Texas Music

UTEP scientists spot bird not seen in decades

A unanimous decision from the U.S. Supreme Court reverses a challenge to Donald Trump’s eligibility to remain on primary ballots, just ahead of Super Tuesday.

The Texas Newsroom’s Rachel Osier Lindley shares an update on wildfires in the Texas Panhandle, where the biggest blaze in state history is only 15% contained.

We’ll have more on some key races to watch, from Abilene to Dallas County, as Texans prepare to go to the polls tomorrow.

And: The yellow-crested helmetshrike, a bird long feared extinct, was discovered by a team of scientists from the University of Texas at El Paso on an expedition to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Texas Standard: November 21, 2022

‘Tis the season for bill filing; a quick look at what filing season in the Texas legislature tells us about lawmaker priorities for the coming session. Other stories we’re watching: an earthquake recorded in west Texas last week, the third biggest ever recorded in the state, what it could mean for the oil and gas industry. And a nuclear reactor taking shape on the campus of Abilene Christian University, we’ll hear why. Also how military families are trying to deal with the search for suitable housing. These stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Joe King Carrasco y Colectivo Chihuaha: “Carrera Larga”

If you have even cursory knowledge of the Tex-Mex genre, then you’ve likely already heard the name Joe “King” Carrasco. Born in the Texas panhandle and currently calling Southwest Mexico his home, Joe King Carrasco’s approaching a half century worth of innovative music output, with highlights like recording with Michael Jackson and appearing on Saturday Night Live.

Recently Carrasco teamed up with Colectivo Chihuaha for what’s arguably the King’s magnum opus, Beers Bars & Guitars, a quintessential-but-modern Tex-Mex platter that came in hot just a couple weeks back. We’d be joking if we said we weren’t excited for even more from Joe King in the coming years, but since today marks the First Day of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ll just appreciate Carrasco’s remarkable long run in its present form with “Carrera Larga”!

Von Louis: “She’s Home”

You might’ve heard the work of singer-guitarist Kyle Vonderau with Austin’s Walker Lukens and Old Coyote. And you might’ve noticed fellow songwriter Evan Lecker at the front of Ethan Durelle and Holy Fiction. So what better thing to do than mash up two astronomical talents into a super duo?

Enter Von Louis, Lecker and Vonderau’s collaborative project that began at Jim Eno’s Public Hi-Fi Studios back in 2019 and has continued through countless remote tweaks. The matured substance of these rock compositions definitely merit the confidence that Von Louis exudes performing them, and today you can tap into the visual component of the group’s latest single “She’s Home”!

Cameron Knowler & Eli Winter: “Strawberry Milk”

Acoustic instrumental is one of those sounds that’s perfect to just zone out in a hammock too. And if you’re hard-pressed for some hammock fodder these days, look no further than Cameron Knowler & Eli Winter, two Texas guitarists who adore the Lone Star State and its natural gifts.

After an inspiring trip through the Trans-Pecos, Knowler and Winter recorded their album Anticipation largely over the course of a single nine-hour session, with several of the songs completed in their first take. An exceptional eight-track of soothing six-string, Anticipation will certainly live up to its name in the coming weeks, but well before the LP’s release on March 12th, you can pour yourself a hefty helping of “Strawberry Milk” and enjoy some sweet instrumental tryptophan going into the weekend.

Armadillo Bonus: Springsteen, Zappa, & More

Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Armadillo World Headquarters, the music venue that helped put Austin on the musical map. In this bonus episode, hear first-hand stories of some of the most memorable Armadillo shows: An unknown kid from Jersey named Bruce Springsteen plays for hours–and the show cost one dollar. Jerry Lee Lewis destroys the Armadillo’s piano. Joan Armatrading shows the power of musical discovery. And Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart bring the “weird” to Austin.

Armadillo Bonus: Punk Rock and New Wave

Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Armadillo World Headquarters, the music venue that helped put Austin on the musical map. In this bonus episode, hear how the Armadillo became the unlikely home for punk rock and new wave in Austin: Joe Ely blows away the Clash. The Ramones put their bodies on the line. The Runaways inspire an Austin musician to form one of the most popular bands of all time. Hardcore punk gets a Texas flavor. And the Armadillo crowd won’t let the Police leave until they play their entire set–again.

Back Home To The Armadillo

In August of 1970, a music venue opened on the corner of Barton Springs Road and South First in Austin, Texas. The building was an old National Guard armory—no air conditioning, no seating, just a giant cavernous space that frankly, was not well suited for music. Yet this local eyesore would go on to change the identity of Austin, culturally, politically, and artistically. Its reverberations would be felt far and wide, helping turn Austin into the Live Music Capital of the World. This is the story of how that happened. This is the story of the Armadillo World Headquarters.

Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this historic music venue. Hear an hour-long oral history featuring staff, musicians, and fans. They trace the Armadillo’s immense impact as a music incubator, community gathering space, and home to hundreds of life-altering concerts: Willie Nelson to Frank Zappa. The Runaways to the Ramones. Freddie King to the Clash. You’ll learn why 50 years later, the Armadillo World Headquarters is still a beacon for Austin’s past, present, and future.

Armadillo Bonus: Blues, Jazz, and Funk

Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Armadillo World Headquarters, the music venue that helped put Austin on the musical map. In this bonus episode, hear first-hand stories about the blues, jazz, and funk greats that made the Armadillo such a live music destination: the supernatural abilities of Freddie King and B.B. King, the Pointer Sisters in their funk heyday, and the raucous welcome given to jazz icon Count Basie.

