Services and History

Texas Music Office
P.O. Box 13246 Austin, Texas 78711
512.463.6666

State Insurance Building, Suite 3.418
1100 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, Texas 78701

Casey J. Monahan, Director
Marc Fort, Publications Coordinator
Stephen Ray, Office Manager
Fellowship Interns: Hannah McGovern-Wenkstern, Carly Ortel, Simone Wilson


Services

Serves as clearinghouse for Texas music industry information using the TMO's Business Referral Network.

Provides referrals to Texas music businesses, talent and events in order to attract new business to Texas and/or to encourage Texas businesses and individuals to keep music business in-state.

Serves as liaison between music businesses and other government offices and agencies.

Publicizes significant developments within the Texas music industry.


History

The Texas Music Office (TMO) is a state-funded business promotion office and information clearinghouse for the Texas music industry. The TMO assists more than 14,000 individual clients each year, ranging from a new band trying to make statewide business contacts to BBC journalists seeking information on Down South Hip hop. The TMO is the sister office to the Texas Film Commission, both of which are within the Office of the Governor.

The TMO serves the Texas music industry by using its Business Referral Network: Texas Music Industry (7,300 Texas music businesses in 96 music business categories); Texas Music Events (690 Texas music events); Texas Talent Register (7,200 Texas recording artists); Texas Radio Stations (824 Texas stations); US Music Contacts; Classical Texas (detailed information for all classical music organizations in Texas); and International (949 foreign businesses interested in Texas music).

The TMO created and maintains EnjoyTexasMusic.com which contains 15,962 business, band or event listings totaling 3,028 printed pages. In 2007, it attracted 383,118 unique visitors resulting in 1,039,135 page views.

The TMO opened January 15, 1990, with the legislative mandate "to promote the development of the music industry in the state by informing members of that industry and the public about the resources available in the state for music production."

By creating the Texas Music Commission (TMC) in 1985, the 70th session of the Texas Legislature identified music as an industry in need of state government recognition and assistance. The TMC was a nine-member advisory board appointed by the Governor Mark White that held hearings for and issued annual reports to the Legislature. Its primary advocate was House Speaker Gib Lewis, whose staff, notably Bekki Lammert, handled the support for the volunteer Commission's nine members.

This was the first law passed by a state legislature in the United States creating an office promoting commercial music business.

During the next legislature in 1987, $25,000 was appropriated to the new Texas Department of Commerce to further research the music industry to determine the best way for a state entity to assist music business development. In 1988 TDC partially funded Texas' first Group Stand at the world's largest music business convention, MIDEM, consisting of various Texas music businesses presenting their music at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France.

One of the TMC's final recommendations was to create, as a sister office to the Texas Film Commission, a staffed office in the Executive branch promoting music business. The Legislature passed as part of the TDC budget a new law that stated, "(a) The office shall promote the development of the music industry in the state by informing members of that industry and the public about the resources available in the state for music production."

The Texas Film Commission, appropriated $39,000 for music, posted the job notice for the first TMO director in September 1989. More than 80 people applied. TFC Director Joseph Dial and Deputy Director Tom Copeland selected Casey Monahan, a music journalist with the Austin American-Statesman since 1985. The TMO officially opened January 20, 1990 during the administration of Texas Governor William P. Clements.

During its first year the TMO compiled Texas' first Business Referral Network for music. More than 1,000 Texas music businesses were interviewed.

In January 1991, Ann Richards was sworn in as Texas Governor. One of her first legislative requests was to move the TMO and the Texas Film Commission from the Texas Department of Commerce to the Office of the Governor. Richards' longtime personal interest in Texas music and film greatly raised the public profile of both industries, and bringing these two programs into the Governor's Office institutionalized these industries as key parts of Texas' future economic growth plans. Other Richards music milestones include publishing the first Texas Music Industry Directory (1991), and her "Welcome to Texas" speech to the opening-day registrants of the 1993 South By Southwest.

In March 1991 the TMO published the first of 16 annual editions of the Texas Music Industry Directory. The TMID, released concurrently with SXSW, went from 199 pages with 1169 listings in 1991, to 432 pages with 15,278 listings in its final edition in 2006. Ninety-six different types of music business were cross-referenced. The TMID was edited by Monahan with assistance of publication coordinators Deb Freeman (1991-1998), Jodi Jenkins (1999-2004), and Andrew Leeper (2005-2006).

In 1994, Monahan joined Austin area artist manager Carlyne Majer, Asleep at the Wheel band leader Ray Benson, South By Southwest Managing Director Roland Swenson and City of Austin music liaison Bob Meyer to bring to Texas a Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The Recording Academy opened its first new chapter in 22 years in September 1994 when the Texas chapter opened its doors in Austin.

In 1994, the TMO created its first annual calendar of annual live music events.

In 1995, the TMO collaborated with the Texas State Library & Archives Commission to create its first website, www.governor.state.tx.us/music.

In 1996, Texas Governor George W. Bush added one staff member to the TMO.

In 1999, the TMO created the first statewide referral network for Mariachi Education and Mariachi Talent.

In 1999, the TMO collaborated with University of Texas School of Law Fellowship recipient Kate Hayman to produce the booklet "Getting Started In The Music Business." This online publication provides answers to basic legal and business questions associated with the music industry. The 2008 edition has been expanded to cover many Internet-related topics, including digital music copyright law.

In 2000, the TMO collaborated with 12 MBA candidates from the Red McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin to produce "The Musicians and Retailers Guide to the Internet," a 32- page primer on how to build effective music-related websites.

In 2001, the TMO brought together the Texas State Historical Association and Texas State University's new Center for Texas Music History to publish The Handbook of Texas Music, an encyclopedia of the state's rich musical history and heritage.

Also in 2001, the TMO began its annual Capitol Salute to Texas Music, a reception during South by Southwest bringing together state representatives and state senators with music industry leaders to discuss music opportunities as well as to hear Texas legends such as Johnny Gimble, Junior Brown, and Randy Garibay.

In 2002 the TMO created the Texas Music History Tour, an online guide to the large number of classic Texas music venues and historical music sites.

In 2003, a bill creating an Enjoy Texas Music special license plate authored by former Sam Lightnin' Hopkins' bassist Rep. Ron Wilson (D; Houston), was passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry. Twenty-two dollars of the $30 extra fee goes into a TMO-administered fund that issues grants to low income schools to purchase musical instruments for its students.

In 2005, the TMO worked with Austin attorney Cindi Lazzari in her efforts to expand to musicians the protections enjoyed by visual artists during bankruptcy proceedings.

In 2007, the TMO (with the assistance of Texas Women for the Arts and the Texas Cultural Trust) created the Intermediate Masters program benefiting a Texas music student's graduate studies.

Other cities and states have created similar offices. By 2007, 13 city and state music promotion offices were in operation: Albuquerque Mayor’s Office of Music, Austin Cultural Arts Division, Austin Music Marketing Office, Chicago Music Commission, Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago Cultural Center, Louisiana Music Commission, Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission, New Mexico Music Commission, Oklahoma Film & Music Office, San Francisco Entertainment Commission, Seattle Mayor’s Office of Film & Music, and the Tennessee Film, Entertainment Music Commission.