January 1931, when a West Texas fiddler named James Robert (Bob) Wills entered his Fort Worth office at Burrus Mill and Elevator Company. As general manager of the firm, O'Daniel had just canceled a radio program on which Wills and his fiddle band had been advertising Burrus Mill's Light Crust Flour. O'Daniel canceled it, as he said, "because I didn't like their hillbilly music." So many cards and letters came into station KFJZ that O'Daniel had to put the show back on the air, and the band became known as the Light Crust Doughboys. When O'Daniel realized how much flour the show was selling, he became the announcer for the show and manager of the band. The Doughboy broadcast became one of the most popular and long-lived shows in the history of the Southwest. The original Light Crust Doughboy show consisted of O'Daniel as announcer, Bob Wills on fiddle, Herman Arnspiger on guitar, and Milton Brown as vocalist. Kitty Williamson, whom O'Daniel called Texas Rose, vocalized on several recordings. She was probably the first female singer in western swing. Later, O'Daniel parlayed his gregarious, and sometimes controversial personality into becoming governor of Texas and into becoming an U.S. senator.

Fritz Oberdoerffer
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany Birthdate: 11/4/1895 Deathdate: 12/8/1979
Professor Fritz Oberdoerffer was a classically trained pianist who taught at the Institute of Church Music in Berlin-Spandau. After World War II, Oberdoerffer was appointed chief of archive records, tapes, and the library of Radio Berlin, a position he held from 1945 to 1948. In 1949-50, he was employed as an editor with the C. F. Peters Corporation, a music publisher, in New York City. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin as guest professor in 1950. He became a permanent member of the faculty in 1964 and professor emeritus in 1974. In addition to his teaching responsibilities at UT, Oberdoerffer continued to pursue his research. He wrote an extended article on thorough-bass (Generalbass) for the eminent German music encyclopedia Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, as well as ten smaller articles for the same publication. He also published articles in leading scholarly journals such as Acta Musicologica, Die Musikforschung, and Musica, as well as articles in Deutsche Tonkünstlerzeitung, Neues Musikblatt, American Music Teacher, and Texas String News. Professor Oberdoerffer edited a number of classical works by Bach, Mozart, Purcell, Rosenmüller, Schütz, and Vivaldi. He was a member of the American and International Musicological Society and the Music Library Association.
Colleges: University of Jena in 1919 and the Leipzig Conservatory from 1920 to 1923, pursuing studies in music theory, music composition, and piano. In 1921 he was awarded the Robert Schumann Stipendium at Leipzig. Humboldt University of Berlin, PhD 1939

Phil Ochs ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Folk/Acoustic, Singer Songwriter
Based in: El Paso
Instrument: guitar, vocal
Birthplace: El Paso Birthdate: 12/19/1940 Deathdate: 4/8/1976
Phil Ochs - along with Bob Dylan and Joan Baez - was one of the most successful singer-songwriters to arise on the New York City folk music scene in the 1960s. Ochs wrote politically charged songs that became protest anthems of that decade. He strongly opposed the war in Vietnam and supported the civil rights movement - two themes that dominatedmuch of his music. After living in San Antonio and Austin, he moved to Far Rockaway, New York. Inspired by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and the legendary Joe Hill and the Industrial Workers of the World, Ochs learned the guitar, and along with his best friend, Jim Gorman, formed a duo called the Sundowners. Ochs headed to New York City, where the folk music scene was becoming increasingly popular. His reputation grew, and in 1963, he performed at the Newport Folk Festival. Ochs' songs hit a nerve with a growing politically minded youth, and the Electra Record Company signed him to a contract. His first album, "All the News That's Fit to Sing," enjoyed only moderate success, but his second effort, "I Ain't Marching Anymore," was hailed as a folk classic. Because of his outspokenness, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a file on him, classifying him as a "security matter." He frequently played at anti-war demonstrations and was instrumental in the formation of the Yippee Party. He also traveled extensively and while staying in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, he was attacked and strangled. This attack, which Ochs believed was politically motivated, left his vocal chords permanently damaged. With his music career now essentially over, he became more actively involved in politics.

Newell Oler ~ 2
Genres: Pop
Based in: Mount Pleasant
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Tyler Birthdate: 8/17/1934 Deathdate: 10/21/2001
Newell Oler's career as a master pianist spanned more than five decades. Oler gift of perfect pitch and playing by ear was discovered at an early age on the family's upright piano. He shared his gift, playing the finest venues in the Dallas area, including the Loews' Anatole Hotel for twelve years. As a recording artist, Newell produced 23 CDs of his own inspired piano interpretations of classic and popular compositions, as well as his own original works. In 1977 he drew up some designs for a pianist to access various sting sections utilizing the latest synchronization techniques. The design was enough to get the Yamaha Company to study it and several years later the piano was created.

Roy Kelton Orbison ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5
Genres: Rock, Rockabilly
Based in: Wink
Instrument: vocals, guitar, songwriting
Birthplace: Vernon Birthdate: 4/23/1936 Deathdate: 12/6/1988
Buried at: Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California
Most of Roy Orbison's early success was as a songwriter including hits such as "Claudette," "Only the Lonely," "Blue Angel," "Running Scared," "Blue Bayou," "It's Over," and "Oh, Pretty Woman." Always noted for his remarkable, operatic voice, Elvis Presley once referred to him as "The greatest singer in the world."
Schools: Wink High School
Colleges: North Texas State College (1954); Odessa Junior College (1955-1956)
Sites of interest:
Roy Orbison Historical Marker
In 1948, Roy performed at the Rig Theater in Wink, Texas
Roy Orbison Museum in Wink, Texas
Roy Orbison park in Vernon, Texas

Mike Ornelas Sr. ~ 2
Genres: Big Band, Tejano
Based in: Laredo
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Camargo, Mexico Birthdate: 1/1/1912 Deathdate: 9/9/1983
Mike Ornelas and his Orquestra toured the West Coast, Southwest and Midwest during the 1930s and early 1940s. During World War II, the band played USO shows. He recorded for Ideal, Falcon and Torrero and was inducted into the Tejano Hall of Fame in 1984. Mike's son Rene Ornelas (who went on to found the pioneering band Rene y Rene) toured with his father Mike's orquestra as a vocalist and trumpet player at age 14.

Gussie Oscar
Genres: Classical
Based in: Waco
Instrument: pianist, conductor, and general manager of the Waco Auditorium
Birthplace: Calvert Birthdate: 1875 Deathdate: 2/7/1950
Gussie Oscar, pianist, conductor, and general manager of the Waco Auditorium, was born in 1875 in Calvert, Texas. Although she was Jewish, she was educated in an Austin convent school. She first supported herself by playing the piano at weddings, churches, dances, and theaters and toured with plays and orchestras. She moved to Waco in 1905 and played in the orchestra for vaudeville and operettas at the Majestic Theater and the Waco Auditorium. By 1911 she was the conductor of an all-female orchestra at the Majestic, and in 1913 she was May Irwin's accompanist on a tour of the western states and Canada. Later Oscar was one of few women elected to membership in the International Alliance of Theatrical Employees. She became controversial during the 1920s when, for financial reasons, she defied Waco's Sunday closing law and censorship board to schedule increasingly racy acts on Sundays.

Curtis "King Curtis" Ousley ~ 2
Genres: Blues, Pop
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 2/7/1934 Deathdate: 8/14/1971
Buried at: Pinelawn Memorial Park & Cemetery, Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York
Curtis "King Curtis" Ousley was the last of the great R&B tenor sax giants and was one of the best known saxophone players of the 1960s. He played with Chuck Willis, Clyde McPhatter, the Coasters, the Alan Freed Band, Lionel Hampton's band, Bobby Darin, Andy Williams, Sam Cooke, Connie Francis, Nat King Cole, The Coasters, Buddy Holly, and others. Curtis formed his own group - the King Pins - which signed with Enjoy Records and recorded a number one R&B single, "Soul Twist." Curtis had fifteen songs that made the pop charts including "Have Tenor Sax, Will Blow," "King Curtis Plays the Great Memphis Hits," "That Lovin' Feeling," "King Size Soul," "Memphis Soul Stew" and "Ode to Billie Joe." At the apex of his career, he was producing Freddie King, directing Aretha Franklin, and was working on a John Lennon album.
Schools: I. M. Terrell High School (historical marker at 1411 East 18th Street, Fort Worth)
Sites of interest:
Ousley used to jam at the Blue Bird Cafe, 5636 Wellesley Avenue in Fort Worth.

Buck Owens ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country
Based in: Sherman
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Sherman Birthdate: 8/12/1929 Deathdate: 3/25/2006
Buck Owens, along with Merle Haggard, was the leader of the Bakersfield Sound, an twangy, electricified, rock-influenced interpretation of hardcore honky tonk that emerged in the '60s. Owens was the first bonafide country star to emerge from Bakersfield, scoring a total of 15 consecutive number one hits in the mid-'60s. In the process, he provided an edgy alternative to the string-laden country-pop that was being produced during the '60s. Later in his career, his musical impact was forgotten by some as he became a television personality through the country comedy show Hee Haw. Nevertheless, several generations of musicians - from Gram Parsons in the late '60s to Dwight Yoakam in the '80s - were influenced by his music, which wound up being one of the blueprints for modern country music.

Calvin Owens ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Big Band, Blues,
Based in: Houston
Instrument: trumpet, vocals
Birthplace: New Orleans, LA Birthdate: 4/23/1929 Deathdate: 2/21/2008
Calvin Owens, born in New Orleans Fifth Ward, migrated with his mother to Houston where at 13 he began playing trumpet. Joining a vaudeville show after high school, Owens later met B.B. King in 1953 and toured and led his band until 1957, when he returned to Houston. Upon his return, Owens became a songwriter/arranger/session player and A&R rep for the Peacock Recording Company under the Don Robey. In that period, Owens famously recorded with T-Bone Walker, Amos Milburn, Junior Parker, and David "Fathead" Newman. Owens would later return to touring with B.B. King from 1978-1984, earning a Grammy as the bandleader for King on the album "Blues 'n' Jazz." After a decade in Belgium, he returned to Houston in 1993. Again, Owens refused to be pigeonholed; he recorded not just blues but country, Spanish music, and Hip Hop. Owens released the Spanish album "La Mujer que Cante Blues," a collaboration with Evelyn Rubio. And in 2007, Owens also recorded and arranged a country album with legends Willie Nelson, Ray Price, and Johnny Bush.

Doie Hensley "Tex" Owens ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country
Based in: Killeen
Instrument: vocals, songwriter
Birthplace: Killeen Birthdate: 6/15/1892 Deathdate: 9/9/1962
Buried at: died in New Baden, and is buried with other family members at the Franklin Cemetery in Franklin, TX
For ten years Tex Owens co-hosted the popular "Brush Creek Follies," on KMBC in Kansas City, featuring his group, the Original Texas Rangers, and his two daughters Dolpha (Jane) and Laura Lee (Joy). Owens penned "Cattle Call," which he recorded for Decca Records. The song later became a hit recording for singer Eddie Arnold. Owens also hosted the "Boone County Jamboree" on WLW in Cincinnati, appeared on several other radio shows and worked as a movie cowboy.

Ruby Agnes Owens ~ 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Wise County Birthdate: 6/4/1910 Deathdate: 3/29/1963
Buried at: Franklin Cemetery in Franklin, TX
Ruby Agnes Owens was one of the first female performers to challenge male dominance in the country music industry. She was billed as the "Sophie Tucker of the Feminine Folk Singers" singing honky-tonk material in a strong, distinctive voice and writing many of her own songs. Ruby married fiddler Curly Fox and the two performed at the Grand Ole Opry recording honky tonk material such as "You've Been Cheating on Me" and "Ain't You Sorry That You Lied." The couple went to Houston, Texas, in 1948, where they remained for a decade helping to pioneer country music on local television.

Tary Kelly Owens ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Austin
Instrument: producer
Birthplace: grew up in Port Arthur Birthdate: 11/6/1942 Deathdate: 9/21/2003
Tary Owens was a high school classmate and friend of Janis Joplin. He moved to Austin in the early 1960s, and became a part of the Threadgill's folk scene. Owens devoted most of his life to the music of forgotten or unsung Texas bluesmen, to encourage a larger public to celebrate their artistry. Owens sought out 1920s-era barrelhouse piano legend the Grey Ghost and revived his career. He also helped revive the career of East Austin blues players T.D. Bell and Erbie Bowser, and brought attention to East Texas blues musicians such as Frank Robinson and Long John Hunter.
Schools: Jefferson High School in Port Arthur
Colleges: University of Texas in Austin

William A. Owens ~ 2
Genres: Classical
Based in: Pin Hook
Instrument: folklorist, author, educator
Birthplace: Pin Hook Birthdate: 11/2/1905 Deathdate: Unavailable
While his career as teacher, lecturer, and administrator has been full, William A. Owens is more widely known as a gifted author. In addition to numerous articles, field recordings, reviews and short stories, his books serve as monuments to his craft. His works include "Texas Folk Songs" (1950, revised in 1976). Out of at least Sixty books, most pertain to fields which Owens researched such as folksongs, ethnic groups in Texas, history of the oil industry, and others. In 1941, he recorded Chelo Silva in his music-collecting project on the Texas-Mexico border.
Colleges: East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce; Southern Methodist University

Oran Thaddeus "Hot Lips" Page ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: trumpet, vocals
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 1/27/1908 Deathdate: 11/5/1954
Buried at: Dallas Cemetery
One of the great swing trumpeters in addition to being a talented blues vocalist, Oran Page was one of the top sidemen with Artie Shaw's Orchestra, freelanced in Kansas City, and was one of the stars in Count Basie's orchestra.
Schools: Corsicana High School
Colleges: Texas College in Tyler

Américo Paredes ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Brownsville Birthdate: 9/3/1915 Deathdate: 5/5/1999
Américo Paredes is generally recognized as one of the seminal Mexican American scholars of the 20th century. He published a series of articles on the musical form of the corrido. Although the corrido was long thought to be of solely Mexican invention, Paredes demonstrated that, in fact, the corrido originated along the Texas-Mexican border. As an anthropology and English professor, Paredes had taught literature, folklore and creative writing to thousands of undergraduate and graduate students.
Schools: He was educated in the Brownsville school system.
Colleges: Brownsville Junior College; University of Texas at Austin
Sites of interest:
He began working at the Brownsville Herald upon high school graduation.
At age 20 Paredes' high school poetry begun to be published in La Prensa in San Antonio.
He co-founded UT Austin's Center for Mexican-American Studies.
The Americo Paredes Middle School is named in his honor.

John W. "Knocky" Parker ~ 2
Genres: Cowboy/Western, Jazz, Ragtime, Dixieland
Based in: Palmer
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Palmer Birthdate: 8/8/1918 Deathdate: 1986
Buried at: died in Los Angeles, CA
Dr. John Parker played piano with the Light Crust Doughboys and other Western Swing bands of the 1930s. He also later earned a doctorate in English and taught a hugely successful college course about American society as reflected in the performing arts. Parker performed and recorded fairly often and worked with Doc Evans, Omer Simeon, Tony Parenti and many others. As a leader he recorded for Texstar, Paradox, GHB, London, Jazzology and Euphonic. Parker also did many sessions for Audiophile one of which included a pioneering project in which he recorded every Scott Joplin rag.
Colleges: Parker taught English at Kentucky Wesleyan College.Later he taught at the University of South Florida.
Sites of interest:
Hogan Jazz Archive Special collections include notable donations from Knocky Parker at Tulane University.

Joseph "Joe" Patek ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Polka, Czech
Based in: Shiner
Instrument: accordion
Birthplace: Shiner Birthdate: 9/14/1907 Deathdate: 10/24/1987
Buried at: the Catholic cemetery in Shiner, Texas
Joseph "Joe" Patek was the leader of one of the best known Czech polka bands in Texas. One of his best known songs was "The Shiner Song," a newer version of an old Czech ballad, "Farewell To Prague." In 1995, "The Shiner Song" received special recognition from the Texas Polka Music Association as an "All Time Favorite Song." This was only the second time such an award had ever been given by the TPMA. The band recorded more than twenty-four 78-RPMs, more than twenty-four 45-speed records, and several tapes and LPs. One of the Pateks' most successful records was the "Beer Barrel Polka," which sold more than one million copies. Joe Patek is credited for establishing a different style of Texas polka with its harder sound and emphasis on swing. This style with its martial brass band arrangements differentiated the Pateks and Texas polka from the polka bands in other parts of the United States.

Glen Payne ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Christian
Based in: Royse City
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Royse City Birthdate: 10/20/1926 Deathdate: 10/15/1999
Buried at: Williamson Memorial Gardens, Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee
Glen Payne worked nearly 60 years in gospel music and was nominated for 11 Grammys. He was honored by the Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame, the Texas Music Hall of Fame, the Southern Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame and the Radio Music Hall of Fame. Payne sang in the Stamps-Ozark Quartet before leaving to join the Weatherfords. In 1963, Payne formed a trio to perform at evangelist Rex Humbard's Cathedral of Tomorrow in Akron, Ohio. George Younce joined the trio and it changed its name to the Cathedral Quartet. Payne and Younce became constants in the group that would feature 17 other members over the next 35 years on its way to becoming a pre-eminent gospel group.
Schools: Stamps Baxter Singing School in Dallas

Leon Roger Payne ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Alba
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Alba Birthdate: 6/15/1917 Deathdate: 9/11/1969
Buried at: Sunset Memorial Park in San Antonio
Leon Roger Payne's composition "Lifetime to Regret" established his reputation as a composer, and in 1949 he composed "I Love You Because" which became a top hit and a standard in country and western music. His "You've Still Got a Place in My Heart" was first recorded in 1951, but its greatest success came in the 1960s, when Dean Martin and many others recorded it. Payne made many appearances on both the "Louisiana Hayride" in Shreveport and the "Grand Ole Opry" in Nashville, Tennessee. Other well known singers who recorded Payne's songs were Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, and George Jones.
Schools: Texas School for the Blind (1924-1935)
Sites of interest:
In 1935, Leon started his radio career on KWET in Palestine, TX.
Payne was featured with Lone Star Buddies on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport and Dallas' Big D Jamboree in the early 1950s. (formerly located at Industrial Boulevard and Cadiz Street in Dallas)

John Peel ~ 2
Genres: Blues, Rock
Based in: London
Instrument: two turntables and a microphone
Birthplace: Heswell, England Birthdate: 8/30/1939 Deathdate: 10/26/2004
Buried at: St. Andrew Churchyard, Great Finborough, Suffolk, England
Although best known for his longtime career as a BBC Radio One DJ, John Peel began his radio career at WRR-AM in Dallas, Texas, where he DJ'ed the second hour of the rhythm and blues show Kat's Karavan, for which he received no pay. Based more on his British accent than his knowledge of the subject, Peel went on to become the official "Beatles correspondent" for Dallas' KLIF. During his seven years in Texas, Peel worked in the Dallas Cotton Exchange and as a storm insurance salesman. He also met President John F. Kennedy, and was present at the arraignment and shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. His UK based radio shows included The Perfumed Garden on Radio London, followed by his first show for BBC's Radio 1, called Top Gear, and the live in-studio performances known as the Peel Sessions. Peel became well-known around the world as a tastemaker, regularly featuring new artists on his radio programmes, many of whom went on to achieve national and international success.
Schools: Shrewsbury School

William Evander Penn
Genres: Christian
Based in: Jefferson
Instrument: Baptist evangelist
Birthplace: Rutherford County, TN Birthdate: 8/11/1832 Deathdate: 4/29/1895
William Evander Penn - Baptist evangelist - moved with his family from Tennessee to Jefferson, Texas in January 1866, where he opened a law office. The Penns joined the Baptist Church at Jefferson, and later Penn was ordained a deacon. He wrote hymns and published "Harvest Bells," a hymnal with J. M. Hunt in 1881. A second edition was published in 1886, and H. M. Lincoln and Penn published a third in 1887. Penn has been called the "Texas Evangelist," but he also led revivals in other states and in Scotland and England.

Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins
Genres: Blues
Based in: Austin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Belzoni, MI Birthdate: 4/7/1913 Deathdate: 3/21/2011
Pinetop Perkins was one of the last great Mississippi bluesmen still performing into the 21st century. He began playing blues in the late 1920s, and was widely regarded as one of the best – and certainly most enduring – blues pianists. He forged a style that influenced three generations of piano players, and continues to be the yardstick by which great blues pianists are measured. Born Willie Perkins in Belzoni, Mississippi in 1913, Pinetop started out playing guitar and piano at house parties and honky-tonks, but dropped the guitar in the 1940s after sustaining a serious injury in his left arm. He worked primarily in the Mississippi Delta throughout the 1930s and ‘40s, spending three years with Sonny Boy Williamson on the King Biscuit Time radio show on KFFA in Helena, Arkansas. After briefly working with B.B. King in Memphis, Perkins barnstormed the South with Earl Hooker during the early '50s. The pair completed a session for Sam Phillips' famous Sun Records in 1953. It was at this session that he recorded his version of "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie," a song originally written and recorded by pianist Clarence "Pinetop" Smith – the influential blues pianist who had died from a gunshot wound at age 24 in 1929. Although referred to as "Pinetop" when he played on King Biscuit in the '40s, it was his sensational version of this song that secured his lifelong nickname. Although he has enjoyed success as a solo artist since the 1980s, Pinetop is known for holding down the piano chair in the great Muddy Waters Band for twelve years during the pinnacle of Muddy's career. Pinetop's career didn't blossom as a headliner until his eighth decade – a phenomenon that resulted in the release of 15 solo records in 15 years, beginning in 1992. Pinetop also received a National Heritage Fellowship in 2000 from the National Endowment of the Arts. He has been featured in the documentary Piano Blues, directed by Clint Eastwood for the Martin Scorsese PBS series, The Blues. In addition, he continued to win the Blues Music Award for best blues piano every year until 2003, when he was retired from the running and the award was renamed the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year. Pinetop Perkins and Friends, released on Telarc in the summer of 2008, positioned Pinetop in the midst of several high-profile guests – all of whom have been influenced by his music in some way or another over the past several decades. Included on Pinetop's list of Friends were such luminaries as Eric Clapton, B.B. King and Jimmy Vaughan. Most recently, Pinetop received a Grammy in 2010 for his work with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith for Best Traditional Blues CD for Joined at the Hip with Telarc Records.

Oscar Perry ~ 2
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Brazora County Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: 8/4/2004
Oscar Perry made his debut recording in 1957, following it with releases on a variety of labels until landing on Huey P. Meaux's Crazy Cajun in the early '70s. In 1973 Oscar Perry scored a R&B top five hit as a songwriter when Bobby "Blue" Bland recorded his "This Time I'm Gone for Good". Bland cut several more Perry tunes over the next few years, including "When You Come to the End of Your Road", "Country Fool From the Sticks" and "If I Weren't a Gambler."

Ray August Peterson ~ 2
Genres: Pop, Rockabilly
Based in: Denton
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Denton Birthdate: 4/23/1939 Deathdate: 1/25/2005
Vocalist Ray Peterson scored a string of pop hits with everything from "heart wrenching" songs like "Tell Laura I Love Her" and the easygoing folk of "Corinna, Corinna" to the dramatic Roy Orbison influenced, "I Could Have Loved Her So Well." After a near-fatal bout of poliomyelitis as a child, Petterson began to work in Texas clubs before moving to Los Angeles, where he met longtime manager Stan Shulman. Peterson's remarkable 4-1/2 octave voice intrigued executives at RCA Records and they signed the singer in 1957. Despite the lack of interest in Ray's early records, he remained with RCA, finally scoring his first hit in 1959 with his seventh single, a gentle ballad by veteran Baker Knight,"The Wonder Of You," (#25 Billboard Pop Singles) which reached the Top 30 in both the U.S. and the U.K. Elvis Presley was so impressed with the song, and Ray's heartwarming rendition, he called him and asked if he could record the song too. "Goodnight My Love" and "Tell Laura I Love Her" followed. Later, Paterson left RCA and formed his own Dune Records, securing a young Phil Spector to produce his first Dunes Records album. In late 1964, Ray signed with MGM Records and cut a number of singles. In 1969 he did "Together" for Reprise and then moved to UNI for three more records. He also recorded a single for Decca in 1971, and the album "Peterson Country," which featured straight country material.

George Petmecky
Genres: Classical
Based in: New Braunfels
Instrument: Unavailable
Birthplace: New Braunfels Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: Unavailable

Gottfried Joseph Petmecky ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Classical, German
Based in: New Braunfels
Instrument: composer
Birthplace: Hradisch, Bohemia, Austria Birthdate: 8/1/1809 Deathdate: 5/1871
Gottfried Joseph Petmecky wrote works for male chorus in the 1850s. The first singing society in Texas was organized at New Braunfels in March 1850. It was called the "Germania." Some of its first directors were Petmecky, C.F. Blum, Dr Adolf Douai, and H. Guenther.

Esther Mae "Little Esther" Phillips
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Galveston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Galveston Birthdate: 12/23/1935 Deathdate: 8/7/1984
Buried at: Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California
Billed as "Little Esther," sounding way beyond her years, she recorded "Double Crossing Blues" with Johnny Otis, selling 400,000 copies before her 14th birthday. Otis became the youngest R&B artist ever to reach number 1 on the national charts. She recorded for the Federal, Decca, Savoy, Lenox, and Atlantic record labels. After Dinah Washington's untimely death, Phillips became the greatest female blues singer of her time. Aretha Franklin so admired Phillips' that when the "Queen of Soul" was awarded a Grammy for her "Young, Gifted and Black" album, she graciously gave her Grammy to Esther Phillips, saying that she deserved it more.
Schools: Phillips dropped out of school to join Johnny Otis's touring troupe.

Washington Phillips ~ 2
Genres: Christian, Gospel
Based in: Teague
Instrument: vocals, dolceola
Birthplace: NA Birthdate: 1/11/1880 Deathdate: 9/20/1954
Buried at: Cotton Gin Cemetery, near Teague
Washington Phillips is known for unique gospel songs that influenced a generation of African-American gospel singers. He managed to become one of the best-selling soloists in the period from 1927 to 1929. Washington had a unique sound that led to his music being described as "gentle" and "ethereal." His songs usually included moral themes.

Edwin "Buster" Pickens
Genres: Blues
Based in: Hempstead
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Hempstead Birthdate: 6/3/1916 Deathdate: 11/24/1964
Edwin Pickens developed a downhome blues piano style. In Houston, he made his first record supporting the vocals of Alger "Texas" Alexander along with guitarist Leon Benton. He also played regularly with Lightnin' Hopkins and appeared as accompanist on some of that artist's records for Prestige/Bluesville. His 1960 solo album demonstrated deep knowledge of the Texas blues style. The possibilities of a successful new career were tragically curtailed when he was murdered a few years later.

Joseph Eugene Pillot
Genres: Christian, Drama
Based in: Houston
Instrument: piano, vocals, songwriter
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 2/25/1886 Deathdate: 6/4/1966
Eugene Joseph Pillot gave up studying law to become a successful writer of one-act plays, many of which were widely produced on stage, radio, and television. His best known play, "Two Crooks and a Lady" (1918), was first produced at Harvard and has been called a model of construction; it has been republished and produced many times.
Colleges: the University of Texas; Cornell University; New York School of Fine and Applied Arts

Paul Amadeus Pisk
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria Birthdate: 5/16/1893 Deathdate: 1/12/1990
Dr. Paul Amadeus Pisk was an internationally renowned composer, he completed thirty-six opuses between 1920 and 1936. The String Quartet, Op. 8, was awarded the Composition Prize of the City of Vienna in 1925. Twenty-four critically acclaimed works were premiered in Europe. He also published operatic, orchestral, ballet, folk dances, ballads, and works for piano and chorus. Pisk studied composition with Arnold Schoenberg and served as secretary of Schoenberg's important Society for Private Musical Performances (1918-21). He was also closely associated with the other composers of the Second Viennese School (Alban Berg and Anton Webern), and his compositions show their influence. Pisk was a founding member of the Austrian section of the International Society for Contemporary Music and served as its secretary (1922-34). He was director of the music department of the Volkshochschule in Vienna (1922-34) and taught theory at the New Vienna Conservatory (1925-26) and the Austro-American Conservatory near Salzburg (1931-33). Dr. Pisk immigrated to the United States in 1936. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1951, teaching until his retirement in 1963. Professor Pisk was also was a music critic; he co-authored "A History of Music and Musical Style."
Colleges: He received a PhD from the University of Vienna in 1916; He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1951, teaching until his retirement in 1963.

Portia Marshall Washington Pittman
Genres: Classical
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Tuskegee, AL Birthdate: 6/6/1883 Deathdate: 2/26/1978
Portia Washington Pittman, musician and teacher, was the only daughter of Booker T. and Fanny (Smith) Washington. Her father was the founder of Tuskegee Institute. In New England she studied piano and received a degree from the Bradford Academy (now Bradford Junior College) in 1905, the first African American to obtain a degree from that institution. Portia began teaching music at Booker T. Washington High School, in Dallas, TX in 1925. A 600-voice choir from Booker T. Washington High School, under Portia's direction, sang a medley of popular and spiritual songs. It was the first time in history that a black high school group had appeared on the National Education Association program. She also oversaw the establishment of the Booker T. Washington Foundation to provide academic scholarships for black students. Although Portia suffered financial and health problems during the last years of her life, she remained interested in the ongoing effort of black Americans to acquire their civil rights.

Christoph Plagge
Genres: Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: Unavailable
Christoph Plagge was a music teacher for San Antonio's public schools in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Schools: San Antonio public schools

Jim Pomeroy ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: art and sound structures
Based in: Arlington
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Reading, PA Birthdate: 1945 Deathdate: 1992
Jim Pomeroy was an innovative artist/performer/teacher/scholar. He was considered a leader in defining the realm of conceptual art during the 1970s and 80s, and worked in a wide variety of media, including photography, performance, installations, computer graphics, video art, and stereography. Pomeroy performed and exhibited his work all over the world and was the recipient of many honors, awards, and fellowships. At the time of his death, he was teaching video and new genres at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Arnold Joseph "Groovey Joe" Poovey ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country, Rockabilly
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar, vocals, radio deejay, songwriter
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 5/10/1941 Deathdate: 10/6/1998
Buried at: Grove Hill Memorial Park in Dallas
Poovey got his start in show business at age of 12. By 1953, he was fronting his own country band, the Hillbilly Boys, and playing the Big D Jamboree. After 1960, Poovey reverted to country music and began writing for musicians such as George Jones, Wynn Stewart, and Jimmy Patton. In 1966, now as Johnny Dallas, Poovey reached the Billboard chart with the hit "Heart Full of Love."
Sites of interest:
Poovey was born at St. Paul Hospital in Dallas. (formerly on Bryan Street)

Marjorie Merriweather Post ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Classical
Based in: Post
Instrument: patron
Birthplace: Springfield, Il Birthdate: 1887 Deathdate: 1973
Historical Marker Text: Daughter of C. W. Post. Lived in Texas 1888-1891. Had part with father in locating colony here 1906; rescued local economy by aid after 1917 drought. Co-donor, site for Post Recreation Center. Donor, South Plains Council Boy Scouts Camp; books and paintings to South Plains College. A leading philanthropist in arts and humanities. Benefactress, C. W. Post College, Long Island University; founder National Symphony Orchestra's "Music for Young America." Recipient of 30 citations for service, 3 honorary degrees, 6 foreign decorations. A woman endowed with true virtues of generosity and compassion.
Sites of interest:
Historical Marker located on the Courthouse square, Main Street, Post

Jesse Powell
Genres: Jazz
Based in:
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: NA Birthdate: 2/27/1924 Deathdate: 10/19/1982
Texas tenor saxophonist Jesse Powell worked with Hot Lips Page, Louis Armstrong, and Luis Russell. He joined Count Basie's Band in 1946, replacing the great sax player Illinois Jacquet. He also worked with Champion Jack Dupree and continued to play jazz, touring France with Howard McGee in 1948. His work can be seen on the classic single "Mr. Lee," by the Bobbettes, where he takes the tenor solo. In his later years, he worked in Harlem and made only a few recordings.

William Everett "Billy" Preston ~ 2
Genres: Christian, R&B, Rock
Based in: Houston
Instrument: keyboards, vocals
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 9/2/1946 Deathdate: 6/6/2006
At age ten Billy Preston was playing keyboards with gospel diva Mahalia Jackson, at twelve he was featured in the film St. Louis Blues playing W.C. Handy. During the early 1960s he toured with Little Richard and Ray Charles, recorded for Vee-Jay and Capitol Records and was a regular on the ABC TV series "Shindig!" In 1969 a friendship with George Harrison lead to Billy Preston's appearance on the The Beatles "Let It Be" album and film. As a session musician, Preston worked on Aretha Franklin's "Young, Gifted and Black," Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" and Sly and Family Stone's "There's a Riot Goin' On," the Rolling Stones' "Exile On Main Street" and "Sticky Fingers" and solo records for three of Beatles (John, George and Ringo), among others. In the 1970s Preston hit the charts with his own records "Outa-Space,"Will It Go 'Round In Circles," "Nothing From Nothing" and "With You I'm Born Again" and in 1975, was the first musical guest on "Saturday Night Live." He continued to perform and record throughout the '80s, '90s, and 2000s, always conveying a joy in his music that was close to his gospel roots. Preston fell into a coma caused by kidney failure in November of 2005; passing away on June 6, 2006.

Sammy Price ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Honey Grove
Instrument: piano, vocals
Birthplace: Honey Grove Birthdate: 10/6/1908 Deathdate: 4/14/1992
Sammy Price was one of the leading American blues and jazz pianists. He played in New York City at the Café Society, the Famous Door, and the Downbeat before Decca Records hired him as the house pianist. At Decca, he recorded with Trixie Smith and Sister Rosetta Thorpe, among others, and by the early 1940s he was leading his own "Texas Blusicians." He also became involved in the Philadelphia Jazz Society; he was instrumental in organizing the first African American administered Jazz Festival in Philadelphia. He also became heavily involved in politics and worked as a campaign supervisor for Democratic presidential candidates Hubert Humphrey and Jimmy Carter.

Wynne Pyle
Genres: Classical
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: NA Deathdate: NA
Wynne Pyle was a classical pianist from Dallas who performed extensively in Europe. She eventually returned the the United States and married Harold Bauer, artistic advisor to the board of trustees at the Manhattan School of Music. She recorded seveal piano rolls both classical and of her own compositions.
Colleges: North Texas College of Music

Henry Qualls
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Elmo Birthdate: 7/8/1934 Deathdate: 12/7/2003
Henry Qualls became a reluctant local Dallas celebrity after being discovered by Dallas Blues Society's Scottie Ferris and Chuck Nevitt. Through most of his adult life, music was an intermittent hobby as he earned his living ploughing fields and mowing the lawns of the Dallas elite. He recorded "Blues From Elmo, Texas" in 1994, issued by the Dallas Blues Society. Three of his songs appeared on "Blues Across America: The Dallas Scene" issued by the Cannonball label in 1997 and two songs were showcased on "Texas Blues Guitar Summit" released by JSP in 1998.

Rafael Ramirez Jr.
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Unavailable
Instrument: composer
Birthplace: MissionBirthdate:10/3/1917 Deathdate: 1976
Rafael Ramirez Jr. was born, October 3, 1917, in Mission, Texas, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. One of six children in a musical family, he played the violin and piano. In high school he played the saxophone. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ramirez and his brother, Oswaldo, joined the army. After being discharged from active duty due to an injury, Ramirez traveled to New York City to meet with the famous Colombian violinist Carlos Molina, who he had met while in Texas. Molina arranged a meeting with Tin Pan Alley publisher Jackie Robbins. Robbins was especially impressed with his songs and while in New York, Ramirez played with many Latin artists including Bobby Capo, Panchito Riset, Quinteto Celso Vega, Estela Reynolds and Pete Rivera and his Orchestra. The duo Los Panchos recorded a million selling singles of his song "Nuestro Amor" for Columbia Records. Returning to Texas, Ramirez and his brother Arnaldo founded ARV House of Falcon, one of the most important and influential Tejano music labels, issuing recordings by Lydia Mendoza, Chelo Silva "Queen of the Bolero", Los Alegres de Teran, Carlos Guzman, Rene y Rene, Marcelo y Aurelia, Noe Pro, Henry Zimmerle, La Mafia, and Roberto Pulido y Los Clasicos. Arnaldo also encouraged Ramirez to start the Orquesta Falcon to serve as a backing band both live and in the studio. In 1948, Ramirez went to Mexico City with Trio Los Panchos and met many more artists who would record his songs. In 1959, Ramirez produced his biggest hit "Lloraras, Lloraras", which was first recorded by the Hnas. Gongora, but it became an international hit when it was recorded in Mexico City by Javier Solis. Due to the song's popularity, Ramirez was honored two years in a row with the "Microfono de Oro" (Golden Microphone). In 1961, he was honored in Mexico when his song "Pero Que Bonito Fue" won first place in the First Mexican Song Festival in Bellas Artes. He then earned the title of "The Mexican Composer Outside of Mexico". His last international hit was "La Costumbre" recorded by Carlos Guzman, which garnered many honors in Texas and Mexico. Rafael Ramirez died in his hometown of Mission, Texas, in 1976, a victim of cancer. A street in his hometown bears his name. He published over 250 songs. He was inducted into the Tejano Music Hall of Fame as a composer, and years later his brother, Arnaldo, was also inducted as a pioneer in the recording field. Arnaldo was elected mayor of Mission for four terms, and was also a pioneer in the broadcasting business. His show "Farandula Falcon" was aired to over 200 cities in the US, as well as, cities in Mexico and Central America.

Gene Ramey ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Austin
Instrument: bass
Birthplace: Austin Birthdate: 4/4/1913 Deathdate: 12/8/1984
Gene Ramey learned to play string bass from the famous Kansas City bassist Walter Page. He worked with George Corley's Royal Aces, Oliver Todd's band, Margaret "Countess" Johnson, Jay McShann and McShann's alto sax player, Charlie Parker. Ramey moved to New York in 1944 and began playing with many prominent bandleaders including Luis Russell, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, John Hardee, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Miles Davis, Dizzie Gillespie, Oran "Hot Lips" Page, Tiny Grimes, Lester Young, and many others into the 1970s.
Schools: Anderson High School in Austin

Buck Ramsey ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Amarillo
Instrument: vocals, poet, guitar
Birthplace: Lubbock County Birthdate: 1/9/1938 Deathdate: 1/3/1998
Cowboy poet/singer/songwriter Buck Ramsey won the National Endowment for the Arts' prestigious National Heritage Fellowship in 1995. He also received the National Cowboy Hall of Fame's Golden Spur Award. His poetry and performances of traditional cowboy songs have been featured at the Smithsonian Institution, the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum and college campuses throughout the United States. Although Ramsey began writing verse as a child, he worked seriously at the craft only after he was thrown from a horse in the early 1960s. The accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. He worked as a news-paper reporter and free-lance writer.

Robert James "Buddy" Ray
Genres: Cowboy/Western, Jazz
Based in:
Instrument: violin
Birthplace: Waco Birthdate: 11/30/1919 Deathdate: 09/03/2003
Robert James "Buddy" Ray was a legendary jazz violinist and pioneer of western swing music. He played with such names as Bob Wills; Ray Price; Nat King Cole; Sami Smith; Jimmy Wakely; and countless others. Ray made hundreds of recordings and by 1940, he was one of the top young fiddlers in Texas appearing with swing groups like Texas Wanderers and the Village Boys. He was an early proponent of the electric violin and was among the first to record with the instrument. After moving to Waskom, Texas late in his life, he was inducted into the Western Swing Society Hall of Fame in Seattle, Washington.

Dewey Redman ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres:
Jazz
Based in:
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 5/17/1931 Deathdate: 9/2/2006
One of the last great "Texas Tenors," Dewey Redman grew up in Fort Worth, Texas across the street from a jazz club where he could hear the music of Duke Ellington, Fats Waller or Louis Jordan. He began studying clarinet at 13, learning from a music teacher named Goodman who held lessons in Mount Olive Baptist Church and playing in the old I.M. Terrell High School marching band, a group that also included Ornette Coleman, Charles Moffett and Prince Lasha. Redman received a master's degree in education from North Texas State University and taught public school from 1956-1959. Redman then moved to San Francisco and worked as a freelance musician encountering both Pharoh Sanders and John Coltrane. In 1967 he joined high school bandmate Ornette Coleman's Quartet, staying until 1974. Redman was also a part of Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra and worked with Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny. He released more than a dozen albums under his own name, recorded with his son Joshua, and later joined Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell in the Ornette Coleman reunion band Old and New Dreams. A week before his death, The Dewey Redman quartet including Frank Kimbrough, John Menegon and Tani Tabaal performed at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in New York.
Schools: I. M. Terrell High School (historical marker at 1411 East 18th Street, Fort Worth)
Colleges: Prairie View A&M
North Texas State University
Sites of interest: Dewey Redman debuted at Mount Olive Baptist Church, 2951 Evans Avenue in Fort Worth.

William "Willie" Reed
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: NA Birthdate: unavailable Deathdate: NA
Willie Reed was one of the many African American Dallas area musicians - in addition to Blind Lemon Jefferson - that recorded blues songs during the heyday of the Central Tracks/Deep Ellum district.

