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Texas Music Legend Joe Ely's Pioneering Digital Album

It was still a mostly analog world in 1983. But it was a year of great strides in bringing the digital age into the home. The birth of the World Wide Web was still six years away, but 1983 saw the arrival of America Online, Microsoft Word and a little plumber named Mario at the quarter arcade. But it was also the year Steve Jobs gave us the Apple IIe. Texas rocker Joe Ely got one and had the crazy notion to try and use it to make music. The resulting album was pioneering and revolutionary, but it sat in Ely’s archive until today.

Joe Ely sat down with Texas Public Radio’s Nathan Cone to discuss the now released “B484,” as well as his career in music, from road stories and collaborations with The Clash, to what he learned about songwriting from his fellow Flatlanders band members Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.
Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.”  He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.