It’s far from an insult these days. When you hear that phrase, it is probably someone wanting you to plug an ear bud into your ear and listen to a favorite song on a portable media player. Today, these popular electronic music players are as necessary as college-ruled notebook paper, No. 2 pencils and cell phones.
We’ve come a long way from the nights of lugging a heavy stack of beloved vinyl record albums -- or even a shoebox filled with 8-track tapes – to that party on Field Street. Cassette tapes are ancient audio history. On a collegiate timeline, even the shiny, silver compact disk (CD) was invented 25 years ago, before most of our 28,000 current Texas State students were born.
Enter the iPod
How much music can your pocket hold? Smaller than a billfold, these popular, pocket-sized, portable digital audio devices hold tens of thousands of songs. Copy your entire music collection or download your favorites from hundreds of thousands of songs available online, and carry your personal portable jukebox everywhere.
Our challenge for this issue of Hillviews was at first mention somewhat foreboding. “What’s on your iPod, Bobcat?” What songs would we find on the most spirited Texas Hill Country/San Marcos/Texas State alum’s iPod? Not an easy question, but when has the Hillviews editorial staff ever backed away from a challenge?
We carried this question to a random selection of definitive music experts around campus and beyond, and all took up the challenge.
Gary Hartman and Gregg Andrews, the director and assistant director of the Center for Texas Music History (CTMH) were natural choices.
Bobby Arnold and Gary Hickinbotham, “The heart and soul of the Fire Station Studios” (page _) have logged thousands of hours of recording time and have been instrumental in multiple award-winning albums and gold and platinum projects.
Tom Copeland, Texas State alum and former director of the Texas Film Commission, teaches “The Business of Film” in the Department of Theatre and has been an “Austin City Limits” (ACL) crew member for the first five years of production.
Rod Schueller, director of bands at Texas State and former director of the “Pride of the Hill Country” Texas State Marching Band, and Susan Angell-Gonzales, director of the world-renowned Texas State Strutters precision dance team, were musts for the challenge.
Kent Finlay, Texas State alumnus,teaches a course in country music history at Texas State and has had San Marcos’ longest running music venue, Cheatham Street Warehouse, for more than 30 years. He’s led artists ranging from George Strait and Ernest Tubb to Stevie Ray Vaughan and James McMurtry through the doors of the old warehouse.
Bobby and Nancy Barnard represent another local music business icon, having run San Marcos’ only independent record store, Sundance Records and Tapes, for more than 30 years. A landmark on the edge of the campus, Sundance has been a premier source for Bobcat music for decades.
I wrap up the list with my own lofty opinions on the subject. As a former and current student at Texas State, a 23-year co-owner of one of Texas’ finest honkytonks, longtime music journalist and photographer, former Strutter, proud Bobcat and owner of a video iPod that includes more than 3,000 songs, I will humbly admit to more than a little expertise as I hereby join this appointed list of experts.
In some cases, specific songs are listed. In others, simply the artist. Some are listed because of historical significance to Texas State (e.g., Elvis Presley played here in the mid 1950s; Grand Ole Opry singer Sunny Sweeney was in classes with Mercury Records’ Randy Rogers). Some are more ambiguous (e.g., the reason for Tom Copeland’s suggestion that Walt Wilkins’ “Trains I Missed” should bring a smile to any former Bobcat who ever was caught by a train in San Marcos). And some songs or artists are listed simply because the “expert” making the list deemed it a necessary song, and indeed, herein, saying it makes it so.
These 101 songs and artists are merely a beginning for your Bobcat music machine. In iPod lingo, we would call this “shuffle.” These “must have” songs are listed alphabetically, rather than in rank of importance.
So, get ready for the list. Here it comes. 101 songs that should be on every Bobcat’s iPod.Download them, upload them, and make them yours.
Stick it in your ear, Bobcats!
