Texas Music Pioneers (A-M) / Texas Music History Tour

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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 A-M

(Click here for Pioneers N-Z)



Photo of Darrell Abbott Darrell Lance Abbott ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Rock
Based in: Arlington
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Arlington Birthdate: 8/20/1966 Deathdate: 12/8/2004
Darrell Abbott formed the rock band Pantera along with his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul, in the early 1980s. After releasing three albums with singer Terry Glaze, the group explored a harder direction with the addition of new vocalist Philip Anselmo. Pantera soon became one of the world's top metal bands, credited with keeping the genre alive throughout the 1990s. Abbott's heavy but melodic style led to his being recognized as one of the top ten metal guitarists of all time by Guitar Player magazine. After the demise of Pantera, the Abbott brothers formed a new band, Damageplan, in 2003. Darrell Abbott, along with three others, was shot to death in Columbus, Ohio during a performance by Damageplan.
Schools: Arlington High School

Jacques Abram
Genres: Classical
Based in: Lufkin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Lufkin Birthdate: 1915 Deathdate: 1998
Abram was a child prodigy beginning piano lessons at age five, by age six he was playing recitals in movie houses across the state. At age 22, he was awarded the National Federation of Music Club's Young Artists Award in a tie with Ida Krehm. Abram was known as a brilliant studio teacher and the originator of "Issues in Music," a popular course at the University of South Florida which was later brought to television. He gave Arthur Benjamin's "Concerto quasi una Fantasia" its first English performance at the Cheltenham Festival in 1952 and the first American performance in San Antonio in 1953.
Colleges: He received a Diploma with Distinction from Julliard.

Elmer Akins
Genres: Christian
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Pilot Knob Birthdate: 3/10/1911 Deathdate: 12/9/1998
The fifth child of sharecroppers Jim and Hattie Akins, Elmer Akins became a beloved and respected gospel radio announcer and live gospel music promoter in Austin. While living in Austin during the early 1940s, Akins listened to WLAC-AM out of Nashville and developed a passion for the live broadcasts of gospel quartets, such as the Fairfield Four. He began singing in choirs and quartets and hosted live gospel programs at KNOW radio. Akins's Sunday morning gospel program on KVET-AM was the oldest continuously running American radio show, and Akins earned recognition as the longest-continuing radio host in the United States by the Texas Association of Broadcasters, when they honored him as a Texas Broadcast Legend in 1998. Akins also earned the titles "Voice of Austin" and "Deacon of Austin Gospel Music" during his half-century of broadcasting.

Victor Nicholas Alessandro, Jr.
Genres: Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: conductor
Birthplace: Waco Birthdate: 11/27/1915 Deathdate: 11/27/1976
Victor Alessandro, Jr. was introduced to music at an early age; he studied horn with his father, a prominent music teacher and conductor. In 1951, Alessandro took over as the conductor of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. The next year he also assumed leadership of the San Antonio Symphony Society's Grand Opera Festival. He introduced works by Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler, and Alban Berg to San Antonio audiences before they became fashionable elsewhere. Alessandro received honorary doctorates from the Eastman School and Southern Methodist University, as well as the Alice M. Ditson Award for service to American music.

Alger "Texas" Alexander ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Leona
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Jewett Birthdate: 9/12/1900 Deathdate: 4/16/1954
Buried at: Longstreet Cemetery, Grimes County, Texas
Alexander was the first person to record the classic song "House Of The Rising Sun" with his 1928 recording called "Rising Sun." He is known as one of the most important blues singers of the 1920s to the mid 1950s.

Birdie Alexander
Genres: Classical
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: piano, vocals
Birthplace: Lincoln County, TN Birthdate: 3/24/1870 Deathdate: 8/2/1960
Birdie Alexander is credited with having laid the foundation for the system of music education in Dallas' public schools. She established the teaching of singing in all grades and was the first to form citywide choral groups for public performance. Under her direction the first operetta was performed at Turner Hall on May 24 and 25, 1901, to raise funds for the children's department of the Dallas Public Library. In 1910 she organized the Dallas High School orchestra, which continued to function with annual concerts. In the same year she inaugurated music appreciation lessons in the schools with the purchase of the first record player and recordings with funds subscribed by interested citizens. Miss Alexander was a charter member of the first board of directors of the Music Supervisors' National Conference, and as chairman of the MSNC was responsible for the formation of the music department of the Texas State Teachers Association. In the summers of 1908, 1909, and 1910 she organized and taught courses in music education at the University of Texas. In 1912 she edited Songs We Like to Sing. Because of her health she moved to El Paso in 1913, and there until her death she taught piano and was a leader in musical activities.
Colleges: Mary Nash College in Sherman

Shelly Lee Alley
Genres: Country
Based in: Alleyton
Instrument: vocals, fiddle
Birthplace: Alleyton Birthdate: 7/6/1894 Deathdate: 1964
Fiddler and Western Swing pioneer Shelly Alley is considered one of the greatest bandleaders of the 1930s and 1940s. Descended from some of Stephen F. Austin's original settlers, Alley was born July 6, 1894 in Alleyton, Texas, a community named after his ancestors. Alley led the base orchestra in San Antonio where he was stationed during World War I. In the 1920s, Alley led several different orchestras, which played primarily pop and jazz. Alley became a pioneer in radio broadcasting when his bands got airtime on numerous Texas radio stations, including KRLD Radio in Dallas. In 1936, Alley formed the Alley Cats, which were based out of Houston and Beaumont. The band featured several members who would become famous in their own right, including "Pappy" Selph, Ted Daffon, Floyd Tillman, Clif Bruner, and his stepson, Clyde Brewer. Alley's most famous song, however, was "Travelin' Blues." In 1933, fellow Texan Jimmy Rodgers, accompanied by Shelly and his brother Alvin on the "twin-fiddles," first recorded the song in 1931. Over twenty different artists have since recorded "Travelin' Blues," including Merle Haggard, Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell, and more recently, Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

Irl Allison, Sr.
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Warren Birthdate: 4/18/1896 Deathdate: 9/6/1979
Irl Allison, Sr., pianist, music educator, was founder of the National Guild of Piano Teachers. Although Allison was best known to hundreds of thousands of music teachers and their pupils by his signature on certificates awarded by the National Guild for participation in the Annual National Piano Playing Auditions, he was also a renowned music teacher. He was also the founder and president of the guild-sponsored American College of Musicians and of the National Fraternity of Student Musicians. He founded the Golden Rule Peace Movement and began the World Peace Programs for radio in 1948 as well. Additionally, Allison compiled and edited the Irl Allison Library of Music in thirty-three volumes and initiated and promoted into an international event: the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. In Austin, where the Allisons made their home after 1943, he was largely responsible for developing the Azalea Trail, and presented azaleas to Lady Bird Johnson for the Lyndon B. Johnson Library.

Joe Marion Allison ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country
Based in: McKinney
Instrument: songwriter, producer
Birthplace: McKinney Birthdate: 10/3/1924 Deathdate: 8/2/2002
Buried at: Woodlawn Memorial Park, Nashville, TN
Joe Allison wrote songs recorded by Jim Reeves, Tex Ritter, Faron Young, Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby and Patsy Cline. Joe Allison's most important songwriting credit came in 1960, when Jim Reeves took "He'll Have to Go" to the top of the Country chart for 14 weeks. A song he wrote for Tex Ritter, "When You Leave Don't Slam the Door," hit the Country Top Five in October 1946.
Schools: East Van Vandt in Fort Worth; McKinney Texas Jr. High; Denison Texas High School
Colleges: Murray Jr. College in Tishomingo, OK
Sites of interest:
In 1943, Joe's first radio job was at KPLT in Paris, TX.
In 1944, Allison worked at radio station KMAC in San Antonio.

photo of Ruby Allmond playing the fiddleRuby Allmond
Genres: Country
Based in: Bonham
Instrument: songwriter, fiddle, guitar
Birthplace: Fannin County Birthdate: 5/2/1923 Deathdate: 1/23/2006
Ruby Allmond played fiddle and guitar, but is best remembered for her songwriting. Texas songwriter Cindy Walker introduced Ruby Allmond to Chet Atkins in Nashville starting Allmond's association with RCA Records. She wrote "I Mustn't Pass This Way Again" for Ferlin Husky and Dottie West took Allmond's song "Reno" into the Top 10. Ruby Allmond performed in fiddle bands in the 1940s when most female entertainers were regulated to vocals and provided the musical accompaniment to fellow Bonham resident Sam Rayburn's campaigns for Congress.
Schools: Bailey





Guadalupe L. "Wally" Almendar ~ 2
Genres: Polka, Tejano
Based in: Premont
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Premont Birthdate: 9/12/1933 Deathdate: 9/15/1996
During the last four years of the the Beto Villa Orquesta from 1957 to 1960, son-in-law Wally Almendariz played saxophone and helped Beto with the band. Then joined Paulino Bernal Orquestra and helped record their hit "Mi Unico Camino." He also worked with Armando Marroquin at Ideal Records backing Chelo Silva, Narciso Martinez, Las Hermanas Mendoza, Rosita Fernandez and others. Armendarez recorded "Quatro Milpas" for Ideal and later worked with Nori Cantu, Esteban Jordan, Manny and the Sunglows and Shorty and the Corvettes.

Ventura Alonzo ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Brownsville
Instrument: accordion, vocals
Birthplace: Matamoros, Mexico Birthdate: 12/30/1904 Deathdate: 12/14/2000
Mrs. Alonzo represented one of the first lady big band musicians in the state of Texas and the first Tejana accordionist to record. A mural dedicated in Ventura Alonzo's honor is located at Firestone Tire at 1601 Harrisburg at Macario Garcia Drive, Houston, Texas.
Sites of interest:
Ventura Alonzo's mural

Pearl Amster ~ 2
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: New York City Birthdate: 5/17/1917 Deathdate: 9/22/2000
Born Pearl Salzman, this classical pianist became a beloved patron of many Austin youth music programs and performing arts venues. Her many musical accomplishments include her debut performance at New York City's Town Hall at age 16, her recognition as the first woman awarded an artist diploma from the National Guild of Music and Teachers, her 1953 performance at Carnegie Hall's Steinway Concert Hall, and her release of her CD Inspired Collections, which was recorded on her 80th birthday. Amster studied under Rose Raymond and Roslyn Tureck and performed as a concert pianist and taught music for many years before she and her husband, Gus, moved to Austin in 1967. After moving to Austin, Amster continued to perform and teach piano. In 1984, the Austin Civic Orchestra named its annual youth concerto competition and accompanying scholarship in honor of Amster for her support of youth performance opportunities.

Clifford Jamal Antone
Genres: Blues
Based in: Austin
Instrument: Nightclub, Record Label and Record Store owner, bass
Birthplace: Port Arthur Birthdate: 10/27/1949 Deathdate: 5/23/2006
Clifford Antone acquired a taste for the blues at a young age, first from gospel music, then by ventures to juke joints on both sides of the Texas/Louisiana border. Antone moved to Austin in 1969, planning to study law at the University of Texas. Dropping out after a drug arrest that was later dismissed, he ran the local branch of the family delicatessen. On July 15, 1975, Antone opened Antone's nightclub at Sixth and Brazos, in what was then a rundown part of town. Soon blues superstars and sidemen made the club, where Antone would pay the band out of his pocket on a slow night, a regular stop. The first generation of Antone's performers included Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Fats Domino, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Albert King, Albert Collins, B.B. King,Bobby Blue Bland, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins and James Cotton. Local musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, W.C. Clark, Lou Ann Barton, Keith Ferguson, Doyle Bramhall, Angela Strehli, Denny Freeman, Paul Ray, and Kim Wilson, who served as the backing bands for the touring acts soon began to develop and establish their own followings combining and recombining into numerous acts and becoming the second generation of Antone's performers. As two of those acts, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble began their rise to international fame, the club moved to an old pizza parlor on Guadalupe, just north of the University of Texas, growing to include a record store across the street. In 1987, Antone expanded the brand to include Antone's Records and Tapes, issuing recordings by many of the acts who frequently played the nightclub. In 1997, the nightclub moved to its current location at 213 West Fifth Street where a third generation of talent began to emerge including: Eve Monsees, Gary Clark Jr. and Bob Schneider and the Scabs. Antone's philanthropy did not only extend to musicians. He began a series of ongoing benefits to "Help Clifford Help Kids" for local nonprofit American YouthWorks and was a principal organizer of the Neighbors in Need benefit for Hurricane Katrina victims. He taught a courses on the history of the blues at both the University of Texas in Austin and Texas State University in San Marcos and once stated, "My job is done if one kid is inspired to buy a Muddy Waters CD who didn't know who he was."
Colleges:
Antone taught at The University of Texas and Texas State University
Sites of interest:
Antone's Nightclub

Ernest Alvin "Texas Tom" Archia, Jr. ~ 2
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: tenor sax
Birthplace: Groveton Birthdate: 11/26/1919 Deathdate: 1/16/1977
Buried at: Oakwood Cemetery in Hempstead, TX
Tom Archia is a Texas tenor man that has performed with such giants as Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, and Milt Larkin. Archia studied under Percy McDavid, who taught an eclectic repertoire to his high school orchestra classes. Duke Ellington himself visited the school to hear the orchestra. In high school, Archia's own band consisted of Richie Dell on piano, the Jacquet brothers and Arnett Cobb on tenor saxophone and that was just the beginning.
Schools: Phyllis Wheatley High School
Colleges: Tom majored in Education at Prairie View A&M, graduating in 1939
Sites of interest:
Archia was living as a teenager in the Fifth Ward, at 4519 Lyons Avenue in Houston, across from the old St. Elizabeth's Hospital. (Illinois and Russell Jacquet lived down the street.)
Tom played with Milton Larkin and his band at the Aragon Ballroom in Houston in 1936.

John Ardoin ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Classical
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: music critic
Birthplace: Alexandria, LA Birthdate: 1/8/1935 Deathdate: 3/18/2001
John Ardoin, longtime music critic of The Dallas Morning News, was internationally known as an expert on opera diva Maria Callas. Ardoin often wrote about Callus, who was considered the godmother of the Dallas Opera, and penned four books about her as well. He was considered the foremost expert on her life and career. In June 1966 he became only the second music critic ever at The Dallas Morning News.
Colleges: University of North Texas; B.A. in music theory and composition from the University of Texas at Austin; Master's Degree from the University of Oklahoma; Michigan State University.

Robert Wright Armstrong
Genres: Classical
Based in: Brownwood
Instrument: band leader
Birthplace: Brownwood Birthdate: 12/18/1892 Deathdate: 9/15/1966
Buried at: Greenwood Cemetery in Fort Worth
Robert Wright Armstrong, railroad executive, soldier, and musician, was born in Brownwood, Texas, on December 18, 1892. The former military school cadet was active in both world wars. In the early 1920s. he organized the Old Gray Mare Band, which became the official band of the West Texas Chamber of Commerce. Armstrong was also a member of civic clubs in Fort Worth and Houston and the Western Railway Club of Chicago. He was active in the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and was president of the West Texas Chamber of Commerce from 1952 to 1954. In addition, he belonged to the Sons of the American Revolution and the Thirty-sixth Division Association (of which he was president in 1947-48).
Schools: Brownwood Public Schools

Joseph "Joe Tex" Arrington, Jr.
Genres: Blues
Based in: Rogers
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Rogers Birthdate: 8/8/1935 Deathdate: 8/12/1982
Joseph Arrington, now known as Joe Tex, introduced a style of music that has been copied by Isaac Hayes, Barry White, and others. In songs and ballads, in particular, he slowed the tempo slightly and started "rapping," that is, speaking verse that told the story in the middle of the song, before repeating the refrain and ending the song. The biggest hits of Joe Tex included "Hold On To What You Got," "Papa Was Too," "Skinny Legs and All," and "South Country," an album of Country and Western songs; his biggest seller was "I Gotcha," which went platinum (made 1,000,000 sales) in 1971.

Charline Arthur ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country, Rockabilly
Based in: Henrietta
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Henrietta Birthdate: 9/2/1929 Deathdate: 11/27/1987
Buried at: Fort Worth
Colonel Tom Parker, who later managed Elvis Presley, heard Charline on a West Texas radio station and, in 1952, brought her to the attention of RCA Records. She toured with the top country stars of the time and appeared on such important programs as "Louisiana Hayride" and Dallas' "Big D Jamboree."

Samuel Erson Asbury ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Music history
Based in: Bryan
Instrument: composer
Birthplace: Charlotte, NC Birthdate: 9/26/1872 Deathdate: 1/10/1962
Buried at: College Station City Cemetery located at 2530 Texas Avenue South.
Ashbury accepted the position of assistant state chemist with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station on the campus of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) in 1904. In 1951 he published a pamphlet, entitled Music as a Means of Historical Research, in which he discussed music as a medium for the presentation of historical narrative. He proposed to produce an opera to interpret the Texas Revolution through a cycle of music dramas, but it was never completed.
Colleges: North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering at Raleigh
Sites of interest:
Samuel Erson Asbury Papers, 1920-1955 are located at the Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Asbury attended the First Methodist Church in Bryan (one of the oldest downtown churches in Bryan) at 506 East 28th Street.

Jesse Ashlock
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Walker County Birthdate: 2/22/1915 Deathdate: 8/9/1976
Jesse Ashlock started playing violin at age nine. In 1932 Ashlock joined a band named Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies. In 1935 Ashlock joined Bob Wills's Original Texas Playboys as a fiddle player. He stayed with Bob Wills throughout the rest of Wills's career and continued playing shows until three days before his death. Ashlock's playing style had its roots in jazz. His fiddle style was characterized by hot breaks and hot choruses. His idol was jazz violinist Joe Venuti. Ashlock's attempt to play his fiddle like a horn earned him placement in the category of the "hot fiddlers."

Gene Austin
Genres: Pop
Based in: Gainesville
Instrument: vocals, composer
Birthplace: Gainesville Birthdate: 6/24/1900 Deathdate: 1/24/1972
Although singer and composer Gene Austin - born Eugene Lucas - composed more than 100 songs, he never learned to read music. He was one of the original crooners, and his tenor voice was well known in the early days of radio and on the hand-cranked phonographs of the 1920s and 1930s. His RCA Victor recordings sold a total of more than eighty-six million copies; one of the recordings, "My Blue Heaven" (1927), sold over twelve million records. He started his recording career in 1923, and the next year Jimmy McHugh produced his first hit song, "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street," with lyrics by Austin and Irving Mills. Other hit songs Austin introduced were "My Melancholy Baby," "Girl of My Dreams," "Ramona," "Carolina Moon," and "Sleepy Time Gal." His compositions included "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street," "How Come You Do Me Like You Do?" and "Lonesome Road." Austin debuted in the movies in 1932 and ultimately made three: "Sadie McKee," "Gift of Gab" and "Melody Cruise."

Orvon Gene Autry ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Tioga
Instrument: guitar, vocal
Birthplace: Tioga Birthdate: 9/29/1907 Deathdate: 10/3/1998
Buried at: Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California
Gene Autry's first hit, "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine," eventually sold a million copies. His recording of this song set an industry record for sales and became part of the first album in history to go gold. He was the first film actor ever to become a major television star. And, his 1949 recording "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," became the first record in history to go platinum. Autry is the only entertainer with 5 stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame (motion pictures, radio, music recording, television, live theater).
Schools: Autry graduated from Ravia High School (Oklahoma) in 1925.
Annual event: Tioga Museum & Heritage Association sponsors an annual Gene Autry Festival.

Etheldreda Belle "Dreda" Aves
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: Galveston
Instrument: soprano
Birthplace: Norwalk, OH Birthdate: 1890 Deathdate: 4/17/1942
Etheldreda (Dreda) Aves, operatic soprano, was born in the 1890s in Norwalk, Ohio. She was taken as a child to Galveston, where her father was rector of Trinity Episcopal Church. She first studied singing with H. T. Huffmeister, director of the Galveston Choral Club and organist at her father's church. Her father reportedly had "vigorous moral objections" to Dreda's singing in public, with the result that she sang only at church services until she left Texas. She debuted with the De Foe Carlin Opera Company in the title role of Carmen in Baltimore in 1922. Although she began her career as a contralto, with the advice and help of Vilonat, her last teacher, she became a dramatic soprano. Aves joined the Metropolitan Opera in 1927 and made her debut in Aïda in 1928. She remained with the Metropolitan through the end of the 1931-32 season. She moved from New York City to Buckeye Lake in Ohio in 1940 or 1941, and died on April 17, 1942, in the nearby town of Newark, after an illness of several months.
Colleges: University of Texas; Columbia University; Damrosch Institute of Musical Art in New York

Pedro Ayala ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Polka, Tejano, Conjunto
Based in: Rio Grande Valley
Instrument: accordion
Birthplace: Nuevo Leon, Mexico Birthdate: 1911 Deathdate: 12/1/1990
Ayala was one of the respected performers of Norteño and Conjunto music. The initial accordion-bajo lineup was complemented by the addition of the tololoche, or upright bass. This development is variously credited to Pedro Ayala. He turned full-time professional in his mid-twenties, playing throughout the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. His style and grace was unequaled by any of his contemporaries during the 1950s.

Harry "The Bear" Babasin ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: bass
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 3/19/1921 Deathdate: 5/21/1988
Harry "the Bear" Babasin became interested in music at an early age; he was a skilled musician mastering many instruments: bassoon, bass, cello, and the clarinet. It wasn't until after his graduation from North Texas College that he was introduced to jazz. While attending a Charlie Fisk Orchestra concert he landed his first big break when he and a friend told Fisk that he could outplay any member of his orchestra. When asked to prove it, Babasin and his friend Ellis embarked on a staggering bit of showmanship. Impressed, Fisk hired the boys immidately and took them with him to Chicago. A year later Babasin joined the Bob Strong Orchestra in New York City. He worked with various other groups before joining up with Charlie Barnet, with whom he relocated to California with in 1945. While in Los Angeles, Babasin worked with several musicians, including Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, and Chet Baker. Babasin was also involved in establishing the Los Angeles Theasum, an archive specializing in the preservation of jazz and other music recordings as well as instruments and other artifacts donated by musicians.
Colleges: University of North Texas

Photograph of A. O. Babel from the late-1800sAmandus Oscar "A.O." Babel
Genres: Classical, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Seguin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Seguin Birthdate: 12/22/1858 Deathdate: 1/19/1896
Buried at: Randolph Cemetery in Randolph, NY
A.O. Babel worked as a guide, scout, cowboy, and interpreter before becoming a musician. Although he was the son of a music teacher, he discovered his gifts as a pianist while convalescing at Fort Sill, Indian Territory where he began giving concerts to fellow patients. Babel grew to be revered as "the original cowboy pianist" who played classical Mozart, Vivaldi and Chopin. During his career, he played throughout the northeastern United States, including New York City; he was also summoned to perform for European royalty. Babel died January 19, 1896 in Randolph, Cattaraugus County, New York.




Gil Baca
Genres: Polka, Czech
Based in: Fayetteville
Instrument: keyboards
Birthplace: Fayetteville Birthdate: 4/1/1925Deathdate: 10/15/10
Gil Baca, a third generation Czech musician, began his musical career at age 8 in Fayetteville with his family's band. (Baca's grandfather - Frank Baca - had previously founded the first Czech band in Texas.) Gil was known for his unique piano style which became referred to as the "Baca Beat." He performed at the inauguration of President Richard Nixon. He also performed for the United States' bicentennial celebration at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D. C. Baca served with the original Washington Folk Festival, and the Texas Folk Festival in San Antonio. Baca was invited by the Czech Institute of Culture to play for the government prior to the country's demise in 1992; they sent Czech Airlines over to the U.S. to take him back to Czechoslovakia where he played two tours throughout the country.


Heinrich Backofen

Genres: Classical, German
Based in: Bettina
Instrument: clarinet, composer
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: 1768 Deathdate: 1839
One of the earliest references to musical instruments among Texas German immigrants, Heinrich Backofen, son of a prominent Darmstadt clarinet maker, brought "a whole chest" of instruments with him to Bettina in 1847. Complete name may be: Johann Georg Heinrich Backofen.
Sites of interest:
Bettina, Texas

Mollie Arline Kirkland Bailey
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: near Mobile, AL Birthdate: circa 11/2/1844 Deathdate: 10/2/1918
Buried at: Hollywood Cemetery, Houston
Mollie Bailey - "Circus Queen of the Southwest" - eloped and married James A. Bailey, and together with James's brother they formed the Bailey Family Troupe, which traveled through the country dancing, singing, and acting. During the Civil War, Mollie served as a nurse to the Hood's Texas Brigade. Some believe that she was a Conferderate spy who disguised herself as an elderly woman, passing through federal camps pretending to sell cookies. Mollie and her family enjoyed immediate success when they started the Bailey Circus, "A Texas Show for Texas People." At its height, the one-ring tent circus had thirty-one wagons and about 200 animals; it added elephant and camel acts in 1902. She is also credited for her generosity to various churches and for allowing poor children to attend the circus free. She was a pioneer as well, some say she was the first to show motion pictures in Texas including a one-reel film of the sinking of the USS Maine.

Sykes "Smith" Ballew ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Jazz, Polka
Based in: Palestine
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Palestine Birthdate: 1/21/1902 Deathdate: 5/2/1984
Buried at: Laurel Land Memorial Park, Fort Worth
Singer, Actor and Bandleader. He worked with a number of bandleaders including Ted Weems, Hal Kemp, and Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. In 1929 he organized the Smith Ballew Orchestra, and in the same year he signed his first recording contract with Okeh Records in Chicago. He appeared in twenty four films, 1936-50 including "Western Gold" (1937), "Under Arizona Skies" (1946), and "The Red Badge of Courage" (1951).
Schools: Sherman High School
Colleges: Austin College; University of Texas

Martin Banks ~ 2
~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Big Band, Jazz
Based in: Austin
Instrument: trumpet, flugelhorn
Birthplace: Austin Birthdate: 6/21/1936 Deathdate: 8/20/2004
Considered a jazz giant in the Austin musical scene, Martin Banks is a member of the Texas Music Hall of Fame. In the 1960s he was a long time member of the Apollo Theater House Band in New York, a regular session musician at the original Motown recording studio. Martin played and/or recorded with many renowned musicians such as Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, James Brown, BB. King, Sun Ra, King Curtis, David "Fathead" Newman, Larry DC Williams, Freddie King, Dizzy Gillespie and countless others.

William Archibald Barclay
Genres: Christian
Based in: Temple
Instrument: organ
Birthplace: Temple Birthdate: 2/26/1907 Deathdate: 1/28/1969
Buried at: family plot in Temple
William Archibald Barclay was a gifted pianist and organist from his early days. He began with his mother as his first piano teacher. As a teenager he would travel alone by train to Dallas to study organ playing and he had the ability to play any piece of music by ear. Because of this skill he was playing in church by age 10. He graduated from Baylor University in Waco and afterwards moved to Fort Worth where he accepted the position of proffesor of organ at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He held numerous other positions in and around Fort Worth, including staff organist at WBAP radio in Fort Worth (1928–42), professor of organ at Trinity University in Waxahachie (1933–36), organist at Hemphill Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth (1933–36), organist (1942–46) and minister of music (1946–69) at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth, staff organist at WBAP-TV in Fort Worth (1949–53), and "director of serious music" at WBAP–FM in Fort Worth (1955–57).

Benny Barnes ~ 2
Genres: Rock, Country
Based in: Beaumont
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Beaumont Birthdate: 1936 Deathdate: 8/8/1987
Benjamin M. Barnes Jr. combined rock and country to become a popular singer/guitarist that had several hits covering songs by "The Big Bopper." In the beginning of his career, he played guitar on an early George Jones Starday Records recording. After an oilfield injury, he began singing locally and joined the Starday roster. The next year he enjoyed a number 2 country hit with "Poor Man's Riches." However a followup was hard to come by. In 1960 he gave up singing and opened up a bar, The Blue Lantern in Beaumont. He made various other recordings, namely for Hallway (1962-65), Musicor (1965-68), Kapp (1968), Mega (1972), Starday (1973) and Playboy (1976). Only "I've Got Some Getting Over You To Do" on Playboy made the charts - a very modest number 94, in 1977.

Chase Baromeo
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: Austin
Instrument: operatic bass-baritone
Birthplace: Augusta, GA Birthdate: 8/19/1892 Deathdate: 8/7/1973
Chase Baromeo enjoyed a highly succesful operatic career and made his debut in 1923 at the Teatro Carcano in Milan, Italy. From 1923 to 1926 he was a member of La Scala where he sang under Arturo Toscanini. Because of Italian's difficulty with pronouncing his last name he changed his name, originally Sikes, to Boromeo which he used for the rest of his life. He also sang at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, with the Chicago Civic Opera Company, and with the San Francisco Opera Company. From 1935 to 1938 he was with the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York. He also performed with many of the leading symphony orchestras in the United States. He was married to Delphie Lindstrom on May 12, 1931; they had three children, one of whom predeceased him. While with the University of Texas, he directed and performed in many university-staged operas. Baromeo left the university in 1954 to join the University of Michigan faculty.

Carl Jared "Utah Carl" Beach ~ 2 ~ 3
Based in: Alvin
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Bartlesville, OK Birthdate: 1/31/1919 Deathdate: 9/24/1976

Dean Beard ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Rockabilly
Based in: Santa Anna
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Santa Anna Birthdate: 1935 Deathdate: 4/1989
Dean Beard was a rockabilly pioneer from West Texas that opened for Scotty, Bill and Elvis (Presley) in Breckenridge and Stamford, TX. He formed a band called Dean Beard & The Crew Cats which featured Dean on piano, James Steward on lead guitar, Jimmy Seals on sax and Dash Crofts on drums where they played regularly to large crowds in the area's American Legions, VFWs and clubs. In 1956 he went to Memphis to record briefly at Sun Records.

Carl Beck
Genres: Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: conductor
Birthplace: Ilmenau, Thuringia Birthdate: 4/26/1850 Deathdate: 10/2/1920
Choir, orchestra and band conductor Carl Beck studied music in Germany until 1875 when he moved to the United States and settled in New Orleans as part of a music group. In May 1884 he moved to San Antonio to conduct the Beethoven Männerchor and the Mendelsshn Mixed Chorus. He is credited for performing the first complete symphony to be heard in Texas in 1887 at a festival in San Antonio. After living in San Antonio for twenty years, Beck moved to Odessa in 1904. There he organized a fourteen member band that toured from Toya to Abilene. He moved around a bit from Pecos to Kingsville before returning to San Antonio in 1919 to again accept conductorship of the Beethoven Männerchor.

Jim Beck
Genres: Country
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: record producer
Birthplace: Birthdate: Deathdate: 1956
Jim Beck was a Dallas area record producer famous for recording country artists at his Jim Beck's Recording Studio in Dallas. The studio was a haven for local country musicians looking for contacts and a recording contract. There are veterans who say Dallas might have become the nexus of country music as Nashville is today had studio owner Jim Beck (who co-wrote the legendary "If You Got the Money" with Lefty Frizzell) not tragically suffocated on cleaning solution in his downtown Dallas studio.

Garland Wayne Beckham
Genres: Country
Based in:Dallas-Fort Worth
Instrument: country music journalist, publisher, and photographer
Birthplace: Lantham, Kansas Birthdate: 3/21/1929 Deathdate:10/15/2001
Buried at: DFW National Cemetery in Dallas
Garland Wayne Beckham began a publishing career working in the press room of the Daily Oklahoman. After serving in the Navy during WWII, he worked in the press room of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Virginia. Beckham worked in the Fort Worth area during the 1960s and 1970s as a publisher and photojournalist. In addition, he owned his own talent agency, Way-Beck Talent. He published the magazine Country Music Reporter and was a staff photographer at one of the most popular dance halls in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Panther Hall. There he photographed dozens of country music performers, including Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride, Tanya Tucker, and Bob Wills. Furthermore, he would occasionally sit in and play harmonica with some of the performers at Panther Hall.

Iola Barns Beers
Genres: Classical
Based in: Galveston
Instrument: educator
Birthplace: New Orleans, LA Birthdate: 12/17/1852 Deathdate: 11/13/1925
Iola Barns Beers is credited for founding the Girl's Musical Club of Galveston in 1890. The organization educated talented young women and assisted them in their musical studies with the help of trained musicians. The club met twice a week to study music history and analyze the work of great composers. In addition, the club oragnized and presented concerts. Later she served on the executive committee of the Ladies' Musical Club of Galveston. She raised money for for the Galveston public schools. In 1900, after the Galveston Hurricane, she joined the American Red Cross Association and was appointed chairman of the Eleventh Ward distribution commitee. Iola was a part of many progressive women's organizations and was on the board of directors of the Galveston Orphan's House and the Galveston Art League. Also, she belonged to the Wednesday Club, the Galveston Equal Suffrage Association, and was associated with the Women's Health Protective Association.

Tyler Dee "T.D." Bell ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar, vocal
Birthplace: Lee County outside of Dimebox, Texas Birthdate: 12/26/1922 Deathdate: 1/9/1999
Called "Little T-Bone" for his take on T-Bone Walker's jazz-tinged guitar style, Bell remained a staple on Austin's Eastside for 20 years. A direct link to the past, Bell was also a link to Austin's future; current local bluesmen W.C. Clark, Blues Boy Hubbard, and Matthew Robinson all learned at Bell's fingertips. In 1949, Victory Grill proprietor Johnny Adams lured him to Austin with the promise of three shows a week at the Victory.
Sites of interest:
Victory Grill
Continental Club

Jesse Belvin ~ 2
Genres: R&B
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: vocals, songwriter
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 12/15/1932 Deathdate: 2/6/1960
Buried at: East Los Angeles
Jesse Lorenzo Belvin was a San Antonio native raised in Los Angeles who was best known for writing "Earth Angel." He sang in his church chior at age seven and later discovered R&B as he approached his early teens. Shortly after joining a group called Three Dots and a Dash, Belvin was drafted, but while away from home, he wrote "Earth Angel." A doo wop quartet called the Penguins recorded it; it sold a million copies between late 1954 and early 1955. It became one of the first R&B singles to cross over onto the pop charts. Later, a lawsuit erupted over the origins of the song. After about two years, Belvin was awarded one-third credit for the song, alongside Peguin's Curtis Williams and a third singer who claimed to writing it. His prolific songwriting earned him quick money. Often, he sold them to others for as little as 100 dollars. On February 6, 1960, shortly after finishing a performance in Little Rock, AR, Belvin and his wife were killed in a head-on auto collision.

Gordon "Tex" Beneke ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Big Band, Jazz
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: tenor saxophonist, jazz vocalist, and big band leader
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 2/12/1914 Deathdate: 5/30/2000
Buried at: Greenwood Memorial Park, Fort Worth
Beneke became the official band leader of the Glenn Miller's Band in 1946. As a sidemen, Beneke was known for his flexible sax solos with Miller's band and for his occasional singing, most notably - "Chattanooga Choo Choo."
Schools: Paschal High School in Fort Worth; Jennings Avenue Junior High at 1015 S. Jennings Avenue, Fort Worth
Colleges: Texas Christian University

Arley "Buster" Benton
Genres: Blues
Based in: Texarkana
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Texarkana Birthdate: 7/19/1935 Deathdate: 1/20/1996
Despite the amputation of parts of both his legs during the course of his career, Chicago guitarist Buster Benton never gave up playing his music - an infectious hybrid of blues and soul that he dubbed at one point "disco blues." In the late '70s, when blues was at low ebb, Benton's waxings for Ronn Records were a breath of fresh air. Benton was a member of Willie Dixon's Blues All-Stars for a while, and Dixon is credited as songwriter of Benton's best-known song, the agonized slow blues "Spider in My Stew." A 1979 LP for Jewel's Ronn subsidiary (logically titled Spider in My Stew) stands as one of the most engaging Chicago blues LPs of its era, its contemporary grooves abetting Benton's tasty guitar work and soulful vocals. (cited by Bill Dahl at All Music)

Eloy Bernal ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Tejano, Conjunto
Based in: Kingsville
Instrument: vocals, bajo sexto
Birthplace: Kingsville Birthdate: 3/11/1937 Deathdate: 4/22/1998
Buried at: Kingsville
Conjunto Bernal became one of the most innovative and influential conjunto bands in twentieth-century Mexican-American music. They launched their career as teenagers in 1952 by forming "Los Hermanitos Bernal." The brothers introduced the chromatic accordion and were one of the first in conjunto to encourage experimentation with soloing, phrasing, and harmonies. They brought additional respect to conjunto music by being the first to wear suits. The Bernal brothers collaborated with such popular artists as Carmen y Laura and eventually renamed the group "El Conjunto Bernal." Later Eloy and Paulino became born-again Christians and Eloy went on to be known as one of the best Spanish gospel singers. Eloy Bernal was killed when his bus overturned outside of Corpus Christi, Texas. Paulino Bernal was a guest vocalist at his brother's funeral. A video of a Conjunto Bernal performance, Golondrina, was released by Eagle Video in 1996.
Schools: Eloy quit school to work.
Colleges: He did not attend college.

Carl William Besserer
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: New Braunfels Birthdate: 1851 Deathdate:
Originally born in New Braunfels, Carl William Besserer moved to Germany at age 14 for higher education.
Eventually he moved back to Texas in 1869, where he settled in Austin and opened a music store. As a talented pianist, Besserer began giving lessons. In addition, he interested some local boys into forming a band and orchestra. After many nightly practices, they began playing out and recieved much support from UT students. Soon they were playing statewide, boating parties at Lake Austin, at governors' inaugurations, presidential visits, and for troops leaving for war. In addition, he provided the musical programs for the popular Ben Hur river boat excursions, directed a state military band, and co-founded the Austin Saegerrunde (singing society).

Jiles Perry "The Big Bopper" Richardson ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Rock, Rockabilly
Based in: Sabine Pass
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Sabine Pass Birthdate: 10/24/1930 Deathdate: 2/3/1959
Buried at: Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas
Richardson was a disc jockey, songwriter and vocalist best known for his hit, "Chantilly Lace," which reached number one on the charts in 1958. He is also well known for being a passenger on the disastrous plane trip that killed him, Richie Valens and Buddy Holly. Other songs written by Richardson included "Little Red Riding Hood," "Big Bopper's Wedding," "The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor" and "Running Bear." In 1960, fellow Texan Johnny Preston recorded "Running Bear" and had an international hit. Richardson wrote approximately thirty-eight songs during his life, including the George Jones hit "While Lightning." In addition to his songwriting talent, the Big Bopper was a pioneer of the music video, capturing footage of himself performing "Chantilly Lace," "Big Bopper's Wedding" and "Little Red Riding Hood" all on the same day in 1958. He first used the term "music video" in a magazine interview, where he revealed his idea for a jukebox that showed movies of stars playing their hits.
Schools: Beaumont High School

Ruth Bingaman
Genres: Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Columbus, OH Birthdate: 8/29/1894 Deathdate: 5/15/1996
Ruth Bingaman made her debut with the San Antonio Symphony in 1915. Moved to New York and studied with Ernest Hutcheson who later became first Dean of the Julliard School of Music and then to New Haven, CT where she studied at Yale. She made her debut at Carnegie Hall in 1921 and subsequently toured the United States. She made 14 recordings (piano rolls) for the Deluxe Reproducing Roll Corporation.