James Travis "Jim" Reeves ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country
Based in: Galloway
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Galloway Birthdate: 8/20/1923 Deathdate: 7/31/1964
Buried at: Jim Reeves Memorial Park, Galloway, Jefferson County, Texas
Gentleman Jim Reeves was perhaps the biggest male star to emerge from the Nashville Sound. "Mexican Joe" brought him national popularity and went to number one in 1953. From 1955 through 1969, Reeves consistently charted in the country and pop charts. Lush country-pop singles like "Four Walls" and "He'll Have To Go" defined both his style and an entire era of country music.
Schools: Carthage High School at #1 Bulldog Drive, Carthage, TX 75633
Colleges: He attended the University of Texas and played for the university baseball team.
Sites of interest:
Historical Grave Marker located at Jim Reeves Memorial Park, US 79, 3 miles east of Carthage
Jim Reeves Monument and Burial Site in Carthage, Texas
Jim Reeves Monument and Burial Site
Texas Country Music Hall of Fame at 300 West Panola Street in Carthage, Texas
Annual event:
Annual Jim Reeves Jamboree

Claire Raphael Reis
Genres: Classical
Based in: Brownsville
Instrument: educator, promoter
Birthplace: Brownsville Birthdate: 8/4/1888 Deathdate: 4/11/1978
Claire Raphael Reis studied music under Bertha Fiering Tapper at the Institute of Musical Art. From 1912 to 1922 she worked to found the People's Music League of the People's Institute in New York, an organization that provided free concerts for immigrants and public schools. In 1923 Mrs. Reis and several contemporary composers established the League of Composers as an alternative to the International Composers' Guild. Reis also authored several articles, two catalogs for the International Society for Contemporary Music, and American Composers of Today. She helped found the Women's City Club and was a member of the advisory board for New York City of the Work Projects Administration. She served on the advisory committee of music for the 1939 New York World's Fair, and she was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the New York Committee on the Use of Leisure Time.

Max Reiter
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: conductor
Birthplace: Trieste, Italy Birthdate: 10/20/1905 Deathdate: 12/13/1950
Max Reiter, director of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, studied conducting with Bruno Walter and at the insistence of his father also earned a doctorate in law. Reiter's first public appearance was a concert in 1927 with the violinist Joseph Szigeti. In 1929 he became the first assistant conductor at the State Opera of Berlin. He conducted orchestras to glowing reviews in all the major cities of Italy, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, at Munich, Budapest, and Warsaw, and in Russia. In 1933, with the rise of Nazism, he left Germany and settled in Milan, where he became director of the orchestra. In 1937 in Merano he became acquainted with Richard Strauss, who arranged a symphonic suite of waltzes from the opera "Der Rosenkavalier" at Reiter's suggestion. The friendship between the two men later led Reiter to premiere many of Strauss' works with the San Antonio Symphony and in radio broadcasts. After the Fascists staged an anti-Semitic demonstration outside of the hall in Rome where he was conducting in August 1938, Reiter left for the United States. He found New York overcrowded with conductors, many of whom were European refugees, and was advised by the Steinway family to go to Texas, which he believed to be one of the areas least affected by the Great Depression; more Steinway pianos per capita had sold in Texas than in any other state. Reiter helped found the Symphony Society of San Antonio, acting as the orchestra's founding conductor and music director. Under his baton the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, which began with amateur players as well as professional musicians, grew and prospered. Reiter was invited to conduct with the NBC Orchestra, which was under the direction of Arturo Toscanini, and with the ABC Orchestra, among other distinguished appearances. The San Antonio children's concerts and the annual opera festival, with nationally acclaimed guest stars, were inaugurated under Reiter's leadership.

Nicola Rescigno ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Classical
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: conductor
Birthplace: New York, NYBirthdate: 5/16/1916 Deathdate: 8/4/2008
Conductor Nicola Rescigno founded both the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Dallas Opera, serving as music director and principal conductor of the latter from 1954 to 1990. While in Dallas, he conducted the US debuts of Montserrat Caballé, Plácido Domingo, Dame Joan Sutherland, Teresa Berganza, Magda Olivero, Jon Vickers, and stage director Franco Zeffirelli. Rescigno was born in New York City and studied in Italian boarding schools, earning a Doctorate from the University of Rome before returning to New York to study at Juilliard. He made his debut conducting La traviata, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1943. In 1953, he co-founded the Lyric Opera of Chicago, serving as music director from 1954 to 1956, and conducting the American debut of Maria Callas. In 1957, he co-founded the Dallas Opera as the the Dallas Civic Opera with Lawrence Kelly. Rescigno's close association with Maria Callas made national news as "Callas in Dallas" with a program of showpiece arias for the diva. Callas sang in several more Dallas productions and stars such as Renata Tebaldi, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, and José Carreras followed her to Texas helping to make the Dallas Civic Opera into more than a regional company and to put Dallas on the national and international artistic map in the 1950s. He made a belated debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1978 and also conducted at the San Francisco Opera and at most of the major opera houses of Italy, and made guest appearances at Glyndebourne, London, Paris, Vienna, Zurich, and Buenos Aires. Rescigno died at the age of 92 in a hospital in Viterbo, Italy, while awaiting surgery on a broken femur.

Cornelio Reyna
Genres: Tejano, Norteño, Conjunto
Based in:
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Natillas, Coahuila, México Birthdate: 9/16/1940 Deathdate: 1997
Buried at: Reynosa, Tamaulipas
Cornelio Reyna Cisneros, singer, songwriter, actor, and "godfather" of Norteño and Conjunto music met a fifteen-year-old accordion player named Ramon Ayala while playing at the Cadillac Bar in Reynosa. In 1961, Reyna and Ayala teamed up to form the group Los Relámpagos del Norte, with Reyna as the lead singer. Two years later, while playing at a cantina in Reynosa, Los Relámpagos were discovered by Paulino Bernal and were signed to his newly founded Bego Records. Within a very short time, Los Relámpagos became the premier conjunto attraction along both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Reyna and Ayala were first in bridging the musical gap between the Norteño and Conjunto styles. They featured the accordion and bajo-sexto as backing rhythms for corridos, polkas, and rancheras and recorded over twenty albums for Bego Records. Reyna also appeared in more than thirty movies and recorded over two dozen albums with his own group, Los Reyes del Norte.

Isham Emmanuel Reynolds
Genres: Christian
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: composer
Birthplace: Birmingham, AL Birthdate: 9/27/1879 Deathdate: 5/10/1949
Isham Emmanuel Reynolds was a church musician, teacher, composer, and conductor. The Southern School of Fine Arts in Houston awarded him an honorary doctor of music degree in 1942. In May 1915 he was asked to be director of the new music department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the first Baptist church music school. He composed two sacred music dramas, four cantatas, miscellaneous anthems, hymns, and Gospel songs, along with five textbooks.

Teddy "Cry Cry" Reynolds
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: 10/1998
Teddy Reynolds wrote and recorded his regional hit, "Cry, Cry Baby" which earned him the nickname Teddy "Cry Cry" Reynolds. He worked on projects with B. B. King, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Grady Gaines, Joe "Guitar" Hughes, Texas Johnny Brown and the Quality Blues Band, Buddy Ace, Sam Cook, Junior Parker, and many more.

Winston Henry "Hank" Riddle
Genres: Country, Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Mineola
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Wood County Birthdate: Deathdate: 6/12/2003
Winston Henry 'Hank' Riddle was a talented, but highly underrated songwriter who worked for Loretta Lynn and many others. He wrote the popular song "Until I Met You" which was recorded by Judy Rodman. Many of his songs were unreleased.

Nolan "Cowboy Slim" Rinehart
Genres: Country, Hillbilly
Based in: Gustine
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Comanche County Birthdate: 3/12/1911 Deathdate: 10/28/1948
Regarded by many as the "King of Border Radio," Rinehart made a career singing hillbilly songs and playing guitar on border radio station programs. Performing on XERA allowed Rinehart to gain national popularity. His notoriety increased so much that Hollywood movie producers invited him to audition for roles in the early westerns. In addition to having an influence on Big Bill Lister and others, Cowboy Slim Rinehart helped shape Ernest Tubb's career.

Woodward Maurice "Tex" Ritter ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Murvaul
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Murvaul, Panola County Birthdate: 1/12/1905 Deathdate: 1/2/1974
Buried at: Oak Bluff Memorial Park in Port Neches
Appearing in eighty-five movies, including seventy-eight westerns, Ritter was ranked among the top ten money-making stars in Hollywood for six years. Ritter used traditional folk songs in his movies rather than the modern "western" ditties; films such as "Arizona Frontier," "The Utah Trail" and "Roll Wagons Roll" earned Ritter a reputation for ambitious plots and vigorous action. Tex Ritter's successful recordings, which began with "Rye Whiskey" included "High Noon," "Boll Weevil," "Wayward Wind," "Hillbilly Heaven," and "You Are My Sunshine." In 1964, Tex Ritter was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame only the fifth person to be so honored. He also served as president of the Country Music Association and made an unsuccessful bid for the United States Senate seat from Tennessee.
Schools: Carthage Grade School (1911-1919) South Park High School in Beaumont (1921-1923, graduated with honors)
Colleges: University of Texas (1923-1928, studied pre-law, majored in government, political science and economics); University of Texas Law School (1927-1928)
Sites of interest:
Tex Ritter Museum and Statue at 300 West Panola Street in Carthage, Texas
Tex Ritter historical grave marker at Oak Bluff Memorial Park, 101 Block Street in Port Neches
Annual event:
Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Alice Bryan Roberts
Genres: Classical
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Talvotton County, GA Birthdate: 1870 Deathdate: 3/5/1952
Alice Bryan Roberts, arts patron and musician, developed an early appreciation of music from her mother, who was a piano teacher and player. She taught music in Dallas at St. Mary's College and Ursuline Academy. As she continued teaching and lecturing on music, Mrs. Roberts also determined to improve the level of music appreciation in Dallas. With a desire to expose the growing frontier city to some of the world's finest artists, she established and became president of the St. Cecilia Choral Society in 1895. Roberts established a tradition of musical and artistic culture in Dallas that remained well beyond her death.
Colleges: Cincinnati College of Music

Alexander Campbell "Eck" Robertson ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country
Based in: Amarillo
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Delaney, AR Birthdate: 11/20/1887 Deathdate: 2/15/1975
Buried at: The Westlawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Borger, Texas
Alexander "Eck" Robertson of Amarillo and Henry Gilliland of Altus, Oklahoma recorded what most country music historians consider the first commercial recordings of country music on June 30, 1922. The duets included the famous "Arkansas Traveler" and "Turkey in the Straw." He made history again by performing the songs on the radio as promotion. Robertson set the trend for future performers, as fourteen Central Texas fiddlers succeeded him by recording commercially in the years shortly following his first recording. He was used as background music in some early western movies leading to the claim that he was the first country artist to perform in a complete cowboy costume.
Colleges: Robertson left home at age sixteen.
Sites of interest:
Eck's home as of June 7th, 1968 was located at 1414 B East 10th in Amarillo.

James Battle "Texas Jim" Robertson ~ 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Batesville
Instrument: Unavailable
Birthplace: Batesville Birthdate: 2/7/1909 Deathdate: 11/11/1966
James Battle "Texas Jim" Robertson was born February 2, 1909 near Batesville, Texas. He recorded more than one hundred sides for RCA Victor and Bluebird during the 1940s but never released a 12" LP. When Robertson was not joined by his band, the Panhandle Punchers, sidemen on his recordings included Roy Wiggins, Andy Sanella, and Vaughn Horton on steel guitar, some with Chet Atkins on electric guitar, and probably Jethro Burns on mandolin. Robertson was reported dead by suicide in 1966 at age 57. One year later, a man named Clifford Kent begins performing in Fort Worth and claims to be Texas Jim Robertson. He tells of a fire in his New York city apartment and his wish to change his identity. Clifford Kent continues to perform in Fort Worth until the early 1970s.

Don Deadric Robey ~ 2
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: record label and nightclub executive
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 11/1/1903 Deathdate: 6/16/1975
Don Robey was a Houston entrepreneur who owned Duke, Peacock, Back Beat, and Songbird record labels, as well as several Houston night clubs and the Buffalo Booking Agency. A life-long passion for music led him into promotional work for ballroom dances in the Houston area. In the late 1930s, Robey spent three years in Los Angeles where he operated a nightclub called the Harlem Grill. Returning to Houston, Robey opened the famous Bronze Peacock Dinner club in 1945. Top jazz bands and orchestras were booked to play the club, which became a huge success. Robey is credited with substantially influencing the development of Texas blues.

James Charles "Jimmie" Rodgers ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country
Based in: Kerrville
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Meridian, MS Birthdate: 9/8/1897 Deathdate: 5/26/1933
Buried at: Oak Grove Cemetery, Meridian, Lauderdale County, Mississippi
Jimmie Rodgers is referred to as the "Father of Country Music" and was the first true country music star. Rodgers introduced a new form to commercial hillbilly music, the blue yodel, heard best in the "Blue Yodel" series of twelve songs. One of the series has remained one of the most popular of his songs and has become known as "T for Texas." He recorded 111 songs altogether and sold twenty million records between 1927 and 1933. Rodgers was made an honorary Texas Ranger in Austin in 1931. During the last few years of his life he made most of his appearances in Texas. In 1929 he built a $50,000 mansion, Blue Yodeler's Paradise, in Kerrville, but left there to live in a modest home in San Antonio in 1932.
Sites of interest:
Blue Yodeler's Paradise, 617 West Main in Kerrville
Annual event:
Living History Day

William (Bill) Edwin Rogers
Genres:
Big Band, Jazz
Based in: Port Arthur
Instrument: conductor
Birthplace: Port Arthur Birthdate: 5/7/1938 Deathdate: 5/12/2005
Bill Rogers became known as an accomplished conductor, composer, pianist and arranger. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1956 and went on to graduate from Lamar University. His lengthy career includes arranging and conducting for such legends as Jerry Lewis, Frank Sinatra, Shirley McLaine, Frank Sinatra Jr., Tony Bennett, Bill Cosby, Johnny Carson, Barbara Streisand, Bob Hope, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme.

Gene Roland ~ 2
Genres: Big Band, Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 9/15/1921 Deathdate: 8/11/1982
After leading a giant rehearsal band in 1950 that included Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, Roland wrote for Stan Kenton and Woody Herman, for whom he contributed 65 arrangements. He worked with artists including Lionel Hampton, Lucky Millinder, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Jimmy Giuffre, Herbie Steward, Woody Herman, Georgie Auld, Count Basie, Charlie Barnet, Claude Thornhill and Artie Shaw. He played such instruments as trumpet, trombone, mellophonium, soprano sax and piano. Roland had perfect pitch; he could write without the aid of a piano whenever the mood struck him.
Colleges: He attended North Texas State Teacher's College and received a degree in music.

Martin Rosales Jr.
Genres:
Tejano, Conjunto
Based in: Gonzales
Instrument: radio announcer
Birthplace: Gonzales Birthdate: 12/27/1929 Deathdate: 11/29/2004
Martin Rosales Jr. was known for bringing Spanish radio into the mainstream when English-speaking programming was most prevelant. Dubbed "La Voice de Oro," Rosales Jr. worked in both radio and television; he was broadcast in the many of the Southwestern states for more than 50 years. He became director of several radio stations in Texas, Mexico, California, and New Mexico, including: KGBS, KSOX, KGBT, KMBS, KIWW, KMXX, KTXN, KXEB, KBOR, and KMMM, AM and FM. His career led him to be one of the few Latino announcers that had the opportunity to introduce several U.S. Presidents including Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. Because of his efforts, he was inducted into the "Conjunto Hall of Fame" in San Benito on Sept. 5, 2004.
Schools: Gonzales High School
Colleges: Instituto Technologico de Estudios Superiores in Nuevo Leon, Mexico

John Rosenfield, Jr.
Genres: All genres
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: critic
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 4/5/1900 Deathdate: 11/26/1966
John Rosenfield Jr. became well known for being a journalist and critic for the arts and entertainment department of the Dallas Morning News. During his 41 years as drama and music critic for the newspaper, Rosenfield became the recognized cultural spokesman for the Southwest. With Rosenfield's influence with wealthy Dallas families, the Margo Jones Theatre was able to secure the financial backing that permitted its opening in June 1947. The Southwest Theatre Conference twice voted Rosenfield its annual award (in 1955 and 1960), and the Screen Directors Guild cited him for distinguished motion-picture criticism in 1956. In 1957 he gave up his administrative duties with the Dallas Morning News but continued to write reviews until June 1966.

promo photo of Calvin Russell

Calvert "Calvin" Russell
Genres: Country, Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar, vocalist
Birthplace: Austin Birthdate: 11/1/1948 Deathdate: 04/03/2011
Singer-songwriter Calvin Russell (born Calvert Russell Kosler) actually lived the hard-knock, hardscrabble life that he sang about in his folk songs. Born in Austin the son of a short-order cook and a waitress, Russell's early years were fraught with poverty and juvenile delinquency. He started writing songs as an 18-year-old serving time in Huntsville prison for forgery and marijuana possession. Russell battled drug addition, alcohol dependency and homelessness - as well as spending time in and out of American and Mexican jails - while toiling away in obscurity as a singer-songwriter in Austin dive bars until a serendipitous meeting with French record label owner Patrick Mathe at a South Austin backyard party resulted in one of Russell's songs becoming a bona fide hit in Europe. A contemporary of central Texas singer-songwriters including Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Blaze Foley, Jerry Jeff Walker and Billy Joe Shaver, Russell became an icon of Texas music throughout Western Europe during the early 1990s. In France, he and his band took home as much as $15,000, giving their fans their money's worth by playing three-hour sets without a break.

Douglas Wayne Sahm ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Blues, Country, Rock
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: guitar, steel guitar, piano, vocals
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 11/6/1941 Deathdate: 11/18/1999
Buried at: Sunset Memorial Park, Alamo Heights, Bexar County, Texas
In 1965, the Sir Douglas Quintet recorded a smash hit, which Doug Sahm wrote, entitled "She's About a Mover," which made the U.S. Top Twenty chart. Sahm also teamed up with Freddie Fender, Flaco Jimenez, and Augie Meyers to form the Texas Tornados. Sahm's career spanned over four decades and encompassed a variety of musical styles, including German polkas, blues, rock and Tejano.
Schools: Sam Houston High School in San Antonio
Sites of Interest: Doug Sahm Hill in Austin, Texas' Butler Park was named by the Austin City Council in 2008. The observation hill sits in Butler Park, the south of Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) and east of Lamar Boulevard. From the top of Doug Sahm Hill visitors see the entire 22 acre park, as well as Austin's growing skyline.

Lucie "Olga Samaroff" Hickenlooper 2
Genres: Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 8/8/1882 Deathdate: 5/17/1948
Buried at: she was cremated
By age ten, Lucie Hickenlooper had performed for musicians who recommended European training. With her Grandmother Grünewald, she moved to Paris in 1894. A year later she won a scholarship to the Paris Conservatoire, the first American woman to do so. She became internationally successful and was admired for "tonal color, warmth, and intellectual control." She performed with the New York Symphony Orchestra and with the Boston Symphony. She was the first American woman pianist to present all thirty-two Beethoven sonatas in recital. In 1925 Samaroff accepted a position at the newly founded Juilliard Graduate School, and for many years was the only American-born member of the piano faculty.

John T. Samples
Genres: Blues
Based in: Sweetwater
Instrument: harmonica, guitar
Birthplace: Kilgore Birthdate: 1/10/1898 Deathdate: 1/13/1998
John Samples was still a child when he was attracted to music at age five. Mostly, he taught himself to play guitar, piano, and French harp. He would take a wide-mouth beer glass and play his harp inside the glass for a different tune. A songster, John Samples played all kinds of music. He worked on his father's farm until he was 21, when he married and moved to Sweetwater, Texas. He secured a job there delivering medicine for a local drugstore. In 1927 he formed a small string band in Sweetwater, with a bass violin, a ukelele player and himself on guitar: they called themselves Poison, Antidote and Prevention. With the oil boom in Kilgore, he moved back there and farmed the family land, marrying for a second time. He was widely reputed for his guitar playing even though he was handicapped later by arthritis in his fingers.

David Schnaufer 2 3
Genres: Folk
Based in: Houston
Instrument: dulcimer
Birthplace: Hearne Birthdate: 9/28/1952 Deathdate: 8/23/2006
David Schnaufer revived the use of the dulcimer in country music and taught the instrument to many students, including Cyndi Lauper. He grew up in La Marque, playing both mouth harp and harmonica. He purchased a dulcimer in Austin, TX for $40 and soon began winning contests with the instument. He moved to Nashville in the 1980s and recorded with the Judds, Johnny Cash, Michael Martin Murphey, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Ann Savoy, Mark Knopfler, Chet Atkins, Albert Lee, Cyndi Lauper, Sandy Bull, Jack "Cowboy" Clement, Santiago Jimenez Jr. and Mark O'Connor. For several years he was a member of the country-rock band The Cactus Brothers. He also composed a classical concerto for the dulcimer called "Blackberry Winter." Along with Charley Pride, Bill Monroe and Norman Blake, Schnaufer was one of four musicians invited to play the 25th wedding anniversary of June and Johnny Cash. Schnaufer served as adjunct associate professor of dulcimer at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music from 1995 to 2006.

