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Western Swing Named Official State Music of Texas

Western Swing became the official state music of Texas on June 17, 2011, when Governor Rick Perry signed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 35:

(Excerpts from Resolution No. 35:) “… origins (of western swing) are firmly tied to the Lone Star State; growing out of the music that was played in the state’s small-town dance halls, the style became better known through the work of Texans Milton Brown and Bob Wills, two of the most famous and influential swing artists of all time; these pioneers formed the Light Crust Doughboys in the Fort Worth area in the early 1930s and went on to even greater fame while leading individual bands of their own…

the appeal of this spirited music is its exceptional ability to get people dancing; this quality, too, is evocative of Texas, a state in which dance halls have historically been central to the social life of its communities; today, the foot-tapping tempo of western swing continues to be heard all across our state… and it is indeed a fitting symbol for the rich cultural heritage that is shared by all Texans; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the 82nd Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate western swing as the official State Music of Texas.


Note: Western Swing is one of the few truly American music forms. It is music made for dancing. Throughout his long and productive career, Bob Wills continued to popularize it. He was a songwriter, band leader, fiddler and consummate performer uniquely in tune with the powers of innovation and improvisation. Today, he is recognized as a major influence on music and musicians who followed him. In 2007, his contributions were honored by the Recording Academy with a Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award. He was also honored by the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, Western Swing Society Hall of Fame in 1986, Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame in 1988, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Early Influence) in 1999, Texas Music Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.