 

Armadillo Bonus: Cosmic Country, Artwork, & More

Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Armadillo World Headquarters, the music venue that helped put Austin on the musical map. In this bonus episode, hear how Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings turned the Armadillo into a cosmic country destination. Plus, first-hand stories about the iconic artwork, Leon Russell’s home base, a particularly memorable John Prine show, and seeing the Austin Ballet at the Armadillo–complete with a pitcher of beer.

Texas Standard: September 6, 2019

The Governor promised action, now 8 executive orders aimed at reducing gun violence. But do they go far enough? We’ll take a closer look. Also, money for a border wall? Where’s it coming from? In part, from military projects in Texas. Also a former state musician with a new release: musical, yet this one’s more a treat for the eyes. Plus the week in Texas politics and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 10, 2019

It’s a new rule designed to answer concerns about sex abuse in the Catholic church, although some victims say it’s nowhere near enough. We’ll have the latest. And do you remember acid rain? Problems in the Permian with a new warning from a national environmental group says recent reports by the energy industry itself indicate dangerous and illegal amounts of sulphur dioxide in west Texas, we’ll take a look. And so so-called good samaritans at the border with Mexico arrested. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Top of the Chart Songs about Texas Towns

There are thousands of songs about Texas. For example, all the way over in England, Duran-Duran – the British new wave pop group, dropped a top 20 (#14) song called “Rio” back in ’82.

And you have “All My Ex’s Live In Texas” and “The Yellow Rose of Texas” and “The Road Goes on Forever,” as does the list.

Pat Green sang in “Songs about Texas” – “there’s a song in every town,” implying that there is a song FOR every town in Texas. Probably true, but only a rare few made it to the Billboard top 40.

So I thought it would be interesting to look at Pat Green’s idea with one provision: What are the songs about Texas towns that became bonafide hits? Note these are not about Texas in general, but about specific towns in Texas. I looked at songs after 1960 (when the charts were more reliable) that became hits on either the pop or country charts.

First is “El Paso” by Marty Robbins. His most famous song. It was released in ‘59 and hit number one in January of 1960. And some trivia? The cantina beauty Faleena was named after his 5th grade schoolmate, Fidelina Martinez.

I must also mention Robbins’ “Streets of Laredo,” which was an unofficial hit that same year – unofficial because it was never released as a single, though it received a lot of air time.

Next, chronologically, is “Galveston” sung by Glenn Campbell, which made it to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. Jimmy Webb wrote it while sitting on Galveston beach.

“Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone?” made it to number 1 on the country charts in 1970, sung by Charley Pride. The song was also made popular by Texan Doug Sahm, who recorded it twice: once in 1973 and again in ‘91 with the Texas Tornadoes.

“China Grove” by the Doobie Brothers was number 15 in 1973, written by Tom Johnston. Got the name subconsciously when the band passed through China Grove, a town of less than a thousand, while on tour, as the lyrics say, “down around San Antone.”

In the same year – 1973 – “La Grange” by ZZ Top. This song only made it to 41 on the Billboard Hot 100, but in Texas it no doubt ranked much, much higher. From the Album “Tres Hombres,” this song put the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Chicken Ranch, on the national map. Made it “Nationwide” in ZZ Top lingo. It’s also number 74 on Rolling Stone’s all time best guitar songs because of Billy Gibbons’ virtuoso performance on a 1955 Fender Stratocaster.

“Luckenbach, Texas” was released in 1977 by Waylon Jennings and made it to #25 on the pop charts and #1 on country charts where it stayed for over a month. Guess the idea of simpler country living was appealing. It made Luckenbach so popular the state had to stop making Luckenbach signs because the theft rate was breaking the budget.

George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning” hit number 4 on the country charts in 1983. Written by Terry Stafford a decade earlier, after going to a rodeo in San Antonio and driving home to Amarillo.

I have to give a tip of the hat to “I’m a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas.” Though it was released before there were charts, it was a quite a phenomenon in the 1930s and 40s. Written by a moderately successful bandleader and native Texan named Phil Baxter, who spent a few weeks in Dumas. The song was performed by everyone – including Bob Wills and Louis Armstrong. Even the town radio station is named KDDD – for Ding Dong Daddy.

Musicians From Lubbock

What’s in the air up there? Why has Lubbock given us so many wonderful Texas musicians? That’s the question pondered in this week’s Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: February 25, 2016

Lights, cameras, how much action? The stakes are high in Houston tonight for what could be a decisive televised showdown. Plus as campus carry laws get set to take effect, It’s becoming international news: Texas college professors told to avoid sensitive topics in the classroom? We’ll hear what’s behind the headline. And in that Texas town where almost every official was arrested on corruption charges, if you need help—who ya gonna call? We’ll do the dialing. Plus blue notes for Texas’ multibillion dollar music industry– the search for a new composition. All those stories and much more, today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: September 18, 2015

Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter- maintaining the peace as groups converge on the Texas Capitol. Also, the glass ceiling in college athletics- what’s preventing women from reaching top posts at top universities? Plus, the story behind a new safe haven for survivors of modern day slavery …And Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings- so many music legends from one place, what’s in the water out there? Texas’ next musician laureate, Joe Ely, explores the mystery of the panhandle ramblers. All that plus the week in Texas politics, its Texas Standard Time: