columnists like John Kelso and Molly Ivins are storytellers; folk characters such
as Hondo Crouch and John Henry Faulk are storytellers as well as virtually every
other liar (politicians are mostly ignored) in Texas is a storyteller. Sometimes
something of the tellers' stories is shared, but more often we get an informal his-
tory of the teller including his/her parents, hometown, and various achieve-
ments and personal characteristics.
Places for lying are included. A number of "liars tables" are described and of-
ten pictured and are, like Luckenbach and the Broken Spoke, places most Tex-
ans know, but many are less well known, such as Ms. Tracy's Cafe and Frank's
Bait & Taco. Terlingua, Kopperl, and Abbott all get chapters of their own. All
the places look and sound like fun places to be.
One of the storytellers included is the late Bill Erhard, a cartoonist, and many
of his delightfully whimsical drawings are used to illustrate the people and places
described. One chapter of the book is titled "Pictures Too Good to Leave Out,"
that is, pictures not used earlier in the book that Gramon wanted to print any-
way. At least one of these is indeed too good to leave out. The picture of story-
teller Doc Moore on page 239 is good and made me wish I had been there.
This book is just what it is intended to be-a casual and fun look at some very
Southwest Texas State Unzverszty Rollo K. Newsom
The Roots of Texas Music. Edited by Lawrence Clayton and Joe W. Specht. (Col-
lege Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2003. Pp. 235. Illustrations, pref-
ace, contributors, index. ISBN 1-58544-221-6. $29.95, cloth.)
Seven decades since Lota Spell issued her pioneering study, Muszc in Texas
(1936), the field of Texas music history has entered a boom era. The late
Lawrence Clayton launched this book project out of his own deep love for all
kinds of Texas music. He enlisted colleagues and former students to contribute
a series of original articles with fresh perspectives on the cultural roots of Texas
jazz, country, blues, zydeco, gospel, and classical music cultivated by the diverse
ethnic populations of the Lone Star State up to 1950. A few months before his
death in December 2000 from ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease, Clayton asked con-
tributor Joe W. Specht to serve as co-editor, suggesting the addition of an intro-
ductory overview and an article on jazz. The result is an engaging and
informative collection of essays by scholars who are not necessarily the principal
published authorities in their field of music.
Like a well-produced record album, The Roots of Texas Music features its
strongest material up front. Gary Hartman's authoritative overview of Texas mu-
sic history and its complex ethnic traditions is itself worth the price of admission.
The director of Southwest Texas State University's Center for Texas Music Histo-
ry, Hartman provides a scholarly synthesis of the book's many themes, with valu-
able notes on both published and archival sources for further study. Hartman's
introduction is followed by Dave Oliphant's scholarly tour of Texan jazz, based
on his extensive research and publication in the field. The addition of the Hart-
man and Oliphant articles solidifies what was a heterogeneous collection of es-
says into a more cohesive work.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed August 3, 2015.