This years Texas Music Takeover sees some of the finest songwriting talent make their way over from the Lonestar State to London. It’s a showcase of the fantastic music scene that exists in Texas, in a scene that is teeming with talented artists. The musical heritage of Texas is rich, having produced some of the finest musicians, songwriters and singers that the world has ever seen. Ahead of the Texas Music Takeover, we’ve picked some of our favourite Texan artists of all time!
85 years old and still going as strong as ever, Willie Nelson is a world famous megastar who is synonymous with Texan music. Born in Abbott, Texas, ever since his first ever record in 1956, No Place for Me, Nelson has continued to produce music that will go down in history. With his faithful guitar, Trigger, by his side he’s been responsible for such iconic songs as You Were Always on My Mind, On The Road Again, Good Hearted Woman and many more. 2018 sees him release yet another album, following 2017’s God’s Problem Child, there really is no stopping Nelson. His son Lukas is even doing pretty well now too!
You’ve got to hear: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
‘Strait’ out of Pearsall, Texas, George Strait has come to be known as the ‘King of Country’ and it’s hard to dispute that considering his record. Strait has 44 consecutive number one singles, played the largest indoor show in North American history and sold more than 100 million records worldwide! He received huge success from songs such as Check Yes or No and All My Exes Live in Texas, that perfectly fused his Texan roots with mainstream country. If you’re ever in Texas on May 18th, Strait’s birthday, you’ll also find people celebrating ‘George Strait Day’!
You’ve got to hear: All My Exes Live in Texas
Hailing from Brownsville, Texas, Kris Kristofferson is respected as one of the greatest songwriters in the world. Songs like Me and Bobby McGee helped propel him to fame as a performer, whereas the Johnny Cash cut Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down (he also cut the song himself) has become one of the most legendary songs in country music history. As the son of a military man, he moved around the country a lot so wasn’t raised in Texas but the songwriting traditions of the state that he was born in live within him. To this day, at the age of 82, Kristofferson still tours the world!
You’ve got to hear: Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down
Janis Joplin, from Port Arthur, Texas is often remembered for her tragic early death at the age of 27 as well as her beautiful, soulful voice. Having studied at the University of Texas at Austin, she began to forge a career in music. It led to her becoming one of the most respected female vocalists of her time, despite only managing to release four albums in her short life. Her music might not have been too Texas or country but it was legendary in its own right and showcased the superb talent that Texas had to offer, she even cut a version of Kristofferson’s Me and Bobby McGee.
You’ve got to hear: Piece of My Heart
Often credited as one of the pioneers of ‘outlaw country’ and an inspiration for many others, Waylon Jennings came from the town of Littlefield, Texas. Way back in the 1960’s, Jennings was voicing discontent at the Nashville scene – something that is still rife today. His dislike for the ‘cookie cutter’ style of Nashville led to him saying “you start messing with my music and I get mean”, you don’t mess with Texas! Jennings released countless records, both solo and as a member of The Highwaymen. People still cover his songs to this day, especially classics such as Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? and his co-write with Willie Nelson, Good Hearted Woman.
You’ve Got To Hear: Momma’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys