Texas has such a rich musical history that it rivals that of some countries. Texas is known as the home of country music, but the music genres that originated from or are popular in the state extend far beyond the genre that the state is most known for. Most musical heroes in Texas come from the state and include both bands and artists. While there are so many great acts from the state, we have done our best to pick out some of the greatest.
Willie Nelson is regarded by many as the greatest musician to come from Texas. His iconic guitar, bandana, lined face, and pigtails are recognizable even in the modern age. With such a rich iconography, it is easier to forget that he remains one of the best songwriters of his generation.
Nelson will always be identified as a country musician but his ability to handle a guitar, his writing, his sense of time, and his voice helped him become known even among those who were not fans of country music.
His iconic sound traverses and has inspired artists in jazz, pop, rock, and R&B. Nelson’s career had lots of stages, each of which is clearly defined by his writing for the time era he was in. Nelson was always a free spirit and his departure and return from Nashville changed his career for the better and made those who already loved him and his music do both even more.
Even when she was part of Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé still stood out as a Houston native. Many point to the way she talks and dances as showcasing that she is a girl from Houston who thrives on making music that brings the masses to her. Beyoncé is such an iconic figure in music, both black and otherwise, that she has inspired whole generations of black women in music.
Since leaving Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé has gone on to become a global icon who sets standards in making hits and attracting a faithful fan base. Beyoncé has largely stayed away from interviews and jostling for airplay but she still garners billions of views and plays when she releases an album.
Her live performances are jaw-dropping and are something every fan should strive to experience at least once. Beyoncé continues to grow and surprise both lovers and haters and seems to want to continue doing so, especially now that she is part of what some call a “hip hop loyalty”.
While there are lots of women who made Tejano music before Selena, she changed the genre once she got into the music business. Born in Lake Jackson, her raspy voice enabled her to sing like no one had done before and no one has managed to do since.
Selena started performing with her family when she was a young girl and quickly rose to performing in sold-out shows and touring the world, something many Tejano artists have not been able to do.
One of the reasons why Selena was able to stand out was due to her blended sounds. Her brother developed a blend of traditional Tejano sounds and elements of reggae, pop, R&B, and disco to create a sound that has never been replicated since. Because of this unique sound, “Amor Prohibido” and “Entre a Mi Mundo”, her best albums, still sound unique and innovative today.
Even after she died in 1995, her music continues to be played on the radio and is still on heavy rotation. Her tribute events are usually sold out and a makeup line inspired by her has done really well, managing to sell out twice.
Buddy Holly was an out-and-out rock ‘n’ roll artist who died too young. The one thing that still astounds people to this day is that he managed to produce some of the most iconic music alongside some of the most surprising musical failures you will ever hear. The good music he did put out still stacks up today, with the music feeling dynamic, lyrically sharp, and structurally sound.
He performed with the band Buddy and Bob, which opened for Elvis once, and was part of the Crickets band. He had a good reputation from his band days and was an experienced musician before he went solo.
He inspired lots of musicians and many people credit him with helping grow the music scene in the South Plains. He inspired greats such as Waylon Jenkins, Butch Hancock, and Joy Ely – all artists who went on to have great careers.
Bob Willis is thought to be the king of Texan music, helping to inspire many of those who worked alongside home and who came after him. Although he was appreciated in his time, he remains underappreciated and it gets worse as his influence over modern music fades.
Once he heard band music in the 1930s, Bob Willis knew that he had to put his spin on it. He did it so well that he single-handedly came up with a local sound that would surpass the national sound of the 1930s. Although no one truly knows the origin of western swing, there is no arguing that Bob Willis was highly influential in its growth.
Follow in the Footsteps of the Greats
Texas, and especially Houston, has produced and continues to produce some of the biggest musicians in the United States, and it continues to do so to this day. If you want to follow in the footsteps of those who came before you and those who continue to push Texan music forward, you need a Houston recording studio that caters to your creative process. PIRATE, which provides state-of-the-art rehearsal and recording studios for all types of artists, has a Houston recording studio suited to you. With 24/7 availability, professional equipment, staff, and affordable rates, you can begin creating iconic music whenever you like.
There is no doubt that many of the musicians who have come from Texas have gone to affect both the local and national music scene. Some of them pushed country music to the next level, some inspired new sounds, and some remain legends whose sounds have not faded even in the modern age.