101 Songs Every Bobcat Should Have:
1. Ace in the Hole. Hard to find but a fun collector’s item is the Ace in the Hole album made by George Strait’s band in the Fire Station Studios. Along with their boss, most of these guys are Texas State grads. (Hendricks) Ace in the Hole Band, featuring George Strait, “Lonesome Rodeo Cowboy” — Ace in the Hole contributed this song to Travelin’ Texas, vol. 2, compiled by the CTMH. (Andrews)
2. Antone’s - Home of the Blues DVD. Good for those show-offs with a video iPod. Clifford Antone is the patron saint of Texas blues and taught the history of Texas blues at Texas State. Joe Nick Patoski’s interviews with Antone are in the Southwestern Writers Collection. (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
3. The Ash Family, Bread and Wine is their best album to date. Set the title song on repeat, and play over and over again. Tommy Ash taught in the Department of English at Texas State. Extra credit trivia: Next generation Ash Family member Lanie Ash was a Texas State cheerleader 2005-07. (Hendricks) (Barnard) (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
4. Asleep at the Wheel, “That’s Your Red Wagon.” Ray Benson and the Wheel are one of the most important bands in Texas music history. They reawakened a national interest in (Texas-born) western swing by making it cool and fun again. In so doing, they changed the course of musical history for generations to come. (Hartman) Asleep at the Wheel 1974 album of the same name features one of my favorites “I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday.” I saw them the first time they played at Cheatham Street, and you needed a shoe spoon to get in the door. (Copeland) Ray Benson, “You Don’t Know Me” — Ray has emceed several of the CTMH Unplugged concerts and performed a great interpretation of this song by Cindy Walker at one of those concerts. (Andrews)
5. Austin Lounge Lizards. Longtime Texas State favorites, playing on campus and beyond. Just try to listen to their music without smiling. (Hendricks)
6. Marcia Ball, “Pet My Poodle.” All of Texas loves Marcia Ball, and for good reason. She’s one of the founding figures of the modern Texas music scene and only seems to get better with time. Or her “Power of Love” — Marcia, who gave the keynote address to launch the CTMH, performed this song at one of the CTMH Unplugged concerts. (Andrews) (Hartman) (Barnard) (Finlay)
7. Beacon City Band. Back in the early 1980s, they were at the top of the heap on the local and campus charts. You’ll have to look hard to find their songs today, but what’s a treasure without a challenge? (Barnard)
8. Blue October. “It’s all walks of life: black, white, Asian, Hispanic,” explains Blue October vocalist Jeremy Furstenfeld. “And it’s not just one genre. It’s people who like hip-hop; it’s people who like rock…” And guitarist C.B. Hudson is a Texas State alumnus who applied for the job over breakfast in a downtown San Marcos cafe. “It was fate – or Kismet,” Hudson admits. (Hendricks) (page 96)
9. Ponty Bone, “Clifton’s Boogie.” Accordion great Ponty Bone, featured in one of the Unplugged concerts, contributed this song to Travelin’ Texas, vol. 2. (Andrews)
10. Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, “Okie Dokie Stomp” from the Blues Ain’t Nothin’ album. Gate was a friend I met when he did an Austin City Limits in ‘77 or so. He guest-lectured on campus in a country music history class back in the late ’70s and played at Cheatham Street a few times, and he always remembered me so I’m remembering him now. (Copeland)
11. Roy Buchanan, “Sweet Dreams” from the album Roy Buchanan and the Snakestretchers. As far as I know, he never played San Marcos. The connection has to do with the old FM station KRMH near Buda, which was giving away promotional albums at Chilympiad in ‘72. We played it till we wore it out, bought another and then another and then eventually a CD. In ’77, I did an ACL with him, and I was so in awe of the guy I couldn’t talk to him. (Copeland)
12. Myron Butler. Formerly with God’s Property, Myron came to Texas State for Gospel Fest, and people are still singing his praises. He earned a Gospel Grammy. (Hendricks)
13. Tracy Byrd. The Beaumont native came to school at Texas State for a couple of semesters while honing his skills as a singer. His “Truth About Men” could answer many philosophical unanswered questions. (Finlay)
14. J.R. Chatwell, Willie Nelson, Doug Sahm, Jackie King, Jammin’ with J.R. With all those great musicians, this choice needs no more explanation – another Fire Station Studios project. (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
