Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends
of West Texas Music
by Christopher Oglesby
Published by the University
of Texas Press:
"As a whole, the interviews create
a portrait not only of Lubbock's musicians and artists, but also
of the musical community that has sustained them, including venues
such as the legendary Cotton Club and the original Stubb's Barbecue.
This kaleidoscopic portrait of the West Texas music scene gets
to the heart of what it takes to create art in an isolated, often
inhospitable environment. As Oglesby says, "Necessity is
the mother of creation. Lubbock needed beauty, poetry, humor,
and it needed to get up and shake its communal ass a bit or go
mad from loneliness and boredom; so Lubbock created the amazing
likes of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, and
"Indeed, Oglesby's introduction of more
than two dozen musicians who called Lubbock home should be required
reading not only for music fans, but for Lubbock residents and
anyone thinking about moving here. On these pages, music becomes
a part of Lubbock's living history."
- William Kerns, Lubbock Avalanche Journal
by Chris Oglesby
- Chelsea Roe - Benefitting Doug
A young west Texas writer finds her voice among musicians, drinking
keg beer at a late night party in a North University art gallery.
And the beat goes on...
Articles by Chelsea Roe [Chelsea
Roe is the music critic for the Daily Toreador at Texas Tech
- Johnny Hughes' Lubbock gambling history
Johnny Hughes, long-time Lubbock music insider and author
of the novel Texas
Poker Wisdom contributes stories about his experiences
in the world of West Texas high-stakes poker.
STORIES BY JOHNNY HUGHES
Fiction by Johnny Hughes -"Lubbock Music Business: 1978"
- "Lubbock Then and Lubbock Now" - an essay on changing times.
By Johnny Hughes
- All Those Things That Don't Change, Come What
a short story by Johnny Hughes -
the Magic House when his drinking Uncle tried to empty a rabbit
out of a long irrigation pipe and the pipe hit a high-line wire.....
- A Lock of Bonnie Parker's Hair
a short story by Johnny Hughes - October 2008
- Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Joe Ely, and the
by Johnny Hughes -
- Lubbock's Own: Larry "the Laugher" Larson
a short story by Johnny Hughes -
"Rough as hell, sweet as heaven, senior class of '57."
Larry Larson always left them laughing in Las Vegas...
- Holly of Houston: Google Me!
a short story by Johnny Hughes - May 2009
"I imagine you have searched me, googled me, and know all about Holly of Houston. Have you googled me?"
- The Sandstorm Scholarships
a short story by Johnny Hughes -
Way out here they have a name for wind and rain and fire
The rain is Tess , the fire’s Joe, and they call the wind Mariah
Henry Foster awoke to euphoria, for him: the howls, sighs, whimpers, and groans of a full-scale, West Texas sandstorm.
Learning to Steal in the Boy Scouts of America:
A Lubbock Memoir by Johnny Hughes - July 2009
"The Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts taught me a great deal about character, self-reliance, small group leadership, outdoor activities, and stealing."
- Those Griftin OMalleys - by Johnny Hughes - April 2010
-short fiction set in Dust Bowl West Texas
- I Screwed Your Sister in High School: A Lubbock Fable
by Johnny Hughes
"Billy Sue Bailey, well-known local Tea Party leader, and prominent member of one of Lubbock's founding families was standing at the checkout counter in the upscale grocery store, Market Street.
Dewey Huffknot was standing right behind her. "I screwed your sister in high school," he said loudly, "In the backyard of y'all's historic home." The teenager at the cash register was a frozen statue..."
READ the STORY
- Archival articles by Russ
Parsons from 1980s AJ
was an entertainment column written by Russ Parsons for the Lubbock
Avalanche Journal in the 1980s, a fertile time in Lubbock music
history. He has graciously shared many of his articles with us
at www.virtualubbock.com for our readers' enjoyment. Russ Parsons
currently is the food editor for the Los Angeles Times.