Julius Schuetze
Genres: Classical, German
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals, judge, German-language newspaper publisher
Birthplace: Dessau, Anhalt, Germany Birthdate: 3/29/1835 Deathdate: 4/23/1904
Julius Schuetze, judge and German-language newspaper publisher, immigrated from Germany in 1852. He lived in Meyersville, where he founded the Texas Sängerbund, a German singing society. In 1854 he moved to San Antonio where he taught speech and music. In 1858 he moved to Austin, where he taught at the German School. He tutored the children of governors Sam Houston and Pendleton Murrah.

Jerry Scoggins
Genres:
Bluegrass, Country
Based in: Mount Pleasant
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Mount Pleasant Birthdate: circa 1911 Deathdate: 12/7/2004
Jerry Scoggins was a country singer who performed in radio, movies, and television from the 1930s onward. He was noted for singing "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," the theme song to the 1960s sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies." He sang and played guitar on the Dallas radio in the early '30s and in 1936 formed his own group, the Cass County Kids, with John Dodson and Fred Martin. Ten years later, country music and cowboy legend Gene Autry changed their name to the Cass County Boys when he hired them to work on his Melody Ranch radio program. They appeared in 17 of his films and worked with him on radio and TV for 12 years, while also appearing with Bing Crosby on early '50s TV. In 1996 the Boys were inducted Western Music Hall of Fame. They also received a Golden Boot Award from the Motion Picture and Television Fund. In 1962 Scoggins was working as a stockbroker and singing on weekends when he was asked to sing the theme song for a new sitcom called "The Beverly Hillbillies." Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs played guitar and banjo while he sang the lyrics. "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" was a smash hit on the charts. In 1993, a retired Scoggins learned that 20th Century Fox was making a film version of the series. He called their offices only to be told that they'd had no idea he was still alive. The studio preferred Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson sing the theme song, but the director, Penelope Spheeris, insisted Scoggins get the job. And he did. He said that he had probably sung the ballad over 1,000 times since the original recording.

Clifford Scott
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: saxophone, vocals
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 6/21/1928 Deathdate: 4/19/1993
Clifford Scott was discovered by Lionel Hampton at age 14 and worked in Hampton's band from 1948-50. He also worked with the Rhythm and Blues bands of Roy Molton and Roy Brown, Jay McShann, Amos Milburn, Bill Doggett, and Ray Charles. He is most famous for the classic solo in Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk Part 2."

Kermit Scott
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Beaumont Birthdate: 11/31/1915 Deathdate: 2/2/2002
Kermit Scott, pioneer in bebop, worked with such artists as: Charlie Christian, Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines & His Orchestra and Billie Holiday. Scott never became famous, but he was held in high esteem by the pioneers of modern jazz with whom he jammed at fabled Harlem sessions in the early 1940s, and by generations of jazz musicians in the Bay Area, where he lived for decades. He recorded his first saxophone solo on Billie Holliday's "God Bless The Child" on her 1940 album "Falling in Love With Love."

Friedrich Hermann Seele 2 3
Genres: Chorus, German
Based in:
Instrument: composer
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: 19th century Deathdate: circa late 19th century
Friedrich Hermann Seele composed and arranged the music for Texas Fahrten, a song pageant.

Selena Quintanilla Perez 2 3 4
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Corpus Christi
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Lake Jackson Birthdate: 4/16/1971 Deathdate: 3/31/1995
Buried at: Seaside Memorial Cemetery, Corpus Christi, Nueces County
Selena Perez was known as "la Reina de la Onda Tejana" ("the Queen of Tejano music"). At the 1995 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, her band attracted 61,041 people, more than Clint Black, George Strait, Vince Gil, or Reba McIntire. Selena was the first Tejana to sell more than 300,000 albums. "Dreaming of You" became number one on the national Billboard Top 200 the week of its release. Before her death, the band sold more than 1.5 million records. The band was the first Tejano group to make Billboard's Latin Top 200 list of all-time best-selling records.
Schools: Oran M. Roberts Elementary School in Lake Jackson; West Oso Junior High in Corpus Christi
Colleges: Pacific Western University
Sites of interest:
The Selena Museum

James Earl "Pop" Sellers
Genres: Country, Radio Commercials and Programs
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: Sound Engineer
Birthplace: Frost Birthdate: 10/7/1891 Deathdate: 10/4/1980
Buried at: Restland Memorial Park at 9340 Walnut Street in Dallas, TX
J. E. "Pop" Sellers founded the first independent recording studio in Southwest, located in Downtown Dallas. He started Sellers Co. in 1924, marketing a new electronic device - the radio. On January 1, 1936, he made a broadcast transcription of the Rose Bowl game between SMU and Stanford University. Many musicians got their start at Sellers' studios, including the Stamps Quartet, the Light Crust Doughboys and Trini Lopez. Sellers also engineered country music legend Hank Thompson's first recording session, which produced the hits "Whoa Sailer" and "Swing Wide Your Gate of Love." In 1974, the 50th anniversary of Sellers Co., the Association of Broadcasting Executives of Texas (ABET) honored Sellers with the distinguished "Betty" award, recognizing that he "played an important part in the growth of Dallas as a leading production and agency center.
Colleges: University of Texas at Austin, Bachelor's degree in Physics and postgraduate course work in Physics.; Afterwards, he taught physics and mathematics and coached athletic teams at Baptist Academy and Burleson College.

Leon "Pappy" Selph
Genres: Country
Based in: Houston
Instrument: band leader, fiddle
Birthplace: Houston (First Ward, Texas) Birthdate: 4/7/1914 Deathdate: 1/8/1999
Buried at: Houston
"Pappy" Selph, considered one of the "founding fathers" of honky-tonk music, was a noted Houston fiddler and musician who began playing the fiddle at the age of seven. He started playing with the Houston Youth Symphony when he was fourteen, and he joined W. Lee O'Daniel's Light Crust Doughboys in 1931, when he was only seventeen. Selph joined Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, then moved back to Houston and formed his own band, the Blue Ridge Playboys. The group, which included legendary musicians Floyd Tillman, Moon Mullican, and Ted Daffon, signed with Columbia Records in 1938.
Schools: He took music lessons at Columbia University satellite in the Esperson Building in Houston.

Robert Shaw 2 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Stafford
Instrument: paino, vocals
Birthplace: Stafford Birthdate: 8/9/1908 Deathdate: 5/16/1985
Buried at: Capital Memorial Gardens in Austin
Robert Shaw was a member of musicians who played hot blues piano in barrelhouses and brothels along the Santa Fe R.R. Line near Houston. Their "Santa Fe" style was characterized by a heavy touch on the keyboard, grinding out stomping, bawdy tunes. In Austin, he took up permanent residence, opened a barbecue business and later owned and operated a grocery store called the Stop and Swat. He was named businessman of the year in Austin in 1962. As one of the few remaining "virtuoso" barrelhouse blues pianists, Shaw continued to perform stateside and in Europe intermittently during the 1970s, turning up unexpectedly in California in 1981 to help Strachwitz celebrate Arhoolie's 20th anniversary.

Juan Antonio Sifuentes Sr.
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Alice
Instrument: vocals, guitar, bass
Birthplace: Alice Birthdate: 10/20/1939 Deathdate: 4/4/1986
During his career, Juan Antonio Sifuentes Sr. wrote over 150 songs that were recorded by him and other groups. Some of his greatest hits include, "Nunca Te Equivocaste," "Que Mueras Como Yo" and "Amor Chiquitito." Juan toured with the group El Conjunto de Paulino Bernal from the late fifties through the seventies packing arenas and coliseums wherever they went. Sifuentes Sr. went on to make music history by becoming the first "Outside Artist" to record with what was known as "The World's Greatest Mariachi," El Mariachi Vargas from Mexico. For his lifetime achievements and contributions to the music industry, Sifuentes Sr. was inducted into The Tejano Roots Hall of Fame Muesuem and was also nominated in 1993 for Musical Composer of the year by TTMA in San Antonio.

Consuelo "Chelo" Silva 2 3 4
Genres: Tejano, Boleros
Based in: Brownsville
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Brownsville Birthdate: 8/25/1922 Deathdate: 4/2/1988
Buried at: Chelo died in Corpus Christi.
Consuelo "Chelo" Silva was widely considered "La Reina de los Boleros." By 1939, she was well known in her native city of Brownsville and was invited to sing on a local radio show hosted by the then relatively unknown Américo Paredes. She became the most popular Texas-Mexican female singer along the border during the second half of the decade. The Mexican label, Peerless, distributed her records all over México, helping make Silva an international star. She eventually recorded more than seventy titles for Discos Falcon. A series of major hits included: "Está Sellado," "Sabes de Qué Tengo Ganas," "Amor Aventurero," and "Soy Bohemia."
Sites of interest:
She sang at the Continental Club in Brownsville.

Tumpie Lee "Blackie" Simmons
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Birthdate: Deathdate: 12/21/1966
Fiddle player Tumpie Lee "Blackie" Simmons organized the Western Swing band, Blackie Simmons and the Blue Jackets. The band was short lived, but played an important role in the development of several prominent musical careers, as well as providing entertainment at the historic Fort Worth Frontier Centennial exposition, alongside such notables as Billy Rose, Paul Whiteman, and Sally Rand. The band's membership was fluid, but the primary lineup included: Blackie Simmons; his brother Luther Wayne "Brownie" Simmons on standup bass; future member of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, Jesse Ashlock on bass fiddle; future member of the Light Crust Doughboys, John W. "Knocky" Parker on piano; Bruce Pierce on guitar; Sam Graves on tenor banjo and Albert Brant, whose instrument is unknown.

Frankie Lee Sims
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: New Orleans, LA Birthdate: 4/30/1917 Deathdate: 5/10/1970
Buried at: Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, Dallas
Frankie Lee Sims is considered to be a prominent member of the "Texas country blues movement" of the 1940s and 1950s. Frankie Lee developed a twangy, ringing electric guitar style that was irresistible on fast numbers and stung hard on the downbeat stuff. He was a first cousin to Lightnin' Hopkins and, reportedly, also was Texas Alexander's cousin. .After the War, he settled in the Dallas area, where he frequently worked with T-Bone Walker, Smokey Hogg, and others from the late 1940s well into the 1950s. Sims made his first recording in 1948 for Herb Rippa's Dallas-based Blue Bonnet Records. Sims best commercial success came when he cut "Lucy Mae Blues." Frankie Sims displayed his rocking style on numerous cuts including "Walking with Frankie" and "She Likes to Boogie Real Low."
Colleges: Wiley College
Sites of interest:
He taught elementary school in Palestine, Texas.

John Lang Sinclair 2 3 4
Genres: College Band
Based in: Austin
Instrument: lyrics
Birthplace: Bexar County Birthdate: 11/26/1879 Deathdate: 1/4/1947
Buried at: Alamo Masonic Cemtery in San Antonio
From Historical Marker Text: The first University of Texas band was formed in 1900 and Sinclair joined it as well as the Glee Club. The student head of the Glee Club, Lewis Johnson, urged Sinclair to write a school song in 1903. His first attempt was "The Jolly Students of Varsity." His second, to the tune of "I've Been Working on The Railroad," was "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You." UT President William L. Prather had often heard Robert E. Lee admonish his students, "The Eyes of The South Are Upon You." Prather altered the saying for use at UT, and Sinclair borrowed it for his song. The song was so popular throughout the nation that many confused it with the official state song of Texas.
Colleges: In 1899, John became University of Texas student.
Sites of interest:
Historic Marker located at Alamo Masonic Cemtery - 1700 East Commerce Street in San Antonio

"The Eyes of Texas" was first performed at Austin's Hancock Opera House (built by Frederick Ernst Ruffini).
UT school song located at The Center for American History is part of the exhibit "We're Texas: UT Student Traditions Past and Present".

C. T. Sisson
Genres: Classical, Polka
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Birthdate: Deathdate: Unavailable
CT Sisson was a composer whose works included "The Dallas Polka" which was published in Austin in 1876. Other American 19th-century sheet music under copyright deposits between 1870-1885 include "Sisson's Polka" (1871).

Glynn "Glenn Wells" Stilwell Jr.
Genres: Rock
Based in: Port Arthur
Instrument: piano, guitar, songwriter
Birthplace:Woodville Birthdate: 11/29/1943 Deathdate: 8/11/2006
Glynn Stilwell Jr. adopted the stage name Glenn Wells and recorded his first music at age 14 or 15. His band, The Blends, topped the charts in the early 1960s with songs such as "You're Mine Tonight," "Write Me A Letter" and "Lesson in Love." Glenn Wells was inducted into the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame at the Museum of the Gulf Coast.
Schools: Thomas Jefferson High School, Port Arthur
Colleges: University of Texas

Marion Try "Vernon Dalhart" Slaughter, II 2 3 4
Genres: Country
Based in: Jefferson
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Jefferson Birthdate: 4/6/1883 Deathdate: 9/14/1948
Buried at: Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport, Fairfield County, Connecticut
Marion Try Slaughter allegedly took his professional name from Vernon and Dalhart, the West Texas towns between which he punched cattle in the later 1890s. Dalhart is considered one of the first singing cowboys. In 1924, he recorded "The Prisoner's Song," which became the largest vocal hit up to that time in recording history. It was the first country record to sell 1 million copies. His lifetime recording sales are estimated at 70 million copies.
Colleges: Dallas Conservatory of Music
Sites of interest:
Slaughter launched his career at the Kahn Saloon. Historical marker at 123 West Austin Street in Jefferson.
Vernon was a paid soloist at the First Baptist Church in Dallas (located at 1707 San Jacinto).

Major Bill Smith
Genres: Pop, Rock, Rockabilly, Country, Soul, R&B
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: songwriter, producer, publisher
Birthplace: Checotah, OK Birthdate: 1/21/1922 Deathdate: 9/12/1994
Buried at: Greenwood Cemetery, Fort Worth, TX
After serving in the United States Army Air Corp, Major Bill Smith started work as a music writer in the 1950s, penning the Sonny James single "Twenty Feet of Muddy Water." Smith soon became a music producer publisher creating LeBill Music, Inc. and the label LeCam Records. He achieved hits in the 1960s with "Hey! Baby" by Bruce Channel , "Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula and "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. He helped launch the career of hundreds of artists including Delbert McClinton, Bobby Skel, T. Bone Walker, Mac Curtis and many more. Smith recorded and released over 3,000 songs during his career and earned 5 Gold Record Awards, 6 Platinum and Hey! Baby was included in the Multi-Platinum (12 mill.) Dirty Dancing Soundtrack. Aside from 35 years as President and CEO of one of the oldest independent music companies in the country, Major Bill contributed his energy, time and money to the Union Gospel Mission of Fort Worth where he preached and provided meals to the homeless of Fort Worth.
Colleges: Conner College

Carl "Tatti" Smith 2 3 4
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Marshall
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Marshall Birthdate: 1908 Deathdate: Unavailable
Carl "Tatti" Smith can be heard playing extensively in the film "Jazz." The classic 1936 Count Basie recording of "Oh! Lady Be Good" features tenorist Lester Young, but the unlikely but remarkable Carl Smith is actually the soloist who is heard throughout the voice-over discussion of Young. Ironically, Carl Smith made the influential date as a substitute for Oran "Hot Lips" Page, who also goes uncredited in the film. Carl played in a quintet - Jo Jones, Carl Smith, Count Basie, Oran Page, and Lester Young - billed as Jones-Smith Incorporated. They recorded "Shoe-shine Boy," "Lady Be Good," "Evenin'" and "Boogie Woogie." Promo photo of Elliott Smith

Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Rock
Based in: Duncanville
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Omaha, NE Birthdate: 8/6/1969 Deathdate: 10/21/2003
Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith was born in Nebraska where his mother was a singer and his father was a psychiatrist. Smith spent eight years of his childhood with his mother in Duncanville where he was physically and emotionally tormented by insensitive schoolmates. While in high school he moved to Portland, Oregon to live with his father. He studied piano and guitar as a youth and began composing songs when he was 13. He began calling himself Elliott in middle school, he later explained to a reporter, because Steve sounded too "jockish." After college, in 1992 Smith later joined a Portland punk band called Heatmiser. On the side, he recorded several solo albums - "Roman Candle" (1994), "Elliott Smith" (1995) and "Either/Or" (1997), all on independent labels - that won him a devoted underground following. Heatmiser released three albums and an EP, but it was Smith's self-recorded 1994 effort "Roman Candle" that first drew attention to Smith's spare, confessional songwriting and innovative guitar work. After Heatmiser disbanded in 1996, Smith's solo career took off - eventually landing the singer several songs on the soundtrack to Gus Van Sant's 1997 film "Good Will Hunting," including the Oscar-nominated "Miss Misery." Smith's songs often were compared with those of Alex Chilton, Nick Drake and the Beatles, his favorite band. Lyrically, they addressed dark subject matter such as drug addiction, troubled relationships and loneliness - though Smith tried to distance himself from the label of confessional songwriter. (partially excerpted from Associated Press obituary)
Schools: graduated in 1987 from Lincoln High School in Portland as a National Merit Finalist
Colleges: graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts

John T. "Funny Papa" Smith ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Blues
Based in:
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: East Texas Birthdate: 1890 Deathdate: 1940
Born in East Texas sometime between 1885 and 1890, "Funny Papa" Smith helped develop and popularize the Texas blues guitar style during the late 1920s and 1930s. Though Smith played in the Dallas area during the 1920s and 1930s, he began his recording career in 1930 for the Vocalion label in Chicago. He recorded nearly twenty songs during 1930 and 1931, including "Howling Wolf Blues, Parts One and Two," from which he took the psydeonym "The Howlin' Wolf." In the early 1930s, Smith killed a man in an argument reportedly over either a woman or a gambling disagreement. Following this incident, he spent the next few years in a Texas penitentiary. In 1935, he recorded some songs for the Vocalion label in Fort Worth, but they were never released. In 1939, Smith toured through Texas with blues singer "Texas" Alexander. Smith's exact whereabouts thereafter are not known, but he is believed to have died in 1940.

Henry Buster Smith
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Alsdorf
Instrument: saxophone, clarinet
Birthplace: Alsdorf Birthdate: 8/24/1904 Deathdate: 8/10/1991
Buried at: died in Dallas
Henry Buster Smith became a part of the Kansas City jazz scene of the 1930s. He helped create Count Basie's theme song, "One O'Clock Jump." He learned that playing loudly attracted more customers. His loudness later added to his style. The sound came from a heavier tenor saxophone reed in an alto saxophone to get a fatter sound which was labeled the Texas Sax Sound. He played with Oran (Hot Lips) Page's Blue Devils, Lester Young, Count Basie, Jimmy Rushing, and Emir (Bucket) Coleman. Buster Smith was an influential member of the jazz and blues community, continuing the heritage based in Texas. He taught Charlie Parker saxophone during the 1930s, instructed young Aaron (T-Bone) Walker, and aided an old friend from Dallas, Charles (Charlie) Christian. Buster Smith received incredible respect from all musicians.

Julia Frances Smith ~ 2
Genres: Classical
Based in: Denton
Instrument: composer, biographer
Birthplace: Denton Birthdate: 1911 Deathdate: 1989
Composer Julia Smith wrote "Waltz for 'Little Lulu'" in 1937 and her biography of Aaron Copland was published in 1955. Radio station KNTU's former home, Smith Hall, is rumored to have its own spirit. When Julia Smith, composer of the alma mater and former student, died, her home became a part of the university. The UNT Alma mater was composed by Julia Smith, who played saxophone in the Normal College Band in 1919, the alma mater was adopted in 1922.
Colleges: Univeristy of North Texas
Sites of interest:
University of North Texas Music Library Special Collection houses the Julia Smith Collection.

Robert Joseph Snow
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: Professor of Musicology
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Deathdate: 6/9/1998
Dr. Robert J. Snow, retired Professor of Musicology, was a member of the University of Texas at Austin School of Music faculty from 1976 to 1996. He had previously taught at the University of Notre Dame, Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Illinois. He held the B. Mus. and M.A. degrees from Indiana University and the Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Robert Snow, whose area of specialization was Renaissance liturgical music in the Spanish tradition, was a prolific researcher, writer and lecturer, and was a member of several learned societies. He was particularly well known for his research in archival sources and liturgical music from the Colonial period in Mexico and Guatemala.

Manuel Soliz
Genres: Tejano
Based in:
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Birthdate: Deathdate: 8/1/1970
Vocalist Manuel Soliz was influential in tejano music during his tenure with El Conjunto Bernal. Soliz was a member of El Conjunto Bernal - along with Eloy Bernal and Juan Siffuentes - for many years, eventually traveling to Vietnam with them to entertain Allied Forces. Later, Soliz left El Conjunto Bernal and formed his own group, Los Solistas. Soliz was joined in the new band by his younger brothers Jose Soliz and Juan Soliz along with accordian player Bobby Naranjo, vocalist Beto Martinez, and drummer Johnny Amaya. Tragically on August 1, 1970, while returning from a performance in Alice, TX at "La Villita," Manuel Soliz was the first of the famous trio to perish in a car accident.