Julius Lorenzo Cobb Bledsoe ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Classical, Jazz, Opera
Based in: Waco
Instrument: baritone, composer
Birthplace: Waco Birthdate: 12/29/1897 Deathdate: 7/14/1943
Buried at: Greenwood Cemetery in Waco
Singer and Composer. His best-known achievement was his portrayal of Joe in Florenz Ziegfeld's 1927 production of Jerome Kern's "Showboat." His interpretation of "Ol' Man River" made the song an American classic. Performing as a concert artist in the United States and Europe, Bledsoe was praised for his ability to sing in several languages, for his vocal control and range, and for his power to communicate through music.
Schools: He attended Central Texas Academy in Waco from about 1905 until his graduation as class valedictorian in 1914.
Colleges: He attended Bishop College in Marshall, where he earned a B.A. in 1918.
Sites of interest:
History of Central Texas Academy

Julien Paul Blitz
Genres: Classical
Based in: Dallas
Instrument:
Birthplace: Ghent, Belgium Birthdate: 5/21/1885 Deathdate: 7/17/1951
Originally from Belgium, Julien Paul Blitz moved to the United States when he was two years old and studied piano and violin as a child. He returned to Belgium to study music and graduated from the Royal Conservatory in 1905. A year later he became a music professor at Baylor Female College in Belton, Texas. By 1912 he was director of a women's singing organization in Houston called the Treble Clef Club. Blitz was the founding conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and conducted their first trial concert on June 21, 1913, at the 600-seat Majestic Theatre (now part of the Houston Chronicle) at Texas and Milam. In 1921 he married a pianist from San Antonio, Flora Briggs, and they performed many concerts together. They are credited as the first two professional instrumentalists to perform live on radio in Texas (in San Antonio in 1922). Before moving to Dallas in 1950, Blitz worked at Kidd-Key College in Sherman and Texas Tech in Lubbock. In Dallas he conducted workshops in cello and performed as guest cellist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Mody Coggin Boatright
Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Austin
Instrument: folklorist, educator
Birthplace: Mitchell County Birthdate: 10/16/1896 Deathdate: 8/20/1970
Mody Coggin Boatright began his career as a folklorist in 1925, when J. Frank Dobie asked him to contribute a tale, "The Devil's Grotto," to the next publication of the Texas Folklore Society. In 1934 Boatright published "Tall Tales from Texas Cow Camps." Boatright's second collection of tall tales, "Gib Morgan: Minstrel of the Oil Fields" (1945) presented the career and stories of a folk character comparable to Mike Fink or Johnny Appleseed. The book won him national recognition as a folklorist. Boatright retold stories in an unadorned and concise style much closer to true folk narration and recognized that in oral performance these tales were very molded by the immediate situation of their telling. His work stressed the importance of studying folklore in its total cultural context and of relating it to the lives of those who practiced it.

John Boles
Genres: Pop, Broadway
Based in: Greenville
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Greenville Birthdate: 10/27/1895 Deathdate: 2/27/1969
Buried at: Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park in Westwood, CA
After World War I, John Boles studied music in New York where his voice, physique, and handsome face led to his selection as the lead in the 1923 Broadway musical "Little Jesse James." He quickly became an established star of Broadway and attracted the attention of Hollywood producers and actors. With the introduction of Hollywood talkies, he acted opposite Barbara Stanwyck in "Stella Dallas" (1937), Rosalind Russell in "Craig's Wife" (1936), and Shirley Temple in "Curley Top" (1935), "Littlest Rebel" (1935), and "Stand Up and Cheer" (1934). He also had roles in "Frankenstein" (1931) and "Back Street" (1932).

A.D. "Zu Zu" Bollin
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Frisco Birthdate: 9/5/1922 Deathdate: 10/19/1990
Bollin formed his own combo in 1949, featuring young saxist David "Fathead" Newman. After a stint with Percy Mayfield's band, Bollin resumed playing around Dallas. In late 1951, he made his recording debut for Bob Sutton's Torch logo. Newman and saxist Leroy Cooper, both future members of Ray Charles' band, played on Bollin's "Why Don't You Eat Where You Slept Last Night" and "Headlight Blues." A Torch follow-up, "Stavin' Chain"/"Cry, Cry, Cry," found Bollin backed by Jimmy McCracklin's combo.

Moses J. Bonner
Genres: Country
Based in: Parker County
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Alabama Birthdate: 1847 Deathdate: 9/2/1939
Moses Bonner was one of Texas' earliest country musicians to record and one of the first to play a "barn dance." In 1854 he moved to Texas with his family and ten years later he joined the 12th Texas Cavalry (Confederate) and served until the end of the Civil War. In 1901, he formed the Old Fiddlers' Association along with Henry Gilliland and others. During the early 20th century, Bonner participated in both local and regional fiddle contests. In 1923, he broadcasted a program of old-time fiddle music over WBAP in Fort Worth. This was one of the earliest radio fiddle players. Bonner's popularity in radio progressed into a recording session with Victor in 1925. Bonner was active in Confederate veterans' affairs and was eventually elevated to the rank of lieutenant general in the United Confederate Veterans. He died in Fort Worth on September 2, 1939.

Weldon Philip H. "Juke Boy" Bonner ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Bellville
Instrument: guitar, vocals, harmonica
Birthplace: Bellville Birthdate: 3/22/1932 Deathdate: 6/29/1978
He was nicknamed "Juke Boy" at an early age as he frequently sang in local bars accompanied by the juke box. Juke Boy Bonner was a multi-instrumentalist who often performed as a one-man band. He played guitar, drums, harmonica, and various percussive instruments and mostly recorded for the Arhoolie label. Songs such as "Going Back to the Country," "Struggle Here in Houston," and "Life Is A Nightmare," all reflected his impoverished youth and the dangers he had faced living in big cities.

Euday Louis Bowman ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 11/9/1887 Deathdate: 1949
Buried at: Oakwood Cemetery, Section 21, 700 Grand Avenue, Fort Worth
A rag composer, Euday, contributed a classic tune that served jazz musicians in the making of some of their seminal recordings. Louis Armstrong's 1927 recording of Bowman's "Twelfth Street Rag," was a precursor to the trumpeter's phrasing. Most likely, Bowman wrote "Twelfth Street Rag" while playing in a Main Street shoeshine parlor located between Tenth and Eleventh streets. Bowman wrote several original compositions including "Fort Worth Blues," "Tipperary Blues," and "Kansas City Blues." Among the dozens of musicians, groups, and arrangers to interpret Bowman's rag are Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven, the Bennie Moten band, Duke Ellington with Benny Payne, Fats Waller and His Rhythm, Count Basie with Lester Young, Andy Kirk and his Twelve Clouds of Joy with Mary Lou Williams, Sidney Bechet and his New Orleans Feetwarmers, and Walter "Pee Wee" Hunt. Besides Bowman's recorded version, there are more than 120 versions recorded by other artists.
Schools: Euday Bowman most likely attended grade school at Webb School or Loyd School in eastern Tarrant County; Loyd School
Sites of interest:
Historical Marker located at 700 Grand Avenue, Oakwood Cemetery, Fort Worth
According to city directories, Euday and his sister Mary lived on Arizona Avenue until 1910, then moved to 704 Galveston Avenue in 1927, and then to 122 Saint Louis Avenue in 1929. They lived at the Saint Louis Avenue address until 1942 and then moved to 1005 College Avenue. Finally, they lived at 818 South Jennings Avenue after 1946. (Fort Worth)

Erbie Bowser
Genres: Blues
Based in: Austin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Davilla Birthdate: 5/5/1918 Deathdate: 8/15/1995
Erbie Bowser was a blues, jazz, and boogie-woogie pianist. Young Bowser followed family tradition and began playing piano and singing in the church choir. While in high school, he joined the North Carolina Cotton Pickers Review and began performing throughout the South. After high school, he joined the Sunset Entertainers and toured Texas with the Tyler-based band, playing blues, jazz, and big band tunes. Bowser also toured with the Special Services Band playing at USO shows. He moved to Austin in the mid 1950s and participated in jam sessions with musicians from nearby colleges, performed with fraternity bands, such as the Sweethearts, and played solo at the Commodore Perry Hotel. When T. D. Bell moved to Austin around 1960, they began playing together. Eventually, various combinations of Bowser, Bell, and musicians such as Grey Ghost, Mel Davis, James Jones, Lem Nichols, and Fred Smith, became known as the Blues Specialists. Bowser and the Blues Specialists became regular fixtures on the Austin music scene throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In the late 1980s, Bowser and Bell returned to the stage, and released an LP. Bowser made national and international appearances, including performances at the Smithsonian Institute and Carnegie Hall.

William "Bill" Boyd ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western, Western Swing
Based in: Fannin County
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Fannin County Birthdate: 9/29/1910 Deathdate: 12/7/1977
Boyd remained true to his western roots by using only a string-band, the Cowboy Ramblers. They were the number 4 Western Swing string band at their peak in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1934, he and the band moved to San Antonio to record for Bluebird, cutting hits including the standard "Under the Double Eagle," and "Going Back to My Texas Home." During their long association with RCA, Boyd and the Ramblers recorded over 229 singles; in the early 1940s, they appeared in six Hollywood films, including "Raiders of the West" and "Prairie Pals."
Schools: Dallas Technical High School located at 2218 Bryan Street in Dallas (Also known as Norman Robert Crozier Technical).

Clifford De'Shun Boyd
Genres: Christian, Classical, Jazz
Based in: Jacksonville
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Jacksonville Birthdate: 1/30/1953 Deathdate: 4/13/1990
Clifford De'Shun Boyd worked as a minister of music at Ebeezer Baptist Church and a professor of music at Huston-Tillotson College in Austin.

Jim Boyd
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Fannin County
Instrument: Radio and Television performer, bass
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: 9/28/1914 Deathdate: 3/11/1993
Buried at: Restland Memorial Park at 9340 Walnut Street in Dallas, TX
Jim recorded approximately 300 songs from 1934-1951 with his brother William "Bill" Boyd and the Cowboy Ramblers. They quickly became known throughout the region for their mastery of western swing. He performed at the Grand Ole Opery, with the Sons of the Pioneers and Roy Rogers and appeared in the 1942 film "Tumbleweed Trail" starring his brother. He also played bass in the Light Crust Doughboys.

Calvin Boze
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Wheatley
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Wheatley Birthdate: 10/15/1916 Deathdate:
Calvin Boze, Jr., is best known as a formative member of the rhythm and blues scene in Los Angeles during the early 1950s. In the mid-1930s, Calvin Boze played trumpet in the Wheatley High Band and then was a member of the Prairie View Collegians band at Prairie View A&M. Later in the 1940s, Boze became a vocalist for the Southwestern Territory Band of Marvin Johnson and then trumpeter for the Milton Larkin Orchestra. During this period he developed his noted vocal style patterned after Louis Jordon. He moved to Los Angeles in 1949 and during the early 1950s, he was well recognized in the rhythm and blues scene. He started out recording solid, jive-talking rhythm and blues songs for Aladdin Records. By April 1950, his group called the Calvin Boze All-Stars toured the West and East coast. When he returned to Los Angeles in 1952 he recorded more songs at Aladdin Records, but for reasons unknown, Boze dropped out of the music scene in 1953. The date of his death is uncertain.

Al "TNT" Braggs
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals, songwriter
Birthplace: Birthdate: Deathdate: 12/3/2003
Al Braggs made his mark as an exciting entertainer and became known as AL ""T.N.T." Braggs, Mr. Dynamite. Mr. Braggs' best-known song was "Share Your Love With Me," which became a Top 5 single for Mr. Rogers and was also recorded by Aretha Franklin, Freddy Fender, Phoebe Snow and the Band. Other Braggs compositions include "Soul of a Man," recorded by Bobby "Blue" Bland and Ronnie Laws, and "Crying Man," which was recorded in 1966 by the Boogie Kings. He also produced for a number of other R&B acts such as Little Joe Blue, Ernie Johnson and R.L. Griffin.

Doyle Bramhall ~ 2
Genres: Blues, Rock
Based in: Alpine
Instrument: drums, vocals
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 2/17/1949 Deathdate: 11/13/2011
Doyle Bramhall is best known for his collaboration with Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan and is considered one of the great Texas blues musicians of the late 20th century. Bramhall formed the Chessmen in high school with Jimmie Vaughan, opening for Jimi Hendrix in Dallas during Hendrix's first US tour. After moving to Austin in 1970, Bramhall collaborated with Stevie Ray Vaughan to form the Nightcrawlers, eventually giving Stevie Ray his start as a well-known blues musician. Bramhall and Stevie Ray continued their collaboration into the 1980s, and Bramhall served as a primary vocal influence to Stevie Ray, as well as writing and cowriting many of Stevie's most notable songs including "Change It," "Dirty Pool," "The House Is Rockin'," and "Life by the Drop." Bramhall died at his home in Alpine.

Zachary Charles Breaux
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Port Arthur
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Port Arthur Birthdate: 1960 Deathdate: 2/20/1997
Zachary Breaux was a flexible guitarist who could handle soul-jazz, post-bop and hard bop as well as more commercial pop-jazz and NAC music. Though the jazzman only recorded a handful of albums - including 1992's "Groovin'," and 1994's "Laidback," both on NYC, and "Uptown Groove" on Zebra - he kept busy as a sideman in the 1980s and 1990s and backed such major artists as Stanley Turrentine, Jack McDuff, Donald Byrd, Lonnie Liston Smith and Dee Dee Bridgewater. It was in 1984 that he met vibist/singer Roy Ayers, who he played with extensively. Signed to Zebra in 1996, Breaux seemed to have a bright future ahead of him, but tragically, while holidaying with his wife and three daughters in Miami, Breaux went to the aid of a female swimmer in distress, having saved a man from drowning in Italy in 1988. This time, the swimmer died and on reaching the shore Breaux suffered a fatal heart attack.

Ralph Briggs
Genres: Classical
Based in: El Paso
Instrument: composer, piano
Birthplace: NA Birthdate: 1901 Deathdate: 1977
Ralph Briggs was a classical composer from El Paso. One critic noted, "His 1962 Toccata takes the key elements of the traditional toccata form, and moves them into the second half of the 20th century via the subtle use of dissonnance and open intervals. There is urgency and dynamism both in the writing and playing."

Raidie Britain
Genres: Classical
Based in: Silverton
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Silverton Birthdate: 3/17/1897 Deathdate: 5/23/1994
Radie Britain is a California composer from West Texas who was educated in Chicago and Europe. At 91 years old, she was an active composer, her 280 works include orchestral, piano, organ, and chamber music. She experimented with atonal and serial techniques in her later works, but usually her works are lyrical, tonal, and strive to create an atmosphere. Many of her works were composed in a remote canyon in the country where she spent summers, and her programmatic works often are inspired by American landscapes and themes, particularly of her native Southwest.

Don Brooks
Genres: Blues, Country, Rock
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals, harmonica, blues harp
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 1947 Deathdate: 10/25/2000
Don Brooks worked as Waylon Jennings' full-time harmonica player and has been a session musician for Judy Collins, Harry Belafonte, Carly Simon, Ringo Starr, Bette Midler, Diana Ross and Billy Joel among others. He became one of the top studio musicians in New York and appeared on records such as the Bee Gees' "Main Course," Yoko Ono's "Feeling the Space," and the James Gang's "Newborn" during the '70s. By the '80s, his harmonica, with its simple, precise dexterity, was a virtual fixture on the New York music scene, and his instrument graced the records of the Talking Heads among numerous others, as well as the Roger Miller-composed Broadway musical "Big River." He was also heard for weeks on public television on the soundtrack of Ken Burns' documentary series "The Civil War."

Cecil Brower
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Bowie
Instrument: fiddle, violin
Birthplace: Bowie Birthdate: 11/27/1914 Deathdate: 3/1/1964
Cecil Brower played in countless Western bands and performed with some of the biggest names in Southern music. He was trained in Fort Worth by Ocie Stockard, the banjoist for Milton Brown, among others. He learned the art of breakdown fiddling and eventually crafted his own brand of fiddling which was such a recognizable style that it became the high-water mark for fiddlers in Western swing bands. Brower would go on to join several bands, and lent his talents to artists like Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Marty Robbins, and Brenda Lee, among many others.

Tony Russell "Charles" Brown ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Big Band, Blues, Jazz
Based in: Texas City
Instrument: vocals, piano
Birthplace: Texas City Birthdate: 9/13/1922 Deathdate: 1/21/1999
Buried at: Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California
Brown recorded over 200 sides with Aladdin Records and had several hits, including "Black Night," "Trouble Blues," and "Seven Long Days." Achievements include: the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Lifetime achievement award, a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award in 1997 and induction posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Schools: He played in the Galveston High School Band.
Colleges: He attended Prairie View A&M College, where he received a degree in chemistry.

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues/Soul
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar, fiddle, vocals
Birthplace: Vinton, LA Birthdate: 4/18/1924 Deathdate: 9/10/2005
Buried at: Hollywood Cemetery, Orange
Although his career first took off in the 1940s with blues hits "Okie Dokie Stomp" and "Ain't That Dandy," Brown bristled when he was labeled a bluesman. In the second half of his career, he became known as a musical jack-of-all-trades who played a half-dozen instruments and culled from jazz, country, Texas blues, and the zydeco and Cajun music of his native Louisiana. By the end of his career, Brown had more than 30 recordings and won a Grammy award in 1982. Other honors included Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award; Blues Foundation Hall of Fame; and 8 time winner of the WC Handy Award.

Thomas E. "Sleepy" Brown
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Shreveport, LA
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Cisco Birthdate: 9/17/1920 Deathdate: 12/24/2004
Sleepy played with Gov. Davis from 1938 - and on the original 1940 recording in Chicago of "You Are My Sunshine" - until 1957 becoming the Governor’s band leader and was one of the first muted trumpet players in country music, which eventually evolved into western swing. Sleepy also played with many performers on the Louisiana Hayride. He recorded with Floyd Cramer on "Dancing Diane" and with Slim Whitman on many sessions including "Careless Love." While in Palm Springs with the Governor, Sleepy was in several movies with The Governor for Monogram Pictures - including "Louisiana" (1947), "Mississippi Rhythm" (1950) and "Square Dance Katy" (1950) - and did extra work recording on sound tracks for other movies. Sleepy was invited to the White House with Governor Davis to play for President Truman and the President played piano with the band while the Governor sang. Through out his musical career Sleepy played on over 150 recording sessions and several musical sound tracks.

William Milton Brown ~ 2 3
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western, Western Swing
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Stephenville Birthdate: 9/8/1903 Deathdate: 4/18/1936
Buried at: Brown was buried next to his sister in the little cemetery in Smith Springs.
Some scholars believe Brown's role in the formation of Western swing has been slighted, and that the group he put together was really the first Western swing band. Seeking creative freedom in a band of his own, Brown organized the Musical Brownies in 1932 and shaped them into the first western swing band. His band assembly became the prototype for western swing bands - two fiddles, guitar, banjo, bass, steel guitar, and piano with pop vocal styling and occasional scat-singing. Between 1934 and 1936, the band made over one hundred recordings for Victor and Decca, becoming the first western swing band to record. Bob Will once said of Brown that he had "the finest voice I'd ever heard."
Sites of interest:
Brown performed regularly at the Crystal Springs Dance Pavilion, a dance hall at 5336 White Settlement Road in Fort Worth.
Brown died after a 1936 car accident on Fort Worth's Jacksboro Highway.
The Wills Fiddle Band, an early group, played every Saturday night at Eagles' Fraternal Hall in downtown Fort Worth.

Clifton Lafayette "Cliff" Bruner
Genres: Country, Western Swing
Based in: Houston
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Texas City Birthdate: 4/25/1915 Deathdate: 8/25/2000
Buried at: Houston
Clifton Lafayette Bruner, at 19 and one of the hotshot young turks of Milton Brown's groundbreaking Musical Brownies, was the most influential of all Texas fiddle players, of whom Johnny Gimble has said, "Cliff is the guy who pioneered Texas swing fiddle. He gave me goose bumps."
Sites of interest:
The Museum of The Gulf Coast

Stephen Bruton ~ 2
Genres: Blues, Rock
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Wilmington, DE Birthdate: 11/7/1948 Deathdate: 5/9/2009
Born in Wilmington, DE, Stephen Bruton grew up surrounded by music as his father was a jazz drummer. After moving to Fort Worth in 1957, the Bruton family opened Record Town, a record store specializing in jazz, blues and country. It was at Record Town where Stephen and his older brother Sumpter received an early and vast musical education. As a teenager, Bruton began playing and recording with a teenaged T-Bone Burnett, joining his brother Sumpter and Delbert McClinton to form Fort Worth's Bluebird Club's house band. In 1965, Bruton sold all of his belongings and traveled to the Newport Folk Festival where he witnessed Bob Dylan's "electric" debut. In 1970, after graduating from Texas Christian University, he moved to Woodstock, New York, eventually joining Kris Kristofferson's band. He spent nearly ten years with Kristofferson, appearing in the film A STAR IS BORN with Barbara Streisand. After working on the Willie Nelson film SONGWRITER in 1982, Bruton moved to Austin. Tours with Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt followed. Bruton's production of Jimmie Dale Gilmore's Elektra records debut, After Awhile, lead to further production jobs for Alejandro Escovedo, Loose Diamonds, Sue Foley, Storyville, and Hal Ketchum. Concurrent with his production work, Stephen Bruton released five solo albums. Bruton's nearly twenty years of sobriety inspired many musicians in the Austin music community to follow suit. Diagnosed with cancer in 2006, Stephen Bruton died at the home of long time friend T-Bone Burnett in Los Angeles on May 9, 2009
Colleges: Texas Christian University in Fort Worth

John Edward "Teddy" Buckner ~ 2
Genres: Jazz, Dixieland
Based in: Sherman
Instrument: trumpet, flugel horn, vocals
Birthplace: ShermanBirthdate: 7/16/1909 Deathdate: 9/22/1994
Buckner worked with Buddy Garcia's band, "Big Six" Reeves and Speed Webb, Sylvester Scott, Edyth Turnham, Sonny Clay, Curtis Mosby, and Buck Clayton's band. Buckner took over leadership of Lionel Hampton's band when Hampton joined Benny Goodman's Orchestra. Buckner continued to play with a variety of West Coast bandleaders from the 1930s-1950s, including Cee Pee Johnson's Band, Lorenzo Flennoy, Benny Carter, Horace Henderson, Gerald Wilson, Johnny Otis, and Kid Ory. Buckner also performed in films from the mid-1930s to the 1970s including, "Pennies from Heaven," where he appeared as a stand-in for Louis Armstrong. Louis Armstrong respected Buckner's abilities so much that he gave him a trumpet, saying, "Man, you're a real trumpet player!"

Omega Burden ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar, fiddle
Birthplace: Gordonville Birthdate: 1/28/1913 Deathdate: 11/25/1973
Omega Burden was known as the father of "Texas Style" guitar accompaniment. When he wasn't working on the Texas railroads, Omega spent most of his free time jamming with Major Franklin and competing in fiddle contests. He was the popular guitar player around the contest circuit for years.

Allyre Bureau
Genres: Children's
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Cherbourg, France Birthdate: 1810 Deathdate: 1859
Allyre Bureau was a political writer, Texas colonizer, musician, and composer who immigrated to Texas as a director in the charter of La Réunion, an experiemental colony of French and Swiss emigrants. He brought the first piano to Dallas and composed such songs as "Clang, Clang, Clang" and "Choose a Flower." One of his compositions appeared in a songbook used in the Dallas public schools.

Paul Francis Buskirk
Genres: Country, Jazz
Based in: Nacogdoches
Instrument: mandolin
Birthplace: Parkersburg, WV Birthdate: 4/8/1923 Deathdate: 3/16/2002
Buried at: Lower Melrose Cemetery near Nacogdoches
Buskirk, often called the world's greatest mandolin player had a profound effect on the careers of Willie Nelson, Freddy Powers and other up-and-coming Texas country artists in the 1950s. Displaying more skill than the average country picker, Buskirk started introducing jazzy licks in his playing and became a sought-after sideman. He performed with country legends such as Lefty Frizzell, Tex Ritter, Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins and the Louvin Brothers before joining the Herb Remington Combo.

Robert James Byrd, Sr.
Genres: R&B, Doo Wop
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 7/1/1930 Deathdate: 7/15/1990
Buried at: Holy Cross Cemetery & Mausoleum in Culver City, CA.
Under the name of Bobby Day, he had major hits with "Buzz Buzz Buzz" (1957), "Little Bitty Pretty One" (1957), "Rockin' Robin" (1958), "The Bluebird, The Buzzard And The Oriole" (1959), and "That's All I Want" (1959). Byrd's unique baritone voice kept him in demand with a variety of recording labels, including Rendezvous, RCA, and Sureshot. Byrd established Byrdland Attractions and Quiline Publishing, songwriting enterprises.

Emilio Caceres ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: violin
Birthplace: Corpus Christi Birthdate: 9/24/1897 Deathdate: 2/10/1980
Violinist Emilio Caceres led his own band and toured in the northern United States during the '30s and '40s. He appeared on "Benny Goodman's Camel Hour" in New York City in 1937 with a trio comprised of his brother Ernie Caceres on clarinet and baritone sax, Johnny Gomez on guitar, and himself on jazz violin. He proceeded to record six selections for Bluebird label (predecessor for RCA Victor) that same year. Those six selections have been re-issued in Paris, France by Paris Jazz Corner.

Ernesto "Ernie" Caceres ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Rockport
Instrument: saxophone, clarinet
Birthplace: Rockport Birthdate: 11/22/1911 Deathdate: 1/10/1971
The brother of norteño violinist Emilio and trumpet and piano player Pinero, Ernie Caceres found his musical voice through jazz. In addition to long stints as a member of bands led by Bobby Hackett, Jack Teagarden, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, and Eddie Condon, he recorded with Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Ruth Brown, Roy Eldridge, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Hot Lips Page, Frank Sinatra, and Muggsy Spanier.

Homer "Bill" Callahan ~ 2
Genres: Bluegrass, Country
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: guitar, string bass, mandolin, vocals, yodel
Birthplace: Laurel, NC Birthdate: 3/27/1912 Deathdate: 9/5/2002
Homer Callahan, along with his brother Walter, represented the rapid expansion and popularity of country music on the radio from the 1940s to the 1960s and played a key role in its development. Homer Callahan and his brother achieved their greatest fame through their part on the radio show "the Big D Jamboree" on KRLD in Dallas, Texas. Initially, called "the Texas Jamboree," this extremely popular live radio show was one of the first and most successful "barn dances" on the radio from the late 1940s through the 1960s.

Laura Canales
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Kingsville
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Kingsville Birthdate: 8/19/1946 Deathdate: 4/16/2005
Laura Canales paved the way for women in Tejano music. Born in Kingsville she grew up just as local dance bands were mixing keyboards into the Mexican-style polka known as conjunto — creating the Tejano sound. After graduating from high school in 1973, Canales became a guest singer for Los Unicos y El Conjunto Bernal. When the group disbanded, Canales and three former band members formed Snowball & Company, which in 1977 released an album that ranked tenth on Billboard's "Hot Latin" chart. Her 1990 album "No Regrets" stayed on the charts for 13 weeks. Her many awards included Female Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year and induction into the Tejano ROOTS Hall of Fame.

Camilo Cantu ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Austin
Instrument: accordion
Birthplace: Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon, Mexico Birthdate: 3/4/1907 Deathdate: 3/3/1998
According to one fellow musician, he was "the greatest accordion player in Central Texas in the '40's and '50's." Camilo Cantu "El Azote de Austin" was considered to be the Narciso Martinez or Santiago Jimenez of this area. His music was pure instrumental...he sat down when he played polkas, redovas, vals, shotis, etc. Mr. Cantu never recorded and often failed to title his original compositions. In the tradition of many conjunto musicians, Camilo shared his musical knowledge with others through teaching. Today, we have his repretoire through Isidro Samilpa and Johnny Degollado who, with the consent of Mr. Cantu, added many of those polkas to his library of original songs. After being retired from performing for almost twenty-four years, conjunto great, Camilo Cantu, was inducted into the Conjunto Music Hall of Fame in 1987 without a single recording.

Laura Hernández Cantú ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Alice
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Kingsville Birthdate: 5/25/1926 Deathdate: 8/29/2004
Laura Hernández Cantú and her sister Carmen Marroquin were reknown as some of the first female artists to record in the tejano music industry, releasing their first single "Se Me Fue Mi Amor" in 1944 for the Four Star record label. In the mid-1950s, many tejano artists were claiming to be the first to include English songs in their reportoire, but in fact it was Carmen y Laura who set the pace in the late '40s with their recording of "Who's Sorry Now." The duet were also among the first Tejana singers to include blues, swing and boleros in their performances. Carmen y Laura have been honored and recognized by the Tejano Conjunto Hall of Fame in San Antonio, the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame in Alice, the Texas Music Museum Hall of Fame in Austin, and the Smithsonian Institution's Folkways Recordings.

John Lewis "Johnny" Carroll ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country, Rockabilly
Based in: Cleburne
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Cleburne Birthdate: 10/23/1937 Deathdate: 2/8/1995
Guitarist, composer, and "Wild Rockabilly Singer" Johnny Carroll had sometimes shared the stage with Elvis Presley as they performed on the Big D Jamboree and the Louisiana Hayride circuit. Carroll recorded "Crazy, Crazy Lovin'," "Hot Rock," "Bandstand Doll" and "Whiskey River." Carroll appeared in the motion picture "Rock, Baby, Rock It," completed eleven European tours and was a popular draw along the American music festival circuit.

Little Joe Carson ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Holliday
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Holliday Birthdate: 11/21/1936 Deathdate: 2/27/1964
Carson died at 27 following an automobile accident in 1964, just as he was starting to have major chart success with songs like "I Gotta Get Drunk (And I Shore Do Dread It)" and "Helpless." For that reason, he's largely forgotten today. But he was one of the best country singers of his era and could have been one of the best of any era had he lived long enough.

Mary Carson
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: Deathdate:
Mary Carson was a soprano opera singer from Houston that studied in New England before completing additional training in Italy. She made her Milan debut in 1910. In 1913, she joined the New Century Opera company in New York City, making her debut there with "Ah, Fors e Lui" from "La Traviata." She also recorded "O Dry Those Tears" for the Edison label.

John Carter ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: composer, clarinet, flute, saxophone, club owner
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 9/24/1929 Deathdate: 3/31/1991
John Carter, jazz composer and clarinetist, played with Ornette Coleman in Fort Worth. Carter taught music in the Fort Worth public schools from 1949 to 1961. Later, after meeting fellow Texan Bobby Bradford in Los Angeles, they collaborated to form the New Art Jazz Ensemble. Some of their music was released as "West Coast Hot" in 1969. In Los Angeles, Carter opened a jazz establishment named Rudolph's where progressive musicians met and jammed.
Colleges: Lincoln University in Jefferson, Missouri; M.A. from the University of Colorado in 1956

Shirley Thompson Carter 2
Genres: Classical, Choral
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: educator
Birthplace:
N/A Birthdate: 5/6/1935 Deathdate: 12/10/2002
Shirley Thompson Carter founded the Texas Girls' Choir in 1962 with a belief that children's lives can be developed through the excellence of music. The choir began with sixteen members who met at the Fort Worth YWCA where Mrs. Carter worked as a YWCA Director in order that the choir might have a place to rehearse. By 1973 there had been many advances. At that time the choir purchased their permanent home at 4449 Camp Bowie Boulevard in Fort Worth, Texas. The choir had developed from 16 girls to 275 girls and 5 Choir levels. Other advances include an annual music clinic, an annual charm school, and leadership training. There is also an opportunity to be a part of one of 4 handbell choirs and a solo class which prepares girls for solos at school or in a choir performance. The choir has toured 50 countries, and has toured every year overseas, since 1962. It is the most traveled choir in the United States. The choir has also performed at the White House six times since 1989. The Texas Girls' Choir has always accepted all girls with an adequate voice and an overall B average in school without regard to race, creed, or religious origin.

Tom “Pops” Carter
Genres: Blues
Based in: Denton
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Louisiana Birthdate: 6/6/1919 Deathdate: 4/22/2012
Tom "Pops" Carter was born on June 6, 1919, in Louisiana. Reportedly sneaking into a blues tent show at the age of ten, Carter was able to see early blues performers such as Lead Belly, Blind Lemon Jefferson and T-bone Walker. He hitchhiked to Houston to live with an aunt and uncle. His band, the House Rockers performed on the street outside nightclubs in the Third and Fifth Wards, often drawing a larger crowd than the performers inside. Carter began playing with blues musicians such as B.B. King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Freddie King, Little Milton and more developing his unique style, adding funk, soul and rock to the blues. He moved to Denton in 1969, and began playing with local musicians, including a young Stevie Ray Vaughn. In the 1980s, he formed his own band, the Funkmonsters. Carter acquired the nickname "Pops" from the local college students who watched him perform. Carter died in Houston, TX on April 22, 2012.

Jesus ''El Gallito'' Casiano
Genres: Conjunto
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: accordion
Birthplace: Laredo
Conjunto musician and accordion pioneer, Jesus Casiano was known as ''El Gallito'' (little rooster). Jesus Casiano was one of the pioneer accordionists along with Narciso Martínez, Bruno Villareal, and Santiago Jimenez to put conjunto music on the South Texas musical map.

Dave Catney
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Fairmont, WV Birthdate: 1961 Deathdate: 8/11/1994
Catney performed with such musicians as Tom McLaren and Ben Atkinson at popular locations such as the Black Labrador Pub and Lexa in Houston. Catney became the impresario for the Black Labrador Pub at the Cezanne, and promoted the Houston jazz scene as he arranged entertainment for the small jazz room for several years. Several of Catney's original compositions made it to film and television through such movies as "And the Band Played On."
Schools: Westbury High School
Colleges: University of North Texas in Denton

Frederick Charles Chabot
Genres: Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: piano, organ
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 5/11/1891 Deathdate: 1/18/1943
Frederick Charles Chabot, diplomat and historian, was born in San Antonio on May 11, 1891. Through the auspices of the Yanaguana Society, founded by Chabot in 1933 and devoted to promoting the study of Texas history, he published and edited a number of brief books on a variety of topics. His most notable works are "With the Makers of San Antonio" (1937); "Excerpts from the Memorias for the History of Texas," by Father J. A. Morfi (1932), a translation of those parts of Juan A. Morfi's work that dealt with Indians in Texas; and "Texas in 1811."

Iola Bowden Chambers
Genres: Classical
Based in: Georgetown
Instrument: educator
Birthplace: Holder Birthdate: 10/18/1904 Deathdate: 12/14/1978
Iola Bowden Chambers - music teacher and director of the Negro Fine Arts School - was an early Anglo-American proponent of African-American education. In 1946 she and several of her piano students founded the Negro Fine Arts School, in which students from Southwestern University taught local African-American children to play the piano.
Schools: public schools in Holder and May
Colleges: Daniel Baker College; Washington Conservatory of Music; Southwestern University; MA from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music

John Barnes "Barney" Chance ~ 2
Genres: Classical
Based in: Beaumont
Instrument: composer, arranger, percussion
Birthplace: Beaumont Birthdate: 11/20/1932 Deathdate: 8/16/1972
John Barnes "Barney" Chance was a prolific composer for band and wind ensemble. His music became known for its tonal and romantic style and its reliance on unique rhythms and a secure command of instrumentation. While serving in Seoul, South Korea, as a member of the Eighth U.S. Army Band, Chance came across the pentatonic Korean folk song "Arrirang" (pronounced: AH-dee-dong). This song served as the inspiration for his 1965 composition "Variations on a Korean Folk Song," which would become his best-known work.

J.R. Chatwell
Genres: Jazz
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: fiddle, piano
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 5/27/1915 Deathdate: 6/18/1983
James Robert Chatwell was greatly influenced by the jazz-violin style of Stuff Smith. Chatwell picked up on Smith's jazz licks, and applied them to country, creating a unique sound that was to influence swing fiddlers to come, including Johnny Gimble of the Texas Playboys. He played with groups such as Milton Brown and the Musical Brownies, the Texas Wanderers, the Modern Mountaineers, Johnny Thames, Bill Boyd's Country Ramblers, the Light Crust Doughboys, the Village Boys, Smiley Whitley's Texans and Walter Kleypas's Lone Star Boys.

Clifton Chenier
Genres: Cajun
Based in: Port Arthur
Instrument: vocals, accordion, harmonica, organ, piano
Birthplace: Opelousas, LA Birthdate: 6/25/1925 Deathdate: 12/12/1987
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Clifton Chenier was acknowledged as the "King of Zydeco." Chenier reached a wide audience when he appeared on the premiere full season of the PBS music television program "Austin City Limits" in 1976, and returned for a follow-up episode in 1979 with his Red Hot Louisiana Band. His popularity peaked in the 1980s, when he won a Grammy Award for his 1982 album, I'm Here, the first ever Grammy for his new label, Alligator Records. Chenier was the second Creole to win a Grammy (after Queen Ida). Chenier is also credited with redesigning the wood and crimped tin washboard into the frottoir, an instrument that would easily hang from the shoulders. Cleveland Chenier, Clifton's older brother, also played in the Red Hot Louisiana Band and would find equal popularity for his ability to manipulate the distinctive sound of the washboard by rubbing several bottle openers (held in each hand) along its ridges. Clifton Chenier and his band traveled throughout the world during their prime.

Harry H. ChoatesPhoto of Harry Choates
Genres: Cajun, Country
Based in: Port Arthur
Instrument: fiddle, vocals
Birthplace: Rayne, LA Birthdate: 12/26/1922 Deathdate: 7/17/1951
Buried at: A Catholic cemetery in Port Arthur.
Choates, who also played accordion, standard guitar, and steel guitar, preferred to play on borrowed instruments and may never have owned a musical instrument of his own. He and his Melody Boys recorded songs including "Jole Blon," "Baisile Waltz," "Allans a Lafayette," Lawtell Waltz," "Bayou Pon Pon" and "Poor Hobo." He also recorded for the Mary, DeLuxe, D, O.T., Allied, Cajun Classics, and Humming Bird labels during his brief career. As songwriter, instrumentalist, singer, and bandleader he raised Cajun music to national prominence. Choates, who could sing in French or English, became famous for his "Eh...ha, ha!" and "Aie!" vocal cries.
Schools: Choates received little formal education.

Benjamin Theodore Christian
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Houston
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Rockdale Birthdate: 06/01/1885 Deathdate: 1956
Fiddler and band leader Benjamin (Ben) Theodore Christian entered the Houston music scene in the early 1930s, when Fort Worth-based western swing was attracting growing audiences over the radiowaves. For a time he teamed with guitarists Dave Melton and Lynn Henderson at house parties. Christian and Henderson organized the Bar X Cowboys, named by radio announcer Harry Greer, with Christian as business manager and lead fiddler and Elwood on fiddle and bass. Although primarily a dance band, the Bar X Cowboys made a number of records with Decca, including Christian's "Rockdale Rag" in Dallas studios. In 1940, Christian turned over the Bar X Cowboys to Elwood to form the Texas Cowboys, which he managed until his retirement. During that decade the Texas Cowboys performed at leading Houston venues, such as Cook's Hoedown, Eagles' Hall, and Polish Hall (now Fitzgerald's), in addition to rural communities. The Texas Cowboys shared the bandstand in "battle dances" with Bob Wills, Adolf Hofner and Jesse James. Christian and the band provided instrumentation for Hank Williams on one of his last area tours and permitted a young Elvis Presley to gain experience with them before an audience at Magnolia Gardens.

Charles "Charlie" Christian ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Bonham
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Bonham Birthdate: 7/29/1916 Deathdate: 3/2/1942
Buried at: Gates Hill Cemetery in Bonham, TX
Although barely 20 years old, Christian immediately became known among professional jazzmen for his new sounds and new ideas. When music critic John Hammond heard him in 1939, he persuaded Benny Goodman to employ Christian. Only one other electric guitar had been recorded on jazz records when the first Christian-Goodman records were issued. Christian won Down Beat polls from 1939 through 1941 and in the Encyclopedia Year Book poll of 1956 was chosen "Greatest Ever." In 1994 a headstone and historical marker were erected at Charles' gravesite during a ceremony sponsored by the Texas Historical Society and the Fannin County Museum of History.
Schools: Douglass Elementary School in Oklahoma City
Sites of interest:
Charlie Christian historical marker near SH 78 and South Main Street in Gates Hill Cemetery
Fannin County Museum of History

Arthur Claassen
Genres: Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: conductor
Birthplace: Stargard, Prussia Birthdate: 2/19/1859 Deathdate: 3/16/1920
With the New York Liederkranz, Arthur made recordings for Columbia Records after about 1910, and these were marketed in Texas. In May 1913, Claassen was guest festival conductor for the Texas State Sängerfest, held in Houston. The Beethoven Männerchor of San Antonio was so impressed by his musicianship that they invited him to become their permanent conductor in 1914. Thus Claassen became the first conductor of international reputation to assume full responsibility for a Texas musical organization. He took over the forty-three-voice male chorus and organized a sixty-voice women's chorus (the Mozart Society) to complement it. He also assumed charge of the sixty-member San Antonio Philharmonic (later the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra). Claassen gave concerts of unprecedented sophistication in the Alamo City.
Sites of interest:
The Beethoven Männerchor is located at 422 Pereida Street in San Antonio.
In 1895 the Beethoven Männerchor built the 1200 seat Beethoven Hall at 420 South Alamo Street in San Antonio.
Annual event:
Beethoven Mäennerchor at Oktoberfest in San Antonio.

