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texas country singersTexas Country Singers

by James Ward Lee & Phil Fry

96 pages, 4.5 x 6.5 • Lithocase $8.95
ISBN 978-0-87565-365-5

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Texas Country Singers contains brief biographies of twenty-seven Texas singers. The artists chosen are traditional country singers like Ernest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell, Hank Thompson, Willie Nelson, and Ray Price. The authors have not included rockabilly artists, modern country-pop singers, singers of local or regional reputation, or singers of purely western songs. The twenty-seven singers are Texas born, admittedly an artificial discrimination, but one made necessary by the size of these small books.


The authors include some almost forgotten names like Vernon Dalhart, the earliest Texas country singer to make a national name, and Moon Mullican, a singer/pianist who influenced Jerry Lee Lewis and other piano playing singers. Fans with long memories won’t forget Adolph Hofner, Tommy Duncan, Milton Brown, and Stuart Hamblen (who once came in fourth in a race for president of the United States). And everyone still remembers Gene Autry, Jim Reeves, Tex Ritter, Buck Owens, Waylon Jennings, Tanya Tucker, Lee Ann Womack, and the contemporary king of Texas country, George Strait.


Each sketch includes the best-known songs, as well as the awards and honors each earned.


Phil Fry, a native of Hugo, Oklahoma, has lived in Austin, Texas, for forty years, where he heard all the great country singers. He is an independent scholar with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas, where he worked on bothThe Handbook of Texas and the Handbook of Texas Music.


Jim Lee has lived in Texas for almost fifty years, and for all that time has been a fan of country music. Lee is past president and now fellow of the Texas Folklore Society. He is emeritus professor of English at the University of North Texas. He lives in Fort Worth. His latest book is Adventures with a TexasHumanist.