Country Music

In 1964 James White opened the Broken Spoke and on most nights you can still find him there welcoming customers and introducing bands with his Broken Spoke manifesto.

The stage at the Spoke has hosted many of country music's greats and hall of fame stars. Author Donna Lee Miller has chronicled the life and times of this historic gem in "The Broken Spoke: Austin's Legendary Honky-Tonk."

The South by Southwest music festival is well-established as a venue where up-and-coming artists get discovered. But it also offers a chance to hear from the music industry's icons — like veteran country star Garth Brooks, who delivered a keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during SXSW this week. Brooks kicked off his career in the 1980s, and he's still breaking records and selling out shows.

From Texas Standard:

Buddy Holly. Joe Ely. Butch Hancock. Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. Terry Allen. And the list of musicians from Lubbock goes on. Over the years, music journalists have wondered what it is about this city that makes it produce so many musicians.

Amanda Shires, the current queen of Americana music, says that the answer is actually quite simple: there’s nothing else to do there except make music.

Charley Pride is the first African-American country singer to ever perform at the Grand Ole Opry. In total, he's sold some 70 million records and recorded dozens of No. 1 hits — and in two weeks, Pride will be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys. Pretty extraordinary for a man born and raised in Mississippi, the son of a sharecropper.

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