James Earl Clay
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 9/8/1935 Deathdate: 1/6/1995
James was established in the hard-bop and freestyle jazz styles. His first commercial breakthrough came when he joined the band of Red Mitchell. Shortly thereafter, Clay joined the Jazz Messiahs, collaborating with Ornette Coleman. He also cut an album with David "Fathead" Newman. Later, he turned down a spot to replace John Coltrane in Miles Davis's band to return to his native Dallas where he eventually played with Ray Charles.
Colleges: Huston-Tillotson College in Austin; University of North Texas in Denton

Sonny Clay 2 ~ 3
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Chapel Hill
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Chapel Hill Birthdate: 5/15/1899 Deathdate: 1972
Sonny Clay traveled the Southwest, playing drums or piano with various small groups in California, Arizona and Tijuana, Mexico. In Tijuana he played drums in Jelly Roll Morton's band. Around 1921, he moved to Los Angeles and played with Reb Spikes' and Kid Ory's Original Creole Jazz Band. He also put together his own band and giged at the Plantation Club. Sonny Clay's Plantation Orchestra continued on at the club until 1927. Clay took his band to Australia to tour in 1928 with a vaudeville production called "Sonny Clay and the Colored Idea." The troupe included a young singer named Ivie Anderson who would later became famous as a singer in the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

Rildia Bee O'Bryan Cliburn
Genres: Classical
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: educator
Birthplace: McGregor Birthdate: 10/14/1896 Deathdate: 8/3/1994
Rildia Bee O'Bryan Cliburn, piano teacher and mother of pianist Van Cliburn, was born on October 14, 1896, in McGregor, Texas. After early piano lessons from her mother and local teacher Prebble Drake, and after graduating from high school in Richmond, Texas, she studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory and later in New York. She began teaching her son while the family lived in Shreveport, where he was born, and continued teaching him as well as many other young pupils after the family moved to Kilgore, Texas, in 1940. After Van was catapulted to world fame as the winner of the first Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow in 1958, his mother frequently traveled with him and served as his manager until he withdrew from active concertizing in 1978. Cliburn always credited his mother as his most influential teacher and as a valued advisor up to the time of her death.

Harvey Lavan "Van" Cliburn, Jr
Genres: Classical
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Shreveport, LA Birthdate: 7/12/1934 Deathdate: 2/27/2013
Van Cliburn achieved worldwide fame in the 1950s, becoming one of the best known classical performers in the world. He was awarded the Russian Order of Friendship in 2004 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003, the highest civilian award offered by either country. Born in Shreveport, LA in 1934, Cliburn began taking piano lessons from his mother, Rildia Bee, at age three. The family moved to Kilgore, TX when Cliburn was six and he went on to win a statewide piano competition at age twelve in 1947 and appeared with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. At seventeen, he studied at the Juilliard School in New York City. In 1954 at age twenty he won the Roeder Award and the Levintritt competition and made his debut at Carnegie Hall. Cliburn made international headlines in 1958 after winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The event was created to demonstrate the superiority of Soviet culture during the Cold War, but Cliburn’s performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 earned the pianist an eight minute standing ovation. Reportedly the judges were obliged to ask Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev permission to award him the gold medal to which Khrushchev replied "Is he the best? Then give him the prize!" Cliburn returned to a ticker-tape parade in New York City and the appeared on the cover of Time Magazine as “The Texan Who Conquered Russia”. Cliburn’s international fame continued to grow with sold out concerts and the first million selling classical recording, his 1958 Grammy winning recording of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. In 1978 Cliburn announced an extended break from performing, only appearing at the White House in 1989 to play for President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. In 1994, Cliburn embarked on a 16-city US tour as his recordings were reissued on compact disc. Van Cliburn performed for every US President from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, he was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors in 2001, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 and was presented with the National Medal Of Arts in 2010. Van Cliburn died at the age of 78 in 2013 after being diagnosed with advanced bone cancer the previous year.

Arnett Cleophus Cobb ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 8/10/1918 Deathdate: 3/24/1989
He worked with Frank Davis, Chester Boone and Milton Larkin. Cobb turned down offers from both Count Basie and Lionel Hampton but later accepted an offer from Hampton to take Illinois Jacquet's seat. Hampton rerecorded his theme song, "Flying Home No. 2," with Cobb as the featured soloist, and the excitement elicited by his uninhibited, blasting style earned him the label "Wild Man of the Tenor Sax." Cobb received a Grammy nomination in 1979 for best jazz instrumental performance. He shared a Grammy with B. B. King in 1984 for best traditional blues performance. In 1986 he founded the Jazz Heritage Society of Texas, which established the Jazz Archives at the Houston Public Library.

Lenore "Leonora Corona" Cohron ~ 2
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: operatic soprano
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 10/14/1900 Deathdate: Unavailable
Lenore was considered a child prodigy and gave solo recitals in Dallas. Corona sang at the Metropolitan Opera for eight seasons, performing in twelve operas. Known particularly for her performances in Italian operas, she sang the leading roles in Tosca, Aïda, and Don Giovanni. Critics praised both her vocal and dramatic powers and her picturesque beauty. Her tenure with the Met overlapped with that of two other Texans, Etheldreda Aves of Galveston and Rafaelo Diaz of San Antonio, and followed the career of Texan Lillian Eubank. Throughout this time Corona maintained ties to Dallas by occasionally retunring for concerts and other special events. A series of five annual "homecoming recitals" in Dallas began in 1926.
Schools: She attended Oak Cliff High School in Dallas.
Colleges: She appeared in a performance of Cynthia Parker at North Texas State Teachers College (now the University of North Texas) in Denton in 1939.
Sites of interest:
The John Tierney residence, at 232 North Marsalis in Dallas, was at one time the home of Leonora.

Henry L. Coker ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: trombone
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 12/24/1919 Deathdate: 11/23/1979
Coker played with Nat Towles's territory band, Monk McFay, Eddie Heywood, Illinois Jacquet, Al Grey, Eddie Jones, Snooky Young, Ernie Wilkins, Wendell Culley, Billy Mitchell, Sonny Cohn, Sarah Vaughn, Joe Williams, Quincy Jones, Bill Hughes, Eric Dixon, and Urbie Green. In addition, he appeared on a multitude of Benny Carter, Count Basie, and Ray Charles albums. While with Basie, Coker developed a reputation as a powerful soloist, featured in tunes such as, "Did'n You," "No Name," "Redhead," "Peace Pipe," "Jumpin' at the Woodside," and "Kansas City Wrinkles" and on albums, such as "April in Paris," "The Count Basie Story," "Basie in London," and "Li'l Ol' Groovemaker . . . Basie!"
Colleges: Wiley College in Marshall

Gary B.B. Coleman
Genres: Blues
Based in: Paris
Instrument: guitar, piano, vocals
Birthplace: Paris Birthdate: 1/1/1947 Deathdate: 1994
Blues vocalist and instrumentalist Gary B.B. Coleman worked as a sideman for fellow-Texan Freddie King by the age of 15. Then Coleman worked with Lightnin' Hopkins and, later, formed his own band in which he sang and played keyboards, guitar, and bass for many years in Texas and Oklahoma. He did not begin his recording career until 1985 when he recorded his debut album "Nothin' But the Blues" under his own label, Mr. B's Records. In 1987, he joined Ichiban Records as a recording mainstay and producer. Coleman became a major promoter of blues musicians, and he supervised the production of recordings by numerous artists, many with whom he had toured before his production career.

George "Bongo Joe" Coleman
Genres: Folk/Acoustic, World Beat
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: percussion, drums, bongos
Birthplace: Haines City, FL Birthdate: 11/28/1923 Deathdate: 12/19/1999
Although he cut only one album, entitled "Bongo Joe," which was released by Arhoolie Records in 1968, Coleman was a musician much in demand. On separate occasions, he entertained Presidents John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford, played piano with Dizzy Gillespie at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and appeared at various country clubs, private parties, and folk festivals in and around San Antonio. Coleman is perhaps best known as a star attraction along that city's famous Riverwalk, where his quick wit and eccentric behavior became his trademarks. Equally important were his philosophical commentaries on contemporary society and the comic banter he carried on with his listeners.

Oliver Coleman
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Beaumont
Instrument: drums
Birthplace: Beaumont Birthdate: 1914 Deathdate: 11/6/1965
The drummer Oliver Coleman had a huge influence on the Chicago music scene. Like many players from the Windy City he had one drumstick in swing mode and the other hovering over the type of solid backbeat only found in Chicago blues. Several generations of drum students that tutored under him had the choice of learning either style, or both. Coleman, a native Texan, gigged in important bands led by trumpeter, violinist and vocalist Ray Nance, pianist Earl Hines and the tremendous vocalist Dinah Washington. He also worked with bandleaders Horace Henderson and Erskine Tate and was a regular session drummer for the Chess label in the '50s, including playing on classic sides by Eddie Johnson.

Albert Collins ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Leona Birthdate: 10/3/1932 Deathdate: 11/24/1993
Buried at: Paradise Memorial Gardens, Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada
Albert "The Master of the Telecaster" Collins' greatest success came after he signed with Alligator Records in 1978 and cut "Ice Pickin'." It won the Best Blues Album of the Year Award from the Montreux Jazz Festival, and was nominated for a Grammy. He won the W. C. Handy award for best blues album of the year with "Don't Lose Your Cool," and in 1986 he shared a Grammy for "Showdown." By the 1990s, he had played in Carnegie Hall and appeared at the Live Aid Television benefit.
Sites of interest:
Albert Collins was the bandleader at a Houston nightspot called the Joker Club.

Dennis Maurice "Crash" Collins
Genres: Rock
Based in: Houston
Instrument: Disc Jockey
Birthplace: Nashville, TN Birthdate: 12/7/1942 Deathdate: 11/6/2011
Dennis "Crash" Collins was born in Nashville, TN on December 7, 1942 and moved to Houston as a teenager, graduating from Lamar High School and attending the University of Houston. As a bass player he worked with B.J. Thomas and both Johnny and Edgar Winter. Known mostly for his career as a DJ at Houston's KLOL-FM, he helped develop the station's free-form rock format in the 1970s and 1980s where his on-air tagline was "Crash in your dash." He also worked at KUHF, KILT, KULF, KNUZ and KZFX and was named Volunteer of the Year for The University of Texas Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in 1988 and inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2010. He died at 68 after a long battle with prostrate cancer.

Juan Mario "Juan Colorado" Garcia
Genres: Tejano
Based in: San Diego
Instrument: piano, saxophone
Birthplace: San Diego Birthdate: 9/14/1923 Deathdate: 2/10/1957
Juan Colorado joined the Balde Gonzales orquestra in the early fifties and later started his own group. He composed songs such as "Todo o Nada" and "Digale." Isidro López played second alto with master Tejano saxophonist Eugenio Gutierrez, and recorded his first lead vocal in 1954 with Juan Colorado's orchestra when the regular singer did not show up.

Conjunto Bernal ~ 2
Genres: Tejano, Conjunto
Based in: Alice
Instrument: vocal, accordion, 12-string guitar
Birthplace: Alice
It has been said that El Conjunto Bernal, led by Paulino and Eloy Bernal, wrote the book on conjunto music, thus putting conjunto music on the map. In 1952, Paulino and Eloy became Los Hermanos Bernal. After performing three years, they changed their name to El Conjunto Bernal. It was during this time, the brothers introduced the chromatic accordion that helped bring conjunto music to a new level of sophistication. The two innovative brothers also originated the three-part harmony to conjunto music, which established them as pioneer leaders. Additionally, they brought respect to conjunto music by doing something that had never been done before; they were the first to wear suits. Please see Eloy Bernal.

Thomas "Red" Connors
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: tenor, alto saxophone
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: Unavailable
Thomas "Red" Connors - a seldom-recorded Jazz saxophonist from Fort Worth - played with performers such as Lester Young and Pee Wee Crayton, when he was not leading his own large band, which often included artists such as Ornette Coleman and David "Fathead" Newman. Connors' band played bebop from the 1940s to the early 1950s as inspired by Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, George Shearing, and Thelonious Monk. Connors is reported to have been a major influence on musicians such as Ornette Coleman, "Schoolboy" Hagerty, Julius Hemphill, William "Prince" Lasha, Dewy Redman, and Billy "Tom" Robinson.

Leroy Cooper
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 8/31/1928 Deathdate: Unavailable
Cooper grew up musically on the fertile Dallas R&B circuit. He initially encountered Ray Charles there at a 1952 session with Zuzu Bollin. Cooper's first recording session with Charles in 1959, supervised by Sid Feller, produced "Them That Got," "My Baby! (I Love Her, Yes I Do)" and "Who You Gonna Love?" David "Fathead" Newman and Leroy were frequent musical cohorts; they both played on the 1954 Lowell Fulson date that produced "Reconsider Baby." Cooper became well respected for his Texan sax style. He even landed a very brief speaking roles in the 1964 movie "Ballad In Blue," starring Ray and the band and filmed in Ireland by director Paul Henreid.

Johnny Clyde Copeland
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Haynesville, LA Birthdate: 3/27/1937 Deathdate: 7/3/1997
Buried at: New York City
Copeland left a lasting impact on Texas-Style blues and played a major part in "the blues boom" of the 1980's. Throughout his musical career, he earned a Grammy, four WC Handy Awards, and the Best Album of the Year Award from the French National Academy of Jazz in 1995. Copeland was also one of the few blues musicians to perform behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.

George Corley
Genres: Big Band, Jazz
Based in: Austin
Instrument: trombonist
Birthplace: Austin Birthdate: 1912 Deathdate: Unavailable
Corley led the Royal Aces Orchestra with two of his brothers as sidemen in the early 1930s. Terrence "T" Holder from Dallas took over the band in 1932, and Corley contunued to play in this band which also included sax players Buddy Tate and Earl Bostic and pianist Lloyd Glenn. He also played in various territory bands, including Boots and his Buddies.

Eugene "Gene" Coy ~ 2
Genres: Big Band, Jazz
Based in: Amarillo
Instrument: bandleader
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: Unavailable
Budd Johnson and his brother Keg played in Gene Coy's Happy Black Aces in Amarillo along with Ben Webster. Tenor saxophonist Ben Webster debuted with the Gene Coy band in 1930. Clyde Hart first worked with Gene Coy from 1930-31.

Edward L. Crain
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Longview
Instrument: guitar, vocals, fiddle, mandolin
Birthplace: Longview Birthdate: 1901 Deathdate: Unavailable
Texan Edward Crain was a cowboy who spent time on ranches and cattle drives. He played guitar, fiddle, and mandolin. He also worked as a performer for various radio stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Crain recorded "Bandit Cole Younger" twice in 1931 - once for Columbia and once for the American Record Corporation. As of 1970, he was living in Oregon.

Roberta Dodd Crawford
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: Bonham
Instrument: contralto
Birthplace: Bonham Birthdate: 1897 Deathdate: 6/14/1954
African American contralto Roberta Dodd Crawford, also known as Princess Kojo Tovalou-Houenou, was born in the black Tank Town section of Bonham, Texas. About 1920 she entered the University of Chicago, where for the next six years she studied voice with Madame Herman Devries. In 1926 she debuted at Kimball Hall and received favorable reviews from the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Defender. Two years later she performed at the First United Methodist Church in Bonham, where her program combined Italian, French, German, Spanish, and English art songs and operatic arias with Negro spirituals and at least one African melody. She then left for France to become a student of Blanche Marchessi in Paris. She worked in the National Library of Paris and during World War II joined the Red Cross and sang in churches and canteens for American soldiers. Suffering from anemia, she relied on friends for financial help and credited a Fort Worth physician with saving her life by getting surplus food coupons for her. She reportedly spent time in a concentration camp during the German occupation of France, but was released.
Schools: Wiley College; Fisk University; University of Chicago

Connie "Pee Wee" Crayton
Genres: Blues
Based in: Rockdale
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Rockdale Birthdate: 12/18/1914 Deathdate: 6/25/1985
Buried at: Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California
Crayton will be remembered as one of the most influential pioneers of R&B music. His hits included "Blues After Hours," "Texas Hop" and "I Love You So." Crayton recorded on labels including Vee-Jay, Aladdin, and Imperial. He showcased at the Monterey Jazz Festival and continued to record and tour throughout his life, including a performance at Antone's blues club in Austin.

Howard Crockett
Genres: Country
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: vocal, guitar
Birthplace: Minden, LA Birthdate: 12/25/1925 Deathdate: 12/27/1994
Howard Crockett, originally Howard Hausey, was forced to turn to singing and song writing after a shoulder injury dashed his baseball career playing as a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers farm system. Of the over 200 songs written by Crockett, some of his best known are "Whispering Pines," "Slew Foot," which was recorded 67 times, and "Honky Tonk Man." These three, plus several others were released and made famous by Johnny Horton. From his extensive catalogue, Crockett managed to write four gold, two platinum, and one double-platinum selling song. Not just a song writer, Crockett released several recordings with Dot Records and Mercury Records. After a hit record with "The Last Will and Testament of a Drinking Man" in 1973, Crockett retired from singing in 1981, continuing to write songs up until a few months before his death. In 1991, Howard Crocket was inducted into the LSSCMA Country Music Hall of Fame.

Maud Cuney-Hare
Genres: Classical, Folk/Acoustic, Creole
Based in: Galveston
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Galveston Birthdate: 2/16/1874 Deathdate: 2/13/1936
African American musician and writer Maud Cuney-Hare studied piano at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she successfully resisted the pressure that white students exerted on the school's administrators to have her barred from living in the dormitory. As a folklorist and music historian she was especially interested in African and early American music. She collected songs in Mexico, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, and was the first music scholar to direct public attention to Creole music.
Schools: Central High School in Galveston
Colleges: New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA

Theron Eugene "Ted" Daffan ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals, songwriter, steel guitar
Birthplace: Merryville, LA Birthdate: 9/21/1912 Deathdate: 10/6/1996
Buried at: died in Houston
His song "Truck Driver's Blues" became the first of the genre of truck-driving songs. Ted Daffon also wrote the million dollar hit "Born to Lose" recorded by Ray Charles. His songs were also recorded by: Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Willis, Fats Domino, Rosemary Clooney, Ringo Starr and Elton John.
Schools: Lufkin-Jefferson Davis High (Houston)

Harold W. "Pappy" Daily ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Houston
Instrument: businessman
Birthplace: Yoakum Birthdate: 2/8/1902 Deathdate: 12/5/1987
Pappy and Jack Stames started the Starday label in 1952. Pappy's most notable stars were the Big Bopper, George Jones, Jimmie Dean, Eddie Noack, Roger Miller and Hank Locklin. During the 1950s, Daily began producing and managing his own Houston-based label, "D" Records. During the next twenty years, D Records released hundreds of songs, including recordings by Willie Nelson and George Strait. While the label typically recorded Texas honky-tonk music, it also covered western swing, rockabilly, Tex-Mex, Cajun, and polka music. Pappy's publishing company, Glad Music Co., is still an active company with rights to such classics as "White Lightnin'," "She Thinks I Still Care," "Chantilly Lace," "Night Life," and "The Party's Over."
Schools: Central High School in Houston
Sites of interest:
Glad Music was founded in 1958 by H.W. "Pappy" Daily.

Allen Wayne Damron
Genres: Cowboy/Western, Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Terlingua
Instrument: vocals, guitar, banjo, Indian flute
Birthplace: Raymondville Birthdate: 3/1/1939 Deathdate: 8/13/2005
Featured in book Famous Texas Folklorists by Jim Gramon; touring artist with Texas Commision on the Arts; four star USO performer; first director and co-founder of Kerrville Folk Festival; selected by Texas Legislature as Texas Sesquicentennial Goodwill Ambassador of Texas (1986-1996); Published in Best Stories from the Texas Storytelling Festival (1995); Featured in the Fall 2004 Issues of Taylor Guitar's quarterly publication "Wood & Steel;" honored by proclomation from Governor Perry in 2004 saying in part "as a Texan second to none, your passion highlights the best of of our great state. You have kept our culture, heritage and treasured traditions alive, holding them dear for the generations to come. Yours is a growing legacy of excllence, and today, our fellow Texans join me in applauding our best wishes for the future;" also honored in 2004 by President Bush saying in part "as a musician, actor, writer, storyteller, you have helped enhance the appreciation of American history, culture and values. Your work reflects the creativity and freedom of Texas and our Nation;" represented the Governor's office in 2004 to promote Texas Tourism in Canada.
Colleges: He graduated with an Associate Arts Degree in Drama from Lon Morris College, Jacksonville, TX in 1959.

Manuel Gonzales Davila, Sr.
Genres: Tejano
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: radio pioneer
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 5/22/1918 Deathdate: 7/12/1997
Buried at: San Fernando Cemetery No. 2 in San Antonio
Manuel Gonzales Davila, Sr. and his brother, José, began broadcasting in 1935 by buying one hour slots on English stations, because there were no Spanish stations in San Antonio at the time. Davila dealt with bias from those who did not want Mexican-American broadcasters, including both Anglos and Hispanics who believed that one should be from Mexico in order to broadcast in Spanish. In 1961, after losing his job when the station at which he worked throughout the 1950s was sold, Davila decided to buy his own station. On March 17, 1966 after a five year legal fight, Davila began broadcasting Tex-Mex music on his newly purchased station KEDA-AM, nicknamed "Radio Jalapeño." Its competitors dubbed KEDA, the "cantina station" because of its accordion-driven South Texas music, although Davila insisted that the station was "all about familia and respect and giving newcomers a break." The local nature of the radio station raised skepticism at first, but the major labels that originally bypassed the station eventually started calling. Emphasizing local bands, KEDA aired Texas musicians Santiago Jimenez Jr. and Narciso Martinez and later Tejano newcomers Selena, Emilio, and Los Aguilares. Currently, KEDA is the last remaining family-owned independent radio station in the San Antonio market, and along with playing music, it maintains a connection to its roots through community service programming; these efforts include the reading of obituaries on the air, as well as fundraisers for those who cannot afford to bury their dead children. Davila's "Jalapeño network" would later include KCCT-AM, KBSO-FM, and KFLZ-FM in Corpus Christi.

Link Davis, Sr. ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country
Based in: Van Zandt
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Wills Point, Van Zandt County Birthdate: 7/8/1914 Deathdate: 2/5/1972
Link Davis, Sr. made wide-ranging contributions to country music, Western swing, and rock & roll. Starting out on the fiddle and later taking up the saxophone, he made a name for himself by working with Cliff Bruner & the Texas Wanderers, Benny Leaders, Floyd Tillman, Smith Spadacene, the Big Bopper, and Johnny Preston. Moving between the Starday, OKeh, Columbia, Nucraft, Sarg, and Allstar labels, and his own Western and Tanker labels, among many others, he left behind a significant legacy spread among a variety of styles.
Sites of interest:
Link Davis, Jr.

Robert Earl "DJ Screw" Davis ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Rap/Hip Hop
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals, turntables
Birthplace: Smithville Birthdate: 7/20/1971 Deathdate: 11/16/2000
Robert Earl Davis, Jr. was one of the most influential musical figures to come out of Texas in the 1990s and early 2000s. With his instrument of choice, the turntables, he mixed other people's music and hip hop rhymes together. He built his career on slowing down the music to half the normal speed or less, then he put it on tape and sold it. His tapes became an underground sensation, so popular that people would drive hundreds of miles to his Houston home to buy them...DJ Screw reached a major breakthrough in the music scene in 1993 with his version of "All Screwed Up." Among his best sellers were "June 27th," "Hellraiser," "Plots and Schemes," and "The Final Chapter." Other albums included three volumes of "3'N the Mornin," and "No Work, No Play." He also organized the Screwed Up Click, a crew of local rappers who provided him with rhymes to compliment his beats.
Schools: Robert dropped out of school to concentrate on music.
Sites of interest:
In 1996, Screw opened Screwed Up Records and Tapes in Houston located at 7717 Cullen Blvd.
Robert's house was at the corner of Poplar and Greenstone, near Gulfgate Mall in Houston.

Ronnie Dawson
Genres: Rock, Rockabilly
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals, guitar, drums
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 8/11/1939 Deathdate: 9/30/2003
Ronnie Dawson never racked up a Top 40 single or a gold album, but he was one of Dallas' first bona fide rock stars. As a lanky, burr-haired teenager in the late '50s, the singer - then known as Ronnie D, the "Blonde Bomber" - cut a series of swaggering, influential tunes like "Action Packed" and "I Make the Love." He had young girls squealing during his Sportatorium performances at the Big D Jamboree, and he held his own against fellow Big D acts like Elvis Presley. Dawson was famous for his hellfire live performances in which he'd jump off the stage, run through the audience and play his guitar standing atop a table. Just as Dawson's career was about to take off in 1959, the New York-based Swan Records pulled its promotional support, and his first shot at the big time disappeared. Undaunted, he recast himself as an R&B artist named Snake Monroe and signed briefly with Columbia Records. In the '60s he played with The Light Crust Doughboys and the Levee Singers. Just when it looked like his career was over, it took off again amid the rockabilly revival of the mid-'80s: The New York band the Cramps cut a new version of Dawson's "Rockin' Bones," and record producers were suddenly calling him back into the studio. In the '90s, he played twice on Late Night With Conan O'Brien and performed at New York's Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Reviewing the Carnegie Hall show in 1994, The New York Times called him "superb…a guitar-toting answer to Jerry Lee Lewis." (excerpted from a Dallas Morning News article by Thor Christensen).

Bobby Day
Genres: Rock
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 7/1/1932 Deathdate: 7/15/1990
Bobby Day wrote three often-covered early rock classics in 1957 and 1958. Day was part of the Hollywood Flames - one of the Los Angeles doo wop community's top R&B vocal groups - and briefly part of Bob & Earl, who later had a hit without Day with the single "Harlem Shuffle." Day formed his own group, the Satellites, in 1957, cutting the original "Little Bitty Pretty One" for Class Records. A nearly identical cover by Thurston Harris beat the original out, so Day countered with the driving "Rockin' Robin" in 1958, an R&B chart-topper. Its flip, "Over and Over," was a hit in its own right, although the Dave Clark Five's 1965 revival is better remembered today. Day waxed a few more hits for Class in 1959, including "That's All I Want" and a derivative "The Bluebird, the Buzzard & the Oriole," flitting from label to label during the '60s (excerpted from Bill Dahl's All Music Guide article).

Jimmy Day ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country
Based in: Buda
Instrument: pedal steel
Birthplace: Tuscaloosa, AL Birthdate: 1/9/1934 Deathdate: 1/22/1999
Buried at: Buda
Day performed on the Louisiana Hayride and as a sideman for Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Johnny Horton, Willie Nelson, Webb Pierce, Ernest Tubb, Skeeter Davis, Patsy Cline and others. Day's legendary style can be heard on such songs as "Crazy Arms" and "Heartaches by the Number." He became a member of the International Steel Guitar Hall of Fame, the Texas Steel Guitar Hall of Fame and the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame.

Tony De La Rosa ~ 2
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Riviera
Instrument: accordion, vocals
Birthplace: Sarita Birthdate: 11/1/1931 Deathdate: 6/2/2004
Tony De La Rosa was a conjunto accordionist who helped to shape the Tejano music industry. De La Rosa helped to revolutionize conjunto music by adding drums, electric bass and electrifying the bajo sexto or 12-string guitar in his post-World War II band, creating a slower, more dancable new style called tacuachito.

Edgar Dean "Eddie Dean" Glosup ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country
Based in: Posey
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Posey Birthdate: 7/9/1907 Deathdate: 3/4/1999
Buried at: Valley Oaks Memorial Park, Westlake Village, Los Angeles County, California
He began his career as a singing cowboy in the mid 1940s. He appeared in sixty feature films including, "Song of Old Wyoming," "Check Your Guns" and "Romance of the West." Dean was a successful composer as well as an accomplished actor. He co-wrote "I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven" with Hal Southern. That song alone sold more than 10 million copies when it was recorded by Tex Ritter.

Dan Del Santo ~ 2
Genres: World Beat
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: NY Birthdate: 9/5/1951 Deathdate: 10/17/2001
Guitarist, vocalist and larger-than-life radio personality Dan Del Santo began his musical career as part of the outlaw country scene, but became even more well-known for his Afro Cuban band, The Professors of Pleasure. He lived in Austin from 1974 until 1992 where he also was the DJ for a weekly public radio show on KUT 90.5 that featured music from around the world, specifically "third world" music. Many credit Del Santo with coining the phrase, "world beat music."

Virgie Carrington Dewitty
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: educator
Birthplace: Wetumka, OK Birthdate: 1913 Deathdate: 8/11/1980
Virgie Carrington DeWitty, music teacher and choir director, directed the first commercially sponsored radio program over the Texas Quality Network, "The Bright and Early Choir," from 1938 to 1940. She composed more than 100 gospels, spirituals, and anthems. One of her most famous pieces was "Magnify the Lord." She received the 1957 Woman's Day Speaker award for Ebenezer Baptist Church. She was active in the Missionary Baptist General Convention of Texas and the National Baptist Convention of America.

Clarence Albert "Al Dexter" Poindexter ~ 2
Genres: Country, Honky Tonk
Based in: Jacksonville
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Jacksonville Birthdate: 5/4/1902 Deathdate: 1/28/1984
Buried at: His home on Lake Lewisville in Lewisville, Texas
Dexter's "Honky Tonk Blues," which he wrote with his writing partner James B. Paris, was the first country song to use the term. Clarence wrote "Pistol Packin' Mama" in 1943. "Pistol Packin' Mama" was the biggest selling record of the year and cited as one of the biggest selling records in American recording history. Within six months of its release 1 million copies sold and sheet music sales hit 200,000.
Schools: He attended rural grade schools in East Texas.

Rafaelo Diaz
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: operatic tenor
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 5/16/1883 Deathdate: 12/12/1943
Rafaelo Diaz, operatic tenor, was discovered while he was studying at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. Later he studied in Italy under the famous Italian maestro Vincenzo Sabatini. In 1917 he joined the Metropolitan Opera Company and performed leading tenor roles in Jules Massenet's "Thaïs and Nikolai" and Rimski-Korsakov's "Le Coq d'Or." In his spare time he recorded records for a leading phonograph company. He also conducted a series of concerts at the Waldorf-Astoria. Critics praised Diaz for his smooth performance, the depth and richness of his voice, the clarity of his enunciation, and the beauty of his phrasing. Diaz - who sang in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German - was known as the "Lone Star Tenor of the Lone Star State."
Schools: German English School; West Texas Military Academy

Dick the Drummer ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: San Jacinto
Instrument: drums
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: Unavailable
Dick the Drummer - an African American freed man - is credited with confusing Santa Anna's Mexican troops at the battle of San Jacinto, aiding in the Texian's victory. The army's band, consisting of two African American drummers and between one and three German fifers, played the baudy tune, "Will you come to my bower I have shaded for you?" He was described as an older man at a dinner honoring San Jacinto battle veterans in May 1850.
Sites of interest:
San Jacinto Monument at One Monument Circle, La Porte, Texas 77571-9744
Annual event:
San Jacinto Day Celebration and Reenactment c/o San Jacinto Museum of History at (281) 479-2421

Floyd Dixon ~ 2
Genres:
Blues, Jazz
Based in: Marshall
Instrument: piano, vocal
Birthplace: Marshall Birthdate: 2/8/1928 Deathdate: 7/26/2006
Born Jay Riggins, Jr., Floyd Dixon was a singer and jump-blues pianist who dubbed himself "Mr. Magnificent" and became an influential figure in the burgeoning R&B scene of 1950s Southern California. Dixon's best-known song was the raucous "Hey Bartender," which was made popular by the Blues Brothers. His other notable recordings included "Wine, Wine, Wine," "Call Operator 210," "Telephone Blues" and the early Jerry Lieber-Mike Stoller song "Too Much Jelly Roll." His career found him taking on a variety of styles and sounds: mournful blues, R&B ballads, ribald bar songs and even a channeling of Little Richard on late 1950s tracks such as "Oooh Little Girl." But his strongest suit was jump blues, which added a grit and vigor to the smooth blues lessons he absorbed from his major influence, Charles Brown. Dixon would pass on that mentorship, famously to Ray Charles, B.B. King and Robert Cray.

McKinley Howard "Kenny" Dorham ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Fairfield
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Fairfield Birthdate: 8/30/1924 Deathdate: 12/5/1972
Kenny Dorham is considered one of the finest trumpet players of his era. He played with numerous jazz giants including Charlie "Bird" Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Thelonious Monk, and Charles Mingus. Dorham, Art Blakey and Horace Silver formed the Jazz Messengers, from which emerged Dorham's side project, the Jazz Prophets. Dorham also played with the Max Roach quintet and formed his own combos featuring Cannonball Adderley and Joe Henderson. Dorham's various combos recorded several albums including "Whistle Stop," which is considered by many to be Dorham's finest work.
Schools: Anderson High School in Austin
Colleges: He studied chemistry and physics at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.

Ezra William "Bill" Doty
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: music administrator
Birthplace: Michigan Birthdate: 1907 Deathdate: 6/16/1994
Ezra William "Bill" Doty was a lifetime music administrator who came to Austin from the University of Michigan to help prepare for the founding of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas. Doty was hired as Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Chairman of the Music Department, and Professor of Music. In retirement, he devoted much time to writing a history of the College of Fine Arts. This detailed and valuable record (now in The University's archive) recalls a memorable era in Austin's artistic life, an era that owes an enormous debt to William Doty's own vision and pioneering efforts.

Clifford "Boots" Douglas ~ 2
Genres: Big Band, Jazz
Based in: Temple
Instrument: drums
Birthplace: Temple Birthdate: 9/7/1908 Deathdate: Unavailable
Boots and His Buddies were a territory band led by drummer Clifford "Boots" Douglas between 1935-1938. He began on drums at age 15 and formed his own 13-piece band. They recorded about 40 sides for Bluebird in San Antonio. Boots was known as one of the finest Texas jazz bandleaders of his era.

Hans Heinz Draeger
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: musicologist
Birthplace: Stralsund, Germany Birthdate: 12/6/1909 Deathdate: 11/9/1968
Hans-Heinz Draeger - a pioneer in the study of music - was one of the most influential musicologists in the state of Texas. Draeger distinguished himself as a member of the University of Texas faculty. During his career, he published two books and over thirty articles. Among his many other publications, he also completed the program notes for the Fine Arts Booklet, published by The University of Texas Department of Music from 1961 to 1963, and the program notes for the Austin Symphony Orchestra from 1963 to 1968. Draeger concentrated his research on the theoretical and mathematical aspects of intonation and pitch in music. He was also interested in the relation between words and notes. Draeger's background in art history and philosophy led him to explore other avenues in musical research extending into such areas as psychology and computers.
Colleges: University of Berlin

"Blind Arizona" Juanita Dranes ~ 2
Genres: Blues, Christian, Gospel
Based in: Dallas, later Fort Worth
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: NA Birthdate: 4/4/1894 Deathdate: 7/27/1963
Buried at: Paradise Memorial Cemetery in Santa Fe Springs, California
Dranes was one of the most influential and innovative gospel pianists of the twentieth century. Blind Arizona was born of mixed African-American and Mexican-American heritage. She lost her sight in an influenza outbreak early in her childhood. In Dallas's Deep Ellum district, she learned piano and developed her own distinct style of combined ragtime and barrelhouse traditions which created a rolling blues sound. Dranes became a regular pianist and singer for the Church of God in Christ - a national African-American Pentecostal church that has since developed into the largest of its kind. In the mid-1920s she was spotted by Okeh Records. During her contract with Okeh, she recorded over thirty tracks, including such gospel standouts as "I Shall Wear a Crown" and "My Soul Is a Witness for the Lord."

Damita Jo DuBlanc ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Austin Birthdate: 8/5/1930 Deathdate: 12/26/1998
Damita Jo DuBlanc's greatest hit "I'll Save The Last Dance for You" - an answer to The Drifters' "Save the Last Dance for Me" - was one of the most successful answer records ever, getting into the top twenty and spending more than two months on the best seller charts. Damita Jo also recorded "Keep Your Hands Off Him" and "I'll Be There." She was featured as a singer with Steve Gibson & The Red Caps and later was a regular on the Redd Foxx television series.

Charlotte Estelle Dubois
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: educator, piano
Birthplace: Liberty, IN Birthdate: 10/26/1903 Deathdate: 1/1/1982
Charlotte Estelle DuBois, music educator, joined the music faculty at the University of Texas, where she remained until her retirement in August 1971. She was the first woman to be named a full professor in the University of Texas Music Department. DuBois was an honorary member of Sigma Alpha Iota, a national fraternity for women in music, and was awarded the fraternity's ring of excellence. She received a Teaching Excellence Award from the Students' Association of the University of Texas and in October 1971 the rarely given Citation of Service "in recognition of excellence and devotion to the music education profession" from the Texas Music Educators Association.

Sherman H. Dudley
Genres: Vaudeville
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vaudevillian, theater owner
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 1870 Deathdate: 3/1/1940
Sherman H. Dudley, black vaudevillian and theater owner, is reported to have been in P. T. Wright's Nashville Students and in the McCabe and Young Minstrels, where he was nicknamed either Happy or Hapsy. In 1904 he appeared with Billy Kersands in "King Rastus." Later that year, after Tom McIntosh's death, he took over McIntosh's lead role in "The Smart Set." The same year he introduced his most famous stage act, a routine in which a mule dressed in overalls would nod his head as Dudley spoke, giving the impression that the mule understood. Dudley reportedly organized the Colored Actors' Union, which was headquartered in Washington, D.C., and served as its general manager and treasurer. In 1911 he began buying theaters and organized S. H. Dudley Theatrical Enterprises.

Richard Dufallo ~ 2
Genres: Classical
Based in: Denton
Instrument: conductor, clarinet
Birthplace: Whiting, IN Birthdate: 1/30/1933 Deathdate: 6/16/2000
Dufallo conducted more than 80 major orchestras and festivals in the United States, Canada, and Europe, premiering numerous works by American and European composers, including Karlheinz Stockhausen, Jacob Druckman, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Krzystof Penderecki. He worked closely with Leonard Bernstein and directed the contemporary music series at both The Juilliard School and the Aspen Music Festival.
Colleges: American Conservatory of Music in Chicago; University of California, Los Angeles

Theodore "Ted" Dunbar ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Port Arthur
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Port Arthur Birthdate: 1/17/1937 Deathdate: 5/29/1998
Ted Dunbar was a master jazz guitarist and educator. Ted performed with Arnett Cobb (1956-58), Joe Turner (1958) and Don Wilkerson (1957-59). Ted developed what he called a "Tonal Convergence System" and it became one of the cornerstones of his playing as well as of his teaching method. In addition to his extensive sideman activities, Ted recorded several records of his own, including "Opening Remarks," "Secundum Artem," "Jazz Guitarist," and "Gentle Time Alone," as well as a duo recording with Kenny Barron, "In Tandem."

Johnny Duncan
Genres: Country
Based in: Dublin
Instrument: vocals, guitar, songwriter
Birthplace: Dublin Birthdate: 10/5/1938 Deathdate:6 8/14/2006
Johnny Duncan's job at a Nashville area radio station allowed him to pitch his songs to such artists as Charley Pride, Marty Robbins, Chet Atkins, Conway Twitty and Jim Ed Brown. In the second half of the 1970s, Duncan's own recordings - both by himself and with fellow Texan Janie Frickie - reached the top ten on the country charts including, "Sweet Country Woman," "Stranger," "Thinkin’ of a Rendezvous," "It Couldn’t Have Been Any Better," "Slow Dancing" and "She Can Put Her Shoes Under My Bed Anytime." Duncan's move from straightforward country and toward a more pop sound with producer Billy Sherrill helped pave the way for the urban cowboy trend that followed a few years later. He returned to Texas to raise his children in the same environment he had enjoyed as a child. He continued to maintain a presence in both Texas and Nashville, recording new material and playing around 10 dates a month until his death of a heart attack in 2006.