Lota May Spell
Genres: Music history
Based in: Big Spring
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Big Spring Birthdate: 2/2/1885 Deathdate: 4/3/1972
Between 1905 and 1910 Lota May Spell performed as a pianist in Europe and Mexico, and in 1910 she became an instructor in the Whitis Preparatory School of Austin, Texas. She was teacher of music history and appreciation at the Texas School of Fine Arts, associate editor of "The Musicale" (1929-33), associate editor of the "Southwestern Musician" (1933-47), editor of "Texas Music News" (1946-48), and a contributor to numerous musical journals, including "The Etude." She was intensely interested in musical education, especially that of young children, and devoted much of her lifetime to developing training tools for teaching the young. Her research in Latin-American culture led to her book "Pioneer Printer Samuel Bangs in Mexico and Texas" (1963). Her correspondence, along with that of her husband, was given to the Latin American Collection of the University of Texas at Austin, and she was named a fellow of the Texas State Historical Association.

Victoria Regina Spivey 2 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 10/15/1906 Deathdate: 10/3/1976
Victoria Regina Spivey (known as Queen, Vicky, and Jane Lucas), blues singer and songwriter - known for her "mean blues with a hard and nasal voice" - made her first recording with her own composition "Black Snake Blues" on the Okeh label in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1926. Spivey's popularity increased because of her role in the 1929 King Vidor film "Hallelujah." She recorded or performed with Louis Armstrong, Henry Allen, Lee Collins, Lonnie Johnson, Memphis Minnie (Minnie Douglas Lawless), Bessie Smith, and Tampa Red (Hudson Whittaker). In 1970 BMI awarded her the Commendation of Excellence "for long and outstanding contribution to the many worlds of music."

Carl Tyler "Doc" Sprague ~ 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Bryan
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Manvel Birthdate: 05/10/1895 Deathdate: 02/21/1979
Carl T. "Doc" Sprague, one of America's first singing cowboy stars, the son of William T., Jr., and Libby Sprague, was born on May 10, 1895, near Manvel, Texas, in Brazoria County. As a youth, he worked in the family cattle business and, from his uncles, learned many of the old cowboy songs while sitting around the campfire. One song he recorded for the Victor Talking Machine Company, "When the Work's All Done This Fall," about a cowboy killed during a night stampede, became the first cowboy song to achieve hit status. As a result, the image of the singing cowboy was permanently established in American folk culture.He was the first artist to market himself in the image of a singing cowboy complete with chaps, hat, and guitar. His experience in ranching and cattle drives also made him among the first actual cowboys to record a cowboy song.

Terry Stafford
Genres: Country, Rock
Based in: Amarillo
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Hollis, OK Birthdate: 11/22/1941 Deathdate: 3/17/1996
Terry Stafford was born in Hollis, Oklahoma and raised in Amarillo. Stafford is best known for his 1964 number 3 hit "Suspicion." He had covered the Doc Pomus-Mort Shuman song (the same song Elvis Presley had recorded two years earlier) for his "Pot Luck" album. Stafford's voice uncannily resembled Elvis Presley's. Stafford, who recorded for Crusader Records, only had one other pop chart entry, the number 25 "I'll Touch A Star," in 1964. In the late '60s, he turned to professional songwriting and he continued writing songs into the '80s. Two of his best-known songs are Buck Owens' "Big in Vegas" and George Strait's "Amarillo by Morning." He also appeared in the film "Wild Wheels."

Virgil Oliver Stamps 2 3 4
Genres: Christian
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: gospel singer and promoter
Birthplace: Upshur County Birthdate: 9/18/1892 Deathdate: 8/19/1940
Buried at: Laurel Land Cemetery, Dallas, Texas
He founded the V. O. Stamps Music Company. J. R. Baxter, Jr. became associated with the Stamps and by 1936 the company was known as the Stamps-Baxter Music and Printing Company. At the time, it was said to be largest printing concern in the world devoted to Gospel music. Stamps was also known as the founder of the Stamps Quartet, a Gospel singing group broadcast in Dallas. The quartet ran all-night singing conventions in in locations such as the Cotton Bowl of the State Fair Park, and the Dallas Sportatorium. The 1939 event ran from 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., and was broadcast for nearly eight straight hours. At the time of his death, Stamps was supervising over a dozen quartets singing on various radio stations, was editing the monthly "Gospel Music News," and was president of the Texas State Singers Association. He eventually became a member of the Texas Music Hall of Fame, and is remembered for the tune "When the Saints Go Marching In," which he wrote in Dallas in 1937.
Schools: Upshur County Singing Convention in Shady Grove, Texas; In 1907, he attended a singing school run by R. M. Morgan.
Sites of interest:
Historical Marker of the Site of Stamps School on FM 1649 in the Stamps community, 10 miles East of Gilmer

John Mathias Steinfeldt
Genres: Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: piano, organ
Birthplace: near Hanover, Germany Birthdate: 10/18/1864 Deathdate: 2/28/1946
John Steinfeldt was known as the Dean of Texas Pianists. He moved to San Antonio in 1887, became assistant organist at San Fernando Cathedral, and was organist at the Jewish Temple Beth-El and the First Baptist Church. He became organist at St. Mary's Catholic Church. In October 1943, Mr. Steinfeldt received an Apostolic Benediction, a blessing from his Pope Pius XII for his half century of service as organist of St. Mary's Catholic Church. In 1920 he founded the San Antonio College of Music, where he taught piano and pipe organ; he also held classes in Eagle Pass and Laredo. He appeared several times as a soloist with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. Among his compositions were a number of concert pieces including "The Song of the River" and "Missa Maria Immaculata" or "Mass in G." Steinfeldt was awarded a prize by the Texas Federation of Music Clubs for his San Antonio-inspired composition "La Concepción."
Colleges: College of Music in Cincinnati
Sites of interest:
John M. Steinfeldt Family Papers, 1818-1993 at the University of Texas at San Antonio library archives.
He was organist at St. Mary's Catholic Church for more than fifty years. (located at 202 North Saint Marys Street in San Antonio)

Louis Charles "Buckwheat" Stevenson
Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar, vocals, songwriter
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 10/5/1949 Deathdate: 4/28/1988
Buried at: Laurel Land Memorial Park, Dallas, Dallas County
Best remembered for his 1973 smash "My Maria," Louis Charles "Buckwheat" Stevenson settled in the Austin area, where he became a frequent attraction on the city's thriving club circuit. Upon signing to RCA he was marketed primarily to country listeners. In 1996, Stevenson's "My Maria" became a country hit for the duo Brooks and Dunn.

Alton Meeks "Brother Al" Stricklin
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western, Jazz
Based in: Antioch
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Antioch Birthdate: 1/29/1908 Deathdate: 10/15/1986
Buried at: Rose Hill Cemetery in Cleburne
In 1930, Al Stricklin was the assistant program director at radio station KFJZ in Fort Worth. He gave Bob Wills a break when Wills and his band performed on KFJZ resulting in an endorsement from Aladdin Lamp Company. At the time, Stricklin did not take Wills seriously and actually thought the music was intended as comedy. Later, he became Wills' first piano player and helped make Wills' music famous. Alton was a jazz pianist and had never played in a western band. He set the style every other Wills pianist followed. Al Stricklin was in the Bob Wills band during what the pianist called the "glory years" of the band. Stricklin played in the first recording session for Columbia Records and in all of the other recording sessions Wills made through 1941. In all, Stricklin played piano on over 200 Wills recordings, including the recording that made Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys national musical figures, "New San Antonio Rose."
Schools: He graduated from Grandview High School in 1927. (located at 1009 Carroll Street)
Colleges: He spent two years at Weatherford Junior College.; Stricklin was a history major at Baylor University.
Sites of interest:
"Brother Al" Stricklin wrote the book "My Years with Bob Wills"
Alton played in a jazz band called the Unholy Three for dancing at the Knights of Pythias Hall while at Baylor.
Stricklin left Fort Worth briefly to become principal, sixth and seventh grade teacher in Island Grove, Texas.
He performed with the Hi Flyers in Fort Worth at the Cinderella Roof.

C.B. "Stubb" Stubblefield 2 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Lubbock; Austin
Instrument: restaurant owner
Birthplace: Navasota Birthdate: 2/2 Deathdate: 5/27/1995
Buried at: Lubbock
In 1968, Christopher B. "Stubbs" Stubblefield, Sr. opened the original 75 seat Stubb's Bar-B-Q Restaurant. Stubb's soon became the heart of an explosive music scene and was ground zero for musicians like Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Other famous musicians who would "play for their supper" included Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, Tom T. Hall, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Robert Cray, George Thorogood, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Linda Rondstadt and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Stubb's Bar-B-Q drew a diverse crowd until 1984, when the restaurateur ran into financial problems, shut down his East Broadway location, and followed his West Texas friends to Austin. There he served barbecue at the blues club, Antone's, before opening his own barbecue and live-music place at 4001 Interstate 35 North in 1986. The Austin location became a beloved and popular spot known for its Sunday blues jam, where anyone was welcome to get up and jam for a spell. In 1989 Stubb closed the Austin location. Later, with business partners, he started to market his sauce and other products, which are now sold nationwide through Stubb's Legendary Kitchen in Austin. On May 27, 1995, the day of his death, Stubb's partners bought the historic building at 801 Red River Street in Austin to continue his barbecue and live music tradition.
Sites of interest:
The Stubb Memorial, a bronze by Terry Allen is located just east of Broadway and Avenue A. c/o Lubbock Arts Alliance
The Bar-B-Que restaurant at 108 East Broadway in Lubbock has since been leveled.
Stubb's Bar-B-Que in Austin is located at 801 Red River Street.

Nathan Wright Stuckey II 2 3
Genres: Country
Based in: Cass County
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Cass County Birthdate: 12/17/1933 Deathdate: 8/24/1988
Nathan Wright Stuckey II was a radio announcer, writer and voice of many radio and television commercials, singer, songwriter, music publisher, record producer and actor. Stuckey established himself as a radio announcer, first at Radio Station KALT in Atlanta, Texas, then at Radio Station KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana. He became a hit writer after he composed Buck Owens' No.1 record, "Waitin' in Your Welfare Line" in 1965. Following this smash, Stuckey wrote and recorded "Sweet Thang" on Paula Records in 1966, which started a new career direction. With the direction of Felton Jarvis, and later Jerry Bradley, Stuckey recorded many songs that climbed to the top of the country charts. While on RCA Records, Stuckey had seven records in the Top 10, and six records in the Top 20, such as "Plastic Saddle," "Cut Across Shorty," "She Wakes Me With a Kiss Every Morning," "Take Time to Love Her" and more.

James Sudduth
Genres: Classical
Based in: Lubbock
Instrument: conductor
Birthplace: Crosbyton Birthdate: 10/19/1940 Deathdate: 12/3/1997
James Sudduth served as head of the Texas Tech School of Music for 16 years. Prior to his tenure at Tech, Sudduth served as director of bands at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, and had also had been assistant professor of music and director of the marching band at Northwestern University. As a composer, Sudduth wrote more than 300 arrangements, transcriptions and compositions for both marching and concert band, many of which are published. He received many honors over his lifetime. Most notably, Sudduth was awarded the Distinguished Service to Music Medal in 1995, the highest honor that can be bestowed by Kappa Kappa Psi. Additionally, in October 1988, Sudduth was honored as the first American to guest conduct the Seoul Wind Ensemble in Seoul, South Korea.

Isaac "Ikey" Payton Sweat 2
Genres: Blues, Country
Based in: Port Arthur
Instrument: guitar, bass, vocals
Birthplace: Port Arthur Birthdate: 7/19/1944 Deathdate: 6/23/1990
Buried at: died in Richmond
Isaac Payton Sweat is most famous for recording a vocal version of the Al Dean instrumental standard "Cotton Eyed Joe" in 1980. Ikey joined Johnny Winter's band, The Crystaliers and later named The Coastliners. They had a number one regional hit called "Eternally."
Colleges: Lamar College

Robin Sylar
Genres: Blues, Rock
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 3/12/1951 Deathdate: 12/11/2005
Robin Sylar played with blues icons Stevie Ray Vaughan (in their group Crackerjack), Doyle Bramhall (bass, guitar & vocals - Bird Nest on the Ground), James Harmon, Big Joe Turner, George Smith, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Marcia Ball, Randy Mcallister, Robert Ealey, U.P. Wilson, Canned Heat, and even played with famous cartoonist/filmmaker Mike Judge. Sylar incorporated a Dick Dale-esque style of guitar playing into his music, creating something he called "surfabilly." Sylar battled with depression throughout much of his life and ending up taking his own life in December 2005.

Horace Tapscott 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 4/6/1934 Deathdate: 2/27/1999
Horace Tapscott was a powerful, highly individual, bop-tinged pianist with avant-garde leanings; a legend and something of a father figure to latter generations of L.A.-based free jazz players. He played with Lorez Alexandra and later with Lionel Hampton. Dissatisfied with the commercialism of the music industry, Tapscott broke away and created the Union of God's Musicians and Artists Ascension (U.G.M.A.A.). The organization functioned as a community center-preserving the African American musical tradition and promoting cultural and musical education. It also kept at-risk youth off the streets by fostering their musical development. Through the U.G.M.A.A., Tapscott formed the Pan Afrikan People's Arkestra. "The Ark" was a 21-piece ensemble that Tapscott hoped would one day rival the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Arkestra recorded several albums that were released on the independent record label Nimbus. The band was also known for playing free outdoor concerts in south central Los Angeles. "The Ark" often spontaneously loaded the U.G.M.A.A. truck with equipment and made unscheduled performances in local parks and on street corners.Tapscott recorded solo albums as well. In 1969, he released his masterpiece, "The Giant Has Awakened," which was a call for black consciousness and black liberation. His association with the black power movement, coupled with the Ark's 1966 public performance during the Watts riot, caught the attention of the F.B.I., which put him and the U.G.M.A.A. under surveillance. Tapscott and "the Ark" continued performing in the 1980s and 1990s.

George Holmes "Buddy" Tate 2 3 4
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Sherman
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Sherman Birthdate: 2/22/1915 Deathdate: 2/10/2001
One of the more individual tenors to emerge from the swing era, the distinctive Buddy Tate came to fame as Herschel Evans' replacement with Count Basie's Orchestra. Earlier he had picked up valuable experience playing with Terrence Holder, Count Basie's original Kansas City band, Andy Kirk and Nat Towles. Tate held his own with such major tenors as Lester Young, Don Byas, Illinois Jacquet, Lucky Thompson and Paul Gonsalves.

Jasper Taylor
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Texarkana
Instrument: drums, washboard, xylophone, vocals
Birthplace: Texarkana Birthdate: 1/1/1894 Deathdate: 11/7/1964
Born on New Year's Day, 1894, Jasper Taylor began performing in Wild West and minstrel shows. By 1913 he was working theaters in Memphis and had begun studying xylophone, upon which he would eventually become influential to the ears of Memphis blues maestro and publisher W.C. Handy. While gigging with Handy, Taylor introduced the idea of washboard accompaniment in a jazz group. Taylor recorded with Jelly Roll Morton in Memphis in 1923. In 1917 the percussionist relocated to Chicago and was largely connected with the classic Chicago jazz scene for the rest of his career.

Jesse Taylor 2
Genres: Blues, Rock
Based in: Austin, Lubbock
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Lubbock Birthdate: 4/10/1950 Deathdate: 3/7/2006
Jesse "Guitar" Taylor rose to prominence as guitarist for the Joe Ely Band, who toured with the Clash and opened for The Rolling Stones in the late '70s. Taylor earned his nickname by playing every solo as if the notes were shooting through him. He earned a special place in Lubbock music lore by being the first white musician to play at the original Stubb's BBQ. Owner C.B. Stubblefield had picked up a 16 year old Taylor hitchhiking and told the kid he had a chopped beef sandwich with his name on it at his barbecue joint. The Sunday jam sessions Taylor started were a prime incubator for the Lubbock music scene. In 1967 Taylor joined Angela Strehli's band, playing shows on Austin's East Side. A former Golden Gloves boxer, He joined the Joe Ely band in 1975 and stayed until 1982 adding rock and roll guitar to their country sound. In later years he backed Billy Joe Shaver and the Flatlanders among others. When ill health slowed him down, he began to show a gift for painting and drawing, selling $5,000 worth of artwork during an exhibition at the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture. (partially excerpted from Michael Corcoran's American-Statesman obituary)

Johnnie Harrison Taylor
Genres: Christian, R&B
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Crawfordsville, AR Birthdate: 5/5/1938 Deathdate: 5/31/2000
Aptly dubbed the "Philosopher of Soul," Johnnie Taylor, a Sam Cooke protégé, took over The Soul Stirrers when Cooke went secular. Signing with the Stax label in 1966, the vocalist created a sexually-charged brand of blues/soul synthesis. His first big hit was "Who's Making Love" in 1968, and he is also very well known for his 1976 platinum hit "Disco Lady." Over his career, Taylor scored eleven top 40 hits on the Billboard pop chart, and recorded twelve albums for Stax Records alone.

Odell Taylor
Genres: Blues/Soul, Christian/Gospel
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Tyler Birthdate: 5/2/1932 Deathdate: 9/20/2002

Ron Taylor 2
Genres: Blues, Broadway
Based in: Galveston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Galveston Birthdate: Deathdate: 1/15/2002
Ron Taylor appeared in more than 16 films and on more than 35 TV shows during his career. In 1999 he was nominated for two Tony Awards for "It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues," a blues revue that he co-wrote, stared in and developed. His New York credits included "The Wiz," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Eubie," "The Three Musketeers" and the voice of Audrey II in the original Off-Broadway production of "Little Shop of Horrors." He was also known for his vocal work as "Bleeding Gums" Murphy on the hit televisions show, "The Simpsons."

Charles "Charlie" Teagarden
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Vernon
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Vernon Birthdate: 7/19/1913 Deathdate: 12/10/1984
Although he spent his career in his brother Jack Teagarden's shadow, Charlie Teagarden was an excellent trumpeter who sounded perfectly at home in Dixieland combos and big bands. Among Charlie Teagarden's more notable associations were Jimmy Dorsey (1948-50) - where he played with a combo taken from the big band that was billed as "The Original Dorseyland Jazz Band" - Ben Pollack, Bob Crosby (1954-58) and Pete Fountain (in the 1960s). He also appeared at the memorable 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival with Jack, Norma and Helen Teagarden.

Clois Lee "Cubby" Teagarden
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Vernon
Instrument: drums, vocals
Birthplace: Vernon Birthdate: 1915 Deathdate: 1969
Clois Lee "Cubby" Teagarden, drummer and vocalist, played in bands with his sister, Norma, and his brothers, Jack and Charlie. Teagarden played his first professional job in the balcony of a drugstore in Dallas around 1930. He played with his brothers and Drew Page, six days a week, during two-hour afternoon sessions for $5 in merchandise credit. Starting in 1939, Teagarden contributed to Jack Teagarden's Big Band's full, rich sound. Also nicknamed "Cub," Teagarden played with musicians, such as Charles McCamish, Casper Reardon, Clint and Carl Garvin, Hub Lytle, Mark Bennett, Herb Quigley, Terry Shand, Art Saint John, John VanEps, Art Miller, Allan Reuss, Jose Gutierrez, Frankie Trumbauer, Charlie Spivak, Ernie Caceres, and Benny Goodman. His drums and some vocals can be heard on various Jack Teagarden LPs, such as "Big T" (1994) and "Stars Fell on Alabama: 1931-1940" (1990).

Norma Teagarden ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Vernon
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Vernon Birthdate: 1911 Deathdate: 6/5/1966
Norma Teagarden achieved worldwide recognition as a jazz pianist, starting her career in music in Oklahoma City around 1926. She worked with jazz greats such as Ben Pollack, Matty Matlock, Ada Leonard, Ted Vesley, Pete Daily, and Ray Bauduc. In 1963, Norma joined her brothers, Jack and Charlie, and her mother, Helen, at a recorded performance at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Weldon Leo "Jack" Teagarden ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Vernon
Instrument: trombone, vocals, bandleader
Birthplace: Vernon Birthdate: 8/29/1905 Deathdate: 1/15/1964
Buried at: Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California
Jack Teagarden is considered one of the all-time greats in the history of jazz, but his trombone style was so unusual that others did not follow his example. He was one of the first jazz musicians to incorporate "blue notes" into his playing. Teagarden was also an excellent singer and developed a respected blues vocal style. In addition, he was an inventor, redesigning mouthpieces, mutes, and watervalves and inventing a new musical slide rule. He performed with Eddie Condon, Bix Beiderbecke, Paul Whiteman, the Dorsey brothers, Bob Crosby, Eddie Lang, Peck Kelley, and others.

Wilhelm Carl August Thielepape
Genres: Classical, German
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: vocals, engineer, musician, mayor of San Antonio
Birthplace: Wabern, Hesse, Germany Birthdate: 7/10/1814 Deathdate: 8/7/1904
August Thielepape was an engineer and musician, as well as mayor of San Antonio. In 1857 he designed the San Antonio Casino, a 400-seat auditorium and social center. He was among those who raised the Union flag over the Alamo on July 21, 1865 and was appointed Reconstruction mayor of San Antonio on November 8, 1867. He supervised an administration that built bridges, laid macadam streets, strengthened the public schools and provided for the eventual arrival of the railroad. Throughout these years he continued to conduct and compose. He also founded a singing school. He sang tenor in the Beethoven Männerchor, and his compositions - influenced by Felix Mendelssohn and Ludwig Spohr - included "Lieder," six duets for soprano and tenor and incidental music for Ludwig Anzengruber's play "Der Meineidbauer," all with piano accompaniment. Thielepape was a great contributer to German and Texas music, as well as to Texas itself.

