migrant groups in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, dozens of
these structures still stand throughout the state, and many still function as gath-
Dance Halls and Last Calls celebrates the important role these mostly rural
dance halls have played in the history of Texas country music. Beginning with a
thorough overview of country music history and the Texas musicians who helped
shape that history, Trevifo provides a much needed handbook for anyone inter-
ested in tracing the legacy of live music venues in the state.
Traditionally, these dance halls have been much more family-oriented than
their mostly urban "honky-tonk" counterparts. Treviiio explores this more com-
munity-based aspect of the rural dance hall and explains why such a communal
atmosphere is as appealing to Texans today as it was when the original settlers
built these halls as "multi-purpose" facilities, in which children played, young
people danced and courted, and older folks gathered to socialize.
Dance Halls and Last Calls covers over one hundred venues, including Gruene
Hall, Reo Palm Isle, and others that have remained popular over the years, but it
also documents several that are in disrepair and others that have disappeared al-
together. Consequently, the book is not only enlightening and entertaining in
the information it offers regarding these dance halls, but it also provides a sober-
ing reminder that the state is in danger of losing an important part of its musical
Dance Halls and Last Calls is a long-overdue tribute to the vital role dance halls
have played in the unique development of Texas music.
Southwest Texas State Unzversity Gary Hartman
Contemporary Ranches of Texas. By Lawrence Clayton. Photographs by Wyman
Meinzer. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2ool. Pp. x+166. Acknowledg-
ments, introduction, illustrations, glossary, bibliography. ISBN 0-292-71239-
1. $29.95, cloth.)
The late Lawrence Clayton, a highly regarded administrator and English pro-
fessor at Hardin-Simmons University, was an authority on modern ranching and
cowboy culture, who worked a family spread in the Clear Fork country in
Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties. His grasp of historical detail and
hands-on experience, combined with the artistry of acclaimed landscape photog-
rapher Wyman Meinzer, have produced a realistic look at Texas stock raising at
the outset of the twenty-first century.
The book's three parts conform to its regional coverage: South Texas, Pan-
handle and Northwest Texas, and Trans-Pecos Texas. Sixteen ranches are dis-
cussed. All of them lie west of the ninety-eighth meridian and met five selection
criteria for inclusion in the book. Their names had to be familiar, and thus sev-
eral included in this volume appeared in Clayton's Historic Ranches of Texas
(1993). Historical significance and interesting personalities were important, as
were geographic distribution and "willingness of... management to be included
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed February 27, 2015.