Thomas Elmer "Tommy" Duncan ~ 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Hillsboro
Instrument: vocals, songwriter
Birthplace: Whitney Birthdate: 1/11/1911 Deathdate: 7/25/1967
For 16 years Duncan was the featured vocalist with Bob Wills' Texas Playboys. Wills asked Duncan and several other band members to help him write words to the song "New San Antonio Rose." In 1940, Wills recorded it in Dallas. That recording, with the brilliant Duncan vocals, sold three million copies for Columbia Records (now CBS Records). Bing Crosby then recorded it and won his second gold record. Duncan appeared with Bob Wills in several movies and he became not only a movie star but the most famous singer in all of western swing.

Robert Lee "Bob" Dunn
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western, Western Swing
Based in: Houston
Instrument: steel guitar
Birthplace: Fort Gibson, OK Birthdate: 2/5/1908 Deathdate: 5/27/1971
Bob Dunn was the first electric steel guitarist to treat his steel guitar as a jazz instrument and may have been the first to amplify the instrument. While in Fort Worth, he became a member of Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies. With the addition of Dunn and his guitar, the band became the first to use an electric guitar to record a country-rooted song entitled "Taking Off." Dunn played and recorded more than ninety tunes with the Brownies until Milton Brown's death. Dunn also played with Roy Newman, Cliff Bruner and his Musical Wanderers and his own band, the Vagabonds. He retired from performing and opened his own music store in Houston, where he also taught music. He operated the store for more than twenty years.
Colleges: Southern College of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas

Big Al Dupree
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: piano, saxophone, vocals
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 11/7/1923 Deathdate: 8/4/2003
Big Al Dupree spent his entire life performing the blues and jazz. He started playing piano and saxophone in his early teens during the 1930s and studied music when he went to college at the age of 16 in New Orleans. He toured with T. Bone Walker and Pee Wee Crayton during the 1940s playing saxophone, and played in piano lounges and supper clubs around the Dallas area since the 1950s. "He ate, drank and slept music," said Myrtle Dupree, his wife of 55 years. "He had a style of his own. He didn't sing like Nat King Cole or James Brown. He had this voice that was so gorgeous and beautiful that you would never have thought he was 79."

Cornell Dupree ~ 2
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 12/19/1942Deathdate: 5/8/2011
The passing of Cornell Dupree leaves behind a vast legacy of recorded music. A saxophonist in his youth, Dupree began playing guitar as a teenager. He first broke into the blues genre as a member of King Curtis' band, playing alongside an undiscovered Jimi Hendrix. Establishing himself as a session musician at Atlantic Records in the 1960s, Dupree recorded songs with Miles Davis, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Herbie Mann, James Brown, Jimmy Smith, Lou Rawls, Paul Simon, Les McCann, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, Roberta Flack, Joe Cocker, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and countless others. Dupree's guitar playing can be heard most notably on Aretha Franklin's "Rock Steady" and "Respect" and Brooke Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia." Nicknamed "Uncle Funky" and "Mr. 2500" (in reference to the number of recording sessions he'd participated in), Dupree released 10 solo albums, receiving a Grammy nomination for "Coast fo Coast" in 1988. In addition to his extensive recording discography, Dupree toured as the guitarist for Aretha Franklin's band from 1967-1976, was a member of Saturday Night Live's original house band as well as a founding member of the band Stuff and wrote an instructional book called Rhythm and Blues Guitar, published in 2000. He died in Fort Worth, TX at the age of 68.

Photo of Eddie DurhamEddie Durham ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Jazz, Swing
Based in: San Marcos
Instrument: guitar, trombone
Birthplace: San Marcos Birthdate: 8/19/1906 Deathdate: 3/6/1987
Buried at: GW Cemetery in New Jersey
Eddie Durham was one of the most important of the Swing Era's composer-arrangers. Durham's early work was as a jazz composer-arranger for four important bands: the Blue Devils, Bennie Moten, Count Basie, and Jimmie Lunceford. The tunes Durham composed or arranged for these bands include "Moten Swing," "Swinging the Blues," "Topsy," "John's Idea," "Time Out," "Out the Window," "Every Tub," "Sent for You Yesterday," "One O'Clock Jump," "Jumpin' at the Woodside," "Lunceford Special," "Harlem Shout," and "Pigeon Walk." In addition, he arranged music for Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller. Durham contributed to one of Miller's greatest hits, "In the Mood." He is considered a key figure in working out arrangements in the famous Kansas City riff style. Eddie was also one of the first jazz musicians to perform on an amplified guitar. He later influenced fellow Texan Charles (Charlie) Christian, probably the most important guitarist in jazz history.

Photo of Dr. HepcatLavada "Dr. Hepcat" Durst ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Blues, Christian
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals, piano, disc jockey
Birthplace: Austin Birthdate: 1/9/1913 Deathdate: 10/31/1995
Durst was the first African-American disc jockey in Texas and one of the first in the country. He also had a talent for a pre-"rap" method of rhythmic "jive talk." "Dr. Hepcat's" cool jive-talk was a hit and made him a celebrity with the local college students. He can be credited for introducing an entire generation of Austin listeners to jazz, blues, and R&B sounds. Later, with instructions from Boot Walden, Baby Dotson, Black Tank, and others, Durst became a master at playing the 1930s and 1940s style of "barrelhouse" blues on his piano. He also wrote the hit gospel song, "Let's Talk About Jesus," for the group Bells of Joy.

Robert Ealey ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Blues, Swing
Based in: Texarkana
Instrument: vocals, drums
Birthplace: Texarkana Birthdate: 12/6/1925 Deathdate: 3/7/2001
Buried at: Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery
Robert Ealey was a Fort Worth blues legend whose nightclub, The New Blue Bird in Lake Como, was a school for some of North Texas' most famous musical names. In 1956 he teamed up with guitarist U.P. Wilson to form Boogie Chillen and they played all over the country. Robert also played an air harmonica which became one of his trademarks.

East Texas Serenaders ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Lindale and Mineola
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Lindale and Mineola Birthdate: 1900 Deathdate:
The East Texas Serenaders - Henry Bogan, Cloet Hamman, John Munnerlyn, Huggins Williams, Henry Lester and Shorty Lester - were a string band that played mostly rags and waltzes and two steps, dance music for moving in a circle, a counter-clockwise circle around a floor where the rugs had been lifted up and a lot of loose pine sawdust spread all around. Their East Texas dance music was ultimately a precursor to Western Swing.

Roger Edens
Genres: Classical
Based in: Hillsboro
Instrument: composer, piano
Birthplace: Hillsboro Birthdate: 11/9/1905 Deathdate: 7/13/1970
Roger Edens - musician, composer, and producer - worked with Ethel Merman as accompanist and musical arranger. He also wrote songs for Judy Garland that she performed at the Palace Theater and in concert. Edens joined the staff at Metro Goldwyn Meyer as a musical supervisor and composer in 1935 and eventually became an associate producer. He worked on many noted films as musical supervisor or director, including "Born to Dance" (1936), "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), "Strike Up the Band" (1940), "Babes on Broadway" (1941), "Ziegfeld Follies" (1944), and "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944). He received the Academy Award for Easter Parade in 1948 and "Annie Get Your Gun" in 1950.

"Moanin'" Bernice Edwards
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Houston (probably the Fifth Ward) Birthdate: 1910 Deathdate: Unavailable
Bernice Edwards was "one of the family" in the renowned Thomas Family of Houston, Bernice being the same age as its most gifted member, the child prodigy, Hersal. From another member of the family, Hociel, she learned to play the piano and sing the blues. She remained in Houston when the family moved north and was often in the company of Black Boy Shine (Harold Holliday). When she recorded for Paramount in 1928 these influences were evident in her introspective "moanin'" blues and her piano style. When she attended her third and last session (for ARC in 1935) she was in the company of Holliday and one record was issued by her, Holliday and Howling Smith together. Apart from the fact that she later married and joined the church, little more is known. It is possible that she made her way to the West Coast by 1945 (text provided by http://www.centrohd.com/biogra/e1/bernice_edwards_b.htm).

Daisy Elgin
Genres: Classical
Based in: Houston
Instrument: soprano
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: Deathdate:
Daisy Elgin was a soprano trained by Charlotte Macondie. She had a light agile voice with an extensive range. Her Houston debut in 1930 included arias from "La Traviata" and "The Barber of Seville."

Baldemar "Don Balde" Elizondo
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Pharr
Instrument: accordion
Birthplace: Pharr Birthdate: 12/27/1926 Deathdate: 7/4/2002
Buried at: Houston
Many notable musicians were inspired by Baldemar's mastery of the accordion. Baldemar formed "Los Bohemios de Teran" with his long time friend Eldemiro Abrego, who accompanied him on the Bajo Sexto for more than forty years. Together, the duet played along side many of the era's greatest performers such as Trini Lopez, Freddy Fender, and Perez Prado. Los Bohemios records are difficult to acquire, but showcase the great talent that Baldemar and Eldemiro displayed. In the late 1970s, Baldemar formed "Los Norteños de Reynosa" and later formed "La Rama Muzikal" with his two sons and six grandchildren. Together they released an independent recording two weeks before Baldemar untimely death. Baldemar was also a master accordion technician. Hohner accordions honored Baldemar at the 2000 Conjunto Festival in San Antonio, Texas with a certificate of recognition for his many years of outstanding support for the music community by repairing the instruments that are the very heart of Conjunto Music: the Accordion.

Merrill Ellis ~ 2
Genres: Experimental
Based in: Denton
Instrument: composer, performer, researcher
Birthplace: Cleburne Birthdate: 12/9/1916 Deathdate: 7/21/1981
Renowned composer, performer, researcher and University of North Texas professor Merrill Ellis appeared throughout the central and southwestern United States in numerous performances of electronic and intermedia compositions, and he lectured at different colleges and universities. He was interested in the advancement of new music, carried out research in new compositional techniques, development of new instruments, and exploration of new notation techniques for scoring and performing new music. Ellis began exploring electro-acoustic music when he arrived at the University of North Texas at Denton in 1962. Ellis founded the university's Computer Music Center in 1963 and was Director of the Electronic Music Center and Professor of Composition. In 1963, Ellis established what was to become the precursor to the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia and christened it simply the Electronic Music Center (EMC).

Frank Elsass ~ 2
Genres: Classical
Based in:
Instrument: trumpet, cornet, french horn
Birthplace: Waynesburg, Ohio Birthdate: 1913 Deathdate: Unavailable
In 1947, Dr. Elsass taught a summer session at The University of Texas and was persuaded by Dean E.W. Doty to stay full-time. He received his Doctor of Education at UT and was the conductor of the University Symphonic Band. He gave his time and talents to the whole program of the College of fine Arts, including conducting.
Colleges: University of Texas; Ernest Williams School of Music in New York; New York University

Booker Ervin ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Denison
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Denison Birthdate: 10/31/1930 Deathdate: 8/31/1970
Known primarily for his work with jazz legend Charles Mingus, Booker Ervin was highly regarded within the New York jazz community for his distinctive tenor saxophone style. Ervin also recorded several solo albums for Prestige Records, including The Blues Book, The Space Book, The Freedom Book, and The Song Book.
Colleges: Berklee School of Music in Boston

Eligio Roque Escobar ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Tejano, Conjunto
Based in: Corpus Christi
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Ben Bolt Birthdate: 12/1/1926 Deathdate: 10/4/1994
Buried at: Corpus Christi
In 1960, Eligio Roque Escobar was in a serious automobile accident and was unable to continue working as his legs were severely injured. Eligio was bedridden for a year and began to develop his Texas-Mexican conjunto music. Escobar recorded under various labels including: Ideal, Nopal, Bego, Cometa, Bernal, Laredo, Reloj, and DINA of Joey International. His legacy includes more then 250 songs. Some of Eligio's biggest hits were "Cuando Dos Almas," "Rosario Nocturno" and "El Gambler" under the Laredo label of Tony de la Rosa. Elijio's most famous song was "El Veterano," a song he wrote for the Mexican-American veterans of World War II. Six of Escobar's brothers Ricardo, Ramiro, Eligio, Rogerio, Rafael, and Eleuterio were veterans of the armed services of the United States.
Sites of interest:
Eligio traced his family's origins to Escobares, a small town on the Rio Grande in Starr County.
Annual event:
"El Veterano" Annual Conjunto Festival in memory of Eligio Escobar presented by the Eligio Escobar Foundation.

Francis Octavia "Dale Evans" Smith ~ 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Uvalde
Instrument: guitar, vocals, songwriter
Birthplace: Uvalde Birthdate: 10/31/1912 Deathdate: 2/7/2001
Buried at: Sunset Hills Memorial Park, Apple Valley, San Bernardino County, California
Dale Evans was the singer-actress who teamed with husband Roy Rogers in popular Westerns and co-wrote their theme song "Happy Trails to You." She was the "Queen of the Cowgirls" and together they appeared in 35 movies, including "My Pal Trigger," "Apache Rose" and "Don't Fence Me In." She also wrote the 1955 gospel music standard "The Bible Tells Me So." She and Rogers recorded more than 400 songs.
Schools: she attended high school in Osceola, Arkansas

Herschel Evans ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Denton
Instrument: tenor saxophone
Birthplace: Denton Birthdate: 3/9/1909 Deathdate: 2/9/1939
Herschel Evans, black musician and composer, perfected his craft in the famous jam sessions held in the jazz district between Twelfth and Eighteenth streets in Kansas City. Evans returned to Texas in the 1920s and joined the Troy Floyd orchestra in San Antonio in 1929. In the mid-1930s he returned to Kansas City to become a featured soloist in Count Basie's big band. His musical duels with fellow band member Lester Young are considered jazz classics. Evans also made records with such notable jazz figures as Harry James, Theodore S. (Teddy) Wilson and Lionel Hampton. Evans has been credited with influencing fellow tenorists Buddy Tate, Illinois Jacquet, and Arnett Cobb.

Thomas Hubert "Hugh" Farr ~ 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Llano
Instrument: vocal, fiddle
Birthplace: Llano Birthdate: 12/6/1903 Deathdate: 4/17/1980
Between 1929 and 1933, he and brother Karl played with Len Nash And His Country Boys on local venues and on KFOX Long Beach, where the two also acted as station staff musicians. During the time with Nash, Hugh also played on several Brunswick Records recordings. In 1933, the two brothers and Ira McCullough performed as the Haywire Trio and also played with Jack LeFevre And His Texas Outlaws. Soon afterwards, he became a fourth member of the Pioneer Trio (joining Bob Nolan, Leonard Slye "Roy Rogers"and Tim Spencer) who, before long, became the Sons Of The Pioneers.

Karl Farr ~ 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Rochelle
Instrument: vocal, guitar
Birthplace: Rochelle, ten miles northeast of Brady Birthdate: 4/25/1909 Deathdate: 9/20/1961
Karl Farr is known as a member of the Original Sons of the Pioneers. Landing a job with KFWB, their popularity soon had them on the radio for three hours a day. Soon the KFWB announcer introduced them as the Sons of the Pioneers and the name stuck. The group recorded "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" at its first commercial recording session in 1934 for Decca, added Hugh Farr's younger brother Karl on guitar, and began appearing in movies.

Patrick "Fat Pat" Lamont Hawkins
Genres: Rap/Hip Hop
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: N/A Birthdate: 12/4/1970 Deathdate: 2/3/1998
Fat Pat was a rapper and an original member of DJ Screw's Screwed Up Click. Also known as Mr. Fat Pat and P-A-T, he was most prolific in the mid-1990s alongside his brother Big Hawk and longtime friend Lil' Keke. Fat Pat was signed to Wreckshop Records. On February 3rd, 1998, Fat Pat was shot dead after collecting an appearance fee from a promoter's apartment. Two weeks later, his debut album, "Ghetto Dreams," was released. His album release party became a wake of sorts with rap artists such as Scarface, Willie D, Lil' Keke, DJ Screw, the Botany Boys, South Park Mexican, in attendance to pay their respects. Four months later, Wreckshop Records released his second album, "Throwed In Tha Game," which featured the single "Holla At 'Cha Later." Weeks later, DJ Screw and the Screwed Up Click released their group's debut album, "Screwed Up For Life."

Wilton Lewis Felder
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: sax, bass
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 8/31/1940 Deathdate: Unavailable
Felder, Joe Sample, and Stix Hooper formed the Swingsters and played gigs at Texas Southern University and the Houston vicinity. They developed their own unique blend of blues and jazz, which they termed "the gulf coast sound." In 1970, the band shortened its name to the Crusaders and introduced a funk element. The Crusaders topped the jazz charts and ranked high in the pop charts. Several of their albums reached gold record status, and in 1973 and 1974, they were nominated for grammys. Between Crusaders albums and a string of solo recordings, Felder played with Barry White's Unlimited Orchestra, Steeley Dan, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, the Four Tops, Diana Ross, and Joe Cocker.

Rosita Fernandez
Genres:
Tejano music
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Monterey, Mexico Birthdate: 4/12/1918 Deathdate: 5/2/2006
San Antonio's First Lady of Song , Rosita Fernandez, was born in Monterey on January 10, 1918, one of 16 children. She began singing professionally as a child often performing in vaudeville tent shows in South Texas in the 1920s and '30s with her uncles. Fernandez was in her teens when she won a spot to sing on WOAI Radio's Gebhardt Chili Show and was the first performer to appear live when WOAI established a television station in 1949. Fernandez made hundreds of recordings on the RCA, Decca and Brunswick labels and appeared on as many as 11 different radio programs a week. In 2000, she received the Albert Peña Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mexican American Unity Council. She was proclaimed Woman of the Year in 1983. In 1984, she was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame and the Tejano Music Hall of Fame in 1987. Fernandez was also a TV and film actress, appearing with John Wayne in "The Alamo." She was known simply as "Rosita" and was given the title of San Antonio's First Lady of Song in 1968 by Lady Bird Johnson at a special performance for 40 ambassadors at the Arneson River Theater.
Sites of interest: Rosita Fernandez performed for a quarter-century in Fiesta Noche del Rio at the Arneson River Theater.

Ernie Fields
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Nacogdoches
Instrument: trombone
Birthplace: Nacogdoches Birthdate: 8/26/1905 Deathdate: 5/11/1997
The versatile Ernie Fields toured the United States with his band for nearly four decades. Fields formed his own jazz big band outfit and enjoyed considerable success. As his popularity grew, Fields and company began touring the midwest and southwest. He also made several recordings for various jazz and blues labels, including Frisco, Bullet, and Gotham. In 1939, he and his band traveled to New York City, where they recorded and played shows at the legendary Apollo Theater. With the advent of rock and roll and the decline of big band jazz in the 1950s, Fields downsized his band and transformed it into a rhythm and blues group. He also dabbled in the record industry and served as an arranger in various rock and pop recording sessions. In 1959, he founded his own record label called Rendezvous and cut a blistering rendition of Glenn Miller's classic, "In the Mood." The single - a huge hit - reached gold record status and remained on the charts for a staggering 23 weeks. Shortly after the success of "In the Mood," Fields retired from playing and recording. He worked instead as a promoter and talent manager in the Tulsa vicinity.
Colleges: Tuskegee Institute

Therman "Sonny" Fisher
2
Genres: Rockabilly
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Chandler Birthdate: 11/13/1931 Deathdate: 10/8/2005
Sonny Fisher, one of America's pioneering rockabilly artists, never achieved anything more than regional stardom in the US during the 1950s yet, when London's Ace Records reissued his 1956 recordings in 1979, he found himself proclaimed king of the rockabilly revival. Nicknamed the "Wild Man from Texas," Fisher was a singer-songwriter who fused country music with the blues to produce rockabilly. In the early Fifties, he put together a hillbilly band which became the Rocking Boys after he saw an Elvis Presley show at the Texas Korral in Houston in 1954.

Charles Wesley "Charlie" Fitch
Based in:
Luling
Instrument: record label
Birthplace: Halletsville Birthdate: 1918 Deathdate: 5/7/2006
Charlie Fitch owned and operated Sarg Records for more than 50 years, releasing the first recordings of Willie Nelson and Doug Sahm. The label was started in December 1953 with with Neal Merritt's "Korean Love Song." Dave Isbell & the Mission City Playboys, featuring Willie Nelson on lead guitar, recorded for the label in 1954 and in 1955, 12-year-old Doug Sahm released "A Real American Joe." Sarg released more than 150 singles covering virtually every genre of music being performed in Texas including western swing, country, polka, rockabilly, rock & roll, R&B, and conjunto. Sarg's biggest hit was Cecil Moore's 1964 instrumental "Diamond Back. Other artists on Sarg included western swing pioneer Adolph Hofner, honky-tonkers Herby Shozel and Peck Touchton, rockabilly mavericks Cecil Moore and Al Urban, and rock & rollers the Moods and the Downbeats.

Troy Floyd ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: clarinet, alto saxophone
Birthplace: 1898 Birthdate: N/A Deathdate: N/A
Jazz bandleader and instrumentalist Troy Floyd led various jazz groups in San Antonio during the late 1920s and early 1930s. He played alto and tenor saxophone and clarinet. His first unit was a sextet, organized in 1924 and increased to nine pieces by 1926. His band broadcast regularly on radio station HTSA from the Plaza Hotel in San Antonio, from which the group took the name Troy Floyd and His Plaza Hotel Orchestra when it recorded for the first time on March 14, 1928. This was one of the first black bands to record in Texas. Floyd's band also appeared at the Shadowland club, from which its 1928 recording of "Shadowland Blues" derived its title. Among the musicians in the Floyd bands were Claude "Benno" Kennedy, "a trumpeter with a considerable technique and freak style," and Siki Collins, an alto and soprano saxophonist who was praised by a number of his fellow sidemen.

Michael David "Blaze Foley" Fuller ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 5
Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Malvern, AR Birthdate: 12/18/1949 Deathdate: 2/1/1989
Buried at: in an Austin Cemetery near Onion Creek
Foley named himself after Red Foley, changing the first name to Blaze to suit his own personality. His talent - songs - came from deep within him, so much so that it often was painful for him to sing them. It is believed that Foley never worked at any job other than songwriting, singing, and guitar picking. Foley was a homeless man, who slept on the couches of friends and, sometimes, under pool tables at places like the Austin Outhouse. Blaze performed through the 1970s and 1980s, mostly at venues in Houston and Austin, such as Anderson Fair in Houston and Austin's Spellman's Lounge, emmajoe's, Soap Creek Saloon, The Hole in the Wall, and, most regularly, Austin Outhouse. Foley counted Townes Van Zandt, Pat MacDonald, Barbara K, Lucinda Williams, Mandy Mercier and "Lost John" Casner among his friends and was often backed by quality musicians, such as the Waddell brothers, the Muscle Shoals Horns, bassist/guitarist Gurf Morlix, fiddler Champ Hood, and singer-songwriter Sarah Elizabeth Campbell.
Sites of interest:
Hole in the Wall (the last place Foley performed on stage) is located at 2538 Guadalupe Street in Austin
Forty percent of Blaze Foley tribute album proceeds go to the Austin Resource center for the Homeless located at 400 Nueces Street in Austin.
The Austin Outhouse of the recording "Live at the Austin Outhouse" was located at 3512 Guadalupe Street.
Annual event:
Blaze's songs are included in the Annual Townes Van Zandt Wake at the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe at 413 20th Street in Galveston, TX every January 1st

Jimmy Ford ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 6/16/1927 Deathdate: 3/13/1994
Buried at: N/A
Alto saxophonist James Martin (Jimmy) Ford was the first Caucasian to join the jazz band of Houston native Milt Larkin. He played with the orchestra in 1947 and 1948, and was referred to as the "white Bird" because his performance style was patterned on that of Charlie Parker. Ford toured with trombonist Kai Winding's group in 1948 and later worked at the Royal Roost in New York with pianist-composer-arranger Tadd Dameron, whose band included bebop giants Fats Navarro and Kenny Clarke. For much of 1951 Ford played in New York with Parker's former trumpeter, Red Rodney, with whom he recorded on tenor. In 1951–52 he also worked at times with another outstanding bebop musician, pianist Bud Powell. Soon afterward Ford returned to Houston but by 1957 he was back in New York, where he joined the Maynard Ferguson big band, with which he played until 1960. During his tenure with the Ferguson band, which appeared frequently at Birdland, Ford was the featured altoist and "one of the band's most impassioned improvisers."

John Clinton "Clint" Formby
Genres: talk radio
Based in: Houston
Instrument: radio broadcaster
Birthplace: McAdoo Birthdate: 12/22/1923 Deathdate: 07/31/2010
Buried at: West Park Cemetery, Hereford
Clint Formby was a veteran radio broadcaster and radio station owner based in the small city of Hereford, Texas, the seat of Deaf Smith County in the Texas Panhandle. Formby began broadcasting daily commentary as the "Day by Day Philosopher" on October, 10, 1955. He was eventually featured on NBC's "Today Show" in 2007 for hosting more than 16,000 episodes of the six-day-a-week program without missing even one broadcast. He eventually reached 17,000 episodes, according to KPAN, and was billed as having "the longest running consecutive radio broadcast by an individual in the United States."
Schools: McAdoo High School
Colleges: Texas Tech University; University of Basel

Arnim Leroy "Curly" Fox
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Houston
Instrument: fiddle, vocals
Birthplace: Graysville, TN Birthdate: 11/19/1910 Deathdate: 11/10/1995
During the '40s and '50s, Curly Fox and Texas Ruby were the preeminent husband and wife team in country music. Fox remains one of the great hillbilly fiddlers, while Ruby was one of the first female singers to become a major star. He began his professional career playing and traveling with Chief White Owl's "Indian" medicine show. Fox soon began working with Claude Davis and the Carolina Tar Heels in Atlanta and founded the Tennessee Firecrackers. He played and recorded with the Shelton Brothers in New Orleans from 1934 to 1936, also recording three singles himself. In 1937, Fox met Texas Ruby (born Ruby Agnes Owens in Wise County, Texas) at the Texas centennial celebration. Ruby, a true cowgirl and sister of radio cowboy Tex Owens, had sung several times on the Grand Ole Opry and various radio stations with Zeke Clements and His Bronco Busters. Soon after meeting Fox, the two married and began appearing on the Opry from 1937-39 and again from 1944-48. In between, they worked in Cincinnati and at other major stations as well. The duo made some recordings, but according to Fox, Ruby's throaty contralto didn't sound as good on records as it did on the radio. In 1948 the couple moved to Houston, where they lived and worked for ten years bringing country music to local television. Later, as Ruby's health suffered, Curley began to appear on the Grand Old Opry alone and during one such appearance, she died in a tragic mobile home fire. In 1976, Curly returned to his hometown of Graysville, TN where he remained until his death in 1995.

Oscar Julius Fox
Genres: Cowboy/Western
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Burnet County Birthdate: 10/11/1879 Deathdate: 7/29/1961
Oscar J. Fox, composer of Western songs, was a member of the Texas Music Teachers Association, the Sinfonia Fraternity of America, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, the Composers-Authors Guild, and the Sons of the Republic of Texas. He first achieved fame through setting to music the cowboy songs collected by John A. Lomax. He never wrote lyrics but set existing poems to music. He drew strongly on his Texas background, and some of his best-known compositions were "The Hills of Home" (1925), "Old Paint" (1927), "The Old Chisholm Trail" (1924), "Whoopee Ti Yi Yo, Git Along, Little Dogies" (1927), "Will You Come to the Bower?" (1936), and "The Cowboy's Lament" (1923).

Ermant Franklin Jr. ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Christian
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Austin Birthdate: Deathdate: 1/17/1996
Ermant Franklin Jr. organized the Sensational Wonders vocal group in 1975, later changing the band's name to the Famous Mighty Clouds of Joy. He was with the group for almost 20 years, earning two Grammys, six nominations, an NAACP Image Award and three Gospel Music Workshop of America Awards. He is the son of E.M. Franklin of the Paramount Singers.

Dalies Erhardt Frantz
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: educator, piano
Birthplace: Lafayette, CO Birthdate: 1/9/1908 Deathdate: 12/1/1965
Buried at: Capital Memorial Gardens, Austin
Dalies Erhardt Frantz, pianist and teacher, debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski in 1934. Shortly thereafter, Frantz was signed by Columbia Concerts Corporation. Frantz's eminence as a pianist attracted Hollywood's attention, and he appeared in several motion pictures. In 1943 he joined the University of Texas music department. He pursued his teaching until the time of his death and was recognized as one of the outstanding music teachers in the country.
Schools: Huntington Preparatory School in Boston
Colleges: University of Michigan

William Orville R. C. "Lefty" Frizzell ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Corsicana
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Corsicana Birthdate: 3/31/1928 Deathdate: 7/19/1975
Buried at: Music Row at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Goodlettsville, TN
Lefty Frizzell has been called the most influential singer/stylist in the history of Country Music. Frizzell was only 22 when he made his first recordings for Columbia Records. He recorded "Saginaw, Michigan," a number-one national hit. His career total of Top Ten songs was thirteen, three of which were number one. His most successful recordings include "If You've Got the Money, Honey, I've Got the Time," "I Love You in a Thousand Ways," "Always Late," and "I Want to be with You Always." His unique style and musical phrasing has influenced such singers as Willie Nelson and George Jones.
Sites of interest:
Lefty Frizzell Country Museum and statue (903) 654-4846

Adolph Fuchs ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Classical, German
Based in: Marble Falls
Instrument: educator, vocals, piano
Birthplace: Gustrow, Mecklenburg, Germany Birthdate: 9/19/1805 Deathdate: 12/1885
Buried at: Fuchs Cemetery, Cottonwood Shores, Burnet County, Texas
Adolph Fuchs immigrated to Texas and settled at Cat Spring, where copies of Fallersleben's Texanische Lieder (Texas Songs) (with false imprint of "San Felipe de Austin Bei Adolf Fuchs & Co."), which had been in part inspired by the pastor, arrived. Finding himself unprepared to cope with pioneer conditions, Fuchs became a music teacher at Baylor Female College at Independence. He was given credit for founding the first state-supported public school in Texas. A good singer and great lover of music, Fuchs wrote settings to many outstanding German poems and both the text and music of other songs; at his home he and his family and friends frequently gathered for sing-songs around his piano, one of the first west of the Colorado.
Colleges: Fuchs became a music teacher at Baylor Female College at Independence.
Sites of interest:
Fuchs died at the Goeth ranch near Cypress Mill in Blanco County.

Richard Fullbright ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Unavailable
Instrument: string bass, tuba
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: 11/17/1962
Fullbright's recorded from 1927 to 1950 with such bands as Dizzy Gillespie, King Oliver, Trixie Smith, Cow Cow Davenport, Clarence Williams, Charles Davenport, Ebony Three, Jimmie Gordon, Eva Taylor, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Sidney Bechet, Benny Carter, Bill Coleman, Roy Eldridge, Teddy Hill, and Django Reinhardt.

Carl Gardner, Sr. ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Rock, Soul/R&B
Based in: Tyler
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Tyler Birthdate: 4/29/1928 Deathdate: 6/12/2011
Buried at: Fernhill Memorial Gardens and Mausoleum, Martin County, FL
Carl Gardner, Sr. was born in Tyler, TX on April 29, 1928 and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950s. In 1954 he substituted for lead singer Grady Chapman in The Robins, staying on as the group's sixth member after Chapman's return and recording for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's Spark Records, singing lead on "Riot In Cell Block #9," "Smokey Joe's Cafe" and other recordings. When Leiber and Stoller sold Spark and signed with Atlantic Records, they recruited Gadner to join The Coasters as lead vocalist. This partnership produced a string of hits including "Down in Mexico," "Young Blood," "Searchin'," "Yakety Yak," "Charlie Brown," "Along Came Jones," "Poison Ivy" and "Little Egypt." The Coasters became the first group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and joined the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. Gardner held the rights to the Coasters name and continued to tour until his retirement in 2005. His son, Carl Gardner, Jr. continues to tour with the group.

Robert Gaston "Bobby" Fuller ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Rock
Based in: El Paso
Instrument: guitar, vocals, songwriter
Birthplace: Goose Creek Birthdate: 10/22/1942 Deathdate: 7/18/1966
Buried at: Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California
Fuller's band hit nationally with "Let Her Dance." The Bobby Fuller Four recorded "I Fought The Law," and it soared to the national Top Ten. Fuller made his film debut as the costar of "Bikini Party in a Haunted House." The Bobby Fuller Four went on two national tours and released two albums during Fuller's life, "King of the Wheels" and "I Fought the Law." With his blatant reverence for Buddy Holly, fellow Texan Bobby Fuller was a bit of an anomaly in the mid-'60s and had just become a star when he died under mysterious circumstances in a parked car in Hollywood.

Lala Yvette Garcia
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Unavailable
Instrument: Unavailable
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Deathdate: Unavailable

Randy Garibay ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues, Tejano
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 12/3/1939 Deathdate: 5/23/2002
Buried at: San Fernando Cemetery No. 2 located at 746 Castroville Road, San Antonio, TX 78237
Randy Garibay is considered by his musical peers as the "godfather" of San Antonio blues. Garibay's style showcased his unique ability to play Texas blues with a Chicano twist-combining blues, jazz, country, doo wop, and classic Mexican boleros. Garibay and his band Cats Don't Sleep, were fixtures on the Texas music scene. Garibay's musical resume included working with the Dell-Kings for 280 weeks as the house band at the Casbar Lounge of the Las Vegas Sahara Hotel. There the group backed headliners such as Jackie Wilson, Judy Garland, and Sammy Davis, Jr. The band changed its name to Los Blues, and went on to play a nightclub circuit from Hawaii to Madison Square Garden. The band also backed rhythm and blues acts, such as Curtis Mayfield and the O'Jays. Band leader Frank Rodarte said of Garibay, "In his later life, what he did for the whole Chicano nation with his blues was take things a step further to a place that wasn't violent, to a place that sang about depression but with humor."
Schools: Burbank High School
Sites of interest:
Randy played local San Antonio blues clubs including the renowned Eastwood Country Club.

William M. "Red" Garland ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 5/13/1923 Deathdate: 4/23/1984
Red Garland was part of one of the most exciting periods of jazz evolution. Much of the 1950s jazz now regarded as classic was built upon Garland's characteristic block chords. He played in New York and Philadelphia with such famous musicians as Charlie Parker, Billy Eckstine, Coleman Hawkins, and Fats Navarro. Garland achieved his greatest fame, as a member of Miles Davis's Quintet from 1955 to 1958 and was sideman on several of Davis's recordings, including "Workin' and Steamin'," "Round About Midnight," and "Milestones."
Schools: Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas

Esther C. Jonsson Garlinghouse
Genres: Classical, Balkan
Based in: Amarillo
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Ishpeming, MI Birthdate: 8/22/1901 Deathdate: 4/25/1982
Esther Garlinghouse, concert pianist, was born on August 22, 1901, in Ishpeming, Michigan. Esther Jonsson made her professional debut in Paris with the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, with Philippe Gaubert conducting. In 1931, she became the first American to perform as a soloist at the Quarter-Century Mozart Festival in Salzburg. In 1938, her study of Slavic music took her to southern Serbia. She translated some of the folk music she studied during these years into piano compositions and incorporated her films and recordings in her concerts whenever she performed Balkan music for American audiences.
Schools: University School of Music in Lincoln, NE

Vernon Garrett
Genres: Blues, R&B
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Omaha, NE Birthdate: 1/18/1933 Deathdate: Unavailable
Soul singer Vernon Garrett has been on the cover of "Living Blues Magazine," was a headliner at The Chicago Blues Festival singing in front of nearly 70,000 people and sung professionally for more than 40 years. From 1986 to 1998 he called Dallas home.

John Gary ~ 2 3
Genres: Country, Pop
Based in: Richardson
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Watertown, NY Birthdate: 11/29/1932 Deathdate: 1/1998
Born John Gary Strader, Gary became a popular stage and television star during the 1960s and 1970s, because of his soulful, heartfelt singing style and three-octave range. His signature song, "Danny Boy," revealed his love for Irish tunes, but his singing repertoire included show tunes, country hits, and romantic ballads. As a teenager, Gary made stage and radio appearances with artists such as Lionel Barrymore, Paul Whiteman's Orchestra and Billy Wardell.. After a short army hitch, Gary recorded 24 albums while under contract to RCA, including his first album, "Catch a Rising Star." He recorded another 25 albums for various independent labels. Gary performed on programs such as "The Tonight Show," "the Ed Sullivan Show," "the Bell Telephone Hour," "Dick Clark's Bandstand," and "the Danny Kaye Show"; in the early 1970s, a summer-replacement program for Danny Kaye's CBS television show evolved into his own syndicated television variety show, "the John Gary Show" which ran for three years. Gary's popularity continued well into the 1990s, and he sang with numerous symphonies and at various concert halls, conventions, and special events across the globe.

Zelma Watson George
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: Hearne
Instrument: musicologist, opera singer
Birthplace: Hearne Birthdate: 12/8/1903 Deathdate: 7/3/1994
Zelma Watson George - diplomat, social-program administrator, musicologist, opera singer, and college administrator - wrote her doctoral dissertation, "A Guide to Negro Music: Toward A Sociology of Negro Music," catalogued approximately 12,000 musical compositions either inspired or written by African Americans. During the 1950s she became involved with national and international political issues as an adviser to President Dwight David Eisenhower's administration.

Henry Clay Gilliland
Genres: Country
Based in: north Texas
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Missouri Birthdate:1845 Deathdate: 4/24/1924
Fiddler Henry Clay Gilliland - along with Alexander (Eck) Robertson - made the first country music recording in New York City in 1922 for the Victor Talking Machine Co. After the Civil War he developed a reputation as an Indian fighter and Texas Ranger, and held numerous public offices in Texas and Oklahoma. He was also active in the affairs of various Confederate veterans' organizations, eventually attaining the rank of lieutenant general in the United Confederate Veterans. Gilliland won many many fiddle contests in North Texas during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He was a driving force behind the organization of the Old Fiddlers' Association of Texas (1901) and served for many years as its secretary.

Donald Eugene Gillis
Genres: Classical, Pop
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: composer, conductor, piano, trombone
Birthplace: Cameron, MO Birthdate: 6/17/1912 Deathdate: 1/10/1978
Composer, conductor, musician, teacher, and producer Don Gillis taught at Texas Christian University and also taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1942 Gillis became production director for radio station WBAP. In December 1943 he transferred to the NBC affiliate in Chicago. A year later he went to New York to become producer and scriptwriter for the NBC Symphony Orchestra, directed by Arturo Toscanini. Gillis produced several NBC radio programs, including "Serenade to America" and "NBC Concert Hour." After Toscanini retired in 1954 Gillis, serving as president of the Symphony Foundation of America, was instrumental in helping to form the Symphony of the Air, using members of the old NBC Symphony. Gillis composed prolifically in virtually all contemporary styles and genres. Much of his music emphasizes the comical, and his works often carry whimsical titles that convey the satire and humor of his music. One of his artistic goals was to interpret his American background musically. His more than 150 works include ten symphonies; six string quartets; "The Panhandle," a symphonic suite; "The Alamo" and "Symphony No. 5*," the world premiere of which was conducted by Toscanini.

Darrell Glenn
Genres: Country, Hillbilly
Based in: Waco
Instrument: singer
Birthplace: Waco Birthdate:12/7/1935 Deathdate: 4/9/1990
Darrell Glenn was the son of singer / songwriter Artie Glenn. In fact, Artie wrote his son's first hit record that was also a hit for several others over the years - "Crying In The Chapel." Artie's group, the Rhythm Riders provided the instrumental backup to Darrell's recording of this song, released on the Valley Records label out of Knoxville. Darrell's record on the seemingly small label reportedly sold over 15,000 copies in two months. All of that happened before he was out of high school. Before he graduated in June of 1953, he hadn't set foot outside of Texas. After graduation, he hit the personal appearance trail on the coattails of his hit record, visiting nearly 20 states and Canada under the promotion of Valley Records.

