Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman honors the state’s most successful female songwriter.
You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Sunday at precisely 6:04 p.m. 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 KXT’s The Paul Slavens Show, heard Sunday night’s at 8.
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Cindy Walker was born on July 20, 1918, in Mart, Texas. She began writing and performing as a child. In 1941, Bing Crosby recorded her tune “Lone Star Trail.” Soon, Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing, was scoring hit after hit with Cindy Walker songs, including “Blues for Dixie,” “Cherokee Maiden,” “Sugar Moon,” “Bubbles in My Beer” and “Miss Molly.” Cindy Walker wrote or co-wrote hit songs for many other performers, including “In the Misty Moonlight,” by Dean Martin; “Dream Baby,” by Roy Orbison; and “You Don’t Know Me,” by Ray Charles. A pioneering figure in country music at a time when men dominated the industry, Cindy Walker was the first female to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll remember a baseball player who turned out to be a real gentleman.