15. Clap Clap. This is the hottest dance band in San Marcos and includes some students and graduates. (Barnard)
16. Guy Clark. Tough decision, but I stick to the time frame and say “Old No. 1.” All great songs but “L.A. Freeway” has a lot of sentimental value. Like Walt (Wilkins), Guy is one of the great Texas songwriters. (Copeland) “The Cape” —There’s no better songwriter alive today than Guy Clark, and this is one of his most poignant songs. Pat Green, Robert Earl Keen, Cory Morrow and so many other younger singer-songwriters owe much of their success to the songwriting path blazed years earlier by Guy Clark. (Hartman)
17. W.C. Clark, “Rough Edges.” It’s included on CTMH’s Travelin’ Texas, vol. 1. (Andrews)
18. Shawn Colvin, “Not a Drop of Rain.” This good friend of the CTMH first came to Texas in the 1970s as the vocalist for a western swing band. Since then, her singing and songwriting talents have made her an international star. Her cover of this Robert Earl Keen tune is amazing. (Hartman)
19. Conjunto los Pinkys, “La Guerita.” If you don’t like to dance, then you may be living in the wrong state. This song should have you up twirling around in no time. (Hartman)
20. Conspirare. One of America’s premier choral ensembles, nominated for two Grammy Awards, includes Cynthia Gonzales, assistant professor of music theory at Texas State. (Hendricks) (page 73)
21. Counting Crows. They were one of the biggest draws to date at Rec Jam, the Sewell Park event that kicks off the school year. (Hendricks)
22. Dead Milkmen, “You’ll Dance to Anything.” Among the original “punk” bands, this song was recorded at the Fire Station Studios, and it’s true: “You’ll dance to anything”! (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
23. Dixie Chicks. Among our favorite “Shut Up and Sing”-ers, the Chicks have quite a few Texas State connections. Alum Bruce Robison penned “Travelin’ Soldier,” which was destined for the top of the charts when it plummeted from the Top of the World amid the Chick chaos. Also, Chick Natalie Maines’ dad is award-winning Texas music producer Lloyd Maines, who has spent countless hours in the Fire Station Studios, both as a musician and producer. (Finlay)
24. Eddie Durham. This San Marcos native son invented and amplified the electric guitar. The Center for Texas Music History is currently playing a part in preserving his San Marcos childhood home. (Barnard)
25. Janet Ellis. Alum Ellis ’81 has made a career as a performer with the New York Metropolitan Opera. (Hendricks)
26. Elvis Presley. Elvis played on campus in old Evans Auditorium in 1954, and ag teacher Tollie Buie almost lost his job for sponsoring the student event (Buie’s son Dan attended and says Elvis wore a bright orange suit and shoes, and the place “went nuts.”) Everyone has a favorite Elvis song, but if you can’t decide, “Blue Suede Shoes” speaks to the times and would be a good choice. (Finlay)
27. Joe Ely, “Ranches and Rivers.” It’s included on Travelin’ Texas, vol. 1. (Andrews)
28. The Flatlanders, “South Wind of Summer.” A wonderful song that captures the feeling of an open Texas prairie, sung by the favorite sons of West Texas. It’s on Travelin’ Texas, vol. 3. (Hartman)
29. Ruthie Foster with Cyd Cassone, “Small Town Blues.” Ruthie and Cyd performed at several Unplugged concerts, and Ruthie has spoken to and performed for classes at Texas State. This song is included on Travelin’ Texas, vol. 1. (Andrews) Ruthie is the most soulful singer to come out of Texas in years, and her rendition of the Stephen Foster classic “Oh, Susannah,” about a slave longing for freedom, will send chills up and down your spine. (Hartman) (Barnard)
30. Friday Night Lights soundtrack. A natural choice, it’s among the best soundtracks for productions with filming ties to Texas State. Any network TV program that features cameos of Bobcat Football Coach Brad Wright is destined for greatness. (Hendricks) (p. 78)
31. Dr. G and the MudCats (a.k.a. Gregg Andrews of the Texas State history faculty and Center for Texas Music History). Best bets would be anything from their debut album Mudcat, maybe “Swinging on a Texas Moon” or “Rockin’ Rita” or Dr. G’s “Night Train from Pecos.” (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
32. Randy Garibay with Doug Sahm, “What’s Your Name.”The song is from the Juke Box Music, another great CD recorded in the Fire Station Studios. (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
33. Gianttheme song. Anyone who has ever been to a Bobcat football game knows when “Giant” is played, the Strutters are on their way. (Schueller)
34. Eliza Gilkyson, Hard Times in Babylon. Powerful, beautiful music — one of songs from it, “Beautiful Dreamer,” is on Travelin’ Texas, vol. 2. No one writes them and sings them like Eliza. (Hartman)
