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.