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Arts & Culture

If You Mess With Texas, Kevin Fowler Will Trash You

Scott Wade
Kevin Fowler
Credit Dontmesswithtexas.org

The Don’t Mess with Texas campaign been considered one of the most successful PSA runs in history and here's why: First, it’s simple. Second, as manifested in Texas singer-songwriter Kevin Fowler's new PSA, it’s undeniably catchy.

“I consider it to be a huge honor to be involved in the program," Fowler said. "I grew up in the 80s, and have seen the original Don’t Mess With Texas program—it was Stevie Ray Vaughn, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and later on, Lyle Lovett. It’s just a great honor to be a part of the program."

The video PSA shows Fowler and his band in front of a trash can labeled WILL PLAY FOR TRASH. And they do, every time someone drops trash in. As far as not littering, Fowler’s a believer.

“People that litter out there: What is wrong with you people? We got all these great trash cans everywhere!” Fowler said.

Fowler is a straight ahead honky-tonk style players and his Don’t Mess With Texas tune came to him this way.

“I was actually out in Fort Davis this fall, taking a little time off out there, and I had a minute and I just kind of wrote the jingle," he said. "One of those things that just came in 15 minutes.”   

"Don't you like it when the songs come easy?" I asked him.

“Sometimes the songwriting gods will throw you a bone and almost give you a free one,” he said.

That Don’t Mess With Texas motto has stuck. And not just in Texas.

“It’s cool when you travel across the country the whole Don’t Mess with Texas motto is known nationwide," Fowler said. "That thing has resonated across the country. People from Milwaukee are like: ‘Don’t mess with Texas!’ ”

Watch Fowler’s Don’t Mess With Texas spot here:

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