Alkek Library News

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Texas Music at the Library: Reading & Live Music (Tuesday, April 22)

The History of Texas Music by Gary Hartman
3:30 – 5:00 pm

The Southwestern Writers Collection presents Texas State professor Gary Hartman discussing The History of Texas Music, with a book signing to follow. The event also celebrates The John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, which is co-sponsored by the Center for Texas Music History and Texas A&M University Press.

Don’t miss live music by the popular band Ponty Bone and the Squeezetones! Admission is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Books will be for sale courtesy of the University Bookstore.

Southwestern Writers Collection
The Wittliff Collections
Alkek Library, Seventh Floor
Texas State University-San Marcos
(512) 245-2313

About The History of Texas Music

Texans aren’t the only ones passionate about the music of their home state. In fact, Texas music is popular throughout the world. Despite this, many fans don’t fully understand the history behind Texas music, or why the Lone Star State has such a rich and colorful musical heritage.

Looking to change that, Gary Hartman, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State, has just released a new book, The History of Texas Music, which explores in detail the many social, cultural, and historical factors that have helped define the music of the American Southwest. A musician himself, Hartman draws on both academic and non-academic sources to give a more complete understanding of the state's remarkable musical heritage. He looks at influential musical figures who have come from the region, and the list is long and impressive: Scott Joplin, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lead Belly, Sippie Wallace, Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Bob Wills, Gene Autry, Dale Evans, Tex Ritter, Ernest Tubb, George Jones, Barbara Mandrell, Kris Kristofferson, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Tanya Tucker, George Strait, the Dixie Chicks, Van Cliburn, Charlie Christian, Ornette Coleman, Lydia Mendoza, Flaco Jiménez, Selena Quintanilla, Emilio Navaira, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Janis Joplin, ZZ Top, Stephen Stills, and Don Henley.

The History of Texas Music incorporates a selection of well-chosen photographs of many of these prominent and lesser-known artists, and describes not only the ethnic origins of much of Texas music but also the cross-pollination among various genres that have mixed and mingled throughout the state, creating vibrant new hybrids that have reshaped the American musical landscape. Today, the music of Texas—which includes Native American music, gospel, blues, ragtime, swing, jazz, rhythm and blues, conjunto, Tejano, cajun, zydeco, western swing, honky tonk, polkas, schottisches, rock & roll, rap, hip hop, and more—reflects the unique cultural dynamics of the Southwest.

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