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Texas Books in Review

Texas Books in Review is a biannual journal that monitors the literary production of books about Texas, providing rich reviews about contemporary publications across diverse fields and genres.

Texas Books in Review is indexed in the Texas Index.

ISSN 0739-3202

© Center for the Study of the Southwest, Texas State University.

Current Issue: Volume XXXV, No. 1 (Spring 2015)

The Day The Music Died

Texas music is as big and diverse as its landscape and cuisine. From Bob Wills to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Blue October to The Dixie Chicks to ZZ Top to Beyoncé, the elements that define Lone Star State tunes vary. We’ve got blues coming in from the East, Tejano moving up from the South, and progressive country busting out of Austin. But for me, Texas will always be connected to Buddy Holly. Every time I hear “That’ll Be The Day” or “Not Fade Away,” I start tapping my feet and bopping my head. You can hear Buddy’s influence in punk rock, heavy metal, and even in hip-hop.

There are lots of stories of the famous man in glasses from the city of Lubbock. My personal favorite is the one where he and the rest of The Crickets played at the Apollo Theater in New York. The story goes—and truth and myth often blur when it comes to rock history—that Holly was hired to play before anyone saw a picture of him, so when the curtains opened, the all black audience sat in a shocked silence as they looked at a bunch of white boys from Texas. But Buddy and The Crickets played a great show and the crowd loved it.

Texas has had a lot of great singers, songwriters, and musicians over the years. It is always sad when they pass away too soon. Buddy Holly died in the infamous plane crash of 1959 alongside Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. Janis Joplin overdosed at age twenty-seven. Dimebag Darrel, the guitarist of Pantera, was assassinated on stage back in 2004. And this spring marks the twentieth anniversary of Selena’s murder. Dubbed the Queen of Tejano music, Selena was quickly becoming an icon as she broke through cultural walls. Not only did she break through the Tejano music gender barrier, Selena was able to bridge her fan base more than any other Tejano star. Just recently there was a two-day festival in honor of Selena’s life, music, and legacy. The Fiesta de la Flor showcased Tejano music, various local and regional food trucks, and screenings of the movie Selena.

2014 Fall