George Washington "Clay Custer" Thomas 2
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: composer, publisher, pianist
Birthplace: Little Rock, AR Birthdate: 1883 Deathdate: 3/1930
The earliest recording to use the boogie-woogie "intermittent walking bass" was George W. Thomas' "The Rocks," recorded in February 1923. This composition by the older brother of Sippie Wallace and Hersal Thomas is also considered the first recording to employ the boogie-woogie structure, which is that of a twelve-bar blues. George was a prolific songwriter who composed an estimated 100 songs in his career, including the popular cut, "Houston Blues," the smash 1922 hit, "Muscle Shoals Blues," the 1916 tune, "New Orleans Hop Scop Blues" and "The Fives."
Sites of interest:
The Thomas' often sang in the choir and played at the Shiloh Baptist Church.

Henry "Ragtime Texas" Thomas
Genres: Blues
Based in: Big Sandy
Instrument: guitar, cane flute
Birthplace: Big Sandy Birthdate: 1874 Deathdate: 1950
Henry "Ragtime Texas" Thomas, an early exponent of country blues, was the son of former slaves who sharecropped on a cotton plantation in the northeastern part of Texas. Thomas learned to hate cotton farming at an early age and left home as soon as he could, around 1890, to pursue a career as an itinerant "songster." On the 23 recordings made by Thomas from 1927 to 1929, he sings a variety of songs and accompanies himself on guitar and at times on the quills. The range of Thomas' work makes him something of a transitional figure between the early minstrel songs, spirituals, square dance tunes, hillbilly reels, waltzes, and rags and the rise of blues and jazz. His repertoire, which mostly consists of dance pieces, was out-of-date by the turn of the century when the blues began to grow in popularity. Thomas' nickname, "Ragtime Texas," is thought to have come to him because he played in fast tempos, which were synonymous for some musicians with ragtime. Five of Thomas' pieces have been characterized as "rag ditties," among them "Red River Blues," and such rag songs have been considered the immediate forerunners and early rivals of blues.

Hersal Thomas 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 1910 Deathdate: 7/3/1926
A child prodigy on piano, Hersal Thomas' reputation for technique and feeling made other pianists wary of playing at parties where he was present. As a team, Hersal and his sister Sippie represented an outstanding example of urban blues, and together with King Oliver and Louis Armstrong, the two Texans produced some of the classic blues recordings of the 1920s.
Sites of interest:
The Thomas children often sang in the choir and played at the Shiloh Baptist Church.

Hociel Thomas 2
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: piano, vocals
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 7/10/1904 Deathdate: 8/22/1952
Buried at: Greenlawn Cemetery, San Francisco, CA
Hociel Thomas became a significant boogie-woogie pianist and vaudeville blues singing star during the mid-1920s. She toured extensively throughout the 1920s, including a tour with Louis Armstrong. She also recorded at length in 1925-1926 after the Okeh label moved to Chicago. Some of Hociel's recordings included the popular "Shorty George Blues" and "Tebo's Texas Boogie." Her aunt, Beulah "Sippie" Thomas Wallace, was a legendary blues singer, and Hociel's piano-playing uncle, Hersal Thomas, had been a child prodigy in his own right. Hociel also counted among her relatives the influential vocalist Victoria Spivey. Hociel and her young uncle Hersal were raised by Sippie after they moved to Chicago from New Orleans in the early 1920s.
Sites of interest:
The Thomas' often sang in the choir and played at the Shiloh Baptist Church.

Benny Thomasson 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Gatesville
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Winters Birthdate: 4/22/1909 Deathdate: 1983
Benny is one of the inventors of Texas style fiddling and is a musician of such power and scope that he is often compared to Charlie Parker for jazz or Isaac Stern for classical music. He won the Texas State Fiddling Championship 15 times, plus three consecutive wins in the worldwide event held in Crockett, TX, and many other competitions.
Annual event:
Texas State Championship Fiddlers Frolic

Henry "Hank" William Thompson 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Waco Birthdate: 9/3/1925 Deathdate: 11/6/2007
Henry "Hank" William Thompson was a country music entertainer whose career spanned seven decades. He sold over 60 million records worldwide. Thompson's musical style, characterized as Honky Tonk Swing, was a mixture of big-band instrumentation, fiddle and steel guitar that featured his distinctive, gravelly baritone vocals. His backing band, The Brazos Valley Boys, was voted the No.1 Country Western Band for 14 years in a row by Billboard Magazine. He decided to pursue his musical talent after serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II as a radioman and studying electrical engineering at the university level. His first single was "Whoa Sailor" in 1946. The year 1952 brought his first #1 disc, "The Wild Side of Life," which contained the memorable line "I didn't know God made honky-tonk angels" (which inspired the Kitty Wells answer song, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels"). 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 1997 he also became the first recording artist in any genre to chart in six consecutive decades.

May Peterson Thompson
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Oshkosh, WI Birthdate: Deathdate: 10/8/1952
May Peterson Thompson, an opera star, made several records under the Vocalion label and was one of the first American artists to sing on radio. Her golden voice and personality soon won her international fame as the "Golden Girl" of opera. In 1925 she sang in the first musical festival to be staged at the Amarillo Municipal Auditorium. In 1932, after Thompson's husband was appointed to the Railroad Commission, the couple moved to Austin, where she became a leading figure in musical circles.

Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton
Genres: R&B
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Montgomery, AL Birthdate: 12/11/1926 Deathdate: 7/25/1984
Buried at: Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California
Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, blues singer and songwriter, moved to Houston in 1948 where she performed in local clubs. Although she was only there a short period of time, she was influenced by Texas, and she contributed heavily to the Texas blues tradition. Willie Mae, Little Esther, and Mel Walker were a package show for Johnny Otis in the early 1950s. They became well known and headed to New York to play the Apollo in 1952. Willie Mae, as the opening act, sang the Dominoe's hit "Have Mercy Baby," among others. In 1951 Don Robey signed Thornton to his Peacock Records label. Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller wrote "Hound Dog," and Willie Mae recorded it. Her "Hound Dog" single sold more than 2 million copies. She received one check for the single in her life for only $500, even though Elvis Presley went on to make "Hound Dog" a rock and roll classic three years later. She wrote and recorded "Ball and Chain," which became a hit for her. Janis Joplin later recorded "Ball and Chain," and it became a huge success again in the late 1960s. Thornton left Houston in early 1960s and moved to the San Francisco Bay area. Thornton also toured with shows in America and Europe. She played the Monterey Jazz Festival throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Her style captured the attention of many fans through the years because she was rough and beautiful and crazy yet controlled in her singing.

John Kenneth Threadgill 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar, vocals, music tavern owner
Birthplace: Peniel, just north of Greenville Birthdate: 9/12/1909 Deathdate: 3/20/1987
John Kenneth Threadgill incorporated yodeling into his country singing act later in his life to make a unique style that fans loved. In 1933 he moved to Austin and began working at an old service station on North Lamar Boulevard. By December, Threadgill had bought the establishment and changed it to Threadgill's Tavern, which still sold gas and food but operated with the first beer license in Austin after the repeal of Prohibition. Modern folklore tells that Janis Joplin got her start singing at the Tavern's open mic Hootenanny. Kenneth always swore that Janis did not get her start at his tavern, but rather started herself. Threadgill was a unifier of Austin's past and present. He was quiet on the national scene until his first movie soundtrack and album in the early 1980s, when he and Willie Nelson appeared together and sang in "Honeysuckle Rose." Some of his best-known songs were "Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine," "There's A Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere," "T for Texas, T for Tennessee," and "It Is No Secret What God Can Do." Threadgill sold the Tavern in the early 1980s; it is now known as Threadgill's Restaurant.
Schools: Austin High School

Moritz Tiling
Genres: Classical, German
Based in: Houston
Instrument: author, instructor
Birthplace: Birthdate: Deathdate: NA
Moritz Tiling was an author and instructor in History at the Houston Academy who wrote "History of the German Element in Texas from 1820-1850," and "Historical Sketches of the German Texas Singers' League and Houston Turnverein from 1853-1913." Tiling claimed that he wrote those volumes "for the purpose of preserving to posterity the records of German achievements in the colonization and upbuilding of the great State of Texas." They helped shed light on early German contributions to music and song in Texas.

Wesley Hope Tilley
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: musician, early filmmaker
Birthplace: Springfield, IL Birthdate: 12/23/1885 Deathdate: 6/24/1972
Wesley Hope Tilley, musician and early filmmaker, was born in Springfield, Illinois, on December 23, 1885. He and his brother Paul were among the pioneers of filmmaking in Texas. Though their attempt at filmmaking was successful enough, they moved to Austin in 1913. With assets of $25,000 they reestablished the Satex Film Company and added a finishing plant for processing motion-picture film. The Satex Company was the only company manufacturing silent films south of St. Louis at that time and the first film company in the United States to make three-reel movies. Tilley was director of the Ben Hur Shrine band in Austin for thirty-eight years and served as secretary-treasurer for the Federation of Musicians Local 433 in Austin from 1943 to 1964.

Floyd Tillman 2 3 4
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Bacliff
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Ryan, OK Birthdate: 12/8/1914 Deathdate: 8/22/2003
Floyd Tillman is probably best known for writing "It Makes No Difference Now," a country classic that he sold to Jimmie Davis for $300 in 1938. It become a hit for Davis, Bob Wills, Bing Crosby, and Gene Autry. In 1933, at age 19, Tillman joined Adolph and Emil Hofner's house band at Gus' Palm Garden in San Antonio. Tillman began a solo recording career in the late 1930s, and had his first number one hit in 1944 with "They Took the Stars Out of Heaven," which he followed up with two Top Five hits, "G.I. Blues" and "Each Night at Nine," with his Favorite Playboys. In the late 1940s he had more hits, "Slippin' Around" and "I Love You So Much It Hurts." His Western swing/honky tonk mixture and easy vocal delivery, with its distinctively bent notes, made Tillman a much-imitated performer. He continued writing songs through the 1960s; his last solo success came in 1960 with "It Just Tears Me Up."
Schools: Floyd went to grade school in Post, TX (from 1923-1929)

Don Tosti
Genres: Latin, R&B, Swing
Based in: El Paso
Instrument: bass, piano
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: 8/2/2004
Don Tosti was part of the pre-rock 'n' roll generation of musicians who played and composed music in two of the styles that evolved into rock 'n' roll, namely, swing and rhythm and blues. Tosti became known as the "Godfather of Latin R&B," but began playing with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra at age 9. At 19, he became a big band bass player and played stand-up bass with jazz bands led by Jack Teagarden, Charlie Barnett and Jimmy Dorsey. His "Pachuco Boogie," released in 1948, was the first million-selling Latin R&B hit. Throughout the '50s Don Tosti had a popular Latin band and even had his own television show. In 1961, he moved to Palm Springs, where he had been playing during the seasons of 1958 and 1959. There he became a society musician, eventually switching over to piano. He is revered by generations of musicians for his development of the "Pachuco" sound in 1940s Los Angeles.

Alphonse Trent
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: director, piano
Birthplace: Fort Smith, AR Birthdate: 8/24/1905 Deathdate: 10/14/1959
Alphonse Trent became one of the great Texan jazz legends of the 1920s. His Texas ensemble, or "territory" band, became the first African American band to secure a weekly spot to play at the prestigious Adolphus Hotel in Dallas and became one of the most well-known acts in Dallas. He met and took under his wing the young Charlie Christian, who later carved his own niche as one of the great jazz guitarists.
Colleges: Shorter College in Little Rock
Sites of interest:
Adolphus Hotel at 1321 Commerce Street, Dallas

Ernest Dale Tubb 2 3
Genres: Country
Based in: Crisp
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Crisp Birthdate: 2/9/1914 Deathdate: 9/6/1984
Ernest Dale Tubb was among the most influential and important country performers in history. Tubb recorded more than 250 songs and sold 30 million records. He was known for his generosity to unknown artists who would later become famous, including Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Loretta Lynn.

Justin Wayne Tubb 2
Genres: Country
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 8/20/1935 Deathdate: 1/24/1998
Buried at: Hermitage Memorial Gardens, Hermitage.Davidson County, Tennessee
The eldest son of country music legend Ernest Tubb. He made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry at the age of nine. He gained his first U.S. country chart hit in 1954 when "Looking Back To See," a duet with Goldie Hill, reached number four. In 1955 he became the youngest ever regular member of the Opry. He recorded for several labels including Starday, Challenge and RCA. He toured all over the USA, Canada, Europe, and Vietnam. He also appeared on all major US television shows.
Schools: Brackenridge High School, San Antonio
Colleges: University of Texas at Austin
Sites of interest:
History of Brackenridge High School

Bessie Tucker 2
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: Unavailable
Bessie Tucker was a Texas blues singer with a style similar to Texas Alexander, Victoria Spivey and Texas Bill Day. It is estimated that she lived in the Dallas/East Texas area and recorded in Memphis and Dallas between 1928-1929. She sang about railroads in particular and tracing the history of local companies points to Greenville, Texas. Tuckers songs, including "Fort Worth & Denver Blues," include lyrics indicative of living next to the tracks. Her recorded songs have been made available on Document Records.

Vicory Barker Tunstall
Genres: Country
Based in: Houston
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Born west of Crockett Birthdate: 10/21/1876 Deathdate: 2/8/1953
Buried at: Evergreen Memorial Park in Crockett
Historical Marker Text: A noted musician. Houston County District Clerk, 1918-22. A barber by trade. In boyhood, studied violin. At 16, began teaching. At 20, opened Tunstall Music House. Traveled East Texas 50 years with band that included his ten children. Founded World's Championship Fiddler's Festival, 1937. At 1951 state fair was proclaimed the Champion Fiddler of Texas. Married (1st), Emma Virginia English; (2nd) Mrs. Lillie Shanks.
Sites of interest:
Historical Grave Marker located at Evergreen Memorial Park in Crockett

Julius Tupa 2
Genres: Country, Polka, Czech
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Moravia Birthdate: 7/22/1931 Deathdate: 10/5/2002
Buried at: Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery in Houston
Julius Tupa - a well known Houston area musician, music promoter and radio disk jockey - was born to Czech parents in Moravia, TX near Schulenburg. He began performing at age 13 and formed his first country/western band in 1956. He recorded on the Guide Record label in the '60s and organized another country/western swing band (Sagebrush) in 1973. His radio career began in 1984 at Rosenberg KFRD with a country/polka show. In 1987, he took the radio show to KYND Cypress, and was on the air with "The Polka Express" every Saturday until his death. In 1987 Julius founded The "Texas Polka News," a 16-page monthly dedicated to the preservation and promotion of polka music. In 1992 Tupa co-founded The Sound Connection Band, the first Slovenian style polka band in Texas. That band has two recordings. In 1991 Tupa organized The Texas Polka Music Association (TPMA) to promote polka music in Texas by recognizing the achievements of Texas polka pioneers and current performers. The annual TPMA Awards and polka fest continued for eight years, recognizing over 30 Texas polka pioneers with Lifetime Achievement Awards along the way. Julius Tupa was recipient of the final Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.
Schools: Schulenburg High School at 150 College Street
Colleges: University of Houston
Sites of interest:
The Moravia Store has been lyrically documented in the popular “Moon Over Moravia” waltz. Historical Marker, from Hallettsville, take FM 957 northwest about 13 miles (in Moravia, TX).

Babe Kyro Lemon "Black Ace" Turner 2 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Hughes Springs
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Hughes Springs Birthdate: 12/21/1907 Deathdate: Unavailable
Black Ace Turner recorded in Dallas during the heyday of Deep Ellum and Central Tracks. Black Ace played a National steel guitar on his lap with a slide; he was one of only a few bluesmen who used the technique.

Jesse Granderson "Grant" Turner 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Abilene
Instrument: radio deejay
Birthplace: Abilene Birthdate: 5/17/1912 Deathdate: 10/19/1991
Buried at: Williamson Memorial Gardens in Franklin, Tennessee
Jesse Granderson "Grant" Turner was a DJ for the Nashville radio station WSM where he became known as the "Voice of the Grand Ole Opry" to millions of fans. He served on the Opry's announcing staff for forty-seven years. He was the first announcer/disc jockey to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Randall J. "Biscuit" Turner
Genres: Punk, Rock
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Gladewater Birthdate: 11/25/1946 Deathdate: 8/18/2005
Randall J. "Biscuit" Turner, an offbeat artist, poet and musician, was a founding member of Esther's Follies, Austin's premier comedy troupe and a contributor to their costume department. Nationally, Turner was best known as the frontman for punk-funk pioneers the Big Boys. With the Big Boys, Turner subverted the rapidly entrenching dogmas of American hardcore punk in the late 1970s and early '80s with humor, eclectic songwriting and outrageous costumes. Turner is a member of the Austin Music Hall of Fame.

"Uncle" John Turner
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock
Based in: Austin
Instrument: drums, vocals
Birthplace: Port Arthur Birthdate: 8/20/1944 Deathdate: 7/26/2007
"Uncle" John Turner was Johnny Winter's original drummer. In addition, his early ’70s Austin band Krackerjack featured Stevie Ray Vaughan on guitar. Turner jammed with icons such as B. B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Freddie King, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Lightnin' Hopkins, Johnny Copeland, Albert Collins, James Montgomery and Paul Nelson. B.B. King once commented about Turner's drumming, "Man, I can set my watch to your time!"

Jimmy Valentine
Genres: Big Band
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: NA Birthdate: NA Deathdate: 1/5/2006
Big band vocalist Jimmy Valentine recorded 20 sides for Columbia Records in 1940, his career loosing momentum when he was drafted into the army at the outset World War II. Valentine's first big break came at a University of Texas formal in 1939 when he sang "Stardust" with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. When drummer and Fort Worth native Ray McKinley left the Dorsey band for trombonist Will Bradley's new orchestra he recommended Valentine to Bradley. The band played a grueling schedule, performing as many as seven shows a day. After being drafted, Valentine continued to be interested in music. Stationed at Camp Wallace near Galveston, he would travel to Houston on weekends to sit in with Jack Teagarden's band at the Plantation club. After being transferred to Fort Bliss, he was reassigned to special services in charge of entertainment. Upon leaving the service in 1945, he gave New York another try, but musical tastes were beginning to change so he moved to Indiana to complete a degree in business. He returned to his native Austin in 1974 and took a job as a city planner.

Joseph "Little Joe Blue" Valery, Jr.
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 9/23/1934 Deathdate: 4/22/1990
Joseph Valery was greatly influenced by the music legend B.B. King as well as Louis Jordan, Joe Liggins, Roy Milton, and Lafayette Thomas. During the early '60s Valery moved to Los Angeles by way of Reno, Nevada where he began his recording career while performing in local clubs. Valery recorded on the Kent, Movin', and Checker labels in Los Angeles during the mid 1960s. From 1968 to 1972, he recorded with Chess in Chicago and the Jewel label in Louisiana and California. In 1975, 1982, and again in 1986 Valery toured Europe working festivals and clubs, including the International Jazz Fest in Barcelona, Spain.

Frank Valentine Van Der Stucken
Genres: Classical
Based in: Fredericksburg
Instrument: violin, composer, conductor
Birthplace: Fredericksburg Birthdate: 10/15/1858 Deathdate: 8/16/1929
Frank Valentine Van der Stucken, composer and conductor, studied violin with Émile Wambach from 1866 to 1876 and composition and theory with Pierre Benoit. By age sixteen he had completed two major original works. From 1879 to 1881 Van der Stucken traveled throughout Europe and met and worked with Giuseppe Verdi, Emmanuel Chabrier, and Jules Massenet. In April 1885 in New York City he conducted the first concert in the United States devoted exclusively to works by American composers, and in 1889 he conducted the first European concert with an entirely American program at the World Exposition in Paris.

