American Music | Texas Public Radio

American Music

Raul Luna CC0: http://bit.ly/2XolAVo

Throughout the history of U.S. politics, music has been used as a rallying cry, a unifying message and most potently, a call-to-arms for voters. Essentially, presidential campaign songs are the commercial jingles for the most important product being sold to the American public.

Lydia Mendoza image: Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images. Historical marker credited to Lauren Terrazas / Texas Public Radio.

Lydia Mendoza, known as “La Alondra de la Fronteras (The Lark of the Border),” would have turned 103 on May 31. She was honored the day after her birthday with a historical marker at her gravesite at San Fernando Catholic Cemetery No. 2 in San Antonio.


Courtesy Center Street Publishing

A Texan born and raised, singer-songwriter Roy Orbison got his start in a rockabilly band in high school. 


Public Domain/Pixabay

When the subculture of psychedelia emerged in the early 1960s, the social movement influenced elements of music, visual arts, politics and literature for years to come. 


Tambako (CC BY-ND 2.0) / Flickr http://bit.ly/2xG3oYS

The 1970s in America was the era of disco – the dance floor phenomenon that gave us "The Hustle," the Solid Gold Dancers, Donna Summer and "Saturday Night Fever." 

The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the site of the Woodstock music festival in 1969, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to an announcement on its website. The news was first reported by the Associated Press.

Joan Marcus

A Broadway hit musical finds its way to the Majestic Theatre. Two of its principle players, Ben Fankhauser and Erika Olson, who play the songwriting team Mann and Weil, offered some insight into the show. 

"This is the point in our music history where all the pop music was written in office buildings by a small group of composers. There was a lot of competition because this was before the singer/songwriter era," says Fankhauser.

Bullock Texas State History Museum

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, turns out there's lots of rock-n-roll, plus a surprising bit of history. The Bullock Museum's Kate Betz says their Austin museum, will be rockin' this weekend, and she suggests you come a knockin'.

"The exhibit Pride and Joy, the Texas Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughn is opening at the Bullock State History Museum this weekend."

Wikimedia Commons/Adam Jones, Ph.D.

Rather than Elvis Presley, it was his first producer Sam Phillips of Sun Records of Memphis who has been credited with creating rock 'n' roll.

While that may be an exaggeration, it would only be a slight one. Phillip's role in the discovery and development of the founding artists of that and other genre's is incalculable. In addition to Elvis Presley, there was Jerry Lee Lewis, Howlin' Wolf, Ike Turner, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash.

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