The Handbook of Texas Music available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Texas State Historical Association
For centuries Texas has been a musical and cultural crossroads, and the Handbook of Texas Music carefully documents the complex convergence of numerous musical and cultural traditions in this state where east meets west, southern plantations meet high plains ranches, and where an ethnically diverse American culture shares an international border with Mexico. The music of American Indians, Anglo-Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, and numerous immigrant groups--Germans, Czechs, Cajuns, among many others--was brought to Texas from every direction. These groups crossed paths, and for centuries have been swapping songs and styles ranging from ancient fiddle tunes to lively polkas and boogie-woogie piano stomps. The stories of Texas music are as powerful as the music itself, and the Handbook of Texas Music tells those stories well.
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Believe it or not, Texas music is not all twangin' or 'I'm A Lone Cowhand' - music of the Lone Star State reflects the diverse cultural backgrounds from which it sprang - American Indians, Anglo- Americans, African Americans, German Americans, and various other immigrant groups. Representatives of this musical heritage are as different as Janis Joplin and Van Cliburn, yet all share one thing in common - the great state of Texas. Here, in The Handbook of Texas Music one finds alphabetical listings of all that has contributed to this rich musical background. Beginning with Elmer Akins, a radio announcer and gospel music promoter who formed the Royal Gospel Quartet in the early 1940s, and concluding with Zydeco, 'a type of music that evolved from an acoustic folk idiom known as la-la, dating back to the 1920s and unique to black Creoles...' In between there is a plethora of information. We learn that the 'Yellow Rose of Texas' is a song about a slave who was supposed to have assisted in winning the battle of San Jacinto, and that musician and composer Roger Miller had no formal training on any of the instruments he played nor did he ever learn to read music. The roster of notables included is lengthy, including Buck Owens, Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Selena, the Light Crust Doughboys, and the list goes on. A bonanza for scholars and music lovers alike The Handbook of Texas Music is 390 pages of facts and noteworthy (pun intended) information.