John Townes Van Zandt 2 3 4
Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 3/7/1944 Deathdate: 1/1/1997
Buried at: Dido Memorial Cemetery, Papalote Escondido, Presidio County, Texas
John Townes Van Zandt earned such accolades as "the poet laureate of Texas," "the premier poet of the time," "the James Joyce of Texan songwriting" and "the best writer in the country genre." He was inducted into the Kerrville Hall of Fame, and recieved the Leadbelly Songwriter Award. His best-known tune, "Pancho and Lefty," made popular through a duet recorded by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, speaks of life on the road and his hope for redemption.
Schools: a private school in Minnesota
Colleges: University of Colorado
Sites of interest:
Townes performed at the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe in May 1996 and October 1996 (located at 413 20th Street in Galveston, TX)
Annual event:
7th Annual Tribute to Townes Van Zandt Wake is held every January 1st at the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe

John Vandiver 2
Genres: Blues, Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Magnolia
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 8/5/1945 Deathdate: 2/22/1985
Buried at: Laurel Land Memorial Park in Dallas
Underground folk musician John Vandiver began his musical journey during the 1950s, sneaking out of his suburban home to learn from the likes of Mance Lipscomb. He soon formed a kinship with other young musicians in the Dallas area such as Michael Murphy, B.W. Stevenson, Steven Fromholz, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Jerry Jeff Walker. In '67 he took off for Miami to be a part of the folk scene, where he joined the Ewing St. Times. Later, he moved to Kansas City and joined forces with Shake Russell. Vandiver eventually moved back to Texas where he continued to play with Russell while he also pursued a fruitful solo career.
Schools: Sunset High School

Stevie Ray Vaughan 2 3 4
Genres: Blues, Rock
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 10/3/1954 Deathdate: 8/27/1990
Buried at: Laurel Land Memorial Park, Dallas, Dallas County
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble were the first band in the history of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland to play without having a major record contract. Albums "Texas Flood," "Couldn't Stand the Weather," "Live Alive" and "Soul to Soul" all went gold and captured various Grammy nominations in either the Blues or Rock categories. His career included four Grammys. Vaughan received Entertainer of the Year and Blues Instrumentalist of the Year at The National Blues Foundation Awards.
Schools: Justin F. Kimball High School at 3606 S. Westmoreland, Dallas, TX 75233 ; W. E. Greiner Middle School and Exploratory Arts Academy at 501 South Edgefield Avenue, Dallas, TX 75208
Sites of interest:
Stevie Ray Vaughan fan organization, archive and museum
Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial (life sized statue): 512-974-6700.

Carl Venth
Genres: Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: violinist, composer
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany Birthdate: 2/16/1860 Deathdate: 1/30/1938
Violinist and composer Carl Venth was a member of the orchestra of New York City's Metropolitan Opera House from 1884 to 1888, when he organized the Venth Violin School in Brooklyn. Between 1889 and 1897 he led the Seidl Orchestra and the Euterpe Orchestral Society and organized the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra and the Venth Quartet. Sometime between 1907 and 1912 Venth moved to Texas as director of the violin department of Kidd-Key College at Sherman.

Albert Sobieski Venting 2
Genres: Christian
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: professor of church music
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Deathdate: Unavailable
Albert Sobieski Venting was a respected professor of church music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the early 20th century. He published a list of "the world's best hymns" on the front page of the "Baptist Standard" May 5, 1927. The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers an Albert Venting Jr. Memorial Award in his honor. Dr. Venting also founded the Missionary Board of First Baptist Church in 1934. A Homecoming Week was held in October of 1936, in which the history of Baptists in Texas was discussed with the president of the State Convention. Dr. Venting also accomplished the construction of the worship auditorium, which is still used by the congregation today.
Colleges: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Sites of interest:
First Baptist Church located at 105 East Willingham Street in Cleburne

Beto Villa 2 3 4
Genres: Tejano, Orquesta
Based in: Falfurrias
Instrument: vocals, saxophone
Birthplace: Falfurrias Birthdate: 10/26/1915 Deathdate: 11/1/1986
Buried at: died in Corpus Christi
Beto Villa is considered the "Father of the Orquesta Tejana." By 1946, Villa had developed the idea of merging Mexican-American music and more mainstream popular music by combining the urbanized orquesta with a ranchero style. In that same year, he approached Armando Marroquín, founder of the new record company Discos Ideal, to make a record capturing this new musical style. For a period of twelve years, Beto Villa y su Orquesta toured throughout the United States, recorded over one hundred singles on 78 rpm, and produced over a dozen LPs for Disco Ideal.
Sites of interest:
Villa got his first full-time gig in Freer, Texas, at a dance hall known as the "Barn."
Villa returned to Falfurrias from serving in the U.S. Navy and opened up the Pan American and La Plaza dance halls.

Lucha Villa
Genres: Tejano, Ranchera
Based in:
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Chihuahua, Mexico Birthdate: 11/30/1934 Deathdate: Unavailable
Mexico's most famous ranchera singer, Lucha Villa earned more notice than Lola Beltran thanks to a long, successful film career in addition to her recording work. Villa also specialized in rural and ranchera pictures, a genre connected to American audiences familiar with Westerns. During the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, she recorded dozens of albums and appeared in dozens of pictures, including the 1973 comedy Mecánica Nacional, which won the Ariel award (Mexico's version of the Oscar).

Bruno Villareal 2 3
Genres: Tejano, Música Norteña, Conjunto
Based in: La Grulla
Instrument: accordion
Birthplace: La Grulla Birthdate: 5/21/1912 Deathdate: 11/3/1976
Buried at: died in Waco
Bruno Villareal was the first accordionist to secure a long-term relationship with a major label. On June 12, 1930, the same record company recorded Villareal and continued to do so for the next several years. Consequently, Villareal is generally recognized as the first conjunto accordionist on records. By the 1930s, the South Texas accordionist often backed by a bajo sexto (12 string bass guitar), was an acknowledged master. It was during this time period that Música Norteña or Conjunto music became the music of choice among the Mexican-American working class. This music enjoyed a great popularity in the area known to Mexicans as el Norte, the region bounded by South Texas and the Mexican states of Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, and Coahuila.
Sites of interest:
Villareal lived on a ranchito three miles from Santa Rosa, during the 1930s, at the north end of the Rio Grande Valley.

Louella Styles Vincent
Genres: Classical
Based in: Meridian
Instrument: composer
Birthplace: Georgia Birthdate: 9/5/1853 Deathdate: 4/25/1924
Louella Vincent, author and composer, lived in Galveston, Jonesboro, and Glen Rose before settling in Meridian in 1886. There Louella and her husband James established a private academy; he served as principal, and she taught music. She wrote music and poetry and established a United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter named for her elder son, who had died in 1886. Mrs. Vincent moved to Dallas late in 1905 and in July 1908 began publication of "The Dallas Clubwoman," a weekly chronicle of society and church activities. She followed it with the short-lived "Texas Clubwoman" in 1909; both magazines served as showcases for her poetry.

Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: saxophone, vocals
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 12/18/1917 Deathdate: 7/2/1988
Blues alto saxophonist and vocalist Eddie Vinson was asked to join Chester Boone's Territory Band while he was still in high school. Vinson moved to New York in 1941, subsequently joining Duke Ellington's orchestra for a short time. In 1942, Vinson recorded for the first time, cutting the blues tune, "When My Baby Left Me," on the Okeh label. However, he did not achieve significant success until he joined Cottie Williams's Orchestra later that year. He achieved notoriety while singing the blues on several of Williams's hit recordings, including "Cherry Red," "Is You Is," "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," and "Somebody's Got to Go." In addition to recording, Vinson also toured with Williams's band for the next three years. Vinson formed his own big band in 1945. Over the next several years, he recorded extensively for different labels, including Hit Records, Capitol Records, Mercury Records, King Records, and others. Some of his best known cuts were recorded with his own sixteen-piece band. He experienced some success with "Kidney Stew Blues," "Cleanhead Blues," "Old Maid Boogie," and "Tune Up." By the late 1940s, Vinson's popularity had waned, and he moved back to Houston in 1954. He toured and briefly recorded with Count Basie's band in 1957. Although many of Vinson's songs did not get airtime, he remained very popular on the international music festival circuit throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Aaron Thibeaux "T-Bone" Walker 2 3 4
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Linden Birthdate: 5/28/1910 Deathdate: 3/16/1975
Buried at: Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California
Family friendship with Blind Lemon Jefferson and Leadbelly familiarized T-Bone Walker with the blues from infancy. Walker was recruited to lead Jefferson around the Central Avenue area, and he absorbed the legendary musician's style. Crowds of fans were attracted to his acrobatic performances, which combined playing and tap dancing, and in 1935 he was the first blues guitarist to play the electric guitar. Walker used a fluid technique that combined the country blues tradition with more polished contemporary swing, his style influenced by Francis (Scrapper) Blackwell, Leroy Carr, and Lonnie Johnson. He was subsequently billed as "Daddy of the Blues." Including "Stormy Monday," many of his songs reached the Top Ten on the Hit Parade. As an artist and performer, Walker was accurately evaluated by blues authority Pete Welding as "one of the deep, enduring wellsprings of the modern blues to whom many others have turned, and continue to return for inspiration and renewal."
Schools: Northwest Hardee School in Dallas
Sites of interest:
In 1934, Walker lead the house band at the Jim Hotel, 413 East Fifth Street in Fort Worth.

Billy Walker 2
Genres: Christian, Country
Based in: Mexia
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Ralls Birthdate: 1/14/1929 Deathdate: 5/21/2006
From 1954 to 1980 Billy Walker had 65 charted songs that included 15 top 10 hits. In 1962 he also scored a number 1 hit with "Charlie's Shoes" that received a BMI Million Airplays award. During his career he was a regular on "The Ozark Jubilee with Red Foley" and a longtime member of "The Grande Ole Opry" making TV appearances on "Hee Haw," "Pop! Goes The Country," and "Nashville On The Road," plus his own TV show "Country Carnival."

Charlie Walker 2 3
Genres: Country
Based in: Copeville
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Copeville Birthdate: 11/2/1926 Deathdate: 11/12/2008
Charlie Walker began singing as a Texas high school student, joining the Cowboy Ramblers as a singer and guitarist. During World War II, Charlie played country music over the Armed Forces Radio Network as part of the Eighth Army Signal Corps occupation forces in Tokyo. In 1951 Walker relocated to San Antonio and began broadcasting on KMAC as "ol’ poke salad, cotton-picking, boll-pulling, corn-shucking, snuff-dipping Charlie Walker" , becoming not only one of the stations most popular personalities, but also one of the nation’s Top 10 country disc jockeys. Walker scored a regional hit with "Tell Her Lies and Feed Her Candy" and his first charting song, "Only You, Only You"on the Decca label. In 1958 his Columbia Records recording of songwriter Harlan Howard's "Pick Me Up on Your Way Down" became a million seller, and the song's shuffle beat became a staple of the country genre. More hits such as "Who Will Buy the Wine" (1960) and "Don’t Squeeze My Sharmon" (1967) followed. Walker remained the top country disc jockey in San Antonio until his move to Nashville in 1967 where he became a member of the WSM Grand Ole Opry, a role he maintained for more than 40 years. In 1981 Walker was inducted into the Country Radio DJ Hall of Fame. He portrayed country singer Hankshaw Hawkins in the 1985 movie "Sweet Dreams". Walker died in his home in Hendersonville, TN shortly after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

Cindy Walker 2 3 4
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Mexia
Instrument: guitar, piano, vocals
Birthplace: Mart Birthdate: 7/20/1917 Deathdate: 3/23/2006
Cindy Walker was the first woman inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Her songs were recorded by artists such as Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and Bob Wills. Her greatest hits include "Bubbles in My Beer" and "You Don't Know Me." She was an inaugural inductee into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 1998.
Sites of interest:
Walker wrote "Casa de Manana" at age 16 while working at Billy Rose's Casa Manana in Ft. Worth; It became the club's theme song.

Beulah Thomas "Sippie" Wallace 2 3 4
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 11/1/1898 Deathdate: 11/1/1986
Buried at: Trinity Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan
Sippie Wallace is known as the last of the blues shouters and ranked among such blues greats as Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox and Alberta Hunter. When jazz and ragtime were flourishing, Wallace found herself surrounded by young musicians including King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Clarence Williams, and Johnny Dodds. Three months after her first record was pressed with Okeh, she was on top of the record industry, a star with a national reputation. Her songs such as the classics "Mighty Tight Woman" and "Woman Be Wise," spoke with earthy directness about love and relationships. Wallace is said to have possessed "qualities of shading and inflection in her singing that marked the classic blues artist."
Sites of interest:
Wallace began singing and playing organ in the local Shiloh Baptist Church.

Don Walser 2 3
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Brownfield Birthdate: 9/14/1934 Deathdate: 9/20/2006
Vocalist and guitarist Don Walser grew up watching the early cowboy singers and yodelers. He joined the National Guard at age 15, claming he was 17 and formed his first band at 16, playing clubs and roadhouses in LaMesa. After moving to Austin in 1984, Walser formed his Pure Texas Band, signing to Watermelon Records in Austin and later releasing albums nationally for Sire Records, home of Madonna and the Ramones. Dubbed the 'Pavarotti of the Plains' by Playboy Magazine, and 'the Greatest Country Singer in the World' by the Austin Chronicle, Walser brought the songs of his youth to a fresh audience. Unexpectedly, Don Walser's traditional country music began to be embraced by the rock crowd and he began to perform at Emo's, Austin's home of punk and alternative music. All the while he continued to perform in Austin at more traditional country venues such as Henry's Bar, Jovita's and the Broken Spoke. In 1995 Walser was profiled on ABC's PrimeTime Live and his records began to get press in Rolling Stone, Spin and the College Music Journal. He made his debut at the Grand Ol' Opry in 1999 and was honored with the National Heritage Award in Washington, DC in 2000.

Jess Walters
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY Birthdate: 11/18/1908 Deathdate: 10/8/2000
Jess Walters made his New York Opera Company debut in 1941 and, over the course of a long career, sang more than 55 major operatic roles. Walters made his European debut in 1947 with London's Royal Opera-Covent Garden; he gave 684 performances with the opera company. Arriving in Austin in 1965, Walters performed and directed for the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Austin, UT Opera Theatre, Capitol City Playhouse and Austin Lyric Opera. In 1997, he was honored by the Royal Opera in a London ceremony, and in 1998, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society devoted a musical tribute to Walters and his wife, Emma.

Mercy Dee Walton
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Waco
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Waco Birthdate: 8/3/1915 Deathdate: 12/1962
Pianist Mercy Dee Walton moved to Texas along with many other postwar California R&B pioneers. He had played piano around Waco from the age of 13 before hitting the West Coast in 1938. Once there, the pianist gigged up and down the length of the Golden State before debuting on record in 1949 with "Lonesome Cabin Blues" for the tiny Spire logo, which became a national R&B hit. Walton, who usually recorded under the handle of Mercy Dee, was a talented songsmith whose compositions ran the gamut from lowdown blues to jumping R&B items.

Joe "Country" Washburn
Genres: Big Band
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals, bass
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 12/28/1904 Deathdate: 1/21/1974
Joe "Country" Washburn performed in dance orchestras and was featured performer with the Ted Weems Band (1924-42). His songs included "One Dozen Roses," "I Saw Esau," "That's the Reason," and "We'll Sing the Old Songs."

Ferdinand "Fats" Washington
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocalist, songwriter
Birthplace: Shreveport, LA Birthdate: 5/20/1927 Deathdate: 1970
Ferdinand "Fats" Washington wrote more than 150 songs prior to his death at the age of 43 in 1970. Many of the songs co-written with Blues legend Lowell Fulson (aka Fulsom) were recorded and released by Fulson in the 1960s on the Kent label and have been re-released in recent years by Ace Records. Fulsons Chess recordings from 1954-1963 were re-released by MCA in 1997. Washington also penned "Pledging My Love," a BMI award winner that was recorded by Elvis Presley, Emmy Lou Harris, David Allen Coe, Johnny Ace, Kitty Wells, Delbert McClinton and Aaron Neville to name a few. The song is also featured in the blockbuster films "Back To The Future," "Color Of Money" and "Christine."

Johnny "Guitar" Watson
Genres: Blues, R&B
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 2/3/1935 Deathdate: 5/18/1996
Guitarist, pianist, and vocalist Johnny "Guitar" Watson was born February 3, 1935 in Houston, Texas. After the family moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, Watson toured with the Chuck Higgins Band the Olympics, Little Richard (where he switched from piano to guitar) and New Orleans bluesman Guitar Slim. He developed a flamboyant stage act and often played the guitar while standing on his head, or, playing it with his teeth or feet. Watson's first album, "Space Cowboy," in 1954 pioneered the use of feedback and reverberation and he enjoyed minor hits throughout the late 50s and 60s. His greatest success came in the 1970s, when he released seven hit albums including "Ain't That a Bitch," "Master Funk," "Funk Beyond the Call of Duty," and "A Real Mother for Ya." In addition to recording, Watson also performed on selected Frank Zappa albums, and played solo on Herb Alpert's "Beyond." Watson continued to tour and made a comeback in the 1990s recording his first album in fourteen years, "Bow Wow," and receiving a Grammy nomination for best contemporary blues album.

A photo of Willie Jitterbug Webb standing with his guitarWillie "Jitterbug" Webb 2
Genres: Blues
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 9/28/1941 Deathdate: 11/1997
Willie "Jitterbug Webb" performed frequently with artists such as Cora Woods, Freddy Fender, Doug Sahm, Johnny Olen, Augie Meyers, Rocky Morales and Charlie Alvarado, Sunny Ozuna, Ike and Tina Turner and more. Webb was nominated and crowned "The Blues King" during the April 1994 San Antonio Fiesta. He received a proclamation from the City of San Antonio signed by the mayor, played the Bowie Street Blues Festival and shared the bill with B.B. King at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio.
Colleges: San Antonio College



 


Kathryn Thorne "Katie" Webster
2 3

Genres: Blues, Cajun
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals, piano
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 9/1/1939 Deathdate: 9/9/1999
Buried at: Forest Park East, Houston, Galveston County
Dubbed the "Swamp Boogie Queen," Katie Webster was a multitalented pianist, "electric blues" vocalist, and harmonica player. Webster played piano on more than 500 recordings. She worked with such influential musicians as Guitar Jr., Lightnin' Slim, Lazy Lester, Lonesome Sundown, Juke Boy Bonner, Hop Wilson, Ashton Savoy, Otis Redding and James Brown.
Schools: She graduated from high school in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Julius Weiss
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: Texarkana
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Saxony Birthdate: 1841 Deathdate: NA
Young Scott Joplin began free piano lessons with Julius Weiss who also taught him the basics of sight reading, harmony, and appreciation, particularly of opera.

Henry James Wells
Genres: Jazz
Based in:
Instrument: trombone, vocals
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 1906 Deathdate: NA
Henry James Wells, jazz trombonist and vocalist, recorded with two of the important bands of the Swing Era, Jimmie Lunceford and Andy Kirk. Additionally, he played with many other prominent musicians and bands during the 1920s to 1940s. In the 1960s Wells was active in music in California, after which he all but disappeared from record.
Colleges: Fisk University in Nashville; Cincinnati Conservatory

Barry White
Genres: R&B
Based in: Galveston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Galveston Birthdate: 9/12/1944 Deathdate: 7/4/2003
Barry White made his first record when he was 16 with a group called the Upfronts. The song was called "Little Girl" on a local L.A. label called Lummtone Records. Later he worked for various independent labels around Los Angeles, landing an A&R position with Bob Keene, the man who first recorded Sam Cooke. White became known as a songwriter and producer for various groups during the 1960s. Eventually White stepped up to the mic and recorded eight Barry White albums, four Love Unlimited albums and four Love Unlimited Orchestra albums. In 1992, White signed with A&M, releasing the albums "The Man Is Back," "The Right Night & Barry White," and "Put Me in Your Mix" (which contains a duet with Issac Hayes, "Dark and Lovely"). "The Icon Is Love" became his biggest-selling album since the '70s releases, going multi-platinum. It included the platinum single "Practice What You Preach." White's career included 106 gold and 41 platinum albums, 20 gold and ten platinum singles, and worldwide sales in excess of 100 million.

Christopher Becker Whitley
Genres: Blues, Rock
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 8/31/1960 Deathdate: 11/20/2005
Chris Whitley was singer-songwriter who initially began his career as a bluesy roots-rocker. As his career progressed, he moved deeper into rock & roll and alternative rock. Though Whitley's albums usually received postive reviews, they rarely sold, and his tendency to rework his sound prevented him from developing a sizable cult following among singer-songwriter fans. He quit high school a year before graduation, moving to New York City, where he busked on the streets. One of his performances was witnessed by a listener who ran a travel agency, and decided that Whitley would be a success in Belgium and offered to send him to Europe. Whitley accepted the offer. The records made him a minor success in Belgium, but he decided to return to New York in 1990. He met producer Daniel Lanois later that year. Impressed by Whitley's songs, Lanois helped set up a deal with Columbia Records for the songwriter, and produced his first album. Whitley's U.S. debut "Living with the Law" was an atmospheric set of blues and folk-rock that received glowing reviews and earned him a slot opening for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

Otto Wick
Genres:
Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: composer, piano
Birthplace: Krefeld, Germany Birthdate: 7/8/1885 Deathdate: 11/19/1957
Composer, conductor, teacher and arranger Otto Wick emigrated to America in 1905 to study composition and conducting with Vassily Ilyich Safonoff, the conductor of the New York Philharmonic. His professional life was centered in New York until July 1935, when he moved to San Antonio. From 1937 until his death, Wick served as the musical conductor and general director of the San Antonio City-Wide Easter Sunrise Association. His works for orchestra include "The Gulf of Mexico" (1949), a symphonic poem inspired by William H. Prescott's "Conquest of Mexico." In Texas, he was dean of music at the University of San Antonio (formerly San Antonio Female College) for four years and taught for three years at Trinity University.
Colleges: University of Kiel in Germany

Rusty Wier ~ 2
Genres: Country, Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Corpus Christi Birthdate: 5/3/1946 Deathdate: 10/09/2009
Rusty Wier began performing professionally at age 13, playing drums with the Centennials. The Centennials led to 10 years of playing rock 'n' roll in bands such as the Wig with Benny Rowe and Lavender Hill Express with Layton DePenning and Gary P. Nunn. During his teenage years, Wier discovered the blues clubs of East Austin. When not playing football under the Friday night lights, Wier absorbed the sounds of B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, or whoever else might be playing at Charlie's Playhouse or other hot and sweaty soul-filled haunts in east Austin. Although Wier wasn't considered part of the Armadillo Headquarters "cosmic cowboy" in-crowd, he gained national prominence during his "outlaw" era. He signed his first recording contract with ABC Records, which made him the first Austin act to record for a major label. Wier went on to record for 20th Century and Columbia Records, which included nine charted singles and his signature song "Don't It Make You Wanna Dance." The song, written in 10 minutes in the back of a pick-up truck on his way back from Los Angeles, was later covered by eight major artists from around the world, including Barbara Mandrell and Jerry Jeff Walker. It was also recorded by Bonnie Raitt for the movie and soundtrack album, "Urban Cowboy," earning Wier a platinum album. Wier was inducted into the Austin Music Awards Hall of Fame in 2002.

