By Gary W. Burnett, author of “The Gospel According to the Blues” What a sumptuous feast of a book this is. Coffee table sized, lavishly illustrated, and utterly engaging, it oozes quality from the standard of the writing to the beautiful quality of paper. You’ll love it just to have around the place or to […]
In that time of segregation, Teagarden couldn’t publicly perform with his musical kindreds, but he broke the studio color line in 1929 when he recorded “Knockin’ a Jug” with Louis Armstrong.
This is a chapter in “Ghost Notes: Pioneering Spirits of Texas Music by Michael Corcoran Trumpet players blew so hard to produce the slightest spit of sound that they almost passed out. Drummers snapped their sticks with all the rhythmic sense of a pair of tennis shoes in the dryer. The honks of confusion rang […]
If you’ve spent any time in a Texas blues club, you’ve heard not only T-Bone Walker, but Freddie King, whose influence goes beyond notes, style and material. The “Texas Cannonball” is there in the stinging leads that pierce precaution and in the low-slung blues breakers that remind everyone to tip the waitress or bartender. King’s […]
In the nine years between the end of World War II and the big bang of rock ‘n’ roll, the Austin music scene was dominated by Western Swing and country bands with such names as Jesse James and All the Boys, Jimmy Heap and the Melody Masters, Doug and the Falstaff Swing Boys, Grouchy and […]
by Paul Kopasz 1996 In 1975 Lester Bangs wrote “Lou Reed is my hero principally because he stands for all of the most fucked up things I can think of, which probably just goes to show the limits of my own imagination.” I feel that exact way about Townes Van Zandt. Aside from the obvious […]
Jimmy Buffett’s new $370 million Margarita Resort opens next month in NYC’s Times Square, but the “Margaritaville” legacy began in Austin at a six-bedroom Northwest Hills duplex you could’ve bought for $290,000 twenty years ago. It was on the deck that Buffett started writing his signature song after having his first (followed in quick succession […]
It’s a nice, small brownstone with ornate gates on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, just two blocks from Central Park. A young Tom Cruise used to live in the building, as did Robert Downey Jr., when he was with Sarah Jessica Parker. But the front stoop at 50 W. 86th St. holds a tragic […]
West Texan Sonny Curtis could very well be the Bo Jackson of songwriting. Instead of excelling in two sports, the 84-year-old Curtis penned two classics that are as different as football and baseball. As a Lubbock sandstorm howled outside his window in the summer of 1958, he wrote “I Fought the Law,” one of the […]
Before I devoted myself to history, I was prone to hysteria, as a rock critic in love with the notion that opinion can’t be proven incorrect. There was no right or wrong, only interesting or boring.