35. “Go Bobcats!” Texas State’s fight song doesn’t need an explanation. It is an all-time classic fight song and one that would stack up with any in the country. It was written by the late famous bandmaster Paul Yoder. (Schueller)
36. Pat Green, “Take Me Out to a Dancehall.” Another great dancin’ song. Pat recently played a concert in Texas State’s Glade Theatre. (Hartman)
37. Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, “If You Were a Bluebird.” It’s included on Travelin’ Texas, vol. 1. (Andrews)
38. Wayne “The Train” Hancock, “That’s What Daddy Wants.” The Train went to the Fire Station to record his unique juke joint sound, and people have been dancing ever since. (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
39. Roy Head, “Treat Her Right.” This was Head’s biggest hit. Lots of local talent and historic value in this one, as he started as a San Marcos High School band member and went to the top of the charts in the early ‘60s. Roy Head and the Traits, who began performing in high school in 1957, performed a golden anniversary concert at Texas State on Oct. 20. (Barnard)
40. Terri Hendrix, “My Own Place.” Terri, who attended Texas State and performed at several of the CTMH Unplugged concerts, contributed this song to Travelin’ Texas, vol. 1. (Andrews) Terri Hendrix is a feel-good, must-have on this list. This longtime San Marcos resident is a great supporter of the Center for Texas Music History and has just released her latest album, The Spiritual Kind. (Finlay) She launched her musical career at Cheatham Street Warehouse. Now with a Grammy under her belt and songs recorded by the Dixie Chicks and others, Terri is one of the most talented and promising artists on the national music scene. (Hartman)Or Willory Farm CD. (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
41. Tish Hinojosa, “Something in the Rain.” Tish, who performed at several Unplugged concerts, recorded this song with engineer Gary Hickinbotham in a “warm-up” session at the Fire Station Studios. The song is included on Tish’s CD Culture Swing. (Andrews) (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
42. Hip Hop Congress, A Texas State-ment. This CD project by the university’s Hip Hop Congress, developed through the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, is a spirited taste of inner city hip hop with a decidedly Texas State flavor! (Hendricks)
43. Whitney Houston didn’t yet need a bodyguard, but she was already standing on the edge of stardom when she played on the Texas State campus in the ’80s. (Hendricks)
44. Ray Wylie Hubbard, “Ballad of the Crimson Kings.” Hubbard led off with this song when he emceed one of our Unplugged concerts. He has also contributed a song to Travelin’ Texas, vol. 2. (Andrews)
45 Flaco Jimenez. What B.B. King is to the blues, Grammy-winning accordionist Jimenez is to the world of Tex-Mex Conjunto. He’s played the Unplugged jam session. (Hendricks)
46. Joe Bob’s Bar and Grill Band. I’m going to stop at 10 favorites. So last are my old friends Joe Bob Burris and Marion Quick of Joe Bob’s Bar and Grill Band. This little band based out of Luling and San Marcos had a great following in the mid ‘70’s at Cheatham Street, Gruene Hall, The Nickel Keg, The Too Bitter and many dance halls around the area. It was always a toss up between this band and Ace in the Hole, but a lot of great nights, memories and stories exist around them. (Copeland)
47. Peter Keane, “Gloryland.” It was recorded at the Fire Station Studios. Google Keane and listen. This is what heaven sounds like. (Hickinbotham/Arnold) (Hendricks)
48. Robert Earl Keen, “The Road Goes On Forever.” Robert performed at one of Texas State’s Rec Jams and contributed a song to Travelin’ Texas, vol. 2. This song is very popular among university students. (Andrews) Not only do his San Marcos roots include long-time bass player and Texas State alum Bill Whitbeck ’87, but he talks about San Marcos on several of his albums. (Hendricks)
49. Laurie Lewis. This bluegrass Grammy nominee is one of the most diversely talented artists in America today and was a favorite in the Supple Folk Music Series. (Hendricks)
50. Los Lonely Boys. This hot trio of West Texas siblings brought their Texican rock and roll to the Texas State campus as one of their breakout concerts before their first Grammy shot them to stardom. (Hendricks)
51. Lyle Lovett. Lyle played around San Marcos as a young songwriter back in his Texas A&M days, long before he became a cult classic crooner. He was Robert Earl Keen’s roommate at A&M, but we won’t hold that against him! (Hendricks)
