Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Western Boogie

As the boogie craze made its way across the country it ran smack into Texas. The American Southwest and Texas in particular, adopted the sound and welcomed it to their diverse family of regional styles.

I’ve mentioned in past ramblings the wild mix of musical styles that settled in Texas. Stephen Austin’s territory of Texas offered large land grants to European settlers and thanks to the “Texas Letters” of German emigrant Johann Friedrich Ernst, there was a steady inflow of settlers from Germany. Through his letters to friends and newspapers espousing the warm climate and bountiful land available for not much more than the surveying fees, Ernst is considered the founder of Texas’ German Belt. Like the Acadians of Louisiana, the Germans of south central Texas have retained much of their culture, including their unique “Texas-German” dialect.

But I’m getting a bit off track here again. The music the string bands played in the rural dancehalls differed from the string band music of the Southeast or Appalachian regions. German and Eastern European influences were the predominant forces, but were tempered with the English, Irish, and French music brought by other settlers.

This unique blend would further evolve to include the sounds from the big cities heard on the new records and radio stations. The Boogie Woogie sound made its way into this blend also.

Jimmy Boyd - Waxachachie Boogie Woogie Dishwasher Boy.mp3

Gene O'Quin - Texas Boogie.mp3

4 Comments:

Anonymous rockin'andRollin' said...

I remember the first times that I heard this
"strange" music, many years ago.
I knew only Elvis, Little Richard and the classic country of the 70s.

These "strange"steel guitars solos have fascinated to me.
What I love of this rural music for the dance, is that it's only pure music.

The music of the late r'n'r, from teenage drama to juvenile rebellion and woodstock , have an history to tell.
It's music "literary".

The hillbilly boogie, like the early rockabilly,
is pure music for fun.

It's symple but it's true, and it never does not die.

I hope to explain myself with my bad english...

Bye.

December 13, 2006 4:31 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Very well put rockin'androllin'. Your English is easily understood and much better than you believe.

I agree with you about the juvenile nonsense of later (‘50s) rockabilly for the most part. Hillbilly boogie was one of the cornerstones of the rockabilly that later evolved into rock and roll.

The photo I included with this post is of a young Texan named Bill Haley and his band, The Saddlemen. When they made the switch to electric instruments they changed the name to Bill Haley and The Comets.

December 13, 2006 8:35 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Hey Ed! Thanks for a Texas side trip into boogie woogie! I don't know either of these fellows, so you've opened a new door for me.

December 14, 2006 11:05 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Great, Greg!

December 14, 2006 4:20 PM  

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