Evans "Tyree" Glenn ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Big Band, Jazz
Based in: Corsicana
Instrument: trombone
Birthplace: Corsicana Birthdate: 11/23/1912 Deathdate: 5/18/1974
Glenn performed with several well-known entertainers including Eddie Barefield, Lionel Hampton, Eddie Mallory, Charlie Nichols, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Sy Oliver and Cab Calloway. During the 1950s, Glenn did some radio, television, and acting work including Jack Sterling's New York radio show. Although Glenn primarily backed and recorded with other bands, he also recorded several of his own albums.

Lloyd Glenn
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 11/21/1909 Deathdate: 5/23/1985
Glenn is best known as one of the pioneers of the "West Coast" blues sounds. Glenn accompanied T-Bone Walker on his classic 1947 hit "Call It Stormy Monday," recorded regularly for Imperial Records throughout the 1950s and 1960s and played with B.B. King on his "My Kind of Blues" and "Lucille" recordings. He worked with a number of territory bands, including the George Corley's Royal Aces and Boots And His Buddies.

Lillian Glinn
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Hillsboro
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Hillsboro Birthdate: 1902 Deathdate:
Blues singer and vaudeville performer Lillian Glinn secured a recording contract with Columbia Records. She cut her first record for Columbia in December, 1927, and over the next two years recorded over twenty-two sides, including popular tunes, "Black Man Blues," "Doggin' Me," "Atlanta Blues," and others. Glinn, who sang in a heavy contralto voice, was often accompanied by banjo, piano, and brass bass musicians. Her songs, which were often labeled "race music," revealed her life-experiences in Dallas and the harsh realities of life on the streets. Her lyrics, some of which advised other women how to keep their men and how to handle unreliable lovers, often contained strong sexual overtones. Between 1927 and 1929, Glinn became nationally known as a result of her recordings. On April 24, 1928, she cut her best-known recording, "Shake It Down," in a New Orleans session. Glinn's musical career was extremely brief. After recording for only two years, she gave up her secular work to return to the church.

Thomas Goggan and Brothers
Genres: Classical
Based in: Galveston
Instrument: instrument and piano dealer
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate:
The historic firm, established in 1866, of Thomas Goggan and Brothers of Galveston and San Antonio was the oldest and largest music house in the state and arguably the best known Texas piano company. The company motto was "Everything in Music." The Galveston store remained the company headquarters, but Goggan eventually established sales branches over much of the state, shipping pianos and other musical instruments by wagon and ox-team.
Colleges: St. Edwards UniversitySpringhill College in Mobile, Alabama
Sites of interest:
The original retail store was at the corner of East Market and Twenty-second Street in Galveston.
The San Antonio store, called "Goggan Palace of Music," was located at Broadway and Travis in the early twentieth century.

Balde González
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Beeville
Instrument: vocals, piano, composer
Birthplace: Beeville Birthdate: 5/30/1928 Deathdate: 1974
Balde González, singer, composer, pianist, saxophonist, and clarinet player, was born on May 30, 1928, in Beeville, Texas. He was blind at birth, and his mother sent him at age eight to attend the state's School for the Blind in Austin. It was in Austin that he learned to play several instruments. Along with a few of his classmates, González performed mostly popular music at local parties. In 1948, he returned to Beeville and formed his own orchestra. In 1949, González signed with Melco, a small recording label from Corpus Christi. He recorded boleros and fox-trots in a more cosmopolitan style, singing in Spanish and English with a soft, soothing, and deep baritone voice. By the early 1950s, González had enlarged his band and signed with Ideal Records. His self-composed hits included "Oye Corazón," "Qué me puede ya importar," and "Cuéntame tu vida." His style of orquesta, which represented the jaiton wing, or "high class" orquesta, emphasized the Americanized orquesta repertoire. In the 1960s, as his fame began to diminish, González pursued his musical career as a soloist by playing piano and singing in local clubs in the Houston area. In 1985, he was inducted into the Tejano Music Hall of Fame, which recognized him for his "excellence in the tejano music industry."

Forrest R. Goodenough ~ 2
Genres: Classical, Jazz
Based in: Austin, San Antonio
Instrument: piano, composer, teacher
Birthplace: South Bend, IN Birthdate: 7/27/1918 Deathdate: 8/14//2004
Forrest R. Goodenough lost his sight at age five. Despite growing up during a time when our culture had a limited view of the amazing potential of children who didn't see, he was around people who loved him and believed he could do nearly anything. This eventually lead him to a Master's Degree at Eastman School of Music. In 1965 he ranked 9th of the top 150 American composers by the American Composers Alliance. In the 1940s he lived in New York City and was the staff pianist of NBC and held two other regular jazz piano jobs at posh hotels in the Cotillion Room and the Barbary Room. After a year long sabbatical in Woodstock, to work on classical compositions, he accepted a faculty position at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, teaching theory and composition in 1949. In 1952 he and his to be wife of 51 years, Dorothy Churchill Goodenough, began 25 years of teaching at the Texas State School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Under their guidance, the music programs blossomed to include a string ensemble, an orchestra, band, and numerous award winning soloists. The school's auditorium was renamed the Goodenough Performance Hall and a charitable fund was established to benefit future students.
Schools: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Colleges: Eastman School of Music , Trinity University

Roxy Gordon ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Talpa
Instrument: guitar, vocals, music critic
Birthplace: Ballinger Birthdate: 3/7/1945 Deathdate: 2/7/2000
Roxy assembled a long list of credits including poet, songwriter, performer, author, activist and storyteller. On the albums he recorded (such as 1990s Smaller Circles), in the books he wrote and in nightclub performances, Mr. Gordon told stories between speech and song. In the mid '70s, he ran a country music magazine "Picking Up The Tempo" for three years and met well-known musicians Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver, David Allen Coe, and Chuck Berry. In 1976, he moved to Dallas, Texas, where he spent the next 20 years as an American Indian activist, poet, and multimedia artist.
Colleges: University of Texas

Billy Gray
Genres: Cowboy/Western
Based in: Paris
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Paris, TX Birthdate: 12/29/1924 Deathdate: 3/27/1975
Billy Gray, singer/songwriter and guitarist, was born near Paris, Texas to a poor family in 1924. He organized his first band when he was 19 and had his own radio show in Paris in 1943, which was popular for the next three years. After teaming with ex-Louisiana Governor James E. Knoe to tour the state, he and his band toured the Southwest before he settled in Dallas to spend two years leading Hank Thompson's Brazos Valley Boys. He and Thompson eventually founded the Texoma Music Publishing Company and the Brazos Valley Publishing Company, and the two co-wrote some of Thompson's greatest hits, including "Waiting in the Lobby of Your Heart," "The New Wears Off Too Fast" and "A Fool, A Faker." In 1954, Gray had his lone hit, "You Can't Have My Love," a duet with Wanda Jackson. The following year, he and his band the Western Oakies released "Dance-O-Rama," but had no hits. His large band eventually became too expensive to tour with, so he returned to Hank Thompson and the Brazos Valley Boys. Gray went on to work as a sideman for other bands, including the Nuggets and the Cowtowners, also appearing on the syndicated TV show "Music Country Style."

Dobie Gray
Genres: Country, Gospel, Pop,
Based in: Simonton
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Simonton Birthdate: 7/26/1942Deathdate: 12/6/2011
Dobie Gray was born near Houston, TX in 1940. By some accounts, he was born in Simonton, others Brookshire. His birth name has been reported as both Lawrence Darrow Brown and Leonard Victor Ainsworth. The son of sharecroppers, he discovered music through his grandfather, a Baptist preacher. Moving to Los Angeles in the early 1960s, he recorded for several labels under various names before moving to Strip Records and adopting the name Dobie Gray. In 1965 he recorded “The ‘In’ Crowd”, which reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #11 on the R&B chart. Gray continued to record and worked as an actor, appearing in the Los Angeles production of “Hair”. During this time he worked at A&M records, demoing songs with writer Paul Williams. In 1972, he worked with Paul’s brother Mentor Williams in Nashville, recording Mentor’s song “Drift Away”, which reached #5 on the Billboard Pop Chart, selling more than a million copies. In the 1970s, Gray wrote songs for Ray Charles, George Jones, Johnny Mathis, Charley Pride, and Don Williams. He also performed in South Africa, becoming the first performer to play for integrated audiences under apartheid. In 2003, “Drift Away” was re-recorded as a duet with Uncle Kracker and reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was #19 on the Year-End chart. Dobie Gray died at his Nashville home on December 6, 2011 after a long battle with cancer.

Photo of Blues For Two Clarence Green
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston's Fifth Ward
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 1934 Deathdate: 3/13/1997
Buried at: died in Houston
Clarence and his brother Cal began performing in church, but soon became more interested country, blues and zydeco music of their "Frenchtown" neighborhood. Clarence and Albert Redeaux formed Blues for Two. They did not have transportation and had to take the bus to the places they played, like the old Brown Derby in the Fifth Ward and the Army bases. They only had a guitar and washboard. Blues for Two stayed together for twelve years and included artists such as Lavelle White, Johnny Clyde Copeland and Joe Hughes. Green backed touring artists such as Fats Domino and Chuck Berry. He was also a studio musician for Don Robey and performed with artists such as Clarence Hollimon, Bobby Bland, Junior Parker. Green eventually formed the Rhythmaires and worked with B.B. Carter, Luvenia Lewis, and Trudy Lynn. The Rhythmaires played all over the Houston area, including the Cinder Club, Sands of Houston, Latin World, Casino Royale, the Warwick and Rice Hotels.
Sites of interest:
He was a member of Houston's Buck Street Memorial Church of God in Christ.
He worked regularly at Houston's Silver Spur.

Clarence "Candy" Green
Genres: Blues
Based in: Galveston
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Galveston Birthdate: 3/15/1929 Deathdate: 4/3/1988
Buried at: died in Galveston
Clarence, who is not related to the guitar playing Green brothers Cal and Clarence from Houston, is the blues composer of "Galveston Blues" and "Green's Bounce." At the age of 15, Clarence played piano for tips in the world of honky tonks and brothels. Later, Don Robey signed Clarence to a three year contract for the Peacock label resulting in the recording "Hard Headed Woman" with Bill Harvey's Band which was the "baddest band in America at the time." He also worked with Johnny Fontenette, Horace Richmond, Rip Bolden, Wes Montgomery, Leo Wright's band, and Sonny Boy Williamson. He travelled from Mexico City to New York, East Germany to Czechoslovakia playing music and gambling.

Keith Gordon Green 2 3
Genres: Christian
Based in: Garden Valley
Instrument: vocals, songwriter, minister
Birthplace: Sheepshead Bay, NY Birthdate: 11/21/1953 Deathdate: 7/28/1982 Keith Green was born in Sheepshead Bay, NY and earned a recording contract with Decca Records at age 11. When he failed to achieve stardom, he turned to drugs. From a Jewish background, Green grew up reading the New Testament and turned to Christianity in the 1970s. Considered one of the best songwriters of the modern era of Christian music, Green counted Bob Dylan among his admirers. Keith Green's best known songs include "Your Love Broke Through"; "You Put This Love In My Heart"; "O Lord, You're Beautiful"; and "There Is A Redeemer". He sold between 560,000 and a million records, but always thought of himself as a Minister rather than a songwriter. He considered himself an instrument of God, saying that to give him (Green) credit for his music was like praising a pencil for writing a poem. At the peak of his career, he became convinced that ministry should not cost money. He talked his way out of a record contract to give his music away for whatever his listeners could afford. He gave away records and invited the homeless into his Christian commune which grew to seven homes and seventy people. With his wife Melody, his work grew to include a newsletter and the Last Days Ministries. The couple moved from California to tiny Garden Valley, east of Dallas, in 1979, where they were near other evangelists such as Leonard Ravenhill and David Wilkerson. Keith Green died in a plane crash at Garden Valley along with 11 others, including two of his children in 1982. Green's songs continue to be recorded and he was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001. The Last Day Ministries property now belongs to Ron Luce's Teen Mania Ministries and the campus includes a dormitory named in honor of Keith Green while Green and his two children killed in the crash are buried together less than half a mile away in a small cemetery.

Thurman Alexander Green
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Longview
Instrument: trombone
Birthplace: Longview Birthdate: 8/12/1940 Deathdate: 6/19/1997
Buried at: died in Los Angeles, CA
Thurman has recorded with greats like Ella, Miles, the Ellington Orchestra and Michel Legrand and spent most of his career doing studio work. Thurman recorded 54 sessions between 1967 and 1995. He was 54 when he made his first record under his own name, and he died just three years later. Green also appeared as an uncredited band member in the 1969 film "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" The Thurman Green Memorial Trombone Scholarship was established in his name.

Al Grierson ~ 2
Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Fredericksburg
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Canada Birthdate: Deathdate: 11/2/2000
A songwriter, a Buddhist monk, a writer and a railroad worker, Al Grierson had a career that spanned from Canada to Oregon to Luckenbach, where he spent his last years living in a red school bus. According to a review in the folk music magazine "Sing Out!" Grierson was a "quintessential folk singer following the traditions and trails blazed by Woody Guthrie, Jimmie Rodgers, Utah Phillips and the early Bob Dylan."

William "Bill" Griggs ~ 2
Genres: Rock
Based in: Lubbock
Instrument: music scholar
Birthplace: Hartford, CT Birthdate: 6/17/1941 Deathdate: 03/29/2011
Bill Griggs was one of the world's foremost scholars on Buddy Holly. Founder of the International Buddy Holly Memorial Society in 1975, Griggs was so dedicated to studying Holly, the Crickets, and West Texas music that in 1981, he moved his family to Lubbock in order to pursue his research. Griggs produced and consulted on many documentaries and books about Buddy Holly, organized eleven annual Buddy Holly conventions, eight of which took place in Lubbock, and published the Reminiscing and Rockin' '50s music magazines. During his 30-year publishing career, Griggs interviewed and/or wrote about such '50s stars as Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers and more. In 2010, the music historian's work was recognized with a star on the West Texas Walk of Fame.

C. Grunewald
Genres: Classical
Based in: Unavailable
Instrument: Unavailable
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: Unavailable

Heinrich Guenther
Genres: Classical, German
Based in: New Braunfels
Instrument: educator
Birthplace: Zeitz, Saxony Birthdate: 3/9/1821 Deathdate: 4/8/1870

Manuel Guerrero ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Conjunto, Mariachi
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: 6/17/1937 Deathdate: 1/22/1991
"El Sargento Que Canta," the Singing Sargent, Manuel entertained troops in Vietnam, Korea and Japan while serving in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970. He recorded on Del Bravo Records in San Antionio, Capitol in Mexico and Pan American in Central America. Hit singles include: "Yo Tenia Dos Corazones," "El Troquero" and "Mi Ultima Parranda." At one time, Manuel Guerrero's group consisted of Guerrero, his wife Dora Guerrero, Miguel Cortes, Fermin Canales, and Manfred Siehl who was German as the name indicates. Their group played at U.S.O. clubs and also local German clubs in area cities. They played traditional conjunto music and in a separate act they would play traditional mariachi music. The group was together for about two 1/2 years until Fermin was called back to the states in 1978. Manuel Guerrero was inducted into the Conjunto Hall of Fame and is known as one of the first Tejanos to take Conjunto music to Europe and one of the first to sing in English. He is the older brother of Ramz Guerrero de Los Pioneers and was stationed north of Austin while in the Army at Fort Hood in Killeen.

Jose Guajardo, Jr.
Genres: Jazz, Tejano
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar, bass
Birthplace: Alice Birthdate: 9/24/1934 Deathdate: 11/26/2004
Jose Guajardo Jr. played guitar with Reymundo Trevino Orquestra starting at the age of 12 years old, from 1945 to 1951. He also played with Isidro Lopez, Freddie Martinez, Juan Colorado, and Oscar Martinez. He recorded with Chelo Silva , Carmen y Laura, Valerio Longoria, Tony De La Rosa and many, many more. Later, he played jazz in Houston at local jazz clubs.

Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Cowboy/Western
Based in: Waco
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: near Waco Birthdate: 1/12/1884 Deathdate: 11/5/1933
Buried at: Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York
"Texas" Guinan became one of the most colorful figures in American entertainment during the era of Prohibition. She was one of the most popular singers and performers in the underground New York City nightclub circuit. She entertained troops in France during World War I and had a successful career as a film actress in perhaps as many as 200 silent two-reelers including: "Miss Bob White," "The Hoyden," "The Gay Musician," and "The Passing Show of 1913."
Colleges: American Conservatory of Music in Chicago

David Wendel Guion
Genres: Classical, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Ballinger
Instrument: composer, piano
Birthplace: Ballinger Birthdate: 12/15/1892 Deathdate: 10/17/1981
Composer and musician David Wendel Guion studied in Vienna, but returned to the states after the beginning of World War II where he began teaching. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s he composed and performed music that reflected his Texas heritage. For a time he hosted a Western-oriented weekly radio show in New York City, for which he wrote the scripts and music. But Guion, at one time himself an accomplished cowboy, became most famous for his arrangement of the cowboy song "Home on the Range," which was performed for the first time in his New York production Prairie Echoes. It became a favorite of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the nation. In 1936 Guion was commissioned to write Cavalcade of America for the Texas Centennial celebration, and in 1950 he received a commission from the Houston Symphony Orchestra, for whom he completed the suite Texas in 1952. His wide range of compositions numbers over 200 published works and includes orchestral suites, music for ballets, piano pieces, and secular and religious songs. His music has been performed around the world.

Federico Arturo "Tito" Guizar Tolentino
Genres: Cowboy/Western, Tejano
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico Birthdate: 4/8/1908 Deathdate: 12/24/1999
Guizar was the first of Mexico's singing charros, as the cowboys in broad-brimmed sombreros and bolero jackets are known. His career, which ranged from performing and composing music for films, theater and television, spanned more than 70 years. In 1936 he returned to Mexico to play the lead in the film that would inaugurate a new genre of singing charro movies: "Alla en el Rancho Grande" ("Out There on the Big Ranch"). The film was an immediate classic in Mexico and was also the first Mexican film to transcend the country's borders, playing well in the United States. After that Guizar learned English and became one of the first Mexican actors invited to appear in Hollywood movies. He starred alongside Roy Rogers, Dorothy Lamour, Ray Milland and Mae West. Recently he estimated that he had made more than 50 movies in either Mexico or the United States.

Photo of Woody GuthrieWoodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5
Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Pampa
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Okemah, OK Birthdate: 7/14/1912 Deathdate: 10/3/1967
Buried at: cremated; ashes scattered over Atlantic Ocean off the shore of Coney Island, NY
Woody Guthrie, a legendary folk poet, wrote or adapted nearly 3,000 song lyrics, including the classic, "This Land Is Your Land." In 1912, Guthrie followed his father to be with relatives in Pampa, where he lived from 1929 to 1937. Performing with bands at night clubs and radio stations in the Panhandle, Guthrie found his calling as a poet and lyricist. Guthrie experienced the pain of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, sources of his many songs that bound together a brotherhood of Americans that experienced a similar agony. The most memorable song of Guthrie's Pampa years, "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You," was a response to the great dust storm of April 14, 1935. In his lifetime, aside from his nearly 3,000 song lyrics, Guthrie published two novels, created artworks, authored numerous published and unpublished manuscripts, poems, prose, and plays and hundreds of letters and news articles which are housed in the Woody Guthrie Archives in New York City.
Schools: Pampa High School
Sites of interest:
City officials dedicated a cast iron sculpture 150 feet long with the musical staff and notes of "This Land". Sculpture is located at Hobart Street near the M.K. Brown Civic Auditorium.
The Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center of Pampa - 320 S. Cuyler, Pampa, TX 79065 - is located in the old Harris Drug Store building where Guthrie worked during his time in Pampa and, according to legend, where he learned to play the guitar. Future plans for the center include a memorabilia exhibit and a performance area.
Black Sunday, The Great Dust Storm of April 14, 1935" (Eakin Press, Austin, TX) by Pampa native, Frank Stallings.
Photo of the Panhandle dust storm, April 14, 1935, courtesy The Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Annual event:
Pampans held their first annual Tribute to Woody Guthrie on October 3, 1992, which Governor Ann Richards proclaimed as Woody Guthrie Day in Texas.

Eugenio "Tatita" Gutierrez
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Weslaco
Instrument:
saxophone, clarinet, violin
Birthplace: Runge Birthdate: 11/15/1903 Deathdate: 11/22/1972
Eugenio Gutierrez was born November 15, 1903 and was raised in Runge, Texas. Eugenio moved to Weslaco, Texas where he played saxophone and clarinet with different bands, mostly playing American music. Eugenio was still looking for a different sound and type of music. In the late 1940s, Eugenio started his own orchestra, composing and arranging his own lyrics and music. Eugenio found the sound he was looking for and began playing more Mexican and Tejano music. Combining the orchestra and conjunto sound, he was considered a pioneer of this type of music. Falcon Records liked the new sound and began recording the combination of the Accordion with Pedro Ayala and Saxophone with Eugenio Gutierrez. One of their greatest hits recorded was "El Naranjal." Eugenio recorded several hit songs with Ideal Records and Falcon Records, such as "Mi Juanita Polka," "Mi Cafetal," a duet with Delia and Laura (of Carmen and Laura), "Julia Julia," "Mi Marianita," "Poco a Poquito," a duet with Delia and Minerva Rodriguez, "El Hombre Aparecido," "Bandolera," "Pasito Tun Tun" and "Blue Moon" in Spanish.

Frank Phillips Jr. "Billy Guy"
Genres: R&B, Rock
Based in: Itasca
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Itasca Birthdate: 7/20/1936 Deathdate: 11/5/2002
Billy Guy - the baritone in the legendary rock 'n' roll group The Coasters - hit it big in the late 1950s by performing a string of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller penned collaborations, including "Yakety Yak" and "Charlie Brown." Historically, they were at the birth of rock 'n' roll in 1956, becoming one of the first black groups to successfully cross over from rhythm and blues. In their prime, The Coasters appeared at every major rock 'n' roll venue and on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" and "The Ed Sullivan Show." The Coasters sold millions of singles and were the first vocal group inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Edward "Ed" Hagan
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Greenville
Instrument: drums, percussion, vibraphone
Birthplace: Greenville Birthdate: 1919 Deathdate: 1996


Helen Hall
Genres:
Country
Based in:
Corsicana
Instrument:
vocals, songwriter
Birthplace:
Navarro County Birthdate: 10/20/1927 Deathdate: 9/24/2006
Buried at:
Oakwood Cemetary in Corsicana
During the 1950s, Helen Hall was one of the stars of The Big 'D' Jamboree on Dallas radio station KRLD and voted among the best country singers of the time, ahead of women who would later become legends of the genre. Hall was unique in that she wrote her own material. Offered a regular spot on the Louisiana Hayride, Hall declined, not wanting to travel toe Shreveport every weekend. In 1955, Coral Records released "Honky Tonk Husband/Wasted Life", but, the following year, the label dropped her after she was involved in a car wreck, and a follow-up single was never released. Hall's career never regained the lost momentum. Dragon Street Records reissued the tracks along with demos of "Rock Till My Baby Comes Home", "Hello Baby", "Footprints", "Little Joe" and "Have It Your Way Baby" on The Gals Of The Big 'D' Jamboree CD in 2001. Helen Hall died of lung cancer at age 78 in 2006
Sites of Interest:
Big D Jamboree

Morris Eugene Hall
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Denton
Instrument: sax, founder, jazz program, UNT
Birthplace: Whitewright Birthdate: 1913 Deathdate: 1993
In 1942, M. E. Hall, a North Texas graduate music student, was asked to teach dance band arranging to two students. Wilfred Bain, dean of the School of Music, asked Hall to write his master's thesis on proposed curriculum for a dance band (jazz) major. That thesis became the basis for the UNT jazz degree curriculum, the first university in the United States to set up an accredited jazz studies degree. Gene was a founder and the first president of the National Association of Jazz Educators (now the International Association of Jazz Educators) and was a North Texas Distinguished Alumnus.

Carl Stuart Hamblen ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Kellyville
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Kellyville, near Jefferson Birthdate: 10/20/1908 Deathdate: 3/8/1989
Buried at: Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles
Hamblen was recognized as the first Country/Western singer on radio. He was a nationally known radio-recording artist and cowboy film actor during the 1930s through the 1970s. During his long span on radio, Stuart composed more than 225 songs many of which are still being recorded today. Some of his greatest song classics: "It Is No Secret" (the original manuscript is buried in the cornerstone on one of the Copyright Buildings of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and which has been translated into over 50 languages around the world and was the first song to becoming number one in Gospel, Country, and Pop categories); "This Ole House" (awarded 1954 Song of the Year, was number one in seven countries at the same time, and has been on the Billboard's top 100 for 36 weeks). In 1952, Stuart ran for the President of the United States on the Prohibition ticket.
Colleges: McMurray State Teachers College in Abilene
Sites of interest:
In 1999, a bronze memorial plaque was erected by Hamblen's family (located in Jefferson, TX across the street from the post office on Market Street).
Hamblen's career as a Country-Western-Gospel singer, composer, and radio-movie personality began in 1926 on radio KAYO in Abilene, TX.

John Hardee
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Corsicana
Instrument: piano, tenor saxophone
Birthplace: Corsicana Birthdate: 12/20/1918 Deathdate: 5/18/1984
While playing as the lead band member with Tiny Grimes, Hardee signed with Blue Note Records, recording swing and bop tunes. He also teamed up with Jimmy Ford to play at the "845," the most important African-American club in the Bronx in 1946. Hardee moved to Wichita Falls/Dallas area where taught as a band director at local high schools. Hardee provided instruction to future stars, such as Leo Write from Wichita Falls and James Clay from Dallas.
Schools: He taught at the Wichita Falls High School; He also taught at the Lincoln High School in Dallas.
Colleges: Bishop College

Margaret Pease Harper ~ 2
Genres: Classical, Drama
Based in: Amarillo
Instrument: piano, founder of the musical drama "Texas"
Birthplace: St. Paul, MN Birthdate: 7/22/1911 Deathdate: 11/16/1991
Margaret Pease Harper was the founder of the outdoor musical drama "Texas." Harper grew to love the Panhandle and recognized Palo Duro Canyon's potential as a site for an outdoor musical production. After discussing the idea with her husband and William and Margaret Moore - and partly influenced by Allen Rankin's "His Theater is as Big as All Outdoors," which appeared in the July 1960 issue of the Reader's Digest - she wrote to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, suggesting that the geography and history of the Panhandle of Texas provide the ideal setting for a symphonic drama. Margaret Harper captured enough people's imagination with her enthusiasm to make the theater and production a reality. She was elected the first president of the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, which sustains the production "Texas," and served as the public-relations director for the show from 1961 until 1985. Between its opening performance in July 1966 and its twenty-fifth season in 1991, "Texas" was attended by more than two million people.

Mack Harrell
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: violin, vocals
Birthplace: Celeste Birthdate: 10/08/1909 Deathdate: 1/29/1960
Buried at: died in Dallas
Historical Marker Text: Mack Harrell received early training as a violinist. He later studied the instrument at Oklahoma City University, where he changed direction to pursue his baritone singing talent. After attending the Juilliard School of Music, he began a professional opera career and performed with the Metropolitan Opera. In 1945 he joined the voice faculty at Juilliard, and was later administrator of the Aspen Music Festival and voice professor at Southern Methodist University. He was a world renowned artist.
Colleges: Mack was voice professor at Southern Methodist University.
Sites of interest:
Birthplace of Mack Harrell Historical Marker at 606 Sanger Street at South 7th Street in Celeste.

Rebert H. Harris ~ 2
Genres: Blues, Christian, Gospel
Based in: Trinity
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Trinity Birthdate: 3/23/1916 Deathdate: 9/3/2000
Rebert H. Harris was the lead singer for the Soul Stirrers, whose style was the fountainhead for generations of gospel and soul singers. By the late 1930s the Soul Stirrers included Mr. Harris, Thomas Brewster, Jesse Farley and Roy Crane. With Mr. Harris as lead singer, the Soul Stirrers brought innovations to the quartet style that had appeared in the 1920s. They traded lead vocals between two singers and used what Mr. Harris called "delayed time," sustaining melodies against the group's steady beat to create syncopated tension. By the early 1940s the Soul Stirrers were nationally known and toured extensively. Some of Mr. Harris's best recordings appear on the anthology "Kings of the Gospel Highway" (Shanachie) and on "Shine on Me: The Soul Stirrers featuring R. H. Harris" (Specialty). In 1947 Mr. Harris and other quartet lead singers formed the National Singing Quartets Union of America to promote the music; Mr. Harris became its president.

George Haynes
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Victoria
Instrument: drummer
Birthplace: Victoria Birthdate: 1921 Deathdate: 9/2/2001
George Haynes was a jazz drummer from Victoria that worked with Illinois Jacquet, La Big Band, Milt Larkin and the Musicians Benevolent Society of Houston.

Cedric Haywood
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: piano, composer, arranger
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: 1970
Cedric played in a high school band behind Arnett Cobb and in other bands including Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band, Wild Bill Davis, Illinois Jacquet, and Milt Larkin. Haywood recorded 17 sessions on piano between 1946-1959. Grover Mitchell, best known as the leader of the Count Basie Orchestra, also co-led bands with the Texas pianist in San Francisco. Haywood went back to Houston in 1963 and spent the last six years of his life leading his own band. At one point, he even recorded with bluesman Lightning Hopkins.
Sites of interest:
One of the spots to catch Cedric Haywood's act as a bandleader was Club Ebony in Houston.

James Arthur "Jimmy" Heap ~ 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western, Rockabilly, Western Swing
Based in: Taylor
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Taylor Birthdate: 3/3/1922 Deathdate: 12/4/1977
Jimmy Heap led the Melody Masters for over three decades and contributed one country classic to the genre, "The Wild Side of Life," covered by Hank Thompson, Burl Ives & Grady Martin, Freddy Fender, and most recently, Waylon Jennings & Jessi Colter. The Melody Masters recorded 37 Capitol sides, all but five being released. In 1954, Heap gained a number 5 and his only Billboard chart hit, with "Release Me." They also recorded the "Dessau Hall Waltz," a tribute to the area dancehall.
Sites of interest:
Dessau Hall
Annual event:
Jimmy Heap and the Melody Masters Reunion

Franz Xavier Heilig
Genres: Classical, German
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: teacher, violin, voice
Birthplace: Maskirchen Grandduchy of Baden in Germany Birthdate: 10/6/1826 Deathdate: 4/26/1892
Buried at: Old Lutheran Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas
Franz Xavier Heilig became a music teacher for San Antonio's public schools in 1853. He is one of the earliest references to music among Texas German immigrants. He was employed as a singing teacher at the German-English School in 1859. He was director of the first choir of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Heilig's string orchestra afforded much pleasure in the 1870s. Franz is historically known as Professor Heilig.
Schools: Franz taught at the German-English School
Sites of interest:
The German-English School in San Antonio was first opened in the rooms of the Kleeper Hotel on West Commerce Street between Navarro and St. Mary's Streets.
See also: "Elmendorf and Related Families" by Wanda Bassett Carter ISBN 0-9625488-0-4 Copyright 1990.

Chet Helms ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Rock
Based in: Austin
Instrument: Promoter
Birthplace: Santa Maria, CA Birthdate: 8/2/1942 Deathdate: 6/25/2005
Buried at: San Francisco Columbarium
Chet Helms and his production company - the Family Dog turned small get-togethers of local San Francisco musicians and artists into a scene that eventually produced the great legendary gatherings of the Summer Of Love. While attending the University of Texas in Austin, he was drawn to the civil rights movement bubbling under in the South. A stepchild from a mixed-race marriage, Helms became actively engaged in organizing benefits for non-profit civil and human rights groups, all the while learning and using the tools of the trade he would later apply to the world of rock concert promotion. Helms moved from Austin to San Francisco for the first time in the summer of 1962 but returned in 1963 to beckon then-unknown folksinger Janis Joplin to hitch-hike back with him. Helms organized informal jam sessions in the basement of 1090 Page Street at the center of the colorful Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Through his relationships with such celebrated figures as Ken Kesey, Big Brother and the Holding Company and The Grateful Dead, Helms found himself at the center of the era's new interpretation of music and youth culture. By February 1966, Helms started producing shows for many bands under the name Family Dog Productions at the Fillmore Auditorium, on alternating weekends with Bill Graham Presents. By April, Helms secured permits to run his own dance hall, The Avalon Ballroom on Sutter Street. For three years, Helms and the Family Dog hosted some of the most influential events in San Francisco rock history, including free events in Golden Gate Park in 1966 and during what has now become known as the "Summer of Love" in 1967. By the end of 1970, the small local scene Helms helped create had grown into a cultural phenomenon exploited globally by a wide variety of entrepreneurs, for better or for worse. He decided to take a break, and would not return to concert promoting until 1978, when Family Dog produced the 1st Annual Tribal Stomp at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. After producing another Tribal Stomp in 1979 at the Monterey Fairgrounds - highlighted by the first-ever California appearance of The Clash - Helms retreated from active promotion.
Colleges: University of Texas

Julius Hemphill ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 1/24/1938 Deathdate: 4/2/1995
Julius Hemphill was an integral part of the "loft jazz" scene in New York City. He is regarded as one of the more experimental saxophonists of the modern era. In New York, he recorded with Anthony Braxton, Lester Bowie, and Kool and the Gang. On the side, he dabbled in combining dance, theater, and mixed media with jazz to create an extravagant blend of both sound and vision. This experimentalism eventually culminated in his jazz opera opus, "Long Toungue." Influenced by Ornette Coleman, he became a founding member of the Black Arts Group in St. Louis and of the World Saxophone Quartet.
Schools: I. M. Terrell High School (historical marker at 1411 East 18th Street, Fort Worth)
Colleges: North Texas State College

Nash Hernandez
Genres: Big Band, Jazz, Latin Pop, Tejano
Based in: Austin
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: New Braunfels Birthdate: 2/1/1922 Deathdate: 6/25/1994
The Nash Hernandez Orchestra is the longest running big band in the Austin area. A twelve-piece band, the group was established in 1949 by trumpeter Nash Hernandez and continues on under the direction of Nash's son, Ruben Hernandez. Initially, it was comprised of all Hispanic musicians that Hernandez himself taught. Musicians that have played in the Orchestra include: Mitch Watkins, Tomas Ramirez, Alphonso Ramos, Tim Torres, Dave Gutierrez, John Mills, and Mike Mordecai. In 1975, Nash was named Ambassador of Goodwill by Governor Dolph Brisco. In addition, Nash Hernandez was twice honored by the city of Austin when the city council proclaimed Nash Hernandez Day on October 26, 1975 and again on July 2, 1993. In that same year, he was also honored by the Texas Senate with a proclamation sponsored by the Honorable Senator Gonzalo Barrientos. In 1994, he was recognized by Vice-President Al Gore for his contributions in the state.

Bennie Hess
Genres: Country
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Chriesman Birthdate: 2/10/1914 Deathdate: 11/22/1984
Bennie Hess was born February 10, 1914, the third of four children in Chriesman, Texas. His father, Vestral "Festo" Hess worked on the railroad with the 'Singing Brakeman' Jimmie Rodgers, who stayed with the family and was said to have entertained the young Bennie and taught him to play the guitar. At age 14, Hess left school and began to travel as an entertainer. Forming The Rhythm Wranglers, he started a radio show in Lubbock at station KFYO and later moved to KRLD in Dallas with the Cornbread Matinee. In 1947, Hess moved to California and released "Someday You'll Know/You Just Won't Do" on the Black & White Record label. While still under contract to Black & White, he started Opera Records in 1948, releasing his first record under the name Georgie Harrison. While at Opera, he produced the first recordings by Iry LeJeune before signing with Mercury Records and releasing the local hit "Tonight and Every Night". Mercury voided his contract when they discovered that Hess had bootlegged the follow up "'With You I'd Be Satisfied/Come On Home Where You Belong" on the Opera label. Hess continued to release records on Opera until 1951. Hess launched the OK'ed label in 1953 and the Jet label in 1954. Through a relationship with disc jockey Biff Collie, he began to appear with Elvis Presley on the singers Texas dates. Bennie Hess formed the Spade record label in 1956 and released rockabilly recordings by Royce Porter, Jack Prince, Ray Doggett and Vern Pullens until the label folded in 1957 after releasing a mere 5 singles. The formation of the Pearl label in early 1958 was followed by the Major label later the same year and the release of Hess' best known recording "Wild Hog Hop". Further recordings followed under the names Big Ben Hess, Little Boy Bluehorn, and Sol the Yodelling Voyager. In the early eighties, Bennie Hess billed his then six year old son as the world's youngest country singer and served as the boy's bandleader. Bennie Hess passed away on November 22, 1984 and is buried in the McLennan Community Cemetery. His son continues to perform with Troy Hess & The Texas Heartbreakers.

Helen Hewitt
Genres: Classical
Based in: Denton
Instrument: organ
Birthplace: NA Birthdate: 1900 Deathdate: 1977
Helen Hewitt was an internationally renowned American musicologist and organist. She received a BA at Vassar College in 1921 and a BM at the Eastman School of Music in 1925. She completed graduate degrees at Union Theological Seminary (MSM 1932) and Columbia University (MA 1933) and then went to Europe where she studied under Besseler at the University of Heidelberg. In 1938 she received her doctorate from Harvard. In addition, Hewitt studied organ with Widor and Lynwood Farnam and harmony with Boulanger. After teaching at the State Normal School, Potsdam, New York (1925-8), Florida State College for Women (1938-9) and Hunter College (1942) she became a Professor of Music at the University of North Texas from 1942 to 1969. Upon her retirement, she donated a significant collection of organ music to the Music Library. A variety of additional important materials, mostly musicology-related, came to the library at the time of her death and together these materials are known as the Helen Hewitt collection.

Rene E. HerreraPhoto of Rene and Rene album cover
Genres: Tejano, Pop
Based in: Laredo
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: unknown Birthdate: unknown Deathdate:12/20/2005
As member of Rene and Rene, along with Rene Ornelas, of San Antonio, Rene E. Herrera scored two pop-Tejano crossover hits in the 1960s and was one of the first Latino artist to perform on "American Bandstand." After working in music throughout the 1950s with groups including the Casa Blanca Quartet and the Quarternotes, Rene and Rene hit it big with "Angelito" in 1964 and "Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero" in 1968. Both English and Spanish radio stations picked up on the songs. The songs were also recorded by other artists, including Peter Nero and Herb Alpert. Rene and Rene were inducted into the Tejano ROOTS (Recognize Our Own Tejano Stars) Hall of Fame 2001.

William Melvin "Bill" Hicks ~ 2
Genres: Rock, Comedy
Based in: the Memorial area of Houston
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Valdosta, GA Birthdate: 12/16/1961 Deathdate: 2/26/1994
Buried at: Magnolia Cemetery, Leakesville, Mississippi
Because of his strong love for performing musically, Hicks would include recorded and live music in his comedy act throughout his career. He was the singer and guitarist for the band Marble Head Johnson and also played in a punk rock band called Stress. The Hicks family moved to Houston, where Bill began his comedy career at the age of sixteen. In 1983, Hicks found his place as a comedian in a group of "outlaw" comics from Houston that included the late Sam Kinison. Hicks' career inspired bands such as Radiohead, Tool, Super Furry Animals, The Bluetones, and Rage Against the Machine to either work Hicks' routines directly into their albums or pay homage to him on their record jackets.
Schools: Stratford High School
Sites of interest:
Hicks began performing on Tuesday nights at the Houston Comedy Workshop at 2105 San Felipe.
Hicks appeared with Jay Leno February 8-13, 1983 at the Austin Comedy Workshop (302 West 15th). In 1984, it was leveled to make way the Bill Clements state office building on 15th Street near Lavaca.
Bill Hicks Foundation for Wildlife at 9600 Cheryl Lynn in Austin

Tommy Hill
Genres: Country, Rockabilly
Based in: Coy City
Instrument: vocals, guitar, producer, writer, studio owner
Birthplace: Coy City Birthdate: 4/27/1929 Deathdate: 3/21/2001
Rockabilly pioneer Tommy Hill knew from a very early age that music could provide an escape from his hard-knock life of picking cotton on the family farm. On guitar, his biggest influence was Ernest Tubb's single string picker, Jimmy Short, and his first radio gig was playing lead guitar on KTSA with San Antonio's six foot seven inch singing cowboy, Big Bill Lister. That was in 1945; Hill was fifteen. Later, Hill was instrumental in helping Buddy Holly and the Crickets sign with Decca Records. Hill recorded several singles of his own, wrote and produced hit songs for others, started Gusto Records and eventually bought King Records and Starday Records.

