She goes barefooted when she feels like it, wears Levi’s to class because they’re more comfortable, and carries her Autoharp with her everywhere she goes so that in case she gets the urge to break into song it will be handy. Her name is Janis Joplin…
TONY VON: THE ORIGINAL T.V. ON THE RADIO “This is Tony Von, T.V. on the radio, in living color.” The mellow, mesmerizing voice rolled out of the 1260 slot on the AM dial at 4 p.m. every weekday and at 2 p.m. Saturdays from 1954 until tragedy was a sad silencer in 1979. His real […]
Wilson’s organization was so precise, he actually helped solve the 1975 killing of Armadillo bouncer and poster artist Ken Featherstone, who was shot to death by a patron who had been prevented from leaving with an open container and vowed revenge.
Which city in Texas had the greatest decade in music history? Austin in the ’70s is a close second, but I’d have to give it to San Antonio in the ’30s. Not just because Robert Johnson made his first recordings at the Gunter Hotel in 1936 and the holy trinity of accordion players- Valerio Longoria, […]
We praise our pioneers who’ve found subtle new ways to play their instruments, but rare is the one who invents a new way to sing. Lefty Frizzell is up there with Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Bill Monroe and the Carter Family as the most influential country musicians of all time and yet his name is […]
Austin became known as a town of free spirits and cheap living in the ’70s and ’80s, but it took a lot of hard work from people like Rod Kennedy to build the Groover’s Paradise that became the Slacker’s Playground.
From “Ghost Notes: Pioneering Spirits of Texas Music” (TCU Press) by Michael Corcoran When Arizona Dranes, blind and broke and a little wary, took a train from Fort Worth to Chicago in June 1926 to record for OKeh Records, there was no assurance that anything would come out of the trip. “Please understand that […]
Where were you were when you heard the news? I was at work at the Dallas Morning News, and someone poked his head in and said that Selena had been shot. A few minutes later, the co-worker returned to say the Tejano superstar was dead. I sat there stunned, wondering why and how and who […]
From 1992, Dallas Morning News by Michael Corcoran Most of the characters of Robert Altman’s 1975 film Nashville were loosely based on famous country singers, which caused some speculation- like, was Ronee Blakely doing Loretta Lynn, Karen Black as Tammy Wynette? But there was no question who inspired the African-American country singer played by Tommy […]
“If you’re a fan of popular music and you want to know more about it, you should know the name ‘Michael Corcoran’– Marshall Crenshaw WFUV’s “Bottomless Pit.” “Corcoran has few rivals for following a story to its logical conclusion, then refining it into a seamless narrative. Even the means of reporting become part of the […]