52. John Arthur Martinez is another Texas State alum ‘84, and finalist in the “Nashville Star” competition. His influences range from Flaco Jimenez to Marty Robbins and fall somewhere in between. (Finlay)
53. John McCutcheon. He’s another Grammy winner and favorite in the Supple Folk Music Series. (Hendricks)
54. James McMurtry. Son of Larry McMurtry, a Southwestern Writers Collection donor, James McMurtry has swept the Americana music awards and rides the top of the charts. (Hendricks)
55. “Metal Shop.” This is one of the Bobcat Band’s most requested stand tunes. Everyone likes to boogie to this one. (Schueller)
56. Augie Meyers. This Grammy-winning San Antonio music legend has played in San Marcos and recorded in the Fire Station Studios since they paved Chautauqua Hill. “Hey, Baby! Que Paso?” is a great choice unless you want to go further back and pick up some of Augie and Doug Sahm’s Sir Douglas Quintet material. (Finlay)
57. Ed Miller. This Scottish folk singer is a true ”roots” musician and regular guest artist featured in the Supple Folk Music Series. (Hendricks)
58. Monte Montgomery. This acoustic guitar virtuoso recorded his Architect CD at the Fire Station Studios and has been playing in San Marcos since he was 13, long before he was featured on the cover of Guitar Player magazine. (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
59.Gurf Morlix, “Madalyn’s Bones.” This cut from the Diamonds to Dust album tells the story of the identification of famed atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s bones by Texas State faculty member Dave Glassman. It mentions “the number on her hip,” the ID on the hip replacement that was among the bones. (Hendricks)
60. Emilio Navaira. A Texas State alum and San Antonio country-Tejano artist, Emilio shows his George Strait influence in “Life Is Good.” His rich vocals on “Juntos” is also a good choice. (Finlay)
61. Nelly. Who can forget this Grammy Award winner on campus in 2003? Did he really think Band-aids were a fashion statement? But the music was fun. (Hendricks)
62. Willie Nelson. This American icon (and Southwestern Writers Collection donor) has played in San Marcos more times than we can count, but one of his most memorable concerts took place at the Hays County Civic Center in the late 1970s – it was “Willie and Friends Do It for a Friend,” a benefit for country singer Jess D’Maine (better known as Fred Frieling, former Bobcat football star ‘64-’66) after a Nashville motorcycle accident left Frieling paralyzed. (Hendricks)
63. The Newton Street Irregulars. This CD featuring Jerry and Cathy Supple is a definite must-have in this collection. It’s on my iPod. Banjos and dulcimers, good friends and folk songs, this album defines friendship! And what other major university ever had a premier banjo recording star as president? I have several favorites on this CD, so upload the whole collection. Recorded, of course, at the Fire Station Studios. (Hendricks)
64. Gary P. Nunn, “What I Like About Texas.” This should be our new state anthem. It’s included on Travelin’ Texas, vol. 3 (Andrews)
65. Omar and the Howlers. What Texas State student hasn’t had “Hard Times in the Land of Plenty”? On Columbia Records, recorded at the Fire Station Studios and still just as solid as it was in the 1980s. (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
66. Wayne Oquin. Multiple award-winning composer and Texas State alum Oquin ’99 earned his doctorate at Juilliard and returned to Texas State this year to direct the culminating Common Experience program, featuring theatrical scenes, original choreography and musical performances devoted to the theme of protest and dissent. (Hendricks)
67. Bill Pekar, “The Colors Are All the Same.” This was Shiner native Pekar’s musical chronicle of growing up in a house divided with parents from the University of Texas and Texas A&M. Check out his website (billpekar.com) to see how this saga turned out. (Hendricks)
68. James Polk. Grammy Award nominee Polk was an instructor of jazz studies at Texas State before he retired. He served for 10 years as musical arranger for Ray Charles. He’s been named Jazz Pianist of the Year in Texas. (Hendricks)
69.Ruben Ramos and the Texas Revolution, Grammy winner Ruben Ramos is no stranger to the Texas State campus. Another favorite dance band through the decades. (Hendricks)
70. Willis Alan Ramsey. Put this album, Willis’ only, on the list. He’s played benefits for the CTMH. (Copeland)
71. “Red Turrets,” our university alma mater. Along with the fight song, memorization should be required for graduation. (Schueller)
72. Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws, “Standing Room Only.” A lot of Texans don’t realize that zydeco is indigenous to both Texas and Louisiana. If you’re not dancing when this song’s playing, somebody should check your pulse. It’s on Travelin’ Texas, vol. 1. (Hartman)
73. Bruce Robison. This alum and Bandera native has had his songs recorded by everyone from the Dixie Chicks to Tim McGraw – and he wrote George Strait’s 55th No. 1 hit, “Wrapped.” (Finlay)
74. Randy Rogers, “They Call It the Hill Country.” Randy is a Texas State grad (’01) and Mercury Records artist. This song from the Roller Coaster album was written by Texas State alum Kent Finlay. The Randy Rogers Band is another Cheatham Street Warehouse product. (Hendricks) Randy has performed for the CTMH Unplugged concerts and contributed to Travelin’ Texas, vol. 3. (Andrews) “Tommy Jackson” — Randy’s one of the brightest young stars in Texas music today. If you haven’t heard this band live, stop whatever you’re doing and go hear them — now! (Hartman)
75. Shake Russell, “River of Innocence.” This theme song for the Ron Coley-produced documentary by the same name is a must-have for anyone who has ever stuck a toe in the sacred springs of the San Marcos River. (Hendricks) Russell’s “Travelin’ Texas” provided the title for the CTMH’s three compilation CDs. (Andrews) “Travelin’ Texas” is another excellent candidate for a new state anthem. (Hartman)
76. Doug Sahm, From Doug Sahm and Friends I got this album in ‘73 while I was living in Virginia, and it made me so homesick for San Marcos. This is another one of those albums we wore out. Later he did an ACL, which was quite a trip in itself — remind me to tell you the story sometime! (Copeland)
77. Salsa del Rio. Spice up your world withTexas State’s premier salsa band. These students have won top honors in national competitions, and many students come to Texas State specifically to be in this performance group. (Hendricks)
78. Andrés Segovia. Did you see this “father of the modern classical guitar” on campus in concert in the early ‘70s? (Hendricks)
79. Billy Joe Shaver, “Love Is So Sweet.” Billy Joe has performed on campus as a headliner for the CTMH. This song is included on Travelin’ Texas, vol. 2 (Andrews) Billy Joe is easily one of Texas’ greatest songwriters, and this beautiful song reflects his passion for life, even in the face of enormous personal tragedies. (Hartman)
80. Sisters Morales, “Cancion Mixteca.” Lisa and Roberta Morales have performed at a couple of the CTMH Unplugged concerts. This traditional Mexican ballad is included on Travelin’ Texas, vol. 3. (Andrews) Beautiful harmonies, driving beat, great instrumentation — this is the way good music was meant to be. (Hartman)
81. Todd Snider. Todd came to San Marcos because Texas State was here. He slept on a lot of couches and learned to write songs here and has made a songwriting career steeped in Texas Hill Country color. MCA and John Prine’s Oh Boy! Records have kept his songs in the stores and on the radio ever since. His “Devil’s Backbone Tavern” is a good choice for this list. (Finlay)
82. George Strait. Pick any of the 55 No. 1 hits that this Texas State Distinguished Alumnus has recorded so far — we’re going with “Blame It on Mexico,” one of George’s first hits, written by Texas State alum Darrell Staedtler ’66. (Finlay)
83. Strutters music. Barbara Tidwell had Strutters dancing to “Deep in the Heart of Texas” throughout her tenure. As the team prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2009, members recall a variety of routines. I remember performing a high-kick routine at the World 600 Stock Car Races in North Carolina – appropriately to the Jerry Reed classic, “East Bound and Down.” The prelude to the theme song “Giant” still brings chills and better posture to hundreds of former Strutters. (The definitive version is a recording from new Bobcat Band Director Caroline Beatty.)This tune has brought Strutters out onto the field since their formation in 1960. The Strutter anthem, which is sung following each practice, is a variation of the “Marines’ Hymn.” The song and lyrics were put together in the ‘60s, and the tradition continues. (Angell-Gonzalez)
84. Sunny Sweeney. Another Texas State alum ’01 with Grand Ole Opry tradition in her soul. She records on the Big Machine label. (Finlay)
85. “Texas State Fanfare-Hill Country Theme.” The opening sound of the Bobcat Marching Band pregame show was written and arranged by Randol Bass, a well-known Austin area composer/arranger. The fanfare utilizes snippits of the fight song. The “Hill Country Theme” was one of President Johnson’s favorite tunes and is certainly representative of our area and our most famous alumnus. (Schueller)
