Best Texas Songs of All Time: #19-1

Categories: Best Of

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Billy Preston
Songs #100-80

Songs #79-60

Songs #59-40

Songs #39-20

The Spotify playlist for songs #19-1

19. Billy Preston, "Nothing From Nothing"
Houston pianist Billy Preston got to hang around some decent talent (The Beatles, The Stones), but his solo material went in another direction altogether. This is his most well-known hit, but check out "Space Race" as well. - Audra Schroeder

18. Ray Wylie Hubbard, "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother"
One of the most poignant of tales bringing hippies and rednecks together. Buddy Jerry Jeff Walker then went on to record the song in 1973. - Audra Schroeder

17. Janis Joplin, "Piece of My Heart"
Joplin doesn't just sing a song, she muscles all of the longing, flirting and humor out of a melody and heaves it at you. If you have ever questioned her vocal delivery, consider how she makes giving away her broken heart sound inevitable but downright fun. Plus, that chorus is history-making. - Deb Doing Dallas

16. Cindy Walker, "You Don't Know Me"
If the shy boys and girls of the world ever acknowledge their secret society, Walker's 1956 hit "You Don't Know Me" (co-written with Eddy Arnold) should be the theme song. - Doug Davis

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Buddy Holly
15. Buddy Holly, "That'll Be the Day"
The lyric -- both lovestruck and vaguely threatening in a passive-aggressive way -- captures the panicky feel when one half of a couple doesn't want a relationship to end, over an incongruously upbeat melody. Add to that a great guitar solo, vocal harmonies, a run-time of just a bit over two minutes and you've got the formula for countless rock gems to follow. - Jesse Hughey

14. Gene Autry, "(I've Got Spurs That) Jingle Jangle Jingle"
Texas has spawned more than a few singing cowboys over the years, none as successful as Gene Autry. "(I've Got Spurs That) Jingle Jangle Jingle" is an ode to wandering and bachelorhood, and Autry's original is great, but it's the version sung on horseback by Olive Oyl, siren of the cartoon world, that rattles around in my head. - Doug Davis

13. 13th Floor Elevators, "You're Gonna Miss Me"
The song encapsulates the raw, psychedelic energy heard throughout much of the 60s and 70s, with a long-standing impact that's endured nearly a half-century, as any self-respecting garage rock aficionado can attest. - Zach Hale



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19 comments
deford39
deford39

I will always consider "Texas Trilogy" by Steven Fromholz to be the ultimate song about Texas.. All of the other songs and artist are great though.. 

Jason Harris
Jason Harris

Saw Archie Bell and Roy Head play a gig down in Houston shortly after Katrina. Good tunes, cold beer, and BBQ. Top notch. Roy Head was three sheets, but still put on a great show. Archie stole it though.

julie.clemens
julie.clemens

Interesting list, but I am mystified by the exclusion of Lyle Lovett's "That's Right (You're Not From Texas)".  I realize everyone has their own favorites, but, to me, this one seems a given. 

douglas.davis
douglas.davis

It was tough to choose the songs to write about, and there are indeed some excluded songs and artists that I can't help but feel badly about.  Great artists that were not represented (and only a partial list, to be sure) include Elliot Smith, Robert Earl Keen (The Road Goes On Forever was on my list and I scratched it since if was set in Florida), Marc Benno, Steve Earle, Willis Allen Ramsey, Butch Hancock, Gary P. Nunn (I Wanna Go Home to the Armadillo), Jimmy Dale Gilmore, yes, Toadies/Possum Kingdom, the list goes on and on.

 

Texas of yester-year particularly, that great and wild state that is rapidly being consumed by the same homogenizing forces (chain stores, television, suburban populations that dwarf the rural numbers) that dim its uniqueness, bred some great songwriters. 

 

Come to think of it, Win Butler did a pretty good job writing about the decay on The Suburbs....

dreamysoundz
dreamysoundz

Glad to see the 13th Floor Elevators on the list!!!

franzlist
franzlist

good list, here are some others

 

Johnny Winter - Be Careful with a Fool

Bubble Puppy - Hot Smoke and Sassafras

Cold Moon - Here in the Year

ZZ Top - Master of Sparks (for the lyrics alone)

The Huns - Glad He's Dead

radsenior
radsenior

I'm old enough to remember every song listed.

 

Floyd
Floyd

How can I take a list with only one song by SRV,, no songs by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, no Don Henley, only one Joe Ely, and leaves out Joe King Carrasco's "Party Weekend" seriously?  Asleep at the Wheel?

SRBryan
SRBryan

Really? Not a single Toadies song??

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

if you're gonna randomly pick a Billy Preston hit it should have been That's The Way God Planned It....very entertaining list though.

paulofempire
paulofempire

I'm gonna be honest, I'm bitter by the lack of a certain Deep Ellum band from 15 years ago...

txmuzik
txmuzik

All Hail the late great Doug Sahm... thank you for getting this right. Everybody will have their own bone to pick about any "best-of" list of anything ... but ANY best-of list of Texas music, Texas songs, Texas artists that doesn't include Sir Doug is just plain wrong. Y'all done good here. Can't argue with greatness. Tip o the hat for having Barbara Lynn, Freddie Fender and Roy Head up there in the Top 10 too, where they belong. All Good.

jlee1957
jlee1957

What no "Texas Is a State of Mind" by Ray Wylie Hubbard? Any song thats last verse ends with the words "Oklahoma sucks" belongs on this list. Clean out your desks, you're fired.

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