- New Mémoire:
The Greatest Singer I Ever Heard
by Tommy X Hancock: "I first heard her soon after the very first television programming began in Lubbock, Texas..."
Read the story to find out who the singer is.
- When the Dust Settles
short fiction by Robin Montgomery
"Since I’ve been away from Texas for several years, I’m surprised sometimes by what I miss. I miss wild thunderstorms, the most incredible sunsets and sunrises, chicken fried steak, real barbeque and many other foods, and believe it or not: dust storms. Dust storms happen to be very romantic. ..."
- Kathleen's Corner
Kathleen Nacozy is a law student
at Texas Tech, by way of Austin. Sometimes it takes the searching
eye of one from outside to appreciate Lubbock for its unique
and hidden treasures, which may go unnoticed by local passersby.
Like all of us in virtualubbock, Kathleen has learned that, while
seemingly wrapped in plain brown paper, Lubbock TX has many buried
jewels to be discovered. She wants to dig that treasure for us.
Homecoming - 2002
Contributing writer Clarence Milam sums up the phenomenally successful
2002 Flatlanders reunion tour, which wrapped up
at Lubbock's scenic Canyon Amphitheater. The Flatlanders received
a great deal of national acclaim for their reprise album, Now Again.During an appearance on CNN's Larry
King Live, talk-radio host Don Imus pledged to donate $10,000
to the favorite charity of the first major-market station to
report that a single from Now Again
had made it into the top 10. Despite little air-time, the album
hit No. 22 on the Billboard country charts.
- "Terra Plana"
These poems, submitted by writer Michelle Riddle Thomas (LHS '85), were inspired by the flat landscape
around Lubbock. Says the poet: "As a kid growing up in Lubbock,
I actually believed that roads HAD to be straight. When I reached
the age of 11 or 12 and realized that roads aren't always straight,
I was deeply shocked."
- "West Texas Sandstorm"
by Connie Williams
A charter member of
the La Mesa Area Writer's Guild, Lamesa, Texas - Connie "Sage"
Williams has captured the transcendent ability of the West
Texas wind to inspire poetry. I love this poem.
Mail - Some
of the most valuable and fascinating stories we've collected
have come from the suggestion of readers' comments.
Thank you for your contributions! 4/27/10
- Lubbock Music Memories - from our friends on Facebook
Kudos for "Fire in the Water, Earth in the
Benefit After Party - 2/14/08:
Photos, video, and articles
All-Stars Reunion - 9/7/07
video from this historic music event in celebration of the one-year anniversary
of Chris Oglesby's "Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air"
Book Release Celebration
at Stubb's - 11/12/06
Wow! What a party! Hope you didn't miss it. View
photos and read mail
Jesse "Guitar" Taylor has passed away (3/7/06).
Please share with us your memories
of our beloved guitar hero.
Read what the visitors to virtualubbock
have to say about Natalie's experience with freedom of speech.
Fair warning: We're pro-Natalie in virtualubbockland.
and Poems from M.H. Hill
Hill shares some good-time
memories and beautiful poetry inspired by life on the Caprock.
Letters from Dee Purkeypile
Purkeypile was a young
band leader in Lubbock in the '70s. Read his first-hand accounts
of the hey-day of Stubb's, the havoc of the May 11 Tornado, and the funky goings-on in the Tech Ghetto. These stories capture the essence
of the free spirit we're trying to describe at virtualubbock.
Thanks for sharing, Dee!
from Monty Newton
We've received several e-mails from musician, geologist, archeologist,
& air-pilot Monty
Newton - formerly of
Anton, now working and performing in Austin. Monty has generously
shared many great stories about life and love in the West Texas
Music Scene, including Stubb's,
Club, and the Lubbock Lights.
- Letter from Mark Gunderson
Memories of friendship with Stubb, Cuz, and Little Pete; jams
with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Ely, even Muddy Waters; more tales
of west texas bodhisattvas.
