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4. So the two of us whittled them down by asking ourselves a few more questions: Was the song inherently Texan, either in style or in subject matter? Sir Douglas Quintet “She’s About a Mover”. At age eighteen, she put them to music and sang them like a woman scorned. Watch it!” Sam warns, as if to caution the thousands of future bar bands who’d be amending their set lists to make room for the song—which, in case you were wondering, is about Samudio’s cat. It was 1966; the Grateful Dead had yet to release an album. They inspired everyone from their homeboys Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan to ZZ Top, over in Houston. The Big Bopper: “Chantilly Lace” Jape Richardson, a Beaumont-raised deejay, was also a songwriter (“White Lightnin’,” “Runnin’ Bear”) but is remembered for his hilarious 1958 “Chantilly Lace,” which lasciviously declared to the world, “Oh, baby, that’s what I like.”. Jerry Jeff Walker and Gary P. Nunn: “London Homesick Blues” Walker helped make his band mate Nunn’s 1973 tune (with Nunn on vocals) part of the vernacular before Austin City Limits dubbed it its theme song. Hoying shared the viral Tik Tok on his Instagram page. The song, perfectly named "Sexy Lil Votes," has an interesting take on getting Americans to vote. Sir Douglas Quintet “She’s About a Mover”. Port Arthur-born, Joplin would become the finest white blues singer of her generation. “That’ll Be the Day” borrowed its title from the catchphrase of John Wayne’s character in The Searchers and boasted a swagger worthy of the Duke. Guy Clark: “Desperados Waiting for a Train” An elderly wildcatter became a mentor to, and was immortalized by, Clark in “Desperados.” The tune was a standout among standouts from the Monahans songwriter’s acclaimed 1975 debut. But all my exes live in Texas. His slyly humorous, down-home philosophizing (“Show me a man that’s got a good woman/I’ll show you a man that goes to work hummin’”) was tinged with the knowledge that to err is human, and celebrations like this snappy, rhythmically shifting 1967 affirmation of the do-right couple gave soul a whole new dimension. But it was the stirring lyrics (“There is a sorrow cleft like a dagger into my thoughts”) and haunting, innovative three-part harmonies that probably turned this desolate memory of rejection into their signature song. It’s also the smokiest, scorchingest bar-band R&B instrumental ever. Fender was one of the first in the Valley to pick up on rock and roll, and this 1960 plaint (he re-recorded it as a country song in the seventies) is easily the greatest Gulf Coast triplet to come out of Texas. Search, discover and share your favorite Texas GIFs. This dead-on parody lays waste to a certain subset (and their mamas—a master stroke, that). We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. But if Lynn’s voice suggests just enough of that genre’s youthful innocence to sneak her into the mainstream, everything else—the lyrics, the band, her delivery—offers the angry defiance, wisdom, and resolve of the blues. Just as it’s difficult to overstate Walker’s importance, it’s impossible to conceive of the modern blues without his unforgettable couplet: “They call it stormy Monday/But Tuesday’s just as bad.”. Mance Lipscomb: “Tom Moore’s Farm” So notorious was employer Tom Moore that Navasota songster-sharecropper Lipscomb first issued his 1960 recording anonymously. He sings of all of his ex-girlfriends and why they're his exes. Rather than limiting ourselves to songs that are about Texas, we defined a Texas song as any song performed by a Texas artist. Okay, so what do we mean by “song”? The Houston native thus earned the title the Lark of the Border. His melodic wizardry is on display in all his pieces, but 1899’s “Maple Leaf Rag” was his, and ragtime’s, most enduring. Freddy Fender “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights”. The stories you want, in one weekly newsletter. No matter what style or genre of music you enjoy, though, these songs about Texas are sure to strike a chord in your heart when you hear them! Deep in the Heart Of Texas 6. Buddy Holly and the Crickets: “Not Fade Away” Holly’s lighter, brighter adaptation of Bo Diddley’s marauding beat was released on a single only as a B-side (in 1957). To generate the list, we contacted twenty outside experts—writers, editors, and deejays with an array of tastes—and asked them to send their thirty favorites per our guidelines. Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs “Wooly Bully”. Oddly, McKay always claimed that the Yardbirds’ Jimmy Page played the blistering guitar solo on his version. Enter your email below to send a password reset email. With his quirky guitar and his dry, bemused vocals, he could—and did—write and sing about nearly anything; he’s also perhaps the most recorded bluesman ever (he cut this song twice, in ’60 and ’69). By our father's proud example, Southern soil they shall not trample...To arms, to arms, in Texas.." Bet y'all didn't know that existed, didja? That’s also fine with us. George Strait: “Amarillo by Morning” The spiffiest of modern Texas swing/honky-tonk singers is known for his love songs. Ernest Tubb: “Walkin’ the Floor Over You” You’ll not find a simpler sound than that unveiled on the Texas Troubadour’s first massive hit, from 1941. It features his best band ever (John Hart on tenor sax, Buck Senegal on guitar, Cleveland Chenier on rubboard) augmented by a pair of white rockers; guest Elvin Bishop plays some slide guitar that’s at once lustrous and dirty behind Clifton’s backwoods vocals and accordion. 118 Famous Texas Sayings and Phrases Along With Their Meanings. Compared with that, love songs are easy. A huge hit, 22 years before Mitch Miller got his mitts on it. His best-known tune (released in 1972) tells of an ill-fated meeting. The King of Western Swing’s all-time best-seller is also a great example of his particular genius: If a more conventional big band had cut this, it would have been considered a pop record. 1. It made moments of found emotion, like the bitterness that springs from “. Buck Owens: “Act Naturally” Owens suffered a lot of false starts before this self-effacing 1963 chart-topper launched his career. Lightnin’ Hopkins: “Short Haired Woman” One of Hopkins’s earliest, 1947’s “Short Haired Woman,” with its refrain “I don’t want no woman/If her hair it ain’t no longer than mine,” is hard country blues, with Hopkins’s trademark grit and sly sense of humor already on display. 40 Songs Proving That Austin, Texas, Is The Capital Of Dope Jams Just a tiny cross section of the literally thousands of good tunes coming from the heart of Texas … But don’t call it the blues. Moon Mullican: “Well Oh Well” Oddly, the hillbilly piano pounder from the Piney Woods, one of the least-recognized fathers of rock and roll, scored most of his hits on saccharine ballads. Though it wasn’t among his one-hundred-plus original compositions, the Gainesville crooner’s 1927 hit was so soothing that it sold about 12 million copies, making it America’s best-selling record until Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” fifteen years later; it helped him become one of the most popular night club entertainers of the Depression era. Then Sunny Ozuna and his group (which eventually morphed into the Sunliners) revived this 1958 Little Willie John ballad. Unsentimental and moving, this stark 1990 death row portrait asks, “Who are you to say for sure?”. With his fluid and far-reaching single-note guitar lines, Walker recalls another major talent, Charlie Christian. It was T-Bone Walker’s virtuosity that drove Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown to the soaring heights he has reached on the guitar. 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When Wills added lyrics and cut the new version nearly two years later, he kept nothing but the original, traditional melody; the song was all reeds and brass, like any other big-band swing record of the day. The Thirteenth Floor Elevators “You’re Gonna Miss Me”. In Johnson’s day, blues was the devil’s music, and the Marlin singer was a man of God. He Hoped Sheltering in Place Would Save His Marriage. “Paradise” set the tone for Escovedo’s future work—vivid imagery wrapped in dramatic musical flourishes. El Paso -- "Marty Robbins" 2. Charlie Christian (with Benny Goodman) “Breakfast Feud”. Hey! “Hi, everybody! What do Jethro Tull and Manfred Mann have in common with Albert, Freddie, and B. Leave them blank to get signed up. But what’s most amazing is that a giddier and less-worldly rock audience back then actually bought manager-producer Huey P. Meaux’s hype that this racially mixed group (white and brown) was the newest sensation from England. The best GIFs are on GIPHY. He died. Jimmie Rodgers “Blue Yodel #1 (T for Texas)”. Texans don’t say “wiretapping”… they would call it “the eyes of Texas are upon you.” 13. T-Bone Walker: “West Side Baby” Walker’s precise, cleanly articulated licks and exquisite tone are timeless, and this slow burner from 1947 is all late-night atmosphere, leavened with a dash of humor. B. The knowing title song of his 1978 sophomore album confirms just how comfortable he was with one foot in the country bar, one in the rock roadhouse, and, er, one more in the coffeehouse. Every country music playlist should include a George Strait song, and this is one of his best. The phrase “Six Flags over Texas” refers to the six countries that ruled over Texas territory. So get riled up if you have to, and have fun. Johnny Bush: “Whiskey River” Houston native Bush’s huge, throbbing tenor—they didn’t call him the Country Caruso for nothing—gave the master of dance hall heartbreak his biggest hit in 1972, even if it did later become better known as Willie Nelson’s theme. The Perryville native turned Nashville upside down in 1956 when he introduced the Texas dance hall sound to conventional country, replacing the standard 2-4 beat, double-stop fiddle, and vocal choruses with a 4-4 featuring drums and heavy bass, single-string fiddle, and high harmony over his own swelling lead vocals, which verged on the croon he’d later adapt. It wasn’t her choice of pronouns but her well-lived-in voice that transformed the song. Recorded, home with the armadillo, in Luckenbach. And though he spent his entire career up north, his radio-friendly tenor and his mellow phrasing retained just enough Texas grit to make him a seldom-credited influence on Floyd Tillman and other honky-tonk trailblazers. “Texas Map Song”) from the ultimate Jimmie Rodgers throwback, a Depression-era native of North Texas’s blackland farms who moved to Austin mid-century to become the homespun father of the town’s folk and singer-songwriter scenes. In ‘The Infinite Race,’ Indigenous Athletes Tell Their Own Stories, Taco News Roundup: New Churro Shops Come to Austin and San Antonio. But even devoid of its trippy atmospherics, “You’re Gonna Miss Me” would work as high-dosage rock. Ella Mae Morse: “Cow Cow Boogie” Fronting the Freddie Slack Orchestra, this saucy seventeen-year-old stylist from Mansfield and Paris had a sense of rhythm that verged on shocking for someone working in the white mainstream in 1942. Waltz across Texas 3. Love Texas? The Greatest Hits is a compilation album by rock band Texas, released on 23 October 2000.The album peaked at number one in the UK, becoming the band's third album to do so. Not coincidentally, this is the third Huey P. Meaux production (after the Sir Douglas Quintet and Sunny) to make our top forty. He even included the names of the real-life lawmen who had put him there. Nightcaps: “Wine Wine Wine” Texas’s white-boy blues scene begins here, in 1959, with a Dallas quintet that had a convincingly loose, loping feel on this jivey blues-and-rock standard. As the most famous of these, “Stormy Monday Blues” settles into a resigned helplessness that’s hard to let go of. They would have been funny and worthwhile to share, if the writer would not have had not put in the four letter words. The band comes back full-bore, Bell now singing among the horns; there’s clapping, shouting. We Swear. We sure did. If you consider that everything from blues to conjunto to jazz to R&B to rock and roll has been made here, the meaning of that phrase can be as expansive as the state itself. “Day” kicked off what would prove to be an enduring body of work. Yet in his entire free-ranging repertoire, there’s something about this melodic slice of Louisiana black magic, most of its lines adapted from other songs, that remains irresistibly pure Lightnin’. Don Santiago Jimenez, one of the San Antonio architects of pre-war conjunto, wrote and originally recorded this betrayed lover’s blue and bitter ranchera in 1937. These 16 Songs About Texas Will Touch Your Soul Today. Clifton Chenier: “I’m on the Wonder” The King of Zydeco, who spent most of his peak years in Houston, goes even farther out than usual on this 1974 slow blues track with a curious title phrase. Did it stand the test of time? In a neat bit of gender switching, Joplin turned Kris Kristofferson’s wistful tale of two lives intersecting into one of powerful longing. Soul and rock lived with strident politics and hippie sentiments, all of which made you dance to the music. “Only the Lonely” was the first of many memorable hits for the Vernon singer, and it perfectly encapsulated his style; blending elements of rock, doo-wop, and rockabilly to a lush vocal and string pop arrangement, which builds Bolero-like to the inevitable big finish. Now Lefty wears his “skin like iron,” and Pancho . Funny, rocking, and undeniable. 