Dewey Otto Wiley
Genres: Classical
Based in: Alexander
Instrument: violin
Birthplace: Alexander Birthdate: 4/17/1898 Deathdate: 12/30/1980
Dewey Otto Wiley was musician and band director, known as the "Father of Texas Bands." In 1921 at Simmons College, he directed the orchestra, taught violin and in 1922 became the band director. He selected the cowboy uniforms that would ultimately make the Hardin-Simmons Cowboy Band famous. Wiley became the band director at Texas Technological College in Lubbock in the spring of 1934. One of his first and most lasting contributions to music included starting a summer band school/clinic, which continues each fall at Texas Tech. After he retired from Texas Tech he became the first executive secretary of Texas Music Educators Association. Before his involvement in the association, Texas high school music was a limited extracurricular activity. Afterward, Texas bands enjoyed a reputation of excellence at the national level.

James Clifton Williams
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: piano, mellophone, French horn
Birthplace: Traskwood, AR Birthdate: 3/26/1923 Deathdate: 2/12/1976
James Clifton Williams - a well-respected composer, conductor, clinician, lecturer, and instructor of music theory and composition - taught at the University of Texas at Austin for seventeen years. Also while in Texas, Williams played horn for twelve years in the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra and five years in the Austin Symphony Orchestra, as well as winning the Texas Composer's Contest in 1950. Other honors include the cities of Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico declaring May 4, 1963 "Clifton Williams Day," complete with a parade and two international concerts. Additionally, The Texas Senate and House of Representatives commended Williams for fostering international good will through his music. Despite his passing, Williams is forever immortalized in Francis McBeth's "Kaddish," a composition written as a tribute to Williams, who was McBeth's teacher at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jerry Lynn Williams
Genres: Blues, Rock
Based in: Grand Prairie
Instrument: vocals, guitar, piano, percussion
Birthplace: Grand Prairie Birthdate: 10/30/1948 Deathdate: 12/2/2005
Jerry Lynn Williams was a prolific and respected songwriter whose work was covered by BB King, Brooks and Dunn, Johnny Lange, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray & Jimmie Vaughan, Delbert McClinton, Dave Mason, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Plant, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Colin James, Johnny Winter, Doobie Bros., Louise Hoffsten, Bellamy Bros., Hanne Boel, Paul Rodgers, Rick Cua, Wendi Slaton, Taj Mahal, Ringo Starr, Dion, Bobby Womack, Ron Wood, Johnny Diesel, Clint Black, Roy Orbison, Wilson Pickett, etc.; W.C. Handy Award - Blues Song of the Year "Living in the House of Blues"; 6 Grammy nomincations on Eric Clapton Unplugged "Running on Faith"; 6 Grammy nominations for Bonnie Raitt "Nick of Time"; Songwriter/Album of the Year NAAS for "Nick of Time"; Grammy/Songwriter of the Year - Hanna Boel Copenhagen ARETS Award 1991. Discography includes "The Original Forever Man" (2001); "The Peacemaker" (Urge Music and Records 1995); "Gone!" (Warner Bros. 1978); "Down Home Boy" (Warner Bros. 1971); "High Mountain Hoedown with High Mountain" (ATCO 1968); "Tell Me What You See 45" (Brownfield 1964).

Larry Douglas Carver "DC" Williams
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Austin
Instrument: saxophone, organ
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 6/11/1948 Deathdate: 4/30/2004
Buried at: died in Austin
Larry Williams was a master musician with an innate ability to master any instrument he set out to play. His main "ax" however was the tenor saxophone. He began playing at age 16 with C.B. House and the Nite-Riders, performing each Thursday through Saturday. At age 18 he joined the house band at Dallas' Blue Room, led by guitarist Johnny Andrews. Through that gig Larry was able to play behind the likes of Johnny Taylor, Z.Z. Hill, Rufus Thomas, Albert King, T. Bone Walker, Joe Simon, Buddy Ace, Irma Franklin, Little Eva, Charles Brown and a host of other blues greats on a regular basis. In 1972, as a senior at East Texas State University, Larry performed with the College Jazz Band at the Long Horn Jazz Festival winning one of four outstanding soloist awards. He taught music at Camp Gary Job Corps in San Marcos, at Hidalgo High School, Kealing Junior High in Dallas and at Huston-Tilleston College in Austin. In 1994, he again became a full time musician, often playing with Motown Legend Martin Banks from the Ray Charles Orchestra in countless groups including the East Side Band and giging with organist Jimmy Smith.
Schools: James Madison High School in Dallas
Colleges: He attended East Texas State University ( now Texas A&M University-Commerce)
Sites of interest:
Gary Job Corps
Kealing Junior High
Huston-Tilleston College

Lawton Williams
Genres: Country
Based in: Houston
Instrument: songwriter, vocals
Birthplace: Troy, TN Birthdate: 7/24/1922 Deathdate: 7/26/2007
Lawton Williams was a songwriter known for the 1957 song of the year "Fraulein," as well as "Geisha Girl" and "Color of the Blues." Williams learned songwriting from Floyd Tillman while stationed in Houston during World War II. His first songs were written for Cliff Bruner and Laura Lee McBride and Lawton himself performed on radio and recorded for Sultan and Fortune labels in the late 1940s, later signing with Four Star, Coral and Imperial Records. In 1957 Hank Locklin had a number 4 hit with Lawton's composition "Geisha Girl" and Bobby Helms recording of "Fraulein" hit number 1. "Fraulein" was also a number 16 Pop hit and Country Song of the Year at the Billboard and Cashbox Awards. As an artist during the early '60s, he charted two singles, "Anywhere There's a People" and "Everything's O.K. on the LBJ." Other artists to cut his songs included Jim Reeves "Senor Santa Claus," Gene Watson and Joe Nichols "Farewell Party," Bobby Bare "Shame on Me" George Jones "Color of the Blues" and several recordings of Fraulein including Jones and Townes Van Zandt.

Richard Gene "Notes" Williams
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Galveston
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Galveston Birthdate: 5/4/1931 Deathdate: 11/5/1985
Richard Gene "Notes" Williams played in the Galveston area before enrolling in the music program at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. Upon being discharged from the Air Force, Williams joined up with Lionel Hampton and toured Europe with Hampton's band. He also became a regular player with Charles Mingus' Jazz Workshop, Max Roach, Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington, and fellow Texan, Booker Ervin. Williams was seemingly everywhere during the '60s, performing and recording with high profile artists such as Charles Mingus, Oliver Nelson, Grant Green, Lou Donaldson, and Yusef Lateef. Williams played as a sideman on many albums for the Blue Note, Impulse, New Jazz, Riverside, and Atlantic labels, among others. Although he was best known as a bop-oriented improviser, Williams played free jazz on at least one occasion, a record date with alto saxophonist Noah Howard in 1977.
Colleges: Wiley College

Roosevelt Thomas "Grey Ghost" Williams ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Bastrop
Instrument: piano, vocals
Birthplace: Bastrop Birthdate: 12/7/1903 Deathdate: 7/17/1996
Buried at: Cremated - Some of his ashes were spread in Bastrop and some were spread on railroad tracks in downtown Austin. The rest are located in an urn housed at a private Austin residence.
Roosevelt Williams, aka the Grey Ghost, was the last of Texas' original barrelhouse blues piano-pounders. His inimitable, immaculately-honed style was a wonder to behold. Grey Ghost's career spanned from the 1920s through the 1990s. He was heard on a "Bluestage" show for National Public Radio in 1994. The mayor of Austin declared December 7, 1987 "Grey Ghost Day."
Colleges: Williams received an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Huston-Tillotson College in Austin

Foy "Foy Willing" Willingham
Genres: Cowboy/Western, Western Swing
Based in: Bosque County
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Bosque County Birthdate: 1915 Deathdate: 6/24/1978
Buried at: North Belton Cemetery
As a teenager, Foy Willingham performed as a solo vocalist on radio, and he sang with a local gospel chorus. From 1933 to 1935, he worked on radio in New York City before returning to Texas to continue pursuing his musical career. In 1940, Willingham relocated to California. There, in 1943, Willingham, along with Jimmy Dean and Al Sloey, established the group the Riders of the Purple Sage. The Riders of the Purple Sage soon became one of the most popular singing groups during the "Singing Cowboy" craze of the 1930s-1950s and appeared on numerous radio shows and in several movies. They recorded for various prominent labels, including Capitol, Decca, Columbia, and Majestic, and had several major hits, including "Cool Water" and "Ghost Riders in the Sky." Willingham disbanded the group in 1952, although the members reassembled occasionally to perform. Willingham continued to write and record songs and appear at western film festivals until his death.

Charley Willis
Genres: Cowboy/Western
Based in: Milam County
Instrument: vocals, Jew's harp
Birthplace: Milam County Birthdate: 1850 Deathdate:
Charley Willis was an African American cowboy who helped drive cattle up the Chisholm Trail from Texas to Wyoming. He was born a slave in Milam County in 1850 where he learned to be a cowboy. Willis became known for the cowboy songs he sang including the classic "Goodbye Old Paint." Willis is reported to have learned "Goodbye Old Paint" during a cattle drive in 1871.

James Robert "Bob" Wills 2 3 4 5 6
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western, Western Swing
Based in: Kosse
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Kosse Birthdate: 3/6/1905 Deathdate: 5/13/1975
Buried at: Memorial Park Cemetery, Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma
Bob Wills pioneered western swing, one of the few original music forms Texas and the Southwest have produced. He has been called "the King of Western Swing" and "the first great amalgamator of American music." He led the Texas Playboys, the premiere western swing band of the thirties and forties. "San Antonio Rose" is one of his many hits. Wills also went to Hollywood and made nineteen movies.
Colleges: Barber College
Annual event:
The Bob Wills Day Celebration, Bob Wills Museum, and Bob Wills Foundation are located in Turkey, TX.

Johnnie Lee Wills
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in:
Instrument: guitar, banjo
Birthplace: Limestone County Birthdate: 1912 Deathdate: 1984
The younger brother of Bob Wills, Johnnie Lee was born in Limestone County, Texas in 1912 to John and Emmaline Wills. In 1913, the family placed all their possessions into two covered wagons and moved across the state to Hall County in the Texas Panhandle. Johnnie Lee soon established his position within the musically-talented Wills family as a guitar and banjo player. At the outset of the Great Depression, Johnnie Lee got a job as a truck driver for Fort Worth's Burrus Mills and Elevator Company, which sponsored Bob Wills and his band the Light Crust Doughboys. When Johnnie Lee was fired over a dispute with his foreman, Bob hired his younger brother to play tenor banjo in the group. However, manager W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel objected to this, and Bob and several members of the band eventually left the Lightcrust Doughboys to form the Texas Playboys. Johnnie Lee remained a member of the Texas Playboys until 1940, when he began performing with his own band, Johnnie Lee Wills and His Boys. The group became quite popular throughout North Texas and Oklahoma and included many of the same well-established musicians that were part of the Texas Playboys, such as Jesse Ashlock and Joe Holley.

Arthur "Dooley" Wilson 2 3
Genres:
Blues, Jazz
Based in: Tyler
Instrument: vocals, piano
Birthplace: Tyler Birthdate: 4/3/1894 Deathdate: 5/30/1953
Arthur "Dooley" Wilson's career spanned more than forty years, beginning at age twelve with performances in vaudeville as a minstrel player and culminating in 1951 with a television role. During the 1920s Wilson led his own band, in which he performed as a singing drummer, on a nightclub tour of Paris and London. He returned to the United States in 1930 and gave up his drums for an acting career. He performed with Orson Welles and John Hausman in Federal Theater productions and then landed a Broadway role in the musical Cabin in the Sky. Wilson made his film debut in 1939. His roles were primarily supporting ones, but he became part of film nostalgia as the pianist/singer in "Casablanca" who responds to Ingrid Bergman's request to "Play it again, Sam." He also acted in "Beulah," one of the first television series starring black actors, in 1951. He was on the board of directors of the Negro Actors Guild of America.

Harding "Hop" Wilson
Genres: Blues
Based in: Grapeland
Instrument: lap steel guitar, vocals, harmonica
Birthplace: Grapeland Birthdate: 4/27/1921 Deathdate: 8/27/1975
Buried at: Mt. Zion Cemetery in Grapeland, Texas
Harding "Hop" Wilson is best known for his work on the eight-string Hawaiian steel guitar, which he helped popularize throughout the South during the 1940s and 1950s. Wilson played the instrument country and western-style on a stand or in his lap. His unique slide stylings had a significant impact on a variety of guitar players, including L.C. "Good Rockin" Robinson, Sonny Rhodes, Jimmy Vaughn, and Johnny Winter. Working in East Texas and Louisiana, he made a few singles along with a handful of tracks released after his death, which account for his entire recorded legacy. They were sufficient to establish Wilson as one of the most original blues artists of his time.

J. Frank Wilson 2
Genres: Pop
Based in: Lufkin
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Lufkin Birthdate: 12/11/1941 Deathdate: 10/4/1991
J. Frank Wilson became a one-hit wonder in the early 1960s when he was the lead singer of the hit song "Last Kiss." Wilson recorded Wayne Cochran's teenage-death melodrama, which rose to the top of the American pop charts in 1964. Wilson joined forces with the San Angelo band, The Caveliers while he was stationed at Goodfellow AFB during his stint in the Air Force. Among the madness and excitement of Beatlemania and the British Invasion, "Last Kiss" cracked the top ten charts of both Cashbox and Billboard. It's highest ranking was #2 on the Billboard charts and #1 on the Cashbox charts.

Theodore Shaw "Teddy" Wilson 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Austin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Austin Birthdate: 11/24/1912 Deathdate: 7/31/1986
Jazz pianist Theodore Shaw "Teddy" Wilson moved to Chicago after college where he had the good fortune to play alongside Erskine Tate, Louis Armstrong, and Jimmy Noone. He joined the Benny Carter band in 1933 and made several recordings. Wilson's big break came in 1936, when he began touring with Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa, making the trio one of the first interracial groups to perform in the United States. Between 1935 and 1939 Wilson also performed with soloists from the Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands, as well as with vocalist Billie Holiday. He formed his own band and worked with CBS studios in the 1940s and 1950s, and he taught piano at the Juilliard School of Music from 1945 to 1952.

Sidney Abraham Wolf
Genres: Classical, Jewish
Based in: Corpus Christi
Instrument: authority on synagogue music
Birthplace: Cleveland, OH Birthdate: 12/8/1906 Deathdate: 2/18/1983
Rabbi Sidney A. Wolf assumed the pulpit of the first Jewish congregation in Corpus Christi in 1932, then a city of 30,000 residents. Rabbi Wolf helped organize the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra and in 1945 served as the first chairman of that board. He was a recognized authority on synagogue music and was a member of the committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Wolf was an active member of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and was presented their Brotherhood and Humanitarian Award in 1974 for his untiring devotion to humanity.
Colleges: University of Cincinnati; Cincinnati Conservatory of Music; Hebrew Union College

Smokey Woods
Genres: Country, Jazz, Western Swing
Based in: Houston
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: 1975
Smokey Woods was one of the great legends of western swing, an eccentric personality whose talents as a pianist and vocalist (now somewhat forgotten) were influenced by Fats Waller. He recorded with the Modern Mountaineers (which also featured Hal Hebert, J.R. Chatwell and J.C. Way) and lead a Wood Chips session starring Clarence Clark, Uttenger and J.C. Way.

Lammar Wright
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Texarkana
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Texarkana Birthdate: 6/20/1907 Deathdate: 4/13/1973
Most of the Texas musicians of the first generation of jazzmen ended up in Kansas City. The first to record there was Lammar Wright of Texarkana, who probably arrived as a teenager. On Bennie Moten's first recordings of 1923, Wright is considered the most outstanding musician of the Moten band, which cut two sides entitled "Elephant's Wobble" and "Crawdad Blues." Wright recorded with: Charlie Barnet, Count Basie, Solomon Burke, Cab Calloway, Arnett Cobb, Duke Ellington, Illinois Jacquet, Charlie Parker, Esther Phillips, Bud Powell, Dinah Washington, and many others.

Leo Nash Wright 2 3
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Wichita Falls
Instrument: alto saxophone, flute, clarinet
Birthplace: Wichita Falls Birthdate: 12/14/1933 Deathdate: 1/4/1991
Buried at: in Vienna
Leo Nash Wright is one of the most talented and imaginative alto men to have come upon the jazz scene in the Sixties. Wright was a student of tenorist John Hardee of Dallas, who in the 1940s had recorded in New York for Blue Note. Wright possessed equal doses of talent on both alto sax and flute. He worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Jack McDuff, Oliver Nelson, Charles Mingus, Lalo Schifrin, Johnny Coles, and Kenny Burrell.
Schools: Tillotson College in Austin (former Sam Houston College before it became Huston-Tillotson College)

Mel Wright
Genres: Jazz
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: drums
Birthplace: NA Birthdate: Deathdate:
Mel Wright played trombone with the San Antonio band Boots and His Buddies in the late 1930s and had a musical association with the father of tenorist Booker Ervin.

James Harold "Big Sambo" Young
Genres: Blues
Based in: Beaumont
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Beaumont Birthdate: 8/3/1937 Deathdate: 6/10/1983
James Harold Young was a saxophonist and band leader. He appeared on a teenage dance program on KPAC TV in Port Arthur, Texas and performed with his band, Big Sambo and The Housewreckers. Young recorded "The Rains Came" (1960), with sales over 1.5 million until the NAACP objected to the name of the group as being derogatory. He also appeared in a movie with Vincent Price.

Roberto Zenteno
Genres: Jazz, Salsa, Meringue
Based in: Houston
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Monterrey, Mexico Birthdate: 1927 Deathdate: 7/29/2004
Buried at: Forest Park East Cemetery in Houston
Roberto Zenteno was a Mexican trumpet prodigy who played with Perez Prado and went on to lead popular big bands in Houston for five decades. By 13, Zenteno was performing with a popular Monterrey band that traveled throughout Mexico and the Southwest United States. In the 1950s, he began playing at the Rice Hotel and private clubs in Houston. "He was the first Latino trumpet player that white people actually used to go see," noted is son, Javier Zenteno."He used to play exclusive clubs for lawyers, celebrities, judges and athletes." (partially excerpted from Houston Chronicle obituary)

Samuel Peters Ziegler
Genres: Classical
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: cello
Birthplace: Lancaster, PA Birthdate: 1/4/1882 Deathdate: 4/7/1967
Samuel Peters Ziegler was a multi-talented artist who became known as a painter, printmaker, musician, and educator. In 1917, he joined the faculty of the fine arts at Texas Christian University, where he taught cello and music theory. Shortly after he became head of the art department at Texas Women's College in Fort Worth. Ziegler was a member of the American Federation of Arts, the American Artists Professional League, the Southern States Art League, the Texas Fine Arts Association and the Fort Worth Art Association. He also served on the Fort Worth City Art Commission and persued his interest in music, playing cello in the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and participating in the Pro Arte String Quartet.

 

Pioneers A-M | Pioneers N-Z

The Texas Music Office would like to thank the following folks for their assistance in providing this information: Texas State Historical Association, Texas State University's Center for Texas Music History, TMO intern Cory Kenworthy, Texas Historical Commission, Texas Music Museum, Texas Almanac, FindAGrave.com, TexasEscapes.com, Arhoolie Records, BobKat Designs' Texas Chamber of Commerce & CVB list, AllMusic.com, Gordon Polatnick's Dead Musician Directory, The Red Hot Jazz Archive, Big Bands Database, the Dallas Morning News, the Austin American-Statesman and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.