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 celebrates a pioneer of soul music who also enjoyed singing country songs.
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.
- Click the player to listen to the podcast:
- Expanded online version:
Joe Tex was born in Rogers, Texas, on Aug. 8, 1935. By the age of 15, he was performing at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater. Although he was primarily a soul singer, Joe Tex was completely comfortable covering blues, gospel, pop and even country.
During his career, Joe Tex performed alongside Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, wrote hit songs for the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, and inspired numerous younger singers, including Isaac Hayes and Barry White.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a singer who conquered Nashville on her own terms.