Metro Music explores the musical history of Dallas, Fort Worth, and the surrounding area from the nineteenth century to the 1960s and the continuing echoes of that transformative decade. With nearly five hundred images, many previously unpublished, the book moves through genres and eras that include old-time fiddlers and string bands, singing cowboys, the blues, western swing, gospel, country-western, jazz, ragtime, big bands, Tejano and Tex-Mex, rhythm and blues, rockabilly, and rock ’n’ roll.
The authors visit such legendary venues as Crystal Springs Dance Pavilion and the Longhorn Ballroom, Panther Hall and the Bluebird, and step into historic recording studios where Robert Johnson waxed “Hellhound on My Trail,” Willie created Red Headed Stranger, and the Legendary Stardust Cowboy birthed the demented masterpiece “Paralyzed.”
“We deeply appreciate this musical heritage,” the authors declare, “but we didn’t realize just how amazing it is!”
GENE FOWLER is a writer and performer. His work has been published in Oxford American, San Francisco Chronicle, True West, Journal of Texas Music History, and more. His books include Border Radio, Crazy Water, and Mavericks. WILLIAM WILLIAMS is a songwriter, guitarist, and music historian. In 2003 he cofounded an internet group to “research and archive the history of North Texas Music, especially the ’60s,” which has provided material for this publication.