100 Songs That Messed With Texas This mix of songs from the Lone Star State will have you doing the "tighten up" and singing the blues. Listen to the mix and discover the diverse contributions Texas has made to American music.
NPR logo The Mix: 100 Songs That Messed With Texas

The Mix: 100 Songs That Messed With Texas

Historic Music That Redefined The Lone Star State Of Mind

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Most folks have an idea of what Texas music sounds like — or think they know, anyway.

Roky Erickson, DJ Screw, Lightin' Hopkins, and Selena. Getty Images hide caption

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Roky Erickson, DJ Screw, Lightin' Hopkins, and Selena.

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For better or for worse, the stereotyped "Texas sound" wears a cowboy hat and leans against a pickup, swigging an ice-cold Lone Star beer. To be sure, this well-worn boot fits OK , but the footprint left by Texas music is vastly bigger than most music fans appreciate.

Over the course of a month, the Texas Music Matters team at KUT Austin — with input from the station's veteran music hosts and feedback from friends online — assembled a list of "100 Songs That Messed with Texas Music." The idea was to identify a hundred songs that both a) buck Texas stereotypes, and b) have earned a spot in the Texas musical canon.

While by no means exhaustive, you'd be hard pressed to hear a more eclectic sampler of the stuff that makes Texas music great.

Artists in the Mix

  • 13th Floor Elevators
  • Arcade Fire
  • At the Drive-In
  • Bad Livers
  • Devendra Banhart
  • Archie Bell & Drells
  • Big Bopper
  • Big Boys
  • Black Angels
  • Edie Brickell and New Bohemians
  • Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
  • Bubble Puppy
  • Butthole Surfers
  • Bill Callahan
  • Joe King Carrasco
  • The Champs
  • Bruce Channel
  • Ray Charles (with Fathead Newman)
  • Charlie Christian
  • Van Cliburn
  • Arnett Cobb
  • Ornette Coleman
  • Destiny's Child
  • DJ Screw
  • Doctors' Mob
  • Bob Dorough
  • Steve Earle
  • Roky Erickson
  • Alejandro Escovedo
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • Fastball
  • Freddy Fender
  • Bobby Fuller
  • Geto Boys
  • Girl in a Coma
  • Glass Eye
  • Jon Dee Graham
  • Bill Haley
  • Roy Head
  • Buddy Holly
  • Lightnin' Hopkins
  • Illinois Jacquet
  • Iron and Wine
  • Jandek
  • Sarah Jarosz
  • Jay-Z with UGK
  • Blind Willie Johnson
  • Daniel Johnston
  • Esteban "Steve" Jordan
  • Janis Joplin
  • Scott Joplin
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson
  • Mike Jones
  • Leadbelly
  • Lyle Lovett
  • Milton Mapes
  • The Mars Volta
  • Cotton Mather
  • Scotty McKay Quintet
  • Meat Loaf
  • Lydia Mendoza
  • Mickey & the Soul Generation
  • Roger Miller
  • Steve Miller
  • Michael Nesmith
  • Okkervil River
  • Roy Orbison
  • Pantera
  • Washington Phillips
  • Billy Preston
  • Ray Price
  • Question Mark and the Mysterians
  • Rank and File
  • Reivers
  • Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
  • Selena
  • Charlie Sexton
  • The Skunks
  • Shearwater
  • Michelle Shocked
  • Sir Douglas Quintet
  • Sly and the Family Stone
  • Spoon
  • Standing Waves
  • B. W. Stevenson
  • Sunny & the Sunliners
  • The Sword
  • Jack Teagarden
  • Joe Tex
  • Timbuk3
  • Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton
  • Toadies
  • Tripping Daisy
  • UGK feat. Outkast
  • T-Bone Walker
  • Paul Wall/Bun B
  • Wild Seeds
  • Johnny "Guitar" Watson
  • Edgar Winter
  • ZZ Top