The Roots of Texas Music

Overview

The music of Texas and the American Southwest is as diverse and distinctive as the many different groups who have lived in the region over the past several centuries," writes Gary Hartman in his introduction to this refreshingly different look at various genres of Texas music. Roots of Texas Music celebrates the diverse sources of the music of the Lone Star State by gathering chapters by specialists on each of them-specialists whose views may not have dominated the perception of...
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Overview

The music of Texas and the American Southwest is as diverse and distinctive as the many different groups who have lived in the region over the past several centuries," writes Gary Hartman in his introduction to this refreshingly different look at various genres of Texas music. Roots of Texas Music celebrates the diverse sources of the music of the Lone Star State by gathering chapters by specialists on each of them-specialists whose views may not have dominated the perception of Texas music to date.

Editor Lawrence Clayton conceived this project as one that would not simply repeat the common wisdom about Texas music traditions, but rather would offer new perspectives. He therefore called on contributors whose work had been well-grounded but not necessarily widely published. The result is a lively, captivating, and original look at the musical traditions of Texas Germans and Czechs, black Creoles and Chicanos, and blues and gospel singers.

Hartman's introduction places these repertoires within the larger picture of one of the most fertile musical seedbeds the nation knows. The diverse genres included in the anthology also provide an introduction to the classes, cultures, races, and ethnic groups of Texas and highlight the ways in which the state's musical wealth has influenced the listening habits of the nation.

The late LAWRENCE S. CLAYTON was dean of Liberal Arts at Hardin-Simmons University. His many publications focused largely on the life and literature of the American West, especially on the contemporary cowboy and ranch life.JOE W. SPECHT is director of the Jay-Rollins Library at McMurry University. A former co-host of his own radio show, Burning Memories: The Texas Tradition, he has contributed entries to The Country Music Encyclopedia and has published articles in Old Time Music and The Journal of Texas Music History.

What Readers Are Saying:

"If you've ever been to the Texas Folklife Festival and sampled all the different types of music being played you should have an acquaintance with and appreciation of our state. The Roots of Texas Music will add to that appreciation." --Bryan College Station Eagle

"This is a book to be read slowly, letting the mind go back in memory to the composers and performers as they are mentioned. You will find a wealth of new names to investigate and enjoy their work. You might even find several times thinking, 'I didn't know they were from Texas.' This is definitely a two bookmark book." --North Texas E-News

". . .an important addition to the growing body of literature on the history of Texas music. . . This anthology is very well-suited for a popular audience as well as for use in undergraduate and graduate courses on the history of Texas music. In some cases, the essays only whet the reader's appetite for deeper research into their respective topics, but collectively they provide a very important introduction to the study of Texas music history from the perspective of the state's ethnic diversity." --Texas Books in Review

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Editorial Reviews

Western Historical Quarterly
. . . a rather fine collection of essays. . .
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Product Details

Meet the Author

The late LAWRENCE S. CLAYTON was dean of Liberal Arts at Hardin-Simmons University. His many publications focused largely on the life and literature of the American West, especially on the contemporary cowboy and ranch life. JOE W. SPECHT is collection manager of the Grady McWhiney Research Foundation and former director of the Jay-Rollins Library at McMurry University. He has contributed entries to The Country Music Encyclopedia and has articles published in Old Time Music and The Journal of Texas Music History.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
1 The Roots Run Deep: An Overview of Texas Music History 3
2 Texan Jazz: 1920-50 37
3 Put a Nickel in the Jukebox: The Texas Tradition in Country Music, 1922-50 66
4 Early Texas Bluesmen 95
5 Roots of Classical Music in Texas: The German Contribution 119
6 Make a Joyful Noise: Some Popular Religious Music in Twentieth-Century Texas 138
7 Chicano Music: Evolution and Politics to 1950 146
8 Czech and Polish Music in Texas before World War II 175
9 Black Creoles and the Evolution of Zydeco in Southeast Texas: The Beginnings to 1950 192
Contributors 217
Index 219
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