86. “A Texas State of Mind.” Now the musical centerpiece of commencement ceremonies, this rhapsody for brass ensemble was composed by Joe Stuessy, who just retired as director of the School of Music. It’s a medley of Lone Star songs. (Schueller)
87. Texas Tornados, “Hey, Baby! Que Paso?” The Tornados blended together all the great musical influences of their home state to help make Texas music popular worldwide. If you haven’t heard the Texas Tornados, you haven’t really heard Texas music. (Hartman) Texas Tornados recorded much of their Grammy-winning sound at the Fire Station Studios and performed in Strahan Coliseum for a national Native American Pow Wow. “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” or “Laredo Rose” would be the best choices. (Finlay) Or “She Never Spoke Spanish to Me.” (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
88. Lucky Tomblin Band. Not only did alum Lucky Tomblin create the Fire Station Studios, but he went on to build an all-star band of multitalented musicians, including rhythm guitarist Bobby Arnold of the Fire Station Studios. The LTB is dedicated to preserving the roots and foundation of Americana music, and they are strong supporters of the CTMH. (Hendricks) (Hickinbotham/Arnold) (Barnard)
89. Too Smooth. Another favorite local band from the ‘70s, they were popular at the old Eatin’ Street Beat, precursor to Rec Jam back-to-school bashes. (Barnard)
90. Geronimo Trevino with Gary P. Nunn, “Macho Man from Taco Land” on the Totally Guacamole album. Recorded at the Fire Station, it’s great music and will keep alums hungry for some of the great eating establishments in town. (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
91. Two Tons of Steel, “Havanah Moon.” Their “Two Ton Tuesdays” at Gruene Hall make those hot summer nights even hotter. And of course, they recorded this in the Fire Station Studios. (Hickinbotham/Arnold)
92. Up with People. Immensely popular, they played at Evans Auditorium in the late 1960s. They’re the best kind of folks we know. (Hendricks)
93. Townes Van Zandt, “If I Needed You.” A work of art by the “poet laureate” of Texas music. He recorded at the Fire Station. (Hartman)
94. Stevie Ray Vaughan. He played in town every Tuesday night “ladies free,” for a year or so and recorded some of his most influential work at the Fire Station Studios. (Finlay)
95. Jerry Jeff Walker, “Hill Country Rain.” I always think of San Marcos when I hear this song, and it’s one of Jackie Jack’s best. (Copeland) Or “Keep Texas Beautiful” on Travelin’ Texas, vol. 3. (Andrews) Jerry Jeff is a contributor to the Southwestern Writers Collection and has performed at events connected with it.
96. Lavelle White, “Wootie Boogie.” Lavelle is one of the greatest living pioneers of Texas R&B. Doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, you’re going to love her stuff. This one’s on Travelin’ Texas, vol. 3. (Hartman)
97. Walt Wilkins, “Trains I Missed” from Diamond in the Sun CD. An obvious choice for me but considering the connection of trains at Cheatham Street and the trains we never seem to miss in San Marcos, it’s a great song. I would also add as an addendum that his song “Ruby’s Two Sad Daughters” (his version) rates right up there with some of the best of Texas songwriting. (Copeland)
98. Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, “San Antonio Rose.” Perhaps the world’s favorite song about Texas. As one of the most influential figures in country music history, Wills drew from all the different ethnic influences found throughout the state to help create western swing, the unofficial “national music of Texas.” Wills memorabilia is in the Southwestern Writers Collection. (Hartman)
99. Paul Winter. He played on campus in the early 1970s, bringing the cutting edge of new age, world music to Texas State. (Hendricks)
100. Word Association. San Marcos’ hottest current hip-hop group is popular with today’s students and locals alike. (Barnard)
101. ZZ Top, “Shakin’ Your Tree.” If my memory serves me well, they played Evans Auditorium in the spring of 1971, one of the first and perhaps last rock concert there while I was in school, due to the smoky conditions. (Copeland)
There’s the list. It’s your turn. Agree, argue, debate and complain. Bring it on. Send us your comments.E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travelin’ Texas, vol. 1, 2 and 3 are available through the Center for Texas Music History, http://www.txstate.edu/ctmh/
There’s the list. It’s your turn. Agree, argue, debate and complain. Bring it on. Send us your comments. E-mail us at email@example.com.