Arzell "Z.Z." Hill ~ 2
Genres: Blues
Based in: Naples
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Naples Birthdate: 9/24/1935 Deathdate: 4/27/1984
Hill is recognized for his role in restoring the blues to modern consciousness. He created a combination of blues and contemporary soul styling. His first single, "You Were Wrong," reached the Billboard's pop chart and stayed there for a week. Hill's best-selling hit is "Love Is So Good When You're Stealing It." The album "Down Home Blues", which included the title song of the same name became one of the most popular blues songs of the 1980s. The album sold well, remaining on Billboard's soul album chart for almost two years.

Adolph Hofner ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western, Polka, Czech
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: vocals, bass, guitar, bandleader
Birthplace: Moulton Birthdate: 6/8/1916 Deathdate: 6/2/2000
Western swing pioneer Adolph Hofner performed continuously in San Antonio and South Texas from about 1933-1993 and recorded for Okeh, Bluebird, Decca, and Columbia. Hofner blended together the musical influences of his Czech heritage with blues, western swing, and pop music. Hofner's best-known song, the 1941 fiddle breakdown "Cotton Eyed Joe," has become a standard for most country and western dance bands.

Andrew "Smokey" Hogg
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Westconnie Birthdate: 1/27/1914 Deathdate:
Smokey Hogg was a rural bluesman navigating a postwar era infatuated by R&B, but he got along quite nicely nonetheless, scoring a pair of major R&B hits in 1948 and 1950 and cutting a thick catalog for a slew of labels (including Exclusive, Modern, Bullet, Macy's, Sittin' in With, Imperial, Mercury, Recorded in Hollywood, Specialty, Fidelity, Combo, Federal, and Showtime). During the early '30s, Hogg, who was influenced by Big Bill Broonzy and Peetie Wheatstraw, worked with slide guitarist Black Ace at dances around Greenville, TX. Hogg first recorded for Decca in 1937, but it was an isolated occurrence - he didn't make it back into a studio for a decade. Both his chart hits - 1948's "Long Tall Mama" and 1950's "Little School Girl" - were issued on Modern.

Ima Hogg
Genres: Classical
Based in: Houston
Instrument: philanthropist, piano
Birthplace: Mineola Birthdate: 7/10/1882 Deathdate: 8/19/1975
Ima Hogg, philanthropist and patron of the arts, was the daughter of Governor James Stephen Hogg. In 1901 Ima, who had played the piano since the age of three, went to New York to study music. From 1907 to 1909 she continued her music studies in Berlin and Vienna. She then moved to Houston, where she gave piano lessons to a select group of pupils and helped found the Houston Symphony Orchestra, which played its first concert in June 1913. In the meantime, oil had been struck on the Hogg property near West Columbia, Texas, and by the late 1920s Hogg was involved in a wide range of philanthropic projects. In 1943 Hogg won an election to the Houston school board, where she worked to establish symphony concerts for school children, to get equal pay for teachers regardless of sex or race, and to set up a painting-to-music program in the public schools. In 1960 she served on a committee appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower for the planning of the National Cultural Center (now Kennedy Center) in Washington, D.C.

Harold "Black Boy Shine" Holiday ~ 2
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals, piano
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Deathdate: 1/1/1948
Harold Holiday was based in a section of Houston, TX (which may have been his home) called West Dallas. He also worked with the The Santa Fe Group gathered in the Fourth Ward. In 1936 and 1937 he recorded for Vocalion in San Antonio and Dallas, and left behind 18 sides. A smooth vocalist and pianist, his music had a surprising elegance despite the barrelhouse environment reflected in songs like "Dog House Blues" and "Back Home Blues." Aubrey "Moon" Mullican came across Shine in many of the honky tonks and barrelhouses around Houston. Aubrey made friends with "Shine" and they formed a duo called Moonshine. At this time, Aubrey Mullican acquired the nickname "Moonshine" because of this. In the duo, Aubrey was "Moon," while Shine was "Shine."

Charles Hardin "Buddy Holly" Holley ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Rock
Based in: Lubbock
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Lubbock Birthdate: 9/7/1936 Deathdate: 2/3/1959
Buried at: City of Lubbock Cemetery, Lubbock, Lubbock County
Buddy Holly is known for helping pioneer rock-and-roll. The first single, "That'll Be the Day," backed with "I'm Looking for Someone to Love," reached number three on the pop charts and number two on the rhythm and blues charts. Holly's second solo single, "Peggy Sue," backed with "Everyday," reached number three on the pop and R&B charts. "Oh Boy!" backed with "Not Fade Away," was released in October 1957 and sold close to a million copies.
Schools: Lubbock High School; Hutchinson Junior High School
Sites of interest:
Buddy Holly Park at 2525 Canyon Lake Drive c/o Parks and Recreation
Buddy Holly Walk of Fame at 801 Avenue Q c/o Civic Lubbock, Inc.
Texas Music Kitchen's Texas Music Tours
Lubbock Avalanche Journal Buddy Holly Archives
Annual event:
Not Fade Away: The Buddy Holly Music Festival and Symposium

Milton Howard "Clarence" Hollimon
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 10/24/1937 Deathdate: 4/23/2000
A product of Houston's Fifth Ward, Hollimon got his first break in 1954 when, at age 17, he toured with a top show band, the Bill Harvey Orchestra. After an influential stint with Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Hollimon joined the Duke-Peacock hit factory in the late 1950s. In 1964, he took hi sophisticated jazzy blues technique to New York City, where he played on records by Dionne Warwick and Chuck Jackson and toured with Nancy Wilson. Hollimon and his wife Carol Fran, who started performing together in 1982, specialized in a Gulf Coast blues style that incorporated the swamp pop sounds of Fran's Louisiana roots. Together they released "Soul Sensation" in 1992 and "See There!" in 1994 on the Black Top label. They also served as cultural ambassadors, teaching African American folk songs to grade-school students and performing weeklong residencies at out-of-the-way places such as Clarksville and Fort Bend on behalf of the Texas Folklife Resources (excerpted from Michael Corcoran's article, Austin-American Statesman Wednesday, April 26, 2000).

DesChamps "Champ" Hood ~ 2 3 ~ 4
Genres: Blues, Country, Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Austin
Instrument: fiddle, guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Spartanburg, SC Birthdate: 8/16/1952 Deathdate: 11/3/2001
Champ Hood formed Uncle Walt’s Band with fellow Spartanburg natives Walter Hyatt and David Ball in the 1970s. Arriving in Austin via Nashville, the group’s unique melding of swing, country, and jazz made them popular in the local club circuit. After the band broke up, Hood remained in Austin, where he played as a sideman with a virtually every recognizable musician in town. He was a regular member of the Threadgill's Troubadours, spent nine years in Toni Price's band, toured as part of Lyle Lovett's Large Band, and worked with Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Champ Hood appears on albums by Tish Hinojosa, Jerry Jeff Walker, Evan Johns & His H-Bombs, Bad Livers, Lisa Mednick, Jello Biafra, David Halley, Dick Hamilton, Ed Miller, Ted Roddy, Peter Keane, Richard Buckner, Loose Diamonds, Don McCalister, Jr, Beaver Nelson, Shakin Apostles, the Barbers, Michael Hall, Lee Ann Atherton, The Hollisters, Don Walser, Bill Pekar, Quatropaw, John Greenberg, and Linda Freeman.

Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins ~ 2
Genres: Blues
Based in: Centerville
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Centerville Birthdate: 3/15/1912 Deathdate: 1/30/1982
Buried at: Forest Park - Lawndale, Houston, Harris County
At age eight he made his first instrument, a cigar-box guitar with chicken-wire strings. By ten he was playing music with his cousin. In 1946 he had his big break and first recording-in Los Angeles for Aladdin Recordings. He eventually made forty-three recordings for the label. Over his career Hopkins recorded for close to twenty different labels, including Gold Star Records in Houston, made more than eighty-five albums and toured around the world.
Sites of interest:
Lightnin' Hopkins Statue dedication on Camp Street in Crockett

Johnny Horton ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country
Based in: Tyler
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA Birthdate: 4/30/1925 Deathdate: 11/5/1960
Buried at: Hill Crest Cemetery, Haughton, Bossier Parish, Louisiana
Although he is better-remembered for his historical songs, Johnny Horton was one of the most popular honky tonk singers of the late '50s. He became a regular on the Louisiana Hayride, a friend of Hank Williams, and eventually married Hank's widow Billie Jean. At his first Columbia session, he cut "Honky Tonk Man," his first single for the label which would eventually become a honky tonk classic. Other hits include "I'm a One-Woman Man," "I'm Coming Home," "The Woman I Need," "All Grown Up," "When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below)" and "The Battle of New Orleans."
Schools: Gallatin High School in Gallatin, Texas
Colleges: Lon Morris College in Jacksonville; Kilgore Texas Junior College.
Sites of interest: He also earned a basketball scholarship to Baylor University in Waco.

Baldemar "Freddy Fender" Huerta 2
Genres: Country, Spanish
Based in: Corpus Christi
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: San Benito Birthdate: 6/4/1937 Deathdate: 10/14/2006
Buried at: San Benito Memorial Park
With "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" in 1974, Freddy Fender was the first artist to have a song hit number one on both the Billboard Country and Pop Charts. The son of migrant farm workers, Baldemar Huerta, learned music by watching and listening at weddings and other neighborhood events and at the age of 10, he made his first radio appearance. In 1957 he released two songs as "The Bebop Kid," Spanish language versions of "Don't Be Cruel" and "Jamaica Farewell" that charted in Mexico and South Amercia. In 1959, inspired by the name on his guitar, Huerta changed his name to Freddy Fender, signed to Imperial Records and recorded "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" a national hit in 1960. Following a short prison sentence for possession of marijuanna, Fender bgan working as a mechanic, singing on weekends. In 1975 his recording of "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," hit number one on both the Pop and Country Charts. Fender followed this with a succession of three more number one hits including a remake of "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and won the Best Male Artist Grammy for that year. In 1989 he joined Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez, and Augie Myers to form the Tex-Mex supergroup the Texas Tornados releasing four albums with the group and winning a Grammy for Best Mexican American Performance. In the 1990s, Fender was also a member of Los Super 7 along with Joe Ely, Ruben Ramos, and members of Los Lobos. The group won a 1998 Grammy for Best Mexican-American Musical Performance. In 2001, Fender's final studio recording, La Musica de Baldemar Huerta, returned him to his roots and captured another Grammy win for Best Latin Pop Album.
Sites of interest: Freddy Fender Memorial: 2500 Highway 345 San Benito, Texas 78586
The City of San Benito, Texas will host a Memorial Tribute and Gravesite Dedication in the honor of the late Freddy Fender on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 10 a.m. in San Benito, Texas, commemorating the new Freddy Fender Memorial.

Joe "Guitar" Hughes
Genres: Blues
Based in: Missouri City
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Houston, in the Fourth Ward Birthdate: 9/29/1937 Deathdate: 5/21/2003
Hughes was a staple of the Houston and Texas blues scene, as well as Western Europe's. Joe Maurice Hughes was born in the Fourth Ward in 1937 and moved to the Third Ward four years later. In the early 1950s Hughes and Johnny Clyde Copeland formed the Dukes of Rhythm, and they worked together occasionally through the 1970s. He was instrumental in helping his friend Copeland get to the national level. Hughes also worked with such artists as Little Richard, Houston saxophonist Grady Gaines, Bobby "Blue" Bland and Al "TNT" Braggs.
Sites of interest:
Performed at the Reddi Room at 5219 Washington Avenue in Houston.
Hughes and Copeland became the house band at Shady's Playhouse. Current location is 3117 Elgin Street. Original Shady's Playhouse was located on 3339-3341 Simmons Street just west of Sampson Street.

Jerry Hunt ~ 2
Genres: Avant Garde, 20th Century
Based in: Canton
Instrument: piano, composer
Birthplace: Waco Birthdate: 11/30/1943 Deathdate: 11/27/1993
Composer and performer Jerry Hunt is best-known for his performances which he called "interrelated electronic, mechanic and social sound-sight interactive transactional systems." He studied piano and composition at the University of North Texas. Hunt briefly taught at Southern Methodist University and worked as a pianist until 1969. He composed music for video and film production companies and served as technical consultant for audio and video instrumentation companies. Hunt also performed regularly at the Kitchen in New York and headlined various New Music festivals throughout the United States and Europe. He was self-taught, yet, he was an avid inventor of musical technology, including electronic circuitry, computer software and cybernetic systems and was involved in the design of semiconductor integrated circuits. This knowledge allowed Hunt access to the very early digital speech synthesis heard in "Transform (Stream)" (1977) well in advance of others in the field. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Hunt collaborated on projects with visual artist Maria Blondeel, performance artist Karen Finley, and composer and software designer Joel Ryan.
Schools: University of North Texas

Ernie Hunter
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Houston
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: Deathdate: 10/22/2002
Fiddler Ernie Hunter played with all the country and western bands in the Houston area from the 1930s until his passing, including: River Road Boys, Ray Ruffino, Pappy Selph, Dickie McBride, Leon Payne and more. He played several gigs with the Texas Playboys, Playboys II and was a favorite regular at the Texas Hall of Fame show and dance each May in San Marcos, TX. Hunter also recorded with Leon Payne and Hank Locklin.

Ivory Joe Hunter
Genres: Blues, Country
Based in: Kirbyville
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Kirbyville Birthdate: 10/10/1914 Deathdate: 11/8/1974
Ivory Joe Hunter was an African American R&B singer, songwriter and pianist, best known for his hit recording, "Since I Met You, Baby" (1956). Billed as "The Baron of the Boogie," he was also known as "The Happiest Man Alive." Hunter started his own label, Ivory Records, and produced his first commercial hit "Blues at Sunrise." Ivory Joe recorded for many labels during his long career, including 4-Star, Excelsior, and King, before finding his professional home with MGM in 1949. The 1950s proved to be Hunter's decade to shine, as he produced a number of hits for Atlantic Records. He will be remembered not only for his impressive string of hit records, but also for influencing such important artists as Isaac Hayes and Ray Charles.

Willie Hutch ~ 2 3
Genres:
Blues, R&B
Based in: Cedar Hill
Instrument: vocals, piano, guitar, bass, drums, percussion, record producer, etc.
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA Birthdate: 12/6/1944 Deathdate: 9/19/2005
Willie McKinley Hutchison (Willie Hutch) grew up in the Dallas area where he led his own doo-wop band, The Ambassadors. A keen and ambitious singer / songwriter as a teenager, Willie first came to the attention of the music business in 1964 when his debut single, "Love Has Put Me Down," was released by the Soul City Records label. His songs attracted the attention of The Fifth Dimension who recorded a number of them. Hutch recorded with Venture prior to two albums in the early '70s with RCA (including "Let's Try It Over"). In 1970, he received a phone call from producer Hal Davis who urgently needed a song written to a backing track he had entitled, "I'll Be There." By 8 am the next morning, The Jackson 5 were in the studio recording it. Willie later co-arranged vocals on "Got To Be There" and "Never Can Say Goodbye" for the group, impressing Berry Gordy who employed him at Motown on a more permanent basis. Willie produced the first Smokey Robinson album without The Miracles, and when Sisters Love had a cameo role in "The Mack," the group's manager suggested Willie record the soundtrack. The result was "The Mack," including "Brother's Gonna Work It Out" and "Slick," Willie's first album for Motown in 1973. (Willie also worked with Sisters Love on "Mr Fix-it Man".) His other albums at the label included "The Mark Of The Beast" (1975); "Concert In Blues" (1976), including "Party Down"; "Color Her Sunshine" (1976), including "I Like Everything About You," "Havin' A House Party" and "Fully Exposed" before he joined the Whitfield label for two albums, "In Tune" (1978), including "Easy Does It," and "Midnight Dancer."

Clarence Hutchenrider
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Waco
Instrument: clarinet, saxophone
Birthplace: Waco Birthdate: 6/13/1908 Deathdate: 1991
Hutchenrider was considered the top soloist with the influential Casa Loma Orchestra (1931-43). He appeared on almost all of their most important records including "Casa Loma Stomp," "No Name Jive" and "Smoke Rings." He freelanced in the Midwest with acts including Jack Gardner, Dick Richardson, Claiborne Bryson, Ross Gorman, Tommy Tucker, Merle Jacobs and Austin Wylie. Clarence also worked for three years with Jimmy Lytell's group on ABC radio. In the early 1960s Clarence Hutchenrider led his only album, a Dixieland oriented quartet date for the Aamco label.

Walter Hyatt ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Spartanburg, SC Birthdate: 10/25/1949 Deathdate: 5/11/1996
Walter Hyatt formed Uncle Walt's Band, the group with which he achieved his greatest musical success. The acoustic trio included Deschamps "Champ" Hood and David Ball. The group's unique melding of swing, country, and jazz made them popular in the local club circuit. Hyatt lived in Austin for eleven years, where he, Hood, and Ball enjoyed a following of fellow musicians who appreciated the group's three-part harmonies and eclectic arrangements. Walter Hyatt bench graces the walkway at Austin's Lady Bird Johnson Lake Hike and Bike Trail off of Riverside and provides a memorial for Hyatt's many fans.

Marchel Ivery ~ 2 3
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: tenor saxophone
Birthplace: Ennis Birthdate: 9/13/1938 Deathdate: 10/30/07
Marchel Ivery was a tenor saxophonist who spent most of his career in Dallas, playing with the jazz masters that came through town. Occasionally he could be coaxed to travel to New York where he toured and recorded with many of the great jazz masters including Red Garland and David "Fathead" Newman. He went on the road with a variety of rhythm and blues bands too, backing Bobby Blue Bland, Al "TNT" Braggs, Big Joe Turner, Lightning Hopkins, Little Willie John, Jimmy Reed, Johnnie Taylor and Freddie King, among others. He did not record under his own name until 1994, when he released "Marchel's Mode" on Leaning House; also on the album was Dallas-born piano great Cedar Walton, who had performed on John Coltrane's original recordings for "Giant Steps," among the most influential albums ever made. Although Ivery was not widely heralded outside of circles of jazz purists, he continued to define the fat, wide-open Texas Tenor sound that had been initiated by the likes of Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, James Clay and Newman.
Schools: George Washington Carver High School in Ennis

Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson
Genres: Blues
Based in: Barry
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Barry Birthdate: 8/16/1915 Deathdate: 5/30/1976
Buried at: Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, Dallas County, Texas
He was a Texas country bluesman of the highest order whose rustic approach appealed wholeheartedly to the early '50s blues marketplace. Bill Quinn, who owned a Houston diskery called Gold Star Records, signed Jackson and enjoyed a national R&B hit, "Freedom Train Blues." Jackson's "Rockin' and Rollin'," cut in December of 1950, became better-known through a raft of subsequent covers as "Rock Me Baby."

Jean-Baptiste Illinois Jacquet ~ 2
Genres: Big Band, Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Broussard, LA Birthdate: 10/31/1922 Deathdate: 7/22/2004
Illinois Jacquet was a legendary tenor saxophonist who played with nearly every jazz and blues luminary of his time. His standout solo on Lionel Hampton's "Flying Home" became a rhythm and blues standard. During a career spanning eight decades, Jacquet played with such music greats as Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Jo Jones, Buddy Rich, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Gene Krupa. Jacquet, who defined the jazz style called "screeching," was known as much for his trademark pork pie hat as his innovative playing style. During his heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, Jacquet recorded more than 300 original compositions, including three of his biggest hits, "Black Velvet," "Robbins' Nest" and "Port of Rico."

Russell Jacquet
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: St. Martinville, LA Birthdate: 12/4/1917 Deathdate: 3/4/1990
The older brother of tenor-saxophonist Illinois Jacquet, Russell often worked with his brother through the years but never achieved much fame. He originally played in the Midwest with the California Playboy Band (1934-37), a group that also included another brother (Linton Jacquet) on drums. Jacquet worked with Floyd Ray (1939-40) and then studied at Wiley College (1940-42) and Texas Southern University (1942-44), leading a big band at the latter college. In the meantime, Illinois had become famous. Russell recorded with his brother, led his own unsuccessful group and then worked with Illinois on and off during 1946-54, often recording with his combo. He made further recordings with Illinois in 1965 and 1969 and occasionally led his own bands but primarily worked as a schoolteacher. Russell Jacquet, a decent trumpeter whose style fell between bop and swing, led a few titles for Globe (1944), Modern Music (1946), Savoy (1946), King (1948-49), Imperial (1960) and his own Town Hall label (1964). (Description excerpted from All Music Guide)

Harry Hagg James ~ 2
Genres: Big Band, Jazz
Based in: Beaumont
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Albany, GA Birthdate: 3/15/1916 Deathdate: 7/5/1983
Buried at: Bunkers Eden Vale Mausoleum, Las Vegas, Nevada
Hagg's stage life began as the circus contortionist in the Hagg Circus, which later became the Christy Brothers Circus. The gimmick was "the Youngest and Oldest Contortionists in the World," because young Harry worked with a seventy-year-old contortionist. After he started the Harry James Band in 1940, his hit song, "You Made Me Love You," sold over a million copies. Other popular Harry James recordings included "Carnival in Venice" and "Flight of the Bumble Bee." Harry James was a world-famous trumpet player and band leader, who discovered Frank Sinatra and gave him his first career break. Harry's second wife was Betty Grable, and they appeared in several films together.
Schools: Beaumont High School Band

Blind Lemon Jefferson ~ 2 ~ 3 4
Genres: Blues, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Coutchman
Instrument: guitar, vocal
Birthplace: Coutchman Birthdate: 10/15/1894 Deathdate: 12/1929
Buried at: Wortham Black Cemetery, Wortham, Freestone County, Texas
Jefferson is one of the earliest representatives of the "classic blues," considered to be one of the best folk blues singers of the 1920s, and said to have influenced such artists as Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, and Bix Beiderbecker, and to have encouraged Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins. He became a well-known figure in the Deep Ellum district of Dallas where he met and played with Leadbelly. Jefferson made seventy-nine records for Paramount in the 1920s, each estimated to have sold 100,000 copies; he also made two recordings under the "Okeh" label. Recordings included "Matchbox Blues," "Black Snake Moan," and "See that My Grave is Kept Clean."
Schools: He received no formal education.
Sites of interest:
Texas historical marker located at Wortham Negro Cemetery, just north (on SH 14) of the Wortham Cemetery.
He began singing and playing guitar on the streets of Wortham and Mexia.
Deep Ellum in Dallas
Annual event:
Wortham Blues Festival honoring Blind Lemon Jefferson c/o Wortham Area Chamber of Commerce

Waylon Arnold Jennings ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country
Based in: Littlefield
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Littlefield Birthdate: 6/15/1937 Deathdate: 2/13/2002
Buried at: Mesa Cemetery, Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona
Buddy Holly produced Waylon's first record and used him as a bass player. Additionally, it was Waylon who gave up his seat to the Big Bopper on the plane that would crash, killing the Big Bopper, Holly and Ritchie Valens as well. Waylon Jennings defined the outlaw movement by breaking away from the Nashville music trend. He had 5 LPs that went gold or platinum with his "Greatest Hits" RIAA Certified 4 million. Waylon narrated and sang the theme of the popular TV series "Dukes Of Hazzard" in the 1980s that went to number one.
Schools: Dropped out of school in the 10th grade.

Don Santiago Jimenez ~ 2 3 ~ 4
Genres: Tejano, Conjunto
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: accordion
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 4/25/1913 Deathdate: 6/22/1984
Don Santiago Jimenez was playing live music on KEDA radio by the age of twenty. He became known for his inventive use of tololoche that became prevalent in conjunto music of the 1940s and for his use of the two-row button accordion. Arhoolie Records writes: "Is it possible to overstate the importance of Don Santiago Jimenez? His recordings from the '30s helped spread the popularity of conjunto. He was the father of two of today's biggest names in conjunto, Flaco and namesake Santiago Jr. Both are outstanding artists, Flaco taking conjunto accordion into fresh styles and to new audiences, Santiago remaining staunch in his support of the old-time style. Both brothers have inherited their talent directly, not only from a legendary father, but a grandfather, an accordionist of equivalent popularity in his day, as well."
Sites of interest:
Santiago played regularly at El Gaucho, a club in West Side San Antonio.

Albert J. "Budd" Johnson ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 12/14/1910 Deathdate: 10/20/1984
Credited with having organized the first bop jazz recording, Albert Johnson was instrumental in the development of modern jazz. Budd played with the Moonlight Melody Six, Gene Coy's Happy Black Aces, Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, and Billy Eckstine. He played with Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Quincy Jones, served as music director for Atlantic Records and started his own publishing company.

Alfred "Snuff" Johnson ~ 2
Genres: Blues, Christian, Gospel
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Cedar Creek Birthdate: 8/10/1913 Deathdate: 1/18/2000
Snuff's relaxed style includes a steady thumb-strummed bass line that reflects Mance Lipscomb's influence. Johnson began playing his "black cowboy blues" at house parties and balls, but also played guitar in church. He settled in Austin after being discharged from the army in 1945 and remained there, working in construction, at a service station and, finally, as a piano mover. He played out (although not for pay) during the '50s and '60s, and in the mid-70s. His material includes recompositions of old blues standards such as "Good Morning Blues" and "post-gospel, camp meeting era" religious songs, including hymns like "Going Back to Jesus" and "Old Time Religion." Johnson's performed first professional shows in the late '80s, when he was invited to perform at Austin's Continental Club, and Antone's. In the early 1990s he was invited by Alan Govenar to play at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Sites of interest:
The Continental Club

William "Big Bill" Johnson “The Singing Drywall Man”
Genres: Country
Based in: Greenville
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Louisville, KY Birthdate: 5/3/1927 Deathdate: 12/2/2006
Big Bill Johnson spent more than 50 years performing, writing thousands of songs and playing alongside some of the biggest names in country music. Early in his career he appeared with or opened for stars such as Hank Williams Sr., Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson. More than 100 of his songs have been recorded by members of the Grand Ole Opry. Johnson later became known as “The Singing Drywall Man” writing songs on items featured in the news and performing on “the world’s smallest stage," a wooden crate he carried with him. Big Bill Johnson was honored by the community of Greenville with both a Golden Guitar award for his music and a Hunt County Builder award for his drywall work.

Blind Willie Johnson
Genres: Blues, Christian, Gospel
Based in: Marlin
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Independence, Washington County Birthdate: 1/22/1897 Deathdate: 9/18/1945
Buried at: Blanchette Cemetery in Beaumont
Blind Willie was known to his followers as a performer "capable of making religious songs sound like the blues." Johnson's unique voice and his original compositions influenced musicians throughout the South, especially Texas bluesmen. He sang in a "rasping false bass," and played bottleneck guitar with "uncanny left-handed strength, accuracy and agility." So forceful was his voice that legend has it he was once arrested for inciting a riot simply by standing in front of the New Orleans Customs House singing "If I Had My Way I'd Tear This Building Down."

Photo of Conrad O. JohnsonConrad O. Johnson • Kashmere Stage Band ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres:
Big Band, Jazz, R&B
Based in: Houston
Instrument: band instructor
Birthplace: Victoria Birthdate: 11/15/1915 Deathdate: 02/03/2008
Conrad Johnson - the envelope-pushing, innovative musician, composer and band director of the Kashmere High School Stage Band - was nine when his family moved to Houston. A product of the big band era, Johnson was childhood friends with jazz pioneers Illinois Jacquet and Arnette Cobb. Following studies at Yates High School, he attended Houston College for Negroes and later graduated from Wiley College. He started his career in music education in 1941 and, following a 37 year career, retired from his position at Kashmere High School in 1978. From 1968 to 1978, Johnson composed, conducted and recorded the Kashmere Stage Band and their cutting-edge big band/jazz/funk compositions. Under his stewartship, the band - which won 42 out of 46 contests entered between 1969 and 1977 - recorded eight albums featuring more than 20 original compositions by Johnson and traveled throughout Europe, Japan and the United States. After his retirement in '78, Johnson continued to remain active in shaping music in Houston by conducting summer programs and in-home tutoring.
Schools: Yates High School in Houston
Colleges:Wiley College in Marshall

Frederic H. "Keg" Johnson
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: trombone
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 11/19/1908 Deathdate: 11/8/1967
Keg and his brother, Budd, began playing on the Dallas scene in bands such as the Blue Moon Chasers and Ben Smith's Music Makers. Later, he and Budd joined up with Gene Coy's Amarillo-based Happy Black Aces, and toured the southwest. Keg joined Louis Armstrong's orchestra and recorded his first solo on the album, "Basin Street Blues." In New York, Keg played with Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter, and Cab Calloway. He reunited with his brother, Budd, recording the album "Let's Swing," before joining forces with Ray Charles in 1961.
Schools: He studied music under Portia Pittman, the daughter of Booker T. Washington.

Gus Johnson ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Tyler
Instrument: drums
Birthplace: Tyler Birthdate: 11/15/1913 Deathdate: 2/6/2000
Buried at: Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver
Johnson played with the some of the most famous acts of the post-World .War II era including Jay McShann, Charlie "Bird" Parker, Gene Ramey, the Jesse Miller Band, Count Basie, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Eddie "Cleanhead'' Vinson, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn and Ralph Sutton. He is featured on hundreds of recordings.
Colleges: Sumner Junior College in Kansas City

Harold "Money" Johnson
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Tyler
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Tyler Birthdate: 2/23/1918 Deathdate: 3/28/1978
Harold "Money" Johnson was borin in Tyler in 1918. He began playing the trumpet at the age of 15. In 1936, he moved to Oklahoma City where he took part in jam sessions with Charlie Christian and Henry Bridges. The following year he joined Nat Towles's band; after leaving Towles he played with Horace Henderson and the saxophonist Bob Dorsey, but he rejoined Towles in Chicago in 1944. He worked with Count Basie, Cootie Williams and Lucky Millinder, Lucky Thompson, Sy Oliver and Herbie Fields. In 1953, he played in South America with Panama Francis. Johnson performed regularly in a band led by Reuben Phillips at the Apollo Theatre, New York, in the 1960s. He played with Duke Ellington in 1968 and replaced Cat Anderson in the band the following year. In 1970 he played with Oliver again before rejoining Duke Ellington. After Ellington's death in 1974, Johnson continued to perform in New York.

Hunter Johnson
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: NA Birthdate: 1906 Deathdate:
Hunter Johnson was a Guggenheim fellowship recipient who wrote sonatas for piano and voice during the 1930s and 1940s.

Willie Neal "The Country Boy" Johnson
Genres: Blues, Christian, Gospel
Based in: Tyler
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Tyler Birthdate: 1936 Deathdate: 1/10/2001
Willie approached some of his hometown pals and convinced them to join Willie Neal Johnson and the Gospel Keynotes. The original members were: Ralph McGee, Rev. J.D. Talley, Charles Bailey, John Jackson, Lonzo Jackson, and Archie B. McGee. The newly formed Gospel Keynotes signed to Nashboro Records and had their first taste of success with a national hit record, "Show Me The Way." "Lord, Take Us Through," with special guest Evangelist Dorothy Norwood, hit Billboard's Top 25 and is a testament to the "cross-over" appeal that the group garnered. The Gospel Keynotes produced more than 20 albums, including "Ain't No Stopping Us Now," and signature song "That's My Son." "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" received a Grammy nomination in 1981.

George Jones ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country
Based in: Saratoga
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Saratoga Birthdate: 9/12/1931 Deathdate: 4/26/2013
Born in a log cabin in Saratoga Texas in 1931, George Glenn Jones became one of the best loved and most influential singers in country music. After moving to nearby Beaumont as a child, he sang for tips in the street before leaving home at 16 to perform on radio station KTXJ in nearby Jasper. Married for the first of four times at 19, Jones and Dorothy Bonvillion would divorce after a little more than a year with Dorothy listing his “addiction to the drinking of alcoholic beverages” among her reasons. Jones then enlisted in the Marine Corps, spending his entire service stationed in California during the Korean War. Returning to Texas in 1954, Jones cut his first record, “No Money in This Deal” for regional label Starday, beginning a relationship with the label owners Jack Starnes as his producer and Harold W. “Pappy” Daily as his manager. In 1954, Jones married his second wife, Shirley Ann Corley. It was during this marriage that one of the most infamous incidents in country music would occur. After Corley hid all of his car keys to prevent Jones from driving to the liquor store, the singer drove his lawn mower the eight mile trip. In 1955, “Why, Baby, Why” became a top 5 hit. Jones, Starnes and Daily all moved to Nashville and more hits followed including “Color of the Blues,” “White Lightning,” “Who Shot Sam,” “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Race Is On,” “Love Bug,” “Walk Through This World with Me,” and “A Good Year for the Roses.” In 1969, Jones married country singer Tammy Wynette and working with her producer Billy Sherrill began to record a series of classic country duets such as “Two Story House,” “We’re Gonna Hold On,” and “Take Me”. Jones also worked with Sherrill on his solo material including “A Picture of Me Without You,” “The Grand Tour,” “The Door,” and “Bartender’s Blues”. After his divorce from Wynette, Jones’ addiction to alcohol and cocaine caused him to miss dozens of performances, earning him the nickname “No Show Jones”. In 1980 his recording of “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” became a million selling number one single, winning a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Jones also won the Country Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year awards in 1980 and 1981. A 1983 marriage to his fourth wife, Nancy Sepulvado signaled the beginning of Jones’ long period of rehabilitation. George Jones continued to record throughout the 1980s and 90s, even writing a best-selling autobiography “I Lived To Tell It All” in 1996. He won the CMA Vocal Event of the Year in 1998 and 2001 for collaborations with Patty Loveless and Brad Paisley, Buck Owens and Bill Anderson. After surviving a car crash in 1999, Jones gave up alcohol and cigarettes, going on to win a Grammy award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance that same year. Geroge Jones died at age 81 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville on April 26, 2013 after being hospitalized the week before with fever and irregular blood pressure.

George "Little Hat" Jones ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Bowie County Birthdate: 10/5/1899 Deathdate: 3/7/1981
George "Little Hat" Jones was a talented, but little known, taut-voiced street singer that performed primarily in San Antonio. In 1929 Jones first recorded in San Antonio for Okeh Records, on June 15 of that year, when he cut two records of his own, "New Two Sixteen Blues" and "Two String Blues," and played backup for Texas Alexander. Jones then made a contract with Okeh for three years and recorded "Rolled from Side to Side Blues," "Hurry Blues," "Little Hat Blues," "Corpus Blues," "Kentucky Blues," "Bye Bye Baby Blues," "Cross the Water Blues," and "Cherry Street Blues." He also played in such cities as New Orleans, Galveston, and Austin, and occasionally ventured into Mexico. He was influenced in his guitar playing by Blind Lemon Jefferson and played with T. Texas Tyler and Jimmie Rodgers. An eclectic guitarist, Jones blended finger picking, strumming and boogie basses into a style that, while recognizably within the Texas mainstream, was distinctively his own.

Maggie "Fae Barnes" Jones
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Hillsboro
Instrument: piano, vocals
Birthplace: Hillsboro Birthdate: circa 1899 Deathdate: Unavailable
Jones is renowned as the first Texas singer to record. She accomplished that feat on July 26, 1923. Billed as the "Texas Nightingale," she also recorded various labels including Black Swan, Victor, Pathe, and Paramount. Some of her best-known songs are "Undertaker's Blues," "Single Woman's Blues," and "Northbound Blues." Jones recorded with legends such as Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Charlie Green, and others. When the Great Depression deepened in the early 1930s, Jones moved to Dallas. She formed her own revue and performed at local venues such as the All-American Cabaret in Fort Worth. In the mid-1930s, she disappeared from the music scene, and her whereabouts after that became unknown.

Janis Lyn Joplin ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Blues, Rock
Based in: Port Arthur
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Port Arthur Birthdate: 1/19/1943 Deathdate: 10/4/1970
Buried at: Cremated, Ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean
Janis stopped the show at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 with "Ball and Chain." That triumph and the album Cheap Thrills (1968) elevated her to national stardom including concerts in Madison Square Garden, Paris, London, Woodstock, and Harvard Stadium; adulation in the New York Times; a guest appearance on the Ed Sullivan show; and a six-figure salary. She has been called "the greatest female singer in the history of rock 'n' roll."
Schools: Jefferson High School in Port Arthur
Colleges: University of Texas in Austin

Scott Joplin ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4Photo of Scott Joplin
Genres: Classical, Jazz
Based in: Texarkana
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Caves Springs near Linden Birthdate: 11/24/1868 Deathdate: 4/11/1917
Buried at: St. Michael's Cemetery, Astoria, Queens County, New York
Scott Joplin is known as the "King of Ragtime." His best-known piece, "Maple Leaf Rag" sold over one million copies. In addition to his output of rags, Joplin's works include the ballet and two operas, a manual, The School of Ragtime (1908), and many works for piano: rags, including "Maple Leaf," "The Entertainer," "Elite Syncopations," "Peacherine"; marches, including "Great Crush Collision," "March Majestic"; and waltzes, including "Harmony Club," "Bethena." His collected works were published by the New York Public Library in 1971, and his music was featured in the motion picture "The Sting," which won an Academy Award for its film score. In 1976 Joplin was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize for "Treemonisha," the first grand opera by an African American.
Colleges: George R. Smith College in Sedalia, Missouri
Sites of interest:
Scott Joplin historical marker at 901 State Line Avenue in Texarkana

Steve "Esteban" Jordan ~ 2 3 ~ 4
Genres: Tejano, Conjunto
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: accordion
Birthplace: Elsa Birthdate: 2/23/1939 Deathdate: 8/13/2010
Steve "Esteban" Jordan known as "El Parche", "The Jimi Hendrix of the accordion", and "the accordion wizard" played 35 different instruments. Born in Elsa, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley to migrant worker parents, Jordan was the smallest of 15 children. Blinded in one eye as an infant and unable to work in the fields, Jordan was left at home where he discovered music at a young age. Jordan's early instruments included the harmonica and guitar, until the seven year old met the teenage conjunto accordionista Valerio Longoria. In the 1950s, he taught four of his brothers to play and in a dance band. In 1958 he married singer Virginia Martinez, the couple settled in San Jose, California and had several ranchera and polka regional hits until Jordan's hard partying lifestyle led to a split. Steve Jordan remained close to his traditional conjunto roots, but never limited himself musically adding fusion jazz and rock to his music while using phase shifters, fuzzboxes and other effects to his music. In 1973, Jordan was stabbed in a parking lot assault outside a bar in Roswell, New Mexico. He spent a year in recovery taking his musical equipment apart and putting it together again. He was nominated for a Best Mexican-American Performance Grammy in 1986, but lost to Flaco Jiménez. An influence on countless accordion players, the Hohner factory in West Germany provided Jordan with one of his proudest moments and a custom-made "Tex-Mex Rockordeon. The instrument was reissued in a limited edition in 2010. Jordan died August 13, 2010 in San Antonio from complications of liver cancer.

Photo of Peck KellyJohn Dickerson "Peck" Kelly ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 10/22/1898 Deathdate: 12/26/1980
Buried at: Houston
Often referred to as "the king of boogie-woogie," band leaders including Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, and Paul Whiteman offered Kelly positions with their bands. Kelly chose to remain in Houston in order to play local dance halls and small clubs for most of his life. Kelly's own band the Peck's Bad Boys included several budding young musicians: Jack Teagarden, Johnny Wiggs, Pee Wee Russell, and Snoozer Quinn. Speaking about how impressed he was with Kelly, Jack Teagarden said, “The flashing changes of mood, the unpredictable paths of improvisation, the rolling intensities of jazz and the not incongruous from classics the boy had never heard of – this was strange and exciting piano playing. There were blues qualities, too, no doubt acquired by Peck from his early contact with Texas Negroes.”

