What’s Texas Without Country Music & Vice Versa

Senator William Blakley once said “Texas is neither southern nor western. Texas is Texas.” As a born and raised Texan I couldn’t be more proud of where I come from. Whether you’re from Texas or not it is well-known that Texans are a proud bunch. I may be a bit biased but I would say no such state has a reputation as big as ours. Texas is known for our delicious food, beautiful landscapes, colorful history, intense sports culture, and country music. Yes, a majority of what Texas is known for is a bit stereotypical, although Texas is a lot more than just Redneck cowboys. However, this cowboy culture I believe is part of how Texas and country music have become so intertwined and well-known.

I can’t imagine a Texas without country music or country music without Texas. They need each other! Growing up I had mixed feelings about country music but since I was about fifteen I fell in love and never looked back. Country music, yes is influenced by the south as well as the west but its relationship and influences with Texas are like no other. There are easily over a hundred country songs about or at least mentioning Texas. Without Texas there would be no George Strait, Pat Green, Miranda Lambert, Neal McCoy, Robert Earl Keen, Willie Nelson, Tanya Tucker, and many more. Texas has its own subdivision of country for goodness sake.

As a Texan I find country music as the most relatable of genres, but not because I’m always in boots and riding on a horse but because I can turn on the radio and hear songs about my own city, places I have driven through, ideals I cherish, and things I have actually done. My Texas by Josh Abbot and Stockyards by Casey Donahew Band are perfect examples of how my association as a country music fan and a Texan coincide. Some lyrics from the song My Texas are things which I have done here in Texas such as, “You haven’t been to the Ft. Worth stock show,” “Sang “Everclear” at a Creager show,” and “Haven’t had a kolache when you go through West.” These memories are part of who I am and hearing songs sang about them I realize these are pastimes of a group of people like me. These are things Texans do. Texans are proud of what makes up our vast state and our people. Many country songs share this. One of the most obvious and proud is from Little Texas’ God Blessed Texas. “God blessed Texas with His own hand. Brought down angels from the Promised Land. Gave them a place where they could dance. If you wanna see Heaven, brother, here’s your chance. Well, I’ve been sent to spread the message. ‘God blessed Texas’” I’m sure this pride can come off cocky to out-of-staters but we just want to share with everyone how incomparable and wonderful Texas is.

I am a fan of many genres of music but when country comes on it creates a feeling that is hard to describe. I relate to country and those who sing it relate to me. As a Texan I may be surrounded by some country music but it’s the reality and actions of being Texan that make the lyrics seem to be a part of me! George Strait says it perfectly in If It Wasn’t For Texas, “I wouldn’t be a Willie fan. Nobody’d swim the Rio Grande. I wouldn’t be an American, if it wasn’t for Texas. “


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6 Responses to What’s Texas Without Country Music & Vice Versa

  1. Lauren Harris

    I think it is funny yet expected that so many of us wrote about Texas country music. It shows the pride that we as Texans have and the huge community it creates. I love being from the same place as George Strait and Willie Nelson. So many great artists and songs come out of this state and I think it says a lot about the culture of Texas. I love how you started and ended with a quote about being from Texas because it shows the pride you have. I also like how you mentioned that some may think that we are arrogant but it is all justified because Texas is truly the best state.

  2. Kayla Miracle

    This post is so true and relatable. Texas is definitely a place unlike other places in the U.S. I’ve been to many a Josh Abbott Band concert and let me tell you, it is all about Texas pride the whole time. I think that Texas country is honestly the best kind because we are so proud of our state and it’s the most relatable, in my opinion. George Strait’s “If It Wasn’t For Texas” really is so true when he says “I wouldn’t be an American, if it wasn’t for Texas.” I recently participated in a survey for my government class that tested that very statement. It showed that most Texans said they were Texan first and American second; very interesting if you relate that to Texas country vs. country music from anywhere else. Texas rules and you definitely hit that in this post.

  3. Morgan Lohmeier

    Well said, Talia. I’ve lived in Texas for eight years now, but I grew up in Arizona and then moved to North Carolina before ending up here in Austin. Before I lived here, I always thought, ‘who would want to live in Texas? There’s nothing out there!’ I believed many of the stereotypes of Texas and it wasn’t until I moved here that I realized how much Texas has to offer. I lived in California for a short time, Arizona for a long time, North Carolina for a minute, and I’ll live in Texas forever. I am a huge fan of Texas country and bands that got their start in Texas. Hearing songs about the state I’m so proud of make me happy and even more proud to be living in such a great land.

  4. Adam Keyrouze

    I don’t know what else to say. When I read the title of this post, I agreed with it but you started with the basics and ran with it. As I read it, I found myself in the same shoes growing up throughout high school and realizing the same points. Many people don’t understand how many country artists come from Texas and most only think of George Strait and no one else. But there are so many more like the list above that you wrote. And it’s not just about music, it’s about the lifestyle here in Texas and country music impacts or touches our lives almost in every aspect, one way or another.

  5. The magazine Oxford American recently had a special issue on Texas music that came with a CD of songs that are supposed to represent the state’s musical legacy. As a teacher of a class called “The Rhetoric of Country Music,” I was a little disappointed that only about 1/3 of the CD was country music (Willie, Kinky Friedman, Lee Ann Womack, etc.). But on the other hand, Texans have made contributions to a number of other genres, too. Beyonce, anyone?

  6. Kelby Floerke

    I wrote my first blog post on the song, “My Texas” by the Josh Abbott band. My entire article was about how it creates this community. I think it makes it easy to relate to this community because so many of the songs reference places within Texas. I think I was able to relate to 20 out of the 24 of them. I honestly can’t even think of living in another state because my pride of being a Texan is so big, I think country music plays a huge role in that. It really is true that Texas and country music need each other!

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