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Texas Matters: Honky-Tonking At The Broken Spoke

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James White in front of his historic Honky-Tonk The Broken Spoke

In 1964 James White opened the Broken Spoke and on most nights you can still find him there welcoming customers and introducing bands with his Broken Spoke manifesto.

The stage at the Spoke has hosted many of country music's greats and hall of fame stars. Author Donna Marie Miller has chronicled the life and times of this historic gem in "The Broken Spoke: Austin's Legendary Honky-Tonk."

The fact that the Broken Spoke still stands today is an act of defiance. It defies the economic pressure of Austin real estate, the coarse banality of popular culture and even time itself. As White says each night from the band stand - They aren't going to change nothing at the Broken Spoke.

In 1964 White paid thirty-two dollars to his first opening act, D. G. Burrow and the Western Melodies. Since then, the stage at the Spoke has hosted the likes of Bob Wills, Dolly Parton, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Marcia Ball, Pauline Reese, Roy Acuff, Kris Kristofferson, George Strait, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Asleep at the Wheel, and the late, great Kitty Wells.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi