The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995 Page: 586
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
(Buddy Holly, Janis Joplin), and Tejano (Santiago Jimenez, Lydia Men-
doza). Elvis Presley found his first audience outside of Memphis in
Texas. Texas was the birthplace of Top 40 radio and the commercial ra-
Yet as important as Texas and Texans are to popular music, numerous
historical topics remain unexplored. Why is T-Bone Walker, a pioneer of
electric blues guitar and arguably the most influential performer for lat-
er blues and rock and roll guitarists, less well known than Muddy Wa-
ters? How did Ornette Coleman, one of the most important jazz artists
ever, develop his avant-garde style out of the Texas rhythm and blues
saxophone tradition? Was Texas, with its confluence of Anglo, Latin,
and black cultures, the birthplace of world music? Why were Houston
and Dallas early centers in the effort to commercialize country and west-
ern music, although Nashville ultimately superceded them? Why does
Austin have more live music (and musicians) per capita than any other
In compiling this bibliography, I have been struck by the extent to
which historians have ignored these and other topics. Too often, popu-
lar music is derided or dismissed as low-brow, common, ethnic, or com-
mercial; yet it has reached out and influenced the music of America and
the world. Despite this paucity of analysis, experts outside of Texas often
use our music as a means to understanding our culture. In 1991, for ex-
ample, the British Broadcasting Corporation devoted four hours of
prime-time programming to Texas Saturday Night, a film that used music
as the paradigm through which to explain our state. It was one of the
highest-rated specials in recent BBC history.
It is my hope that this bibliography will inspire more serious analysis
of this vital indigenous art form. The following bibliography, which is by
no means exhaustive, focuses for the most part on scholarly books and
articles. A wealth of information on Texas music is available in many
popular publications as well.
Abernethy, Francis E. Singin' Texas. Denton: University of North Texas Press,
. "Texas Folk and Modern Country Music." In Texas Country: The Changing
Rural Scene, ed. Glen E. Lich and Dona B. Reeves-Marquardt. College Sta-
tion: Texas A&M University Press, 1986.
. What's Going On ? In Modern Texas Folklore. Austin: Encino Press, 1976.
Acosta, Miguel. "Instrumentista." In Hecho En Tejas: Texas-Mexzcan Folk Arts and
Crafts, ed. Joe S. Graham. Denton: University of North Texas Press, 1992.
Albrecht, Theodore. "German Music in Texas on the Eve of Crisis: The State
Saengerfest of 1916." In Dika Newlin, Friend and Mentor: A Birthday Anthology.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995, periodical, 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101216/m1/656/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.