3. Nearly fifty years later, in 1986, his son Flaco revived it with his own modern but tradition-based brand of brown bounce and bop. Willie Nelson “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”. Road rage and a stop at the dentist make Blake Shelton yearn for blue skies and a margarita. . Welcome to Texas, Elon Musk. Dierks Bentley's fun little song about partying and having fun is great for a spring break playlist. Anyone who was born here, even if he or she left the state while still in diapers. The hard-swinging 1954 recording of “Okie Dokie Stomp” takes off like a bullet and never slows down. Texas do usually go to church before noon on Sunday… or what they like to call “the time we can’t buy beer.” 11. As Fort Worth’s Ornette Coleman is one of music’s most important and innovative composer-performers, singling out any one piece of his might seem impossible. Since the punk-rock era, Fuller’s only top ten hit, released in 1966, just before his untimely and mysterious death, has come to be seen as a rebel classic, and rightfully so. The Creole singer-guitarist from Beaumont took this top ten at a time (1962) when girl-group music, almost exclusively a northern form, ruled. Get more stories delivered right to your email. Choosing the best was a subjective process, and sometimes we went on gut feeling. Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys “New San Antonio Rose”. well, “the dust that Pancho bit down south/Ended up in Lefty’s mouth.” Such literate tragedy could only come from a haunted heart, and Fort Worth’s Van Zandt was an outrageously talented songwriter with a body of work gripped by melancholy. Goodman’s most blatant theft from Christian was “Flying Home,” but 1940’s “Breakfast Feud” played like an orchestrated Christian riff, artfully blazing new melodic paths with effortless grace. Jeannie C. Riley: “Harper Valley PTA” The Anson country singer’s sexy but righteous unmasking of small-town double standards (“Then you have the nerve to tell me you think that as a mother I’m not fit/Well, this is just a little Peyton Place and you’re all Harper Valley hypocrites”) was one of the biggest phenomena of the sixties. Lucinda Williams: “Side of the Road” A Hope Diamond in the jewel box of then-Austinite Williams’s breakthrough album (1988’s Lucinda Williams), “Side of the Road” yearns for self, identity—”I want to know the touch of my own skin”—and momentary peace and solitude. The bloody song cycle about murder, revenge, and redemption in the Old West was tempered by this sweetly sentimental single. Those spaces proved to be the silence heard ’round the world. On it goes, never deviating from the same cheesy riff, for two minutes and thirty seconds of joyous abandon. For its intensity and stark sadness, his 1927 recording of the eighteenth-century crucifixion hymn stands like a beacon among the thirty recordings he left behind. And if you’ve ever heard this one—a sort of serious love song with an addictive novelty hook—while zoning out on the beach, you might have recognized the 1994 track for what it is: one of the ultimate Texas summer songs, transcending language barriers with its good clean goofy sense of fun. The Best Things in Texas, 2021: H-E-B’s Charles Butt. All this elevated the quartet style from spiritual entertainment to sanctified “church-wrecking.”. Stevie Ray Vaughan: “Texas Flood” With one dirty, dramatic slow blues track that gave him all the space he needed to rip it up, the Austin guitar hero of the eighties anoints himself. Nothing else in Texas rap compares to this 1991 B-movie vision of urban paranoia from Houston’s Fifth Ward. Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys: “Faded Love” Originally a fiddle instrumental, “Faded Love” hit it big when Wills added sadly wistful lyrics for this 1950 recording, ending a year-long drought and establishing yet another country signpost. Tanya Tucker, "I'll Come Back As Another Woman" ... "All my exes live in Texas, and Texas is the place I'd really love to be. Both had a taste for speed, but it was Walker’s relaxed, after-hours sides that best suited his smooth vocal style. Here are 16 songs about Texas that will touch your soul. Esteban “Steve” Jordan: “Kranke” Jordan earned the title Jimi Hendrix of the Accordion for the way he, like Hendrix, redefined his instrument. Clifford Scott: “Honky Tonk” Though released under bandleader Bill Doggett’s name, this is San Antonio composer-tenor saxman Scott’s record all the way. The father of Texas blues recorded almost one hundred songs throughout the twenties, but it’s this simple and earnest plea that defines his remarkable and tragically short life. The band plays with a swampy, swaying undertow while Fender’s sweet, choked-up tenor milks the lyric for every last drop of desolation. Psychedelic music and, not coincidentally, LSD were just starting to take hold when these acid-rock pioneers made the scene. Even today, it’s the one tune that any new Texas blues band has to know. http://www.raystevens.com 2013Clyde Records Inc./Ray Stevens Music Well, it's just a Texas phrase meaning brave. The 100 Best Texas Songs. And that's why I hang my hat in Tennessee." And thus was born the modern cheating song. His savvy, utterly natural fusion of rural string band, blues, and pop ushered in the era of modern country music, and soulful “blue yodels” became his staple. Reply. Which make more sense, actually, if you know that the song was originally called “She’s a Body Mover,” an offhand comment Sahm had made about a girl dirty-dancing at one of his shows. Fronting various bands, Temple’s Little Joe Hernandez had been riding near the top of the Tex-Mex circuit for close to two decades when he cut Para la Gente (“For the People”) in 1972 , the album that best gave voice to the emerging Brown Pride movement. Roky Erickson: “Starry Eyes” This shiny, tuneful, folk-rockish paean to unattainable young love was produced by Doug Sahm. It’s still Texas Czech polka’s most enduring anthem. Jacquet was only nineteen when he first entered a recording studio with Lionel Hampton’s 1942 band and played the solo that would define his more than sixty years on the stage. But this 1982 rodeo ballad puts you right there in the pickup truck, next to the broken-down cowboy pushing on to the next county fair competition. You Don’t Have to Move to Austin. It was the title song of an album that won Jimenez a Grammy and solidified his standing as the lone conjunto accordionist known to the non-Tex-Mex audience. The Texanist: How Can Whataburger Say That It’s Still “Family Owned and Operated”? Enter your e-mail address for things to do, restaurants to try and much more! But it’s one of his most imaginative vocals, and since the Rolling Stones revived it in 1964, it’s become a standard, a self-fulfilling prophesy that has stood the test of time as well as anything he did. I Still Got COVID. Couchman’s Blind Lemon Jefferson was an originator of country blues and the first successful male blues performer. I Live in the Middle of Nowhere. Though the drummer couldn’t find the beat with a GPS, the Farfisa-fueled band churns out a boogie rhythm on this 1965 Tex-Mex rock classic, which Dallas’s Domingo Samudio, the self-proclaimed Sam the Sham, transforms into magic. It's the high point of the band's best album, 1993's Big Time. That Erickson was fresh out of the Texas state mental hospital in 1975 when he wrote and recorded it only makes its dreamworld innocence that much more poignant. The so-called “hard” beats are actually better described as “deliberate,” and rapper Scarface’s keyboardlike guitar writhes through his stream-of-consciousness imagery, which is unforgivingly brutal. Its version of this Mexican standard (“The Clouds”) is a hard-swinging, big-band ranchera; the lyrics tell of a drunken, despairing youth watching clouds drift by and hoping for rain, because rain brings new life. Latin Breed: “El Tejano Enamorado” With their sophisticated, sax-heavy arrangements and jubilant vocal style, this ten-piece San Antonio band’s polka-ranchera fusions helped usher in the modern tejano era in the early seventies. While San Antonio was incubating a stunningly diverse and accomplished rock and R&B underground in the late fifties and early sixties, orquesta still ruled. Lydia Mendoza: “Mal Hombre” For her 1934 solo recording debut (“Cold-Hearted Man”), the mother of Tex-Mex took the words she’d memorized off a gum wrapper in Monterrey eight years earlier. Offensive? 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