Houston: Large City, Tight Community



When growing up, I never would have considered Houston a community. It has a population of over two million and contains several school districts. In fact, I just met someone my age who said she grew up in Houston and went to the same community center and recreational center that I went to almost every week. However, whenever I leave the city, more so when I leave the state, I bond more closely with people from Houston. We bond over our shared favorite local restaurants and sports teams, and an irrational, yet fairly strong, dislike for Dallas. Houston’s culture may contribute to this. Houston has all the perks of the big city, but with the charm of a Texan town. Yes, we have professional sports and big businesses and too much pollution, but many of our “city things” are infused with a Texas flavor. Saltgrass Steakhouse and Rudy’s Barbecue are perfect examples of Texas chains. They look like classic barbecue or steakhouses; there are just more than two of them. When I came to college, I met so many new people that I almost subconsciously gravitated towards people from Houston. Though I think this happened coincidentally, some of my closest friends at UT right now are from my hometown. Once we established ourselves as the “Houston group”, we bonded with other Texas cliques with our love for country music. Our love for country music does not separate us from other people; it brings us closer to the different groups of people on campus.

Maybe the thing that differentiates us from the other groups is which kind of country music we enjoy. We regularly listen to Zac Brown, George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Dierks Bentley. We think of it as a nice blend of old and new, but not too new. I am not a fan of Florida Georgia Line or Sam Hunt. Hunt is talented, but his music just does not sound like the country music I fell in love with. He also talks too much in his songs. When we go somewhere and they claim to play country music but “Breakup In a Small Town” by Sam Hunt comes on, this makes me long for the days of Strait and Jackson. From what I have seen, the Dallas group listens to more old Kenny Rogers and Conway Twitty and the Austin group listens to the current music. This is a sweeping generalization and based only on a small sample size, but these are just my experiences.

I did not mean to sound snobby or imply that Sam Hunt plays bad music. I just wanted to clarify the difference in country music taste between my Houston based group and some of the other groups at UT. We listen to contemporary country music as long as it still has similarities with the music of the 90’s. Sure, Zac Brown Band and Dierks Bentley have different styles than do Alan Jackson and George Strait, but their styles are closer to the classics than are Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt. Florida Georgia Line just does not sound good to me.

I think coming to the University of Texas forced me to identify more as a Houstonian than ever before. When I lived in Houston, I found smaller groups to shrink the crowd, but now Houston is the smaller group. We love country music in Houston, and my Houston friends at UT love country music just the same.


Filed under Blog Post 1, Class work, Texas

4 Responses to Houston: Large City, Tight Community

  1. Erin McWilliams

    I am laughing out loud because we Dallasites have a strong, yet inexplicable dislike for Houston. Also, what Dallas native are you talking to that prefers Conway Twitty to George Strait? I definitely understand being more at home with your Houston homies. Even though Dallas is made up of more than 1.2 million people, I find myself feeling more comfortable with people from Dallas. It feels like a little piece of home when you’re 200 miles from it and know you won’t be back for a while. It’s interesting how you differentiate the different cities and the country music styles they listen to. I think you’re right that country music taste can be a way for people to come together and relate to each other.

  2. Shira Yoram

    Hahah this article was a great read. I am also from Houston and agree with pretty much everything you said. I would rather listen to George Strait than Sam Hunt any day. But you already know that because we share the same friend group. I have to say that after listening to “Break Up in a Small Town” on the radio I could not believe what country music has come to. That song might have a catchy chorus, but Sam Hunt always speaks his verses and it really drives me crazy. If only there were new artists that were highly influenced by people like Alan Jackson. That is something current country radio is missing these days.

  3. Kevin,

    I enjoyed reading this article! I completely agree with how people grow a tight bond with those who are from their same hometown. I first noticed this when I came to college, and people began to fight over which city was the best. There is truly a friendly rivalry between all the Texas cities, especially between larger cities such as Houston and Dallas. I think it is interesting how you compared how each city likes different types of country music. I agree, different cities enjoy different kinds of music. People in my hometown tend to listen to Texas country and despise pop country.

  4. Tyler King


    I thoroughly enjoyed your article. Being from Houston, I totally understand bickering with friends that are not from Houston about whose city is better and who has better sports teams. At so I understand your love for the older style and sounding country music. Growing up in Houston, I always went to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. As you probably know, they always bring in true country artists and that where I started to enjoy the type of music like you do. As for the new country, I don’t mind listening to Luke Bryan and some Florida Georgia Line but I agree on Sam Hunt, he is not real country music.

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