Lawrence Vincent Kelly
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: founder, Dallas Civic Opera
Birthplace: Chicago, IL Birthdate: 5/30/1928 Deathdate: 9/16/1974
Lawrence Vincent Kelly was the founder and general manager of the Dallas Civic Opera. Through the efforts of music critic John Rosenfield, Kelly was brought to Dallas, and by March 1957 the Dallas Civic Opera was chartered. Kelly was general manager. In November 1957 the company presented soprano Maria Callas in a concert; she had been presented by Kelly in her American debut three years earlier in Chicago. That first season only one opera, Rossini's "L'Italiana in Algeri," was mounted; the cast was headed by Giulietta Simionato, and the production was designed and staged by Franco Zeffirelli, who made his American debut in it. This production set a quality standard for the future of the company, and Kelly's subsequent pattern of originality established the Dallas Civic Opera internationally. Over the next seventeen years Dallas opera lovers saw the American debut of such singers as Teresa Berganza, Jon Vickers, Joan Sutherland, and many others. Kelly also introduced a distinguished group of theatrical directors and designers, and the company had its own scenic department, which built productions for other companies as well.

Kent Wheeler Kennan
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: composer
Birthplace: Milwaukee, WI Birthdate: 4/18/1913 Deathdate: 11/1/2003
University of Texas Music Professor Emeritus Kent Wheeler Kennan was a nationally known composer whose works were performed by more than 25 orchestras in this country under such conductors as Toscanini, Stokowski, Ormandy and Ozawa. His compositions also included piano pieces, chamber music, songs and choral works, many of them published, as were several of his transcriptions. Kennan's two books on orchestration and musical counterpoint, written in the 1950s, have remained the leading texts in their fields.

Claude "Benno" Kennedy
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Unavailable
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: Unavailable
Claude "Benno" Kennedy worked with Jack McVea, the Herbie Kaye Orchestra and Troy Floyd and His Plaza Hotel Orchestra in San Antonio. Kennedy organized his own band, the Oleanders, in 1927 and later left for California.

Joe Keyes ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: Unavailable
Joe Keyes was a master trumpeter who cut his teeth during the early days of the Houston jazz scene during the late '20s and early '30s. Keyes played with the incomparable Count Basie during the 1930s. During the early '40s, Keyes had a run of work with big-name bandleaders, including both the innovative Fletcher Henderson and the hilarious Fats Waller.

Robert Henry "Bobby" Keys ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Rock
Based in: Slaton
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Slaton Birthdate: 12/18/1943 Deathdate: 12/2/2014
Robert Henry "Bobby" Keys began his music career in 1958, at age fifteen, touring with Buddy Holly and Bobby Vee. He met the Rolling Stones at their second US appearance, the San Antonio Teen Fair of 1964. Keys was born the same day as Stones guitarist Keith Richards and the two began a lifelong friendship. He first recorded with the Rolling Stones on their "Let It Bleed" album in 1969 and toured with the band from 1970 to 1973. After missing some shows, he only worked with the band sporadically until 1982, at which point he joined them on each of their tours. He also appears on the Rolling Stones albums "Sticky Fingers", "Exile on Main St.", "Goats Head Soup", "Emotional Rescue", "Stripped", "Shine a Light", "Live Licks", "Sweet Summer Sun". He worked with John Lennon in the Plastic Ono Band and the albums "Walls And Bridges" and "Rock 'n Roll", providing the saxophone solo on the number one single "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" and also worked with George Harrison on the "All Things Must Pass" album and with Ringo Starr on the albums "Ringo" and "Goodnight Vienna". In addition to his work with the Rolling Stones and members of the Beatles, Bobby Keys has recorded and toured with Joe Cocker, B.B. King, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Chuck Berry, Delaney, Bonnie & Friends, Donovan, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, Faces, Harry Nilsson, Warren Zevon, Humble Pie, Joe Ely, John Hiatt, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Keith Moon, Leo Sayer, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marvin Gaye, Sheryl Crow, Yoko Ono, Jim Carroll and Graham Nash. Keys died at his home in Franklin, TN on December 2, 2014 from cirrhosis. His autobiography "Every Night's a Saturday Night: The Rock 'n' Roll Life of Legendary Sax Man Bobby Keys" was published in 2012.

Freddie King ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Gilmer
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Gilmer Birthdate: 9/3/1934 Deathdate: 12/28/1976
Buried at: Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas.Dallas County
Along with T-Bone Walker, Lemon Jefferson and Lightnin' Hopkins, Freddie King was one of Texas' most influential blues guitarists. Two of his classic songs were his version of the Bill Myles' "Have You Ever Loved a Woman," as well as King's and Federal Records producer Sonny Thompson's collaboration "Hide Away." Musicians such as Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck recorded his songs. He released a major live album recorded in Austin at the Armadillo World Headquarters, and his recordings with Shelter Records brought him recognition throughout the state as a "top-notch Texas bluesman."

Dave Kirby ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Brady
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Brady Birthdate: 7/10/1938 Deathdate: 4/17/2004
"Dave Kirby never realized his importance in the country music community," Brady, Texas, disc jockey Tracy Pitcox said. "Dave played on virtually all of the sessions leaving Nashville throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s. His songwriting is legendary. We were very honored to recognize Dave in his hometown for the last eight years during our Dave Kirby Celebration." Kirby's biggest hit was recorded by Charley Pride, "Is Anybody Going To San Antone?" Other compositions that became hits include: "Wish I Didn't Have To Miss You," "April's Fool," "You Wouldn't Know Love," "What Have You Got Planned Tonight Diana?" and more. Dave also had a successful session career playing lead guitar for Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Janie Fricke, Ringo Star, Emmylou Harris, Don Williams, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Crystal Gayle, Wynn Stewart, Ray Price, Moe Bandy, Ronnie Milsap, Connie Smith and Kenny Price.
Annual event:
Dave Kirby Day is celebrated annually in Brady, TX.

Christian Klaerner
Genres: Classical, German
Based in: Austin
Instrument: educator, conductor
Birthplace: Bayreuth, Bavaria Birthdate: 11/9/1861 Deathdate: 9/16/1949
Christian Klaerner was a teacher, state librarian, and choral director who settled in the Austin area after immigrating from Bavaria. He taught in a Lutheran college at Brenham from 1891 to 1897, when he established the German-American Institute, a demonstration school in teaching methods. From 1915 to 1918 he was state librarian. Klaerner was director of a Brenham singing club from 1897 to 1915, of the Uhland choir from 1925 to 1931, and of the Saengerrunde Club at Austin from 1922 to 1949. He composed music for church and choir use and directed choirs at St. Martin's Lutheran Church and First English Lutheran Church in Austin.

Bill Kovar
Genres: Big Band
Based in: Baytown
Instrument: tenor sax, clarinet
Birthplace: unknown Birthdate: unknown Deathdate: unknown
Bill Kovar was the bandleader of Bill Kovar and The Baytonians, formed in 1947. They gigged around the Baytown area in the late 1940s and early 1950s, their base of operaton was the Humble Community House. Band members included pianist, Johnny King, vocalist Eddie Thompson, Paul Webber on vocals and trombone, Darrell Nickerson on trumpet and Carl O'Quinn, on drums along with Jerry Showalter, Tommy Bowen, and Willie Herndon. Other Baytown musicians who joined later were Clyde Smith, Chet Brantley, Paul Edwards, Emil Pauler, Paul French, Jimmy Petrick, Clem Kovar, Ray French, Harry Cox, Frank Hefner, Harry Cox, Burt Davison, Grady Tuck, R.L. "Doc" Jacobs and Zone Compton.

Buddy Wayne Knox ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Pop, Rockabilly
Based in: Happy
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Happy Birthdate: 7/20/1933 Deathdate: 2/14/1999
Buddy Knox and the Rhythm Orchids worked with songwriter and record producer Norman Petty at his studio in Clovis, New Mexico. Among the songs they recorded at Petty's studio, "Party Doll," became a national hit and earned them a series of high-profile appearances, including a performance on the nationally-syndicated Ed Sullivan Show in 1957.
Colleges: West Texas State College in Canyon

Bill Kovar
Genres: Big Band
Based in: Baytown
Instrument: tenor sax, clarinet
Birthplace: unknownBirthdate: unknownDeathdate: unknown
Bill Kovar was the bandleader of Bill Kovar and The Baytonians, formed in 1947. They gigged around the Baytown area in the late 1940s and early 1950s, their base of operaton was the Humble Community House. Band members included pianist, Johnny King, vocalist Eddie Thompson, Paul Webber on vocals and trombone, Darrell Nickerson on trumpet and Carl O'Quinn, on drums along with Jerry Showalter, Tommy Bowen, and Willie Herndon. Other Baytown musicians who joined later were Clyde Smith, Chet Brantley, Paul Edwards, Emil Pauler, Paul French, Jimmy Petrick, Clem Kovar, Ray French, Harry Cox, Frank Hefner, Harry Cox, Burt Davison, Grady Tuck, R.L. "Doc" Jacobs and Zone Compton.

Hans Kreissig
Genres: Classical
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: pianist, educator, conductor
Birthplace: Germany Birthdate: 1856 Deathdate: 12/28/1929
Hans Kreissig was a pianist, music teacher, and conductor who settled in Dallas after traveling there with a London opera company. For a time he directed choirs in Jewish synagogues and Catholic churches; his major secular conducting assignment was a male chorus, the Dallas Frohsinn. In May 1900, the orchestral movement had become strong enough in Dallas that Kreissig could form the first Dallas Symphony Orchestra, even though the Frohsinn performed on the new orchestra's first concert as well. In addition to the orchestra, he founded the Beethoven Trio and a slightly larger chamber group, the Phoenix Club. His longest association was with the Frohsinn; he remained its conductor, except for brief periods, until 1912.

Harold Land ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 2/18/1929 Deathdate: 7/21/2001
Buried at: Unknown
The tenor saxophonist established himself as one of the most singular and powerful of jazzmen and is remembered for his performances with the quintet led by trumpeter Clifford Brown and drummer Max Roach in the mid-50s and with the internationally acclaimed quintet he co-led with Bobby Hutcherson in the late '60s and early '70s.

Johnny Lee Land "Buddy Ace"
Genres: Blues, R&B
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Jasper, Tx Birthdate: 11/11/1936 Deathdate: 12/26/1994
Born James L. Land, Blues balladeer Buddy Ace was known as "The Silver Fox of the Blues" during a touring and recording career that spanned four decades. In the mid-'60s, Ace scored several R&B hits, including "Nothing in the World Can Hurt Me (Except You)" and "Hold On (To This Fool)." Ace continued to perform and record into the '90s with Don't Hurt No More and Silver Fox being issued in 1994. On December 26, 1994, Ace passed away in Waco, TX.

Miriam Gordon Landrum ~ 2
Genres: Classical
Based in: Austin
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Waco Birthdate: 11/25/1893 Deathdate: 1/2/1967
Buried at: in Whitewright, TX
In 1930 she cofounded the Austin chapter of the Music Teachers' Association and helped to establish the Texas School of Fine Arts. She was active in many religious and cultural activities, including the founding of the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Many of her piano students won high ratings and first places in auditions sponsored by the National Guild of Piano Teachers. She was elected Music Teacher of the Year by the Austin District Music Teachers' Association in 1962.
Schools: Miriam attended public schools in Altus, Oklahoma.
Colleges: She studied and later taught piano at the University of Texas; Landrum received a diploma from Kingfisher College in 1915.

Sidney Lanier
Genres: Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: flute
Birthplace: Macon, GA Birthdate: 2/3/1842 Deathdate: 9/7/1881
Flutist, poet and scholar Sidney Lanier was noted for his theory that the laws of music and poetry are similar and both based upon the physics of sound: duration, intensity, pitch, and tone color. His poem "The Marshes of Glynn," with its scene of the sea marshes near Brunswick, Georgia, reflects this theory.

Milton "Milt" Larkin
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: trumpet, trombone, bandleader
Birthplace: Navasota Birthdate: 10/10/1910 Deathdate: 8/31/1996
The Milton Larkin Orchestra, formed in 1936 was billed as the "Greatest Band of All Time." Larkin's ensemble evolved into a top territory band and became famous for its "big foot swing," an infectious dance style that drew large crowds wherever they performed. Although Larkin's band was not well known nationally, many world-class musicians played with the band in the late 1930s and early 1940s including Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and Wild Bill Davis. In 1942, Larkin took his band to Chicago for what was supposed to be a limited engagement at Joe Louis's famous Rhumboogie Club. The band stayed for a nine-month stint, during which they performed with the likes of Texas's own blues guitarist T-Bone Walker. Unfortunately the Milt Larkin Band was never recorded. Larkin was drafted into the service in 1943. He learned to play trombone and performed in the Army band. Although Larkin reformed his band after the war, he could not replicate his earlier successes, the era of big bands was waning. Larkin and his family moved to New York City in the early 1950s, where he became leader of the house band at Harlem's Apollo Theater, a position he held until 1977. After returning to his home state and hometown in 1977, Larkin supported educational endeavors to promote jazz in Houston. He served as director of "Get Involved Now," a nonprofit organization that sponsored jazz for shut-ins, and, he also acted as honorary chairman of the Milt Larkin Jazz Society, named in his honor, which formed in 1990 to promote Houston jazz musicians by forming a publicity campaign and creating an information network.

William "Prince" Lasha ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: clarinet, alto saxophone, flute
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 9/10/1929 Deathdate: Unavailable
Lasha was classmates with Ornette Coleman and Charles Moffett. He played locally around Fort Worth before heading to New York City and the West Coast. He worked with Sonny Simmons, Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones, Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson and Herbie Hancock. William also led his own band at the famous jazz club, Birdland.
Schools: I. M. Terrell High School (historical marker at 1411 East 18th Street, Fort Worth)

Harry "Big Jim" Lawson
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Round Rock
Instrument: trumpet
Birthplace: Round Rock Birthdate: 1904 Deathdate: Unavailable
Lawson played with Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds Of Joy, Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters and Peggy Lee.

Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Dedar Plantation, LA Birthdate: 1/21/1888 Deathdate: 12/6/1949
Buried at: Shiloh Baptist Church, Mooringsport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
From the age of 16, Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter began rambling through the Deep South, absorbing a vast repertoire of songs and styles. He mastered primordial blues, spirituals, reels, cowboy songs, folk ballads and prison hollers. In 1917, Lead Belly served as Blind Lemon Jefferson's "lead boy" - i.e., his sighted-guide, companion and protégé - on the streets of Dallas. Lead Belly possessed a hot temper and great strength; he was convicted on charges of murder (1917) and attempted murder (1930). Texas folklorist John Avery Lomax and his son Alan helped release Leadbelly from prison, and for several months he toured with the Lomaxes, giving concerts and assisting them in their efforts to record the work songs and spirituals of African-American convicts. Soon after their arrival in New York City, Leadbelly's singing and his unconventional background combined to bring him national prominence. Leadbelly's associates included Woody Guthrie, Pete Seger, and Sonny Terry. Leadbelly's most popular composition, "Goodnight Irene," achieved its greatest success in the early 1950s shortly after his death when the Weavers recorded it.
Schools: Huddie attended grade school in Texas at Lake Chapel School.
Sites of interest:
After serving seven years of a thirty year prison term at Shaw State Prison Farm in Huntsville, Texas, Ledbetter was released after composing a song in honor of Governor Pat Neff.

Sonny Lee 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Huntsville
Instrument: trombone
Birthplace: Huntsville Birthdate: 8/26/1904 Deathdate: 1975
Sonny Lee worked with Mildred Bailey, Charlie Barnet, Bing Crosby, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Isham Jones, Charles Creath, Teddy Grace, and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. He was described as Bunny Berigan's top trombonist, the best of any in Bunny's many bands.


Frederick Lemsky
~ 2 ~ 3

Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Houston
Instrument: fife
Birthplace: Europe Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: 1844
Frederick Lemsky was most noted for being the fife player at the battle of San Jacinto, and was said to have played the song "Come to the Bower." Later on he offered his services as a music teacher as well as teaching German and French.

William T. Lewis
Genres: Big Band, Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: clarinet, bandleader
Birthplace: Cleburne Birthdate: 7/10/1905 Deathdate: 1/13/1971
William T. Lewis, a black jazz clarinetist and bandleader grew up in Dallas and begin her career playing in a Texas variety theatre. William toured through Europe, South America, North Africa, and Europe. In the 1930s he was the first prominent bandleader in Europe performing as not just a clarinet player, but also alto and baritone saxophone, and singer. After the end of the band, Lewis returned to New York and faded from the jazz scene, doing some brief acting, but earning his living as a Harlem waiter. His musical works include "Christopher Columbus" (1936), "Swinging for a Swiss Miss" (1937), "Happy Feet" (1941), and "Willie Lewis and His Entertainers" (1985), a compilation highlighting trumpeter Bill Coleman.

Jerry Lightfoot ~ 2
Genres:
Blues, Rock
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Pasadena Birthdate: 9/9/1951 Deathdate: 9/9/2006
Jerry Lightfoot was a blues guitarist with immense passion who was a fixture of the Austin and Houston local blues scenes through most of the '80s and '90s. Lightfoot rocked a Houston club called Local Charm at least once a month for more than 10 years. He was also well-known at the defunct Houston nightspot Rockefellers, where he and his group, The Essentials, played as the house band. Though he played originals from the band's album "Burning Desire," he also backed blues heavyweights such as B.B. King and John Lee Hooker. He put some dives on the map: Local Charm, the Reddi Room and Etta's Lounge on Scott Street. Lightfoot was also responsible for coaxing forsaken blues legends out of retirement, including his mentor Big Walter "The Thunderbird."

Vin Lindhe
Genres: Classical
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Chicago Birthdate: 1907 Deathdate: 11/3/1986
Buried at: Hillcrest Memorial Park in Dallas
Vin Lindhe, showed an interest in music from an early age, especially in playing the piano. She worked as the staff pianist for a Chicago radio station, and joined a trio that traveled the country. While in Dallas doing a promotion on WFAA radio for the trio's show she was offered a job, which she accepted. She dabbled in acting and directing at the Dallas Little Theatre. While playing the piano at the local Rotary Club meeting she was discovered and moved to New York City to work at Radio City Music Hall where she served as assistant conductor. She later moved to Cleveland to host her own radio show, and then back to Dallas to continue her previous work at WFAA. She played at the Old Warsaw Restaurant throughout the 1950s and 1960s entertaining Dallas diners with her classical and popular performances on the grand piano.

Mance Lipscomb ~ 2
Genres: Blues
Based in: Navasota
Instrument: guitar, vocals, songwriter
Birthplace: Navasota Birthdate: 4/9/1895 Deathdate: 1/30/1976
Buried at: West Haven Cemetery, Navasota
Lipscomb represented one of the last remnants of the nineteenth-century songster tradition, which predated the blues. Though songsters might incorporate blues into their repertoires, as did Lipscomb, they performed a wide variety of material in diverse styles including ballads, rags, dance pieces (breakdowns, waltzes, one and two steps, slow drags, reels, ballin' the jack, the buzzard lope, hop scop, buck and wing, heel and toe polka), and popular, sacred, and secular songs. Lipscomb himself insisted that he was a songster, not a guitarist or "blues singer," since he played "all kinds of music." His eclectic repertoire has been reported to have contained 350 pieces spanning two centuries.
Annual event:
Navasota Blues Festival's proceeds benefit the Mance Lipscomb Scholarship Fund and other related activities.

Weldon E. "Big Bill" Lister ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Boerne
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Kenedy Birthdate: 1/5/1923 Deathdate: 12/1/2009
Weldon E. "Big Bill" Lister born was on January 5, 1923, in Kenedy, Texas and grew up in Brady. He grew up listening to Jimmie Rodgers and local radio station KNEL. Although his father played some harmonica, Lister was not from a particularly musical family. He began playing guitar at age 14 and made his radio debut at KNEL in Brady in 1938 and recording radio transcriptions for XEG. In July of 1941 He married Lila Mayfield in Medina, Texas and the couple moved to San Antonio where Lister briefly appeared on WOAI before settling in at KMAC. Lister tried to enlist in the Marines after the start of World War II, but at 6 foot 7 ½, he was not eligible. He entertained the troops at Lackland Air Force Base and moved to KTSA where he added 16 Tommy Hill to the act as a guitar player and eventually formed Bill Lister and the Texas Hillbillies with Tommy Hill, fiddler Charlie Gregg, singer-guitarist Lou Pickens and bassist and drummer Kenny Hill. In the summer of 1946, Lister, now billed as Radio's Tallest Singing Cowboy, had two daily radio shows, the first at KTSA at 6:45 a.m. and the second at noon on KABC. In 1947, The Texas Top Hands moved to KABC and were featured on a Noonday Jamboree with Lister, Del Dunbar, Betty Jo Catlett and later Betty Jane Henry. In 1949, Lister made his recording debut on Everstate Records where he recorded with the Texas Top Hands, duets with Del Dunbar and as a solo act billed as America's Tallest Cowboy. The records sold well in San Antonio, but suffered from poor national distribution. Bill and Lila moved to Nashville on the advice of Tex Ritter and once there Lister reunited with Joe Allison from KTSA who began to introduce Bill around town. After signing with Capitol Records on the recommendation of Tex Ritter, Lister secured a spot on the Grand Ole Opry and began to open for Hank Williams both on the road and on the radio. Although hired as an opening act, Lister began to join Williams and his band, the Drifting Cowboys, on stage as a second rhythm guitar. Lister's first recordings for Capitol Beer Drinkin' Blues / RC Cola and a Moon Pie were released in 1961. His second single Countryfied / The Little House we Built (Just Over the Hill) consisted of two Hank Williams compositions (one written with Don Helms) backed by the Drifting Cowboys. In 1951. Lister was playing to crowds of ten and twelve thousand as part of the Hadacol Caravan with Hank Williams, Minnie Pearl and occasional guest stars like Bob Hope and Milton Berle. In October of 1951, Williams gave Lister an acetate of his song, There's A Tear In My Beer which Lister cut with his own One More Beer (Then I'm Goin' Home) on the B-side. Lister returned to San Antonio in 1952. Some road shows followed, until 1953 when Lister joined the Big D Jamboree. Commuting from San Antonio, he would rehearse, perform on KRLD television Saturday afternoon, host a segment on the Saturday night show, host a Sunday afternoon new talent show and perform Sunday night at Jack Ruby's Carousel Club before driving back home. This arrangement lasted until 1954. After his Capitol contract ended, Lister quit the music business full time and took up jewelry making and gun engraving. Lister's rediscovery of the Tear In My Beer demo lead to a hit 'duet' between Hank Williams Junior and Senior. Hank Jr. gave Lister a portion of the records proceeds and presented him with a gold record. Lister began a second career in the late 1990s, recording Remembering Hank Willams Through Story and Song for the Heart of Texas label in 1999. Big Bill Lister passed away on December 1, 2009.

Alan Lomax ~ 2 3 4 ~ 5
Genres: Blues, Country, Cowboy/Western, Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Austin
Instrument: folklorist, guitar
Birthplace: Austin Birthdate: 1/15/1915 Deathdate: 7/19/2002
Alan Lomax, the world's pre-eminent collector of folk songs, was born in Austin in 1915. Lomax, best known for his discovery of Muddy Waters and for his chronicles of America's blues traditions, spent most of his time hunting down and recording songs and dance traditions across the globe. As the son of folk song collector John Avery Lomax, Alan is also known for his blues recordings and his association with the folk singers Woody Guthrie and Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter. He is credited with bringing to popular attention many of the blues and country music traditions that later coalesced into rock 'n' roll. In an incident famous in music circles, Lomax gave the thumbs-down to Bob Dylan when Dylan dared to unleash an electric guitar on the unsuspecting crowd at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. "Without Lomax," the British record producer and musician Brian Eno once wrote, "it's possible that there would have been no blues explosion, no R&B movement, no Beatles and no Stones and no Velvet Underground."
Schools: Choate
Colleges: Harvard; University of Texas; Columbia University

John Avery Lomax ~ 2
Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Meridian
Instrument: folklorist
Birthplace: Goodman, MI Birthdate: 9/23/1867 Deathdate: 1/26/1948
John Avery Lomax, a true Texas pioneer, arrived in Texas in 1869 when his parents left Mississippi in two covered wagons. In 1895 he attended the University of Texas, from which he graduated in 1897. In 1906 he received a scholarship from Harvard University to compile a collection of western ballads. He collected by means of an appeal published in western newspapers and through his own vacation travel, financed in part by the Harvard fellowships. A Gypsy woman living in a truck near Fort Worth sang "Git Along, Little Dogies." In San Antonio in 1908 a black saloonkeeper who had been a trail cook sang "Home on the Range." His first collection, "Cowboy Songs and other Frontier Ballads," was published in 1910. In his collecting of folk songs, he traveled 200,000 miles and visited all but one of the states. Often accompanied by his son, Alan, he visited prisons to record on phonograph disks the work songs and spirituals of black inmates. At the Angola prison farm in Louisiana, he encountered a talented black artist, Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly. Upon Leadbelly's release from prison, Lomax took him on a tour in the north and recorded many of his songs. In 1919 Lomax published "Songs of the Cattle Trail and Cow Camp." With his son he edited other collections: "American Ballads and Folk Songs" (1934), "Negro Songs as Sung by Lead Belly" (1936), "Our Singing County" (1941), and "Folk Song: U.S.A." (1947). In 1947 his autobiographical "Adventures of a Ballad Hunter" (1947) was awarded the Carr P. Collins prize as the best Texas book of the year by the Texas Institute of Letters. Beginning in 1933 Lomax was honorary curator of the Archive of Folksong at the Library of Congress, which he helped establish as the primary agency for preservation of American folksongs and culture.

Hubert Long
Genres: Country
Based in: Poteet
Instrument: promoter, talent agent
Birthplace: Poteet Birthdate: 12/3/1923 Deathdate: 9/7/1972
Hubert Long made his mark as a Nashville-based country music promoter and talent agent. He was also a founding member of the Country Music Association. Long's work in the music industry had humble beginnings in Corpus Christi, where he worked in the record department of a local five and dime store. Long entered the production end of the music industry when he took a job at Decca Records in San Antonio. He followed his Decca boss to RCA Victor in Houston, where he met music promoter Colonel Tom Parker. Parker put Long in charge of publicity for Eddy Arnold, whom Long is credited with having promoted to superstardom. Long came into his own professionally in the early 1950s when he signed Faron Young and Webb Pierce to management contracts. Long founded the Hubert Long Agency in 1952 and further increased his influence as a talent agent when he founded the independent talent agency Stable of Stars in 1955. Over the course of his career, Long expanded his interests to include the famous Moss Rose music publishing house, among other ventures. Whether he managed them, sold their songs, promoted their shows, or fought for them through the CMA, Hubert Long touched the lives of countless country musicians. He was posthumously elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1979.

Joseph Earl "Joey Long" Longoria
Genres: Blues, Rockabilly
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Zwolle, LA Birthdate: 12/17/1932 Deathdate: 3/24/1995
Buried at: Houston
Joey partnered with Sonny Fisher and the duo were some of the first musicians to play rockabilly. Fisher and Long made appearances on Shreveport's Louisiana Hayride. Long's involvement in the Texas music scene and his profound influence on a whole generation of Texas musicians is not widely recognized outside of the Houston area. Despite this lack of recognition, Long's playing style had a huge impact on musicians such as Johnny Winter and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, two of the most successful bands ever to come out of Texas. John Turner, who has also played with Johnny Winter, described Joey Long as "The Godfather."
Schools: Joey only attended school through the third grade.

Valerio Longoria ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Tejano, Conjunto
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: accordion, vocals
Birthplace: Clarksdale, Mississippi Birthdate: 2/14/1924 Deathdate: 12/19/2000
Buried at: Mission Burial Park South in San Antonio
The first to incorporate singing with accordion music, Valerio Longoria is also credited with being the first Conjunto musician to experiment with octave tuning and introducing drums and boleros to the repertoire. He is credited with many innovations within the genre including being one of the first musicians to perform standing up with using straps.
Schools: As a child, Valerio was taken to work in the fields by his father. For that reason, he rarely attended school.

Isidro López ~ 2
Genres: Tejano, Country
Based in: Bishop
Instrument: vocals, flute, saxophone, guitar
Birthplace: Bishop Birthdate: 5/17/1933 Deathdate: 8/16/2004
Buried at: Seaside Memorial Cemetery, Corpus Christi, Nueces County
Isidro López is a towering figure in Texas music history, a musician who understood the heritage of both Texas and Mexican music and who with his bandmates helped create the Modern era of Tejano music.

Fred Lowery ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Palestine
Instrument: whistle
Birthplace: Palestine Birthdate: 11/2/1909 Deathdate: 12/11/1984
Buried at: Jacksonville's Old City Cemetery
Fred Lowery was dubbed greatest whistler on earth, ever, the "King of Whistlers." He appeared with Steve Allen, Edgar Bergen, Bing Crosby, Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope, Stan Kenton, Vincent Lopez, Ed Sullivan, Paul Whiteman, and others.
Schools: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Imapired in Austin

Josephine Lucchese
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 7/24/1901 Deathdate: 9/10/1974
Josephine Lucchese, a SanAntonio opera singer, began her musical career at the tender age of six when she began studying the mandolin and then continued with piano at the age of ten. By fifteen she had began voice lessons with Mme. Virginia Colombati, who she accompanied to New York three years later to make her recital debut at the Aeolian Hall on November 26, 1919. She made her operatic debut as Gilda in "Rigoletto" at the Manhattan Grand Opera House in 1921. She earned a reputation throughout Europe as the "American Nightingale," and was a huge operatic success at a time when it was considered impossible to earn an international reputation without having studied in Italy. She appeared with opera companies throughout the United States and around the world, and was especially acclaimed for such roles as Lucia di Lammermoor and Rosina in "The Barber of Seville." Lucchese later returned to Texas to teach voice lessons at the University of Texas from 1956 to 1968.
Schools: Main Avenue High School in San Antonio

Robert Glynn "Bob" Luman
Genres: Country, Rockabilly
Based in: Nacogdoches
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Nacogdoches Birthdate: 4/15/1937 Deathdate: 12/27/1978
Bob Luman, guitarist and country and rockabilly singer, was inspired to pursue music more passionately after witnessing an Elvis Presley performance in 1955. In 1957, Luman signed with Imperial Records. A year later, after being released by the Imperial label, Luman signed with Capitol Towers. After a dispute with Capitol over changing his name, which he refused to do, Luman was dropped by the label. He then signed with Warner Brothers in 1959, recording "Class of '59" and "Loretta." In 1960, Luman was called into the U.S. Army, but not before he released the single, "Let's Think about Living." Luman was in the Army when his single hit the top ten. Even though he never had another song on the pop charts, "Let's Think about Living" started a long string of country hits. In 1965, Luman joined the Grand Ole Opry and toured regularly. He became a popular attraction in Las Vegas by mixing country and rockabilly in his live shows. In 1968, he signed with Epic Records, producing 15 top-ten hits over the next ten years, including "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers," and "Still Loving You."
Schools: Kilgore High School

Lucil Manning Lyons
Genres: Classical
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: organizer of musical activities and clubs
Birthplace: Raymond Birthdate: 9/11/1879 Deathdate: 9/25/1958
Lucil Manning Lyons was one of the state's most influential and industrious organizers of musical activities and clubs as president of the Harmony Music Club in Fort Worth. Lyons helped bring music to Fort Worth under sponsorship of the club until 1926, at which time she continued as an independent concert manager. Mrs. Lyons organized the Texas Federation of Music Clubs and served as its first president from 1915 to 1917; she was secretary of the National Federation of Music Clubs from 1917 to 1921. She became the first woman honored with two terms as president of the national organization (1921-25) and subsequently served on its board until 1955. She organized and was first secretary of the Fort Worth Civic Music Association and served as the regional director of the Federal Music Project in Texas from its inception to its end (1936-41).
Colleges: George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville; University of Nashville

Isabella Offenbach Maas
Genres: Classical, Opera
Based in: Galveston
Instrument: opera singer
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany Birthdate: 3/11/1817 Deathdate: 2/19/1891
Isabella Offenbach Maas was an opera singer from Cologne, Germany. The daughter of the rabbi of Cologne, she was also the older sister of composer Jacques Offenbach. Her husband, Texan Samuel Maas, first saw her performing in a cathedral that he visited on one of his many trips to Europe. After their marriage in the spring of 1844 in Cologne, the couple settled in Galveston where Isabella barely survived an attack of yellow fever. She performed in Galveston mainly for family and friends, and often at her son Max's home on a special stage he built for her in his attic. She also conducted concerts for the German Ladies Benevolent Society and the French Benevolent Society.

Louise Massey Mabie ~ 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: San Angelo
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Midland Birthdate: 1902 Deathdate: 6/20/1983
Louise Massey Mabie, known as Louise Massey, was a country and western singer often labeled the "original rhinestone cowgirl" by later generations as she was known for her spectacular costumes and ladylike style on stage. Her career, which spanned the period from 1918 to 1950, marked a time when women first became prominent in country music. She formed a band in 1918 with her father, husband, and two brothers. The band, based in Roswell, New Mexico, was called Louise Massey and the Westerners. After playing local venues and touring the Texas area, the band auditioned for a music show, "The Red Path Chautauqua." The success of the audition led to a two-year tour of the United States and Canada. In 1930 the Westerners signed a five-year contract with CBS radio. In 1934 their song "When the White Azaleas Start Blooming" was released; it sold three million copies. Other hit songs included "South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)" and Louise's original composition "My Adobe Hacienda." The latter had the distinction of being listed on both the hillbilly and the pop charts simultaneously, causing some to classify it as the first-ever "crossover" hit. In 1938 Louise Massey began recording and singing for NBC programs in New York. She retired in 1950 to the Hondo valley in Texas. Louise Massey was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1982.

Armando Marroquín ~ 2
Genres: Tejano
Based in: Alice
Instrument: Tejano record label founder
Birthplace: Alice Birthdate: 9/12/1912 Deathdate: 7/4/1990
Buried at: Alice
The popular duet of Carmen y Laura consisted of sisters Carmen and Laura Hernández from Kingsville. Carmen married Armando who went into the jukebox business in nearby Alice. IDEAL Records was launched in 1946 after Marroquín released several records of Carmen y Laura. The first were recorded in the Marroquín kitchen. Their success brought businessman Paco Betancourt from San Benito to propose a partnership where Armando would make all the recordings, and receive all the records he needed for his jukeboxes. Paco Betancourt for his part would arrange for the manufacture of the discs and their distribution both in the U.S. and in Mexico.
Colleges: Texas A&I University in Kingsville
Sites of interest:
Marroquín started La Villita, an open air dance platform in Alice, where he featured top Tejano musicians. La Villita was later covered and transformed into a 700-seat ballroom. (3050 Old Kingsville Road in Alice)

Tina Marsh
Genres: Classical, Jazz
Based in: Austin
Instrument: voice, composer
Birthplace: Annapolis, MD Birthdate: 1/18/1954 Deathdate: 6/16/2009
A jazz vocalist and composer based in Austin, Texas, Tina Marsh was the co-founder and creative director of the Creative Opportunity Orchestra jazz ensemble, a member of the Texas Music Hall of Fame and a member of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. Born in Annapolis, MD, Marsh worked in New York and Philadelphia as an actor in musical theater before moving to Austin. She formed her first professional group, New Visions Ensemble with Alex Coke, Rock Savage, Booka Michel and Horatio Rodriguez. In 1980, Marsh studied at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York, later returning to Austin and joining the members of her former group to form the core of the Creative Opportunity Orchestra, an improvisational big band that could reach as many as two dozen members. Creative Opportunity Orchestra concerts were presented at unusual venues including the amphitheater at the Laguna Gloria art museum , playhouses, art spaces, schools, university theaters, or Austin's Victory Grill. Also, exotic foods were matched with concert themes to add to the experience. For more than a decade, Marsh presented her "Circle of Light" project to elementary schools, showcasing holiday music from around the world and celebrating diversity while focusing on light as a universal symbol. The project included multicultural musicians and dancers celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Diwali in a weeklong event, including music, food and dance in a workshop setting and ending with a formal performance. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994, Tina Marsh passed away on June 16, 2009
Schools: Creative Music Studio

William John Marsh
Genres: Classical
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: composer, educator, organ, piano
Birthplace: Woolton, Liverpool, England Birthdate: 6/24/1880 Deathdate: 2/1/1971
Buried at: Greenwood Cemetery in Fort Worth at 3100 White Settlement Road
Marsh published more than 100 works, mainly classical and sacred including "The Flower Fair at Peking" a one-act opera, reputedly the first opera to be composed and produced in Texas. He also composed the official Mass for the Texas Centennial and the state song, "Texas, Our Texas." John Philip Sousa once described "Texas, Our Texas" as the finest state song he had ever heard.
Colleges: He was professor of organ, composition, and theory at Texas Christian University.
Sites of interest:
Historical Marker located at 3100 White Settlement Road, Greenwood Cemetery, Fort Worth.

Lecil Travis "Boxcar Willie" Martin
Genres: Country, Gospel
Based in: Sterrett
Instrument: guitar, vocal
Birthplace: Sterrett Birthdate: 9/1/1931 Deathdate: 4/12/1999
Buried at: Ozarks Memorial Park, Branson, Taney County, Missouri
Martin was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and a regular guest on the long-running television show "Hee Haw." His "King of the Road" album, released in 1982, was number one on the British country music chart for nineteen weeks and eventually sold nearly a million copies in that country.

Mary Virginia Martin
Genres: Pop, Broadway
Based in: Weatherford
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Weatherford Birthdate: 12/1/1913 Deathdate: 11/3/1990
Mary Martin used her own optimistic tenacity to become a world renown musical theater star. Born in Weatherford, Texas. She gained singing spots on national radio broadcasts in Dallas and at Los Angeles nightclubs. Those spots led to Martin being cast in Cole Porter's production "Leave It To Me." Martin's rendition of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" soon endeared her to Broadway audiences. The film career she always dreamed of having followed, with appearances in 10 Paramount films. Martin won Tony Awards for performances Broadway performances in "Peter Pan" and "The Sound of Music." She is credited with having advanced the significance of the performer in musical theater. Larry Hagman, her son from her first marriage, also became a well known actor.

Narciso Martinez ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Tejano, Conjunto, Norteño
Based in: La Paloma
Instrument: vocals, accordion
Birthplace: Mexico Birthdate: 10/29/1911 Deathdate: 6/5/1992
Buried at: Montmeta Memorial Park in San Benito
Narciso Martínez is the "Father of the Texas-Mexican Conjunto." Martínez made major innovations in the development of the conjunto. He emphasized the right-side melody and treble notes of the accordion, leaving the left-side bass notes to the bajo sexto player. All other conjunto accordionists soon adopted this change. Narciso often played for Czech as well as for the Mexican audiences. This is important because it was Narciso Martinez who first recorded with saxophonist Beto Villa. Accompanied by a reduced orchestra, Beto and Narciso, changed the course and character of Tejano and Norteño music forever with these recordings.

Schools: Martínez received little formal education.

Lee Roy Matocha
Genres: Polka
Based in: Fayetteville
Instrument: vocals, accordion
Birthplace: La Grange Birthdate: 8/2/1933 Deathdate: 7/12/2003
Lee Roy Matocha was a long time KMIL Polka show host and band leader. He was a renowned accordion player for 56 years. Matocha formed the Lee Roy Matocha Orchestra in 1964. Matocha got his start playing accordion music with his Uncle Zbranek's Accordian Band of West Point, Texas in 1947. Even in retirement he continued to stay busy helping out other bands, and hosting as many as 13 polka radio shows per week over 7 different radio stations in Central and South Texas.

Pete Mayes ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Houston
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace:Anahuac Birthdate: 3/21/1938 Deathdate: 12/17/2008
Pete Mayes is a Texas blues legend. Mayes was enamored of the blues at a young age, and was just 16 years old when he was brought up on a Houston stage by his idol T-Bone Walker. He later joined Walker's band and would become Walker's bandleader. Through his career, Mayes performed with blues and jazz legends including Brown, Junior Parker, Bill Doggett, Lowell Fulsom, Count Basie, Buddy Guy, Big Joe Turner, Lionel Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie. And, of course, he also played with Walker, the epitome of the Texas blues that remained Mayes’ great love. Mayes became a well-known figure on the Texas blues circuit, and released three albums on his own before recording what would become his best-known effort, "For Pete's Sake", which was released by the Austin-based Antone's Records. The album won Mayes a W.C. Handy Award from the Blues Foundation and assured his reputation as one of the most overlooked and underrated talents in blues music.

Leon McAuliffe
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western, Western Swing
Based in: Houston
Instrument: steel guitar
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 1/3/1917 Deathdate: 9/20/1988
Leon McAuliffe became one of Country and Western Music's most recognizable and popular steel guitar players. At the age of sixteen, he was hired to play for W. Lee O'Daniel and the Light Crust Doughboys. Two years later, he signed on with Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys and quickly gained national prominence. McAuliffe's signature song, "Steel Guitar Rag," also brought the trademark phrase "Take it away, Leon," which Wills called out each time he introduced the song. The song has become somewhat of an anthem for all steel guitar players.

Laura Lee Owens McBride ~ 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western, Western Swing
Based in: Bryan
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: near the Canadian River in Oklahoma Birthdate: 1920 Deathdate: 1/25/1989
Buried at: Franklin Cemetery in Franklin, TX
Laura Lee Owens McBride was known as the "Queen of Western Swing" and was the first female vocalist to tour with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Her most famous song was "I Betcha My Heart I Love You." She also made thirteen movies with cowboy star Gene Autry, toured briefly with Tex Ritter, toured for eight years with Ernest Tubb and worked occasionally with Hank Williams.
Schools: She graduated from high school in Kansas City.

Red River Dave McEnery ~ 2
Genres: Christian, Country
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 12/15/1914 Deathdate: 1/15/2002
Red River Dave McEnry was known as the first country cowboy singer on television, appearing at New York's 1939 World's Fair. He is reputed to have written 52 songs in 12 hours while handcuffed to a piano. McEnery composed more than 1,000 songs during his career and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame Walkway of Stars in 1976.

John McGregor
Genres: Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Nacogdoches
Instrument: bagpipe
Birthplace: Scotland Birthdate: 1808 Deathdate: 3/6/1836
Alamo defender John McGregor was born in Scotland in 1808, but was living in Nacogdoches by 1836. He took part in the siege of Bexar and later served in the Alamo garrison as a second sergeant of Capt. William R. Carey's artillery company. It is said that during the siege of the Alamo, McGregor engaged in musical duels with David Crockett, McGregor playing the bagpipes and Crockett the fiddle. McGregor died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.

Max "Scotty McKay" Lipscomb ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Pop
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 1937 Deathdate: 3/17/1991
Vocalist Scotty McKay was a member of Gene Vincent's Blue Caps for a short period. He released numerous 45s throughout the 1960s and also sang vocals on The Gator Shades Blues Band 45, a Kenny And The Kasuals-related venture. He recorded a highly regarded version of "The Train Kept A Rollin.'" This was strongly rumored to have featured Jimmy Page on lead guitar, although it was actually Exotics guitarist Blair Smith.
Schools: Thomas Jefferson High

Raymond "Ray" Frederick McKinley ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Big Band, Jazz, Dixieland
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: bandleader, drums
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 6/18/1910 Deathdate: 5/7/1995
After drumming in the danceband led by fellow Texan, singer Smith Ballew, McKinley joined the Dorsey Brothers orchestra in 1934. When the band became Jimmy Dorsey's, after his brother Tommy walked out, McKinley remained in the drum chair until 1939. When World War II broke out, McKinley joined the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band and traveled throughout Europe playing for allied troops. In 1944, after Miller and most of the band died in a plane crash, McKinley carried on as bandleader.

Baylus Benjamin McKinney
Genres: Christian, Gospel
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: songwriter, teacher, music editor
Birthplace: Heflin, LA Birthdate: 7/22/1886 Deathdate: 9/7/1952
B. B. McKinney - gospel songwriter, teacher, and music editor - served as music editor for Robert Henry Coleman, songbook publisher in Dallas, and many of his works were originally published in Coleman's songbooks and hymnals. In 1919, after several months in the United States Army, McKinney returned to Fort Worth, where Isham E. Reynolds asked him to join the faculty of the School of Sacred Music at SWBTS, where he taught until 1932. In 1935 he was named music editor for the Baptist Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tennessee, where he edited the popular Broadman Hymnal (1940). In 1941 he became secretary of the newly formed Department of Church Music of the Sunday School Board, a post held until his death. During McKinney's career he led music in numerous revivals including those at the Buckner Orphan's Home in Dallas. He had a special relationship with the children there who, from his initials "B. B.," called him "Big Brother." He also taught in schools of church music in local Southern Baptist churches. Under his own name and pen names including Martha Annis, Otto Nellen, and Gene Routh, he composed words and music to 149 gospel hymns and songs, composed the music for 114 others, and arranged more than 100 works. Additionally, he contributed to several textbooks. He is included in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Gordon Barton McLendon ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Radio
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: radio programming innovator
Birthplace: Paris, TX Birthdate: 6/8/1921 Deathdate: 9/14/1986
Buried at: died at his ranch home near Lake Dallas, Texas.
McLendon "the Old Scotchman" is credited by most broadcast historians with having established the first mobile news units in American radio, the first traffic reports, the first jingles, the first all-news radio station, and the first "easy-listening" programming. He also was among the first broadcasters in the United States to editorialize. He introduced five-minute bit news broadcasts and pioneered in top-forty record presentations as a standard format for radio. McLendon bought an interest in radio station KNET, Palestine. Later, Gordon and B.R. (his father) formed Trinity Broadcasting and the new radio station KLIF was their first acquisitioin.
Colleges: Yale University; Kemper Military Academy, Booneville, Missouri
Sites of interest:
An Inventory of His Papers, 1917-1978, are at the Texas Tech Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library in Lubbock.
KLIF originally broadcast out of the basement of the "Cliff Towers Hotel" at 329 East Colorado in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas.

Shirley McPhatter
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Unavailable Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: 3/31/1994
Shirley McPhatter was a jazz vocalist who lived the Oak Cliff area of Dallas. The African American Museum (located at 3536 Grand Avenue, Dallas, TX 75315-0153; 214-565-9026 ext. 312) has about 500 albums of jazz in its music archives donated by her husband.
Sites of interest:
African American Museum

Huey P. Meaux ~ 2
Genres: Pop, Rock, Swamp Pop
Based in: Houston
Instrument: Producer, Talent Scout
Birthplace: Wright, LA Birthdate: 03/10/1929 Deathdate: 04/23/2011
Henry P. Meaux produced several hits from 1959 up to the 1970s, including "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" by Jivin’ Gene,"She's About a Mover" by the Sir Douglas Quintet, "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" and "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" by Freddy Fender, "You'll Lose A Good Thing" by Barbara Lynn, "Talk To Me" by Sunny & The Sunliners and "Big Blue Diamonds" by Gene Summers. The style was known as swamp pop, a nod to the home-region of the songwriters. Before becoming a producer, Meaux worked as a barber in Winnie, TX, and as a DJ in Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Houston, TX, where he dubbed himself the "Crazy Cajun." Meaux took over Sugar Hill studios in the 1970s, where he worked with Doug Sahm, Lightnin' Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Clifton Chenier, Dr. John, George Jones, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Freddy Fender and Jerry Lee Lewis. In 2011, Sugar Hill celebrated its 70th anniversary; it is the longest continually operating recording facility in the state of Texas. In 1996, Meaux was convicted of child pornography, sex with a minor, and drug trafficking charges. He was released from prison in 2007 due to poor health and returned to his home in Winnie, TX, where he died of organ failure at the age of 82.

Joe "Joe Medwick" Medwick Veasey
Genres: Blues, R&B
Based in: Houston
Instrument: vocals, songwriter
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 6/22/1931 Deathdate: 4/12/1992
A native Houstonian and vocalist, Joe Medwick Veasey is best remembered as a songwriter who's most famous tune, "Farther On Up the Road," has been performed by Eric Clapton, James Brown, T-Bone Walker, Jimmie Smith, Robin Trower, Gary Moore, Lonnie Mack and more. Medwick began singing Gospel with the Chosen Gospel Singers in the late 1940s. In the 1950s he began recording for and selling songs to Don Robey at Duke-Peacock Records. Although their records are incomplete, it seems certain that Medwick wrote "Further On Up The Road," "I Pity The Fool," "Cry Cry Cry" and "Call On Me" for Bobby "Blue" Bland and "Driving Wheel" for Junior Parker. Medwick's classic recordings from this period include "Second Time Around," "I Cried" and "You Ain't Treating Her Right." Throughout the 1960s Joe Medwick wrote for a variety of Houston based labels recording blues and soul sides such as "You Made Me Love You," "Nearer To You," "Have Fun Baby" and "This Is Why The End Must Begin." Medwick's 1985 single "She Fooled Me This Time" / "If I Don't Get Involved" led to interest from Black Top Records who paired Medwick with Grady Gaines & the Texas Upsetters for several recordings.

Leonora Mendoza ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Tejano
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: San Luis Potosí, Mexico Birthdate: Unavailable Deathdate: 1952
Leonora Mendoza learned to sing from her mother who, some sources say, taught music in Rosita, Coahuila. Three of Leonora's eight children became popular female singers among Mexican Texans. Leonora Mendoza passed on the repertoire she learned from her mother to her own children and in 1927-28 organized the family into a musical and performing troupe called La Familia Mendoza. Around 1928 they recorded a double sided disc for which they received $140. Because of the growing success of daughter, Lydia, the family toured throughout the Southwest and Midwest. Leonora organized and directed the shows, which included music, skits, and comedy routines. When World War II started, La Familia Mendoza's touring stopped due to gasoline and tire rationing. Mendoza then accompanied daughters Juanita and María, as Las Hermanas Mendoza, on the guitar in San Antonio. The success of the women was great enough to help them purchase the first family home in San Antonio. After the war La Familia Mendoza's show, now expanded to include Lydia as a soloist and Juanita and María as Las Hermanas Mendoza, did a six-months-a-year tour throughout the Southwest for the next six years.
Sites of interest:
Leonora convinced Arturo Vásquez, the proprietor of Club Bohemia in San Antonio, to let them sing at his club starting at $10 a night plus tips. Later, she was able to set up an arrangement at the Pullman Bar moving up to $15 plus tips.

Lydia Mendoza ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Tejano
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 5/21/1916 Deathdate: 12/20/2007
"La Alondra de la Frontera," the Lark of the Border singer Lydia Mendoza was an early legend of Tejano music. Born in to a musical family on May 21, 1916, in Houston, Texas; she performed with her parents and sister Francisca in La Familia Mendoza. The family first recorded in San Antonio for the Okeh label before moving to Detroit Michigan as migrant workers. While in Detroit, they continued to earn a dedicated fanbase. In the 1930s, the Mendoza family returned to San Antonio to play the Plaza de Zacate and in 1934 recorded another six songs. Lydia was also offered a chance to record six songs solo including "Mal Hombre" which became a major hit in the Spanish speaking community. This led to a contract with Bluebird records and she recorded close to 200 songs from 1934 to 1940. The family stopped touring during World War II. After her mother's death in 1952, Mendoza pursued a solo career as both performer and composer, recording for Falcon, Ideal and Victor and writing "Amor Bonito". She announced her retirement in 1988. In 1999, she was presented with the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton.

Johann Nicholaus Simon Menger
Genres: Classical, German
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: piano teacher, choral conductor
Birthplace: Stadtilm, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Thuringia Birthdate: 6/6/1807 Deathdate: 1892
Simon Menger founded the San Antonio Männergesang-Verein in July 1847, possibly the first formally organized male singing society in Texas. He was a teacher in Germany for many years before immigrating to Texas as a member of Castro's colony. After arriving in Galveston, Menger moved from town to town working as a farmer until he moved to San Antonio in June 1847 to work as a piano teacher. In 1850 Menger opened a soap and candle factory, which became his principal source of income. The business, San Antonio's first industrial enterprise, prospered, and after Menger's death it was taken over by his son Erich, who operated it until the end of World War I. Menger must have let his singing society lapse, for the Männergesang-Verein seems to have been reorganized on March 2, 1851. The society continued to make progress under Menger until he resigned in early March 1853. Late the same year he composed a male chorus, "Deutscher Sang," for the New Braunfels Germania society, but Menger's public musical activities became fewer as his soap business prospered. He sang sporadically with the San Antonio chorus for another two years and afterwards essentially restricted his musical activities to teaching piano, primarily to family members.

Henry E. Meyer ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Classical
Based in: Georgetown
Instrument: Collegiate Dean, vocals
Birthplace: NA Birthdate: NA Deathdate: NA
Henry E. Meyer was the first Dean of Fine Arts at Southwestern University in 1941. He arranged "Hog Drover's Song." Southwestern University now houses the Henry E. Meyer Hymnal Collection.

Johannes Mgebroff
Genres: Christian
Based in: Salem
Instrument: Lutheran pastor, writer, historian
Birthplace: Mikolajeff in South Russia Birthdate: 7/18/1868 Deathdate: 5/24/1920
Johannes Mgebroff was a Lutheran pastor, composer, writer, and historian who settled in Giddings in 1894. In 1902 Wartburg Publishing House of Chicago published his noted "Die Geschichte der ersten deutschen evangelisch-lutherischen Synode in Texas" (The History of the First German Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Texas). Mgebroff also composed church music. While writing a book on the history of famous Christian women of the world, he died at his home at Salem on May 24, 1920, and was buried in Salem Cemetery, which in 1984 was all that remained of the community.
Schools: He attended school in Russia and at Dorpat, Germany.
Colleges: St. Chrischona in Switzerland

Lena Triplett Milam
Genres: Classical
Based in: Beaumont
Instrument: music teacher
Birthplace: Sweet Springs, MO Birthdate: 10/19/1884 Deathdate: 11/8/1984
Lena Triplett Milam was a music teacher and a pioneer in the development of community music based primarily in Beaumont. In 1911 she began teaching in Beaumont. In 1919 she became music supervisor of the Beaumont schools, a position she held until her retirement in 1955. Under Mrs. Milam's direction the Beaumont High School Orchestra became well known throughout the state. She developed a music-appreciation program that involved the community as well as students. She was a charter member and president of the Music Study Club. She served as co-chairman of the city's first Music Week celebration (1922) and helped develop the Beaumont Music Commission (1923) and the Beaumont Symphony Orchestra (1953). She also founded and directed the Schubert Ensemble, a group that gained considerable distinction for its community performances in the 1930s. In 1929 she organized the First Methodist Orchestra, an ensemble that became a regular part of the church's Sunday night services. Milam was president of the Texas Federation of Music Clubs from 1932 to 1934 and served on the organization's national board until her retirement in 1955. She often served as chairman of the music division of the Texas State Teachers Association and was on committees of the Texas Music Educators' Association, the National Education Association, and the Texas Music Teachers Association. She was the author of a graded music-workbook series published by the Steck-Vaughn Company of Austin. She wrote a Handbook for Junior Clubs Counselors published by the National Federation of Music Clubs in 1954.
Schools: She attended school in Sweet Springs and later in Ennis, Texas.
Colleges: North Texas Normal School; North Texas State Teachers College

Amos Milburn ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues
Based in: Houston
Instrument: piano, vocals
Birthplace: Houston Birthdate: 4/1/1927 Deathdate: 1/3/1980
Self-taught rocking rhythm and blues pianist, singer, and bandleader Amos Milburn is considered by many to be "the first of the great Texas R&B singers." In 1942, at age fifteen, Milburn lied about his age and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He spent just over three years in the Pacific theater, where he entertained troops with his lively piano tunes. Upon returning to Houston, Milburn put together a band and played clubs all over Houston and the surrounding suburbs. Amos Milburn began his twelve-year recording relationship with Aladdin Records in 1946. He recorded about 125 songs, most of them arranged by saxophonist Maxwell Davis. Milburn's record, "After Midnite," sold over 50,000 copies. In 1949, Milburn was Billboard's best selling R&B artist. Maxwell Davis helped Milburn on seven of his greatest hits: "Chicken Shack Boogie," "In the Middle of the Night," "Hold Me Baby," "Bad Bad Whiskey," "Good Good Whiskey," "Vicious, Vicious Vodka," "Let's Have a Party," "House Party (Tonight)," Let Me Go Home, Whiskey," and "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer." Milburn also recorded for labels such as Ace, King, and Motown. Miburn's rocking, boogie-woogie piano style greatly influenced younger artists, including Fats Domino and Little Richard. In fact, Milburn songs - such as "Let's Rock a While" in 1951 and "Rock, Rock, Rock" in 1952 - predated the mid-1950s surge in popularity of rock and roll.

Roger Dean Miller 2 ~ 3
Genres: Country
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: guitar, vocals, composer
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 1/2/1936 Deathdate: 10/25/1992
Buried at: Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.
Roger Dean Miller earned eleven Grammy awards, both as composer and performer in the categories of contemporary and country and western. In 1985 he received five Tony awards for his score to "Big River," a musical based on "Huckleberry Finn." His hits include "When Two Worlds Collide," "Chug-a-lug," "Dang Me," "King of the Road," "Engine, Engine No. 9," "Kansas City Star," and "One Dyin and a-Buryin'."
Schools: His schooling ended before graduation from high school.

Dan "Slamfoot" Minor
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: trombone
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 8/10/1909 Deathdate: 8/11/1982
Dan Minor is best known for being the main trombone soloist with Count Basie's Orchestra, albeit for a short period of time. Minor started out playing professionally in 1926 with the Blue Moon Chasers in Dallas. Minor worked in the Midwest with Walter Page's Blue Devils (1927-29), Ben Smith's Blue Syncopators, Earl Dykes, Gene Coy's Black Aces, Lloyd Hunter's Serenaders, Alphonso Trent (1931) and Bennie Moten's final orchestra (1931-34). Minor joined Basie's big band in Kansas City in 1936 and stayed for five years, through Basie's successes in New York. Minor was eventually underfeatured due to the presence of Benny Morton, Dicky Wells and Vic Dickenson at various times in the trombone section. After leaving Basie, Minor was with the orchestras of Buddy Johnson (1941-44), Mercer Ellington, Lucky Millinder and Willie Bryant (1946). He retired from full-time playing when the swing era ended, but played on a part-time basis throughout the remainder of his life. In addition to Basie, Minor recorded with Walter Page (1929), Bennie Moten (including on his classic session in 1932), Sidney Bechet (1938) and Buddy Johnson.

Joseph Charles Miszner
Genres: Classical
Based in: Henderson
Instrument: composer, professor
Birthplace: Prussia Birthdate: 7/9/1822 Deathdate: 8/11/1918
Buried at: Mount Enterprise, Texas
Historical Marker Text: Professor of Music. Born in kingdom of Prussia. Known as a pupil of composer Franz Liszt and a graduate of Leipzig Conservatory. Came to America in 1845; was naturalized in 1860 (Vol. H, page 408), Probate Records, Rusk County, Texas). A composer and teacher of music and languages, he became a large landowner and respected citizen of Henderson. Married (in 1868) Margaret Harwood McClarty; had a son, Wiley Harris Miszner.
Colleges: Leipzig Conservatory
Sites of interest:
Historical Grave Marker located in the city of Mount Enterprise, Texas.

Charles Moffett ~ 2
Genres: Jazz
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: drums
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 9/11/1929 Deathdate: 2/14/1997
Jazz drummer Charles Moffett was known primarily for his work with fellow Texan Ornette Coleman. Charles Moffett was born on September 11, 1929, in Fort Worth, Texas. His family attended services on a daily basis at the local sanctified church, where music was central to the services and his mother was the pianist. Charles developed an interest in and an ear for music - at the local sanctified church, where music was central to the services and his mother was the pianist - that eventually led him to take up playing the trumpet. In high school, he joined the marching band, switched to drums, and began playing on the local music scene-including a stint with Jimmy Witherspoon's band. He met Ornette Coleman during this period, and the two became close friends. After graduation, Moffett served in the Navy and became an accomplished boxer, but music remained his obsession. Upon being discharged from the Navy, he entered Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas, to study music. He graduated in 1953, married (with Coleman presiding as best man), and was hired as a music education teacher at the public school in Rosenberg, Texas. Moffett played music on the local scene and experienced his first brush with fame when he spent a summer drumming for Little Richard. In 1961, beckoned by Coleman to New York City, Moffett began a successful, yet rocky stint on the city's jazz scene. Although Coleman paid his band mates well, work was sporadic, and this led Moffett to supplement his income by teaching. Musical differences eventually dissolved the partnership and subsequently led Moffett to Oakland, California, in 1968. After quickly gaining a reputation in Oakland by setting up a successful music studio, he was named the city's music director. He also organized a band - the Moffettettes - which included his children and several of their schoolmates. The band played throughout California and made several recordings. In the 1980s, Moffett and his family moved back to New York, where he took a job teaching mentally retarded children. He remained musically active on the local scene, but never reached the prominence of his earlier years.
Schools: I. M. Terrell High School (historical marker at 1411 East 18th Street, Fort Worth)
Colleges: Huston-Tillotson College in Austin

Roy Montelongo ~ 2
Genres: Big Band, Tejano
Based in: Austin
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Hays County Birthdate: 9/21/1938 Deathdate: Unavailable
Roy Montelongo joined Beto Villa's orquestra in 1954 as a saxophonist and stayed until 1957. He later joined Isidro Lopez's orquestra and played with Freddie Martinez. He formed his own band in 1964 and cut his first album for Valmon Records. He gave up performing after his Father's death in 1967 and began a long career as a radio announcer.

Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery
Genres: Country
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: banjo
Birthplace: Rinard, IA Birthdate: 1913 Deathdate: 6/6/2001
Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery was a member of The Light Crust Doughboys - one of country music's top bands since the 1930s - and the man known worldwide for introducing Dixieland-style jazz banjo to western swing music. Since joining the band in 1935 and continuing through concert appearances as late as May 2001, the influence of Montgomery can be heard every time western swing music, Dixieland-style jazz banjo, or intricate, swinging banjo solos are played. In February 2001, Smokey was honored with a Grammy nomination in gospel music for his work with The Light Crust Doughboys, and he earned Grammy nominations in 1997, 1998 and 2000 for best recorded work.

Alexander Herman "Whistlin' Alex" Moore 2 3 4
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: piano, vocals
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 11/22/1899 Deathdate: 1/20/1989
Buried at: Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Dallas
Moore arrived at his unique sound during the 1920s by combining elements of various musical styles, including blues, ragtime, barrelhouse boogie, and stride. He acquired the nickname "Whistlin' Alex" for a piercing whistle he made with his lips curled back while playing the piano. Moore was among the first of his peers to record in a studio. In 1987 he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He became the first African-American Texan to receive this honor. On November 22, 1988, the state of Texas designated his birthday "Alex Moore Day."
Schools: He dropped out of the sixth grade to support his mother and two siblings.

Billie "Tiny" Moore ~ 2
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western
Based in: Port Arthur
Instrument: mandolin, fiddle, vocals, guitar, drums
Birthplace: Energy Birthdate: 5/12/1920 Deathdate: 12/15/1987
Billie "Tiny" Moore is most known for playing fiddle in the legendary western swing band, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Beginning in 1937, Moore traveled the South playing mandolin in several bands. Moore joined Bob Wills and his band the Texas Playboys after serving in World War II. After years with the Texas Playboys, Moore formed a Western Swing band with Bob's younger brother, Billy Jack Wills. Moore arranged most of the music and played fiddle on his newly built Bigsby 5-string electric mandolin. Billy Jack played drums, and a young Vance Terry played steel guitar in the ensemble. In 1954, the band broke up, but Moore continued to play with Bob and Billy Jack Wills at local venues throughout the decade. In 1961, Moore opened the Tiny Moore Music Center, where he gave lessons on mandolin, fiddle, and guitar. He focused on teaching throughout much of the 1960s and wrote an instructional book called "Tiny Moore's Music." Moore played as a guest musician on numerous albums and was a member of Merle Haggard's band in the mid-1970s. In 1972, Moore recorded his first solo album "Tiny Moore's Music." In 1973, he played on Bob Wills's final recording, "For the Last Time."

Cecil Moore
Genres:
Country, Rockabilly
Based in: Luling
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Luling Birthdate: 7/5/1929 Deathdate: 2/9/2006
Cecil Moore was a deep-voiced, guitar-slinging, country-rockabilly maverick that released several singles on Sarg Records. All Music Guide notes: "Cecil Moore's 1964 instrumental single 'Diamond Back' has a little bit of Lonnie Mack about it; a regional hit that was picked up by Atco for national distribution, it was as close as Sarg came to getting a national hit."

Johnny Moore ~ 2
Genres: Blues
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar, vocals
Birthplace: Austin Birthdate: 10/20/1906 Deathdate: 1/5/1969
Moore (whose brother Oscar played guitar in the Nat King Cole Trio), Eddie Williams, and Charles Brown formed Johnny Moore's Three Blazers. They cut "Drifting Blues," which went to number 2 on Billboard magazine's R&B charts. Cash Box voted it R&B Record of the Year in 1946. Other hits include "Merry Christmas, Baby" which went to number 3 on the charts. Moore performed solos on recordings by Ivory Joe Hunter, Floyd Dixon, and Charles Brown. B.B. King lists Moore as one of the top ten guitarists of all time.

Photo of Oscar Moore Oscar Frederic Moore ~ 2 ~ 3
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Based in: Austin
Instrument: guitar
Birthplace: Austin Birthdate: 12/25/1912 Deathdate: 10/8/1981
An excellent guitarist influenced after 1939 by Charlie Christian, Moore was an invaluable part of the Nat King Cole Trio during 1937-47, appearing on virtually all of Cole's records during the period. He also recorded with Lionel Hampton, Art Tatum, the Capitol Jazzmen, Lester Young, and his brother Johnny Moore in the Three Blazers. He is considered one of the first important modern combo guitarists. According to jazz guitarist Barney Kessel, Oscar Moore practically invented the role of the guitarist in small combo jazz.








Winston Lee "Slim Willett" Moore ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Abilene
Instrument: vocals, songwriter
Birthplace: Victor Birthdate: 12/1/1919 Deathdate: 7/1/1966
Buried at: died in Abilene
Slim Willet was best known for writing "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes," a hit for Perry Como, Skeets McDonald and Ray Price. Other songs included: "Star Light Waltz," "Tool Pusher From Snyder," "Party Party," and "The Abilene Waltz." Willet became a regular on KRBC Abilene, WFAA Dallas' "Big D Jamboree," KNIT Abilene, and later purchased part of Abilene's KCAD. He also joined Shreveport's Louisiana Hayride in 1951 and debuted on the Grand Ole Opry in 1954.
Schools: Clyde High School
Colleges: Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene

Madeline Charlotte Moorman ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Classical, Performance Artist
Based in: Austin
Instrument: cello, performance artist
Birthplace: Little Rock, AR Birthdate: 11/18/1933 Deathdate: 11/8/1991
Madeline Charlotte Moorman was born in Little Rock, AR. A cello player from age 10, she won a scholarship to Centenary College in Shreveport, LA, earning a BA in music in 1955. She continued her education at the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a M.A. and, in 1962, went on to postgraduate studies at The Juilliard School. Moorman began a traditional career as a concert cellist, but became active in the performance art scene of the 1960s, touring and collaborating with Korean avant-garde artist Nam June Paik. In 1963, she established the New York Avant Garde Festival which played in locations around the city including Central Park and the Staten Island Ferry until 1980. In 1967, Moorman was arrested on charges of indecent exposure and given a suspended sentence for her performance of Paik's Opera Sextronique earning nationwide fame as the "topless cellist". In addition to being a performer, Moorman negotiated with the bureaucracies of New York and other major cities to cooperate with and provide facilities for advanced art including pieces that were thought of as controversial and challenging. Diagnosed with breast cancer in the 1970s, Moorman underwent a mastectomy and despite deteriorating health continued performing through the 1980s. She died of cancer in New York City on November 8, 1991, at age 57.
Colleges: University of Texas at Austin

Eracleo "Rocky" Morales
Genres: R&B
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: saxophone
Birthplace: Birthdate: 12/31/1940 Deathdate: 8/2/2006
Eracleo "Rocky" M. Morales was a fixture of San Antonio's music scene and with Louis Bustos, saxophone and Charlie McBurney, trumpet was a founding member of the West Side Horns. Rocky started playing sax in junior high and at Fox Tech High School. He began working with Doug Sahm and Augie Meyers in the early 1960s. inventing his "West Side tenor style" and continued to work with the two, both solo and with the Sir Douglas Quintet and the Texas Tornados on and off for years to come, touring the world including a show at Carnegie Hall. He was a founding member of the West Side Horns. He also played with Joe & the VIPs, Rudy & the Reno Bops, and Joe "King" Carrasco, Rick Danko, Randy Garibay, Kim Wilson, Johnny Nicholas and Lou Ann Barton.

Felix Hessbrook Morales
Genres: Regional Mexican, Tejano
Based in: New Braunfels
Instrument: radio station owner, radio personality, guitar
Birthplace: New Braunfels Birthdate: 5/27/1907 Deathdate: 6/8/1988
Buried at: Morales Cemetery in Houston
Felix and his wife Angela created radio station KLVL, "La Voz Latina," the first Spanish-language radio station to cover news for the Gulf Coast area. KLVL produced various news, education, and music programs including "Yo necesito trabajo" ("I need a job"), during which unemployed persons called in and received job referrals. Angie Morales also produced "Que Dios se lo pague" ("May God reward you") where she asked her listeners to assist needy cases in the community. Because of its commitment to community service, KLVL was dubbed "la madre de los Mexicanos."
Colleges: Felix and Angelo both graduated from the Landig School of Mortuary Science in the 1930s.
Sites of interest:
An elementary school in Pasadena was named for Morales in 1991 at 305 West Harris Avenue.
The original building on the HCCS Eastside Campus is named in honor of Felix Morales at 6815 Rustic Street in Houston.
The Angela V. Morales Building is also located on the HCC-Southeast Eastside Campus at 6815 Rustic Street in Houston.
Felix opened his first funeral home at 2701 Navigation Street in Houston's Second Ward.

Tom Morrell
Genres: Country, Cowboy/Western, Jazz
Based in: Little Elm
Instrument: steel guitar
Birthplace: Dallas Birthdate: 10/31/1938 Deathdate: 1/29/2007
Dallas native Tom Morrell is considered one of the greatest steel guitar players of all time. Morrell first picked up a guitar at St. James Catholic School in Oak Cliff. His music carreer spanned more than fifty years as he recorded or toured with a diverse group of artists including Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Day, Herb Remington, Asleep at the Wheel, The Cornell Hurd Band, Craig Chambers, Johnny Bush, Don Edwards, Red Steagall, and Talking Heads. In 2001 Tom Morrell was indicted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame and was one of the founders and designers of MSA Pedal Steel Guitars.
Sites of interest: Steel Guitar Hall of Fame
MSA Pedal Steel Guitars

Harold Morris
Genres: Classical
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: composer
Birthplace: San Antonio Birthdate: 3/17/1890 Deathdate: 5/6/1964
Harold Morris was a highly regarded musician, teacher and lecturer who toured often around the United States to perform recitals and give lectures. He held the guest music lectureship at Rice Institute (now Rice University) in 1933. The lectures at Rice were later published as Contemporary Music (1934). In 1939 and 1940 he gave lectures and recitals at Duke University. Morris' compositions include three symphonies, piano and violin concertos and sonatas, chamber music, and solos. His works won the Juilliard Publication Award, the New York State and National awards of the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Publication Award of the National Association of American Composers and Conductors, the Philadelphia Music Guild Award, the Fellowship of American Composers Award, and the Award of Merit from the National Association of Composers and Conductors for service to American music.

Terry Morris ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Greenwood
Instrument: fiddle
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 3/6/1956 Deathdate: 9/7/1988
Terry Morris gave his first public performance at the age of two singing "Cotton Fields Back Home" at a school program in Fort Worth. Terry won innumberable awards including: Texas Old Time Fiddlers Association Winner, 5 years Crockett World Champion Fiddler, 3 successive years Grand Masters Champion at Nashville, 3 successive years Texas State Champion Fiddlers' Frolics in Hallettsville. Morris was a featured star at the Grand Ole Opry in 1976.
Annual event:
Texas State Championship Fiddlers Frolic

Ella Mae Morse ~ 2
Genres:
Blues, Jazz
Based in: Mansfield
Instrument: vocals
Birthplace: Mansfield Birthdate: 9/12/1924 Deathdate: 10/16/1999
Buried at: Unavailable
When she was 13, she boldly auditioned with Jimmy Dorsey's band at Dallas' Adolphus Hotel. She and her mother told Dorsey she was 19, and he hired her. Ella Mae's recording of "Cow Cow Boogie" with Freddie Slack's group became Capitol's first gold record. Ella Mae Morse was one of the most exciting vocalists of the 1940s-1950s. She worked with: Freddie Slack, Benny Carter, Barney Kessel, Gerald Wiggins, Pete Johnson, Jimmy Rowles, Red Callender, Al Hendrickson, Jimmy Bryant, Speedy West, and Alvin Stoller. Her songs, including "The House of Blue Lights," earned her 10 gold records.

Aubrey Wilson "Moon" Mullican ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Genres: Country
Based in: Corrigan
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Corrigan or Moscow in Polk County Birthdate: 3/27/1909 Deathdate: 1/27/1967
Aubrey Wilson "Moon" Mullican - "King of the Hillbilly Piano Players" - played with the Blue Ridge Playboys, a band that included such pioneers as Leon (Pappy) Selph, Floyd Tillman, and Ted Daffan; he later worked with Cliff Bruner's bands, the Texas Wanderers and the Showboys. Mullican sang the lead vocal on the classic "Truck Driver's Blues" and played a role in the movie "Village Barn Dance". With King Records he recorded Harry H. Choates' "New Jole Blon" and "I'll Sail My Ship Alone" that sold over a million copies each. He recorded a total of 100 songs for King Records, partially owned several nightclubs in Texas, and served as a supporting musician on more than 200 recordings by other performers. He joined the cast of the "Grand Ole Opry" and was probably the first singing piano player to perform as a solo act on a regular basis. Mullican's bobbing two-finger piano style influenced other musicians such as Jerry Lee Lewis and his cousin, Mickey Gilley.

Carolina Malpica Munguía ~ 2
Genres: Tejano
Based in: San Antonio
Instrument: piano
Birthplace: Puebla, Mexico Birthdate: 1891 Deathdate: 5/25/1977
Carolina Malpica Munguía was a teacher, radio personality, and founder of many organizations. She was the grandmother of Henry Cisneros, the first Mexican-American mayor of San Antonio. In 1926, she moved to San Antonio where she taught Spanish classes at the Wesleyan Institute. Carolina was the first Mexican woman on the radio in San Antonio and around 1932 she started a radio program, "La Estrella," on KONO. In it she selected music, literature, and discussed the geography and culture of Mexico. Her lengthy career included establishing and operating the family printing business, Munguía Printers, of which she was vice president. She helped found the Círculo Social Feminino de México, a women's group dedicated to help people of Mexican origin. Carolina Munguía served as secretary and then president of the Crockett Latin American Parent-Teachers Association, an affiliate of the Spanish-Speaking PTA formed to counter discrimination. And she worked with El Patronato, a group that supported the founding of the Universidad Autónoma de México in San Antonio.
Schools: Munguía received her primary education in Puebla, Mexico.
Colleges: Munguía obtained her teacher's certificate from the Instituto Normal Methodista for women in 1911 and did graduate work in English.

Audie Leon Murphy ~ 2
Genres: Country
Based in: Kingston
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Kingston Birthdate: 6/20/1924 Deathdate: 5/28/1971
Buried at: Arlington National Cemertery
Audie Leon Murphy, at the time of his death the most decorated combat soldier in United States history. He subsequently pursued several careers. He was a successful movie actor, a lyric writer for country and western songs, an author, and a poet. He appeared in forty-five motion pictures and starred in thirty-nine of them. His best known films were "The Red Badge of Courage" (1951), "To Hell and Back" (1955), "Night Passage" (1957, with James Stewart), and "The Unforgiven" (1960, with Burt Lancaster). In 1955 Murphy was selected one of the year's most popular Western stars by United States theater owners, and in 1957 he was chosen as the most popular Western actor by British audiences. He wrote the lyrics for fourteen songs and collaborated on three instrumentals. Two of his songs, "Shutters and Boards" and "When the Wind Blows in Chicago," were recorded by such top-ranking vocalists as Dean Martin, Porter Waggoner, and Eddy Arnold. Both were in the top ten songs on the Hit Parade for several weeks. With David McClure, Murphy wrote the best selling book "To Hell and Back" (1949), the story of his World War II exploits, which went through nine printings and was made into a successful motion picture by the same name, starring Murphy.
Annual event: Audie Days - Two-day event June 17-18 in Greenville, TX to honor Audie Murphy, most decorated soldier of World War II along with all military veterans.

William McKinley "Billy" Muth
Genres: Christian, Classical
Based in: Fort Worth
Instrument: organ, piano
Birthplace: Allentown, PA Birthdate: 1902 Deathdate: 1949
Buried at: Greenwood Cemetery in Fort Worth at 3100 White Settlement Road
Historical Marker Text: William McKinley (Billy) Muth made significant contributions to Texas' cultural history. Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Muth was a church organist at the age of nine. Nationally known as "the master of the keyboard," Muth was organist at Casa Manana during the 1936 Texas Centennial, the Worth Theatre, multi-instrument Fort Worth symphony musician and church organist. A Paramount/Publix Theatres' pipe organist, Muth opened theatres across the United States. Settling in Texas in 1926, Muth performed concerts, benefits, and taught statewide organ and music seminars. Muth became a member of the American Guild of Organists on March 10, 1947. In 2004, he posthumously received The President's Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement in Music from Five Towns College, Long Island, New York. Five Towns College also houses the Billy Muth Memorial Collection containing over seven thousand pieces of professional sheet music.
Sites of interest:
Historical Marker located at 3100 White Settlement Road, Greenwood Cemetery, Fort Worth.
Billy Muth Collection at the Bowld Music Library, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.
Muth was organist at Casa Manana, located at 3101 West Lancaster in Fort Worth.
Billy was the organist at First Baptist Church located at 5001 Northeast Loop 820 in Fort Worth.
Five Towns College, Long Island, New York.

Alan Glenn Myers
Genres: Blues, Folk/Acoustic
Based in: Austin
Instrument: vocals, guitar
Birthplace: Fort Worth Birthdate: 5/24/1947 Deathdate: 6/4/2000
Alan Glenn Myers, who wrote and performed as Glen Alyn, was the author of Texas Blue's legend Mance Lipscomb's oral autobiography, "I Say Me for a Parable." Myers was a musician, poet, author and songwriter who was present in the recording studio for every session of the band Ride the Blind.

Sam Myers
Genres: Blues
Based in: Dallas
Instrument: vocals, harmonica, drums
Birthplace: Laurel, MS Birthdate: 2/191936 Deathdate: 7/17/2006
Buried at: Near Meridian, MS
Sam Myers received a non-degree scholarship from the American Conservatory School of Music in Chicago where he spent his days in the classroom and his nights honing his blues chops in the rough nightclubs of Chicago's South Side. Myers sat in with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Hound Dog Taylor, Robert Lockwood, Jr. and Elmore James, playing drums with James on a steady basis from 1952 until James' death in 1963. In 1956, Sam wrote and recorded what was to be his most famous single, "Sleeping In The Ground," since covered by Eric Clapton, and Robert Cray among others. Myers spent the 1960s, 70s and early 80s working the clubs in and around Jackson and across the South and touring the world with Sylvia Embrey and the Mississippi All-Stars Blues Band. In 1986, Sam joined Anson Funderburgh and The Rockets as their featured vocalist. The Rockets traveled all over the US and the world, winning nine W.C. Handy blues awards.
Schools: The Piney Woods School
Colleges: American Conservatory of Music

 

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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 interns Cory Kenworthy and Rebeca Rosenberg, 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.