Selected archival articles, essays, liners notes, & stories*
Day The Music Was Born
- Buddy Holly Meets The King
From Texas Monthly's Sesquicentennial Collectors Edition
"When a shy but brilliant four-eyed boy from Lubbock met
a hyperactive trucker from Mississippi, the world was soon to
be shaken at the foundation."
Read how a brief encounter in Lubbock changed the world for
'Her Teeth Are Stained But Her Heart Is Pure'
by Molly Ivins
When I first read this
article written by Molly Ivins back in 1987 may have been the
first time I started thinking about, "What's up with all
the music coming from Lubbock?" - Chris
Dancing in the Headlights
Jo Harvey Allen wrote this entertaining piece for
AAA's Westways Magazine.
Honky Tonk Visions
An excerpt from Out of the Ordinary: The Art of Paul Milosevich;
Sasser discusses how visual and musical art blend together when
young artists gather under the West Texas skies.
Ross - Portrait
Artist to American Gods
upon a time a lonely little boy in Lubbock, Texas, turned to comic book heroes
for friendship. And they did what they do best - they rescued
him. But then, after a decade and a half of hard work
and intense study, something amazing happened. He returned
the favor. Does that sound unbelievable?"
Southwest Peace Festival of 1970
"Lubbock's Answer to Woodstock"
(selected Avalanche Journal articles)
Read about what could have been Lubbock's most significant cultural
event; However, the combination of the unpredictable West Texas
Spring weather and over-excited law enforcement lead to a situation
20% of the attendees were arrested or spent the weekend in the
Lubbock County jail.
by Colin Escott
The album liner notes for the 1990 re-release of West
Texas music recorded by "Jimmie Dale & The Flatlanders"
in 1971. This remarkable and puzzling band featured Jimmie Dale
Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, & Tom X Hancock.
To a Young Poet in the Wings (HA!)
By Butch Hancock
Read this mystical poem by Butch Hancock which gives a
hint to where to find this creative spirit which inhabits the
seemingly empty West Texas plains.
Stubblefield: "Ladies & Gentleman, I'm a Cook" -
An archival article from Lubbock's Caprock Sun published in conjunction with news of the development
of the Stubb's
Memorial; Read some
priceless memories of this man who was an amazing influence on
the inhabitants of Lubbock and beyond.
"A Captain Without a Ship" - by Michael Hall
In 1984, due to troubles with the IRS, Stubb finally left Lubbock
for Austin; However, Stubb never forgot his roots in Lubbock. In
this article from the Austin Chronicle, Stubb says: "At Stubbs BBQ
we got to be multimillionaires in love and affection, but we
didnt make any profits monetary stuff."
Cooper - "Fun at All Costs"
Willis Cooper was one of the great genius enigmas of the Plains.
A one-time singer and long-time sheepherder, Cooper retired to
the bars of Lubbock. There, he manifested his uncanny ability
to speak in verse and express poetry in everyday life. Anyone
who frequented the bars on Main Street near Texas Tech
in the '80s & '90s will remember an uncannily wrinkled old-man
with bulbous nose, wearing shirt-sleeves and a gimme cap, getting
up on stage to do his alcohol rambling "raps" with
whatever band happened to have the stage that night. It was inspiring
to see this guy living it up with the most untamed young people
by Jo Harvey Allen
play about Jo Harvey's life growing up in Lubbock, this
play examines the importance of the concept of "Home";
how that concept is a fuzzy one. It is a magical and poetic look
at reality that truly strikes home for a Lubbockian.
* NOTE regarding "fair use" and copyrights:
I have posted what I believe to be interesting archival material
from old newspaper, magazines, liner notes and books. In many
cases the author has granted permission to post the item here
at virtualubbock; in some cases, for various reasons, no such
permission has been soliceted or offered.
If there is any copyrighted material posted on virtualubbock.com
which the copyright holder would like removed, please notify me and I will remove the article immediately.