Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. For the week of Sept. 12, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman looks back at an event that pushed the Texas punk scene into the national spotlight.
You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Saturday on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you.
And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KERA radio’s 90.1 at Night.
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This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll recall an unexpected incident that helped propel the state’s punk music scene into the national spotlight.
Punk music, which reached its peak popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s, symbolized a rebellion of sorts against mainstream rock ‘n’ roll. Such pioneering punk bands as the Clash and the Sex Pistols emphasized volume, raw energy and emotion over polished performances. By the mid-1970s, Texas was home to several popular punk bands, including the Skunks, Toxic Shock and the Judys, along with such notable punk venues as Raul’s, Club Foot and the Hot Klub. It was on September 19, 1978, that the Austin-based punk band the Huns got into an altercation with police at Raul’s. The incident resulted in several arrests and was featured in the leading national music magazine Rolling Stone. This high-profile coverage put the Texas punk rock scene on the world map and helped solidify Austin’s growing reputation as a vibrant live music Mecca. Not only did several Texas punk bands, including Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns, achieve national success, but one of the most popular punk bands of all time, The Clash, chose Austin as the location for the filming of its 1982 classic video, Rock the Casbah.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll honor a Texan who performed in both churches and bordellos before becoming one of the most prolific and influential blues musicians of all time.