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Center for Texas Music History recognized for NPR series

By Andrew Smith
University News Service
September 30, 2013

Texas State University’s Center for Texas Music History has recently received international recognition for its successful NPR radio series.

The series, “This Week in Texas Music History,” remains a regular feature of the NPR radio show “Texas Music Matters,” which is broadcast weekly by KUT-FM 90.5 in Austin.

At this year’s International Radio Festivals of New York, “Texas Music Matters” won the award for Best Regularly Scheduled Program. As a part of show for five years, “This Week in Texas Music History” was included in the award.

Dedicated to the study and preservation of Texas and Southwestern music history, the Center is a program unique to Texas State University. Gary Hartman, director of the Center for Texas Music, said he believes the state’s diverse blend of cultures and styles has led to a history of music that resonates with many people.

“Texas has been at the ‘cultural crossroads’ of the Deep South, the American West, the Great Plains and Latin America. As a result, Texas has one of the most diverse and distinct cultural environments in North America. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Texas music,” said Hartman.

In addition to gaining international attention, “This Week in Texas Music History” was also recognized as a top-quality radio program in the city of Austin. The Austin Chronicle awarded “Texas Music Matters” with the title of Best Radio Show of 2013 and specifically noted the influence of “This Week in Texas Music History.”

“When you consider all the great radio stations in the Austin area, being selected as the very best by the leading music publication in town is a very big honor,” Hartman said.

The Center for Texas Music History has had many accomplishments off the air as well. The center coproduced the first ever encyclopedia of Texas music and also created the state’s largest music exhibit at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

“This Week in Texas History” can be heard weekly on KUT-FM 90.5 and on Texas Public Radio stations throughout the Southwest. The broadcast has an estimated audience of 1 million listeners.