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Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends of West Texas Music
by Christopher Oglesby
Published by the University of Texas Press:
"As a whole, the interviews create a portrait not only of Lubbock's musicians and artists, but also of the musical community that has sustained them, including venues such as the legendary Cotton Club and the original Stubb's Barbecue. This kaleidoscopic portrait of the West Texas music scene gets to the heart of what it takes to create art in an isolated, often inhospitable environment. As Oglesby says, "Necessity is the mother of creation. Lubbock needed beauty, poetry, humor, and it needed to get up and shake its communal ass a bit or go mad from loneliness and boredom; so Lubbock created the amazing likes of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, and Joe Ely."

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"Indeed, Oglesby's introduction of more than two dozen musicians who called Lubbock home should be required reading not only for music fans, but for Lubbock residents and anyone thinking about moving here. On these pages, music becomes a part of Lubbock's living history."
- William Kerns, Lubbock Avalanche Journal


As promised, there were many historic and unforgettable performances at our legendary Lubbock All-Stars Reunion on September 7, 2007, celebrating the first anniverary of "Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air."
Perhaps one of the most sublime moments featured Tom X Hancock, the most legendary of all Lubbock musicians. In the 1950s, Tommy Hancock was an inspiration and mentor to Buddy Holly, the Crickets, Waylon Jennings, and Sonny Curtis. In the 1960s and 70s, he was the central figure in two other Lubbock legends, The Flatlanders and The Supernatural Family Band.
Tom X has been retired from performing for years but will occassionally sing a song or two with his wife and daughters - Charlene, Traci, and Conni Hancock of the Texana Dames.
It had been close to twenty years since Tom X had performed on stage in Lubbock and equally as long since he had played with his sons Joaquin and Louie, until our All-Stars Reunion.

The Hancock men put together an amazing group of musicians for the very special Lubbock All-Stars evening consisting of sons of former members -- and one member in good standing -- of Tommy's long time band The Roadside Playboys: Doyle Hoggard on lead guitar; Wally Moyer, Jr., pedal steel; Richard Barnett, drums; Jack Westbrook, keyboard; and Kenny Maines joining on bass. Ladies joining in on back-up vocals were Holli (Hancock) Barnett. Latronda (Maines) Moyer, and Patricia Vonne on castanets.
Immediately prior to the video below, Tom X had dismissed the greater part of the band, narrowing it down to Louie, Joaquin, and grandson Zach on stage (explaining they were least likely to sue him over his performance). He then explained, "Its a tradition in Texas, when you have a country music show, to do a sacred piece. I think everybody ought to have a sacred piece once in awhile...A holy piece is not quite the same." Tommy Hancock then proceeded to bring the house down with the most bawdy gospel number ever to be performed in Lubbock's Cactus Theater,
a truly amazing and historic moment in Lubbock music.
Please enjoy this video, shot by Pearly Oglesby:
[Show sponsored by Tornado Gallery; moved in the Cactus Theater (due to rain).]

In this next video, Joe Ely has made an unannounced guest appearance on stage to sing "Dallas," the classic song by Jimmie Gilmore, with Lubbock's Texas Belairs. Other guests on stage include Ponty Bone on accordion, bluesman RC Banks on guitar, and Don Caldwell on saxophone.

In this video Jimmie Dale Gilmore is accompanied by Bob Livingston, founding member of the Lost Gonzo Band, who emceed the reunion show. Gilmore was not scheduled to perform this night but happened to be in town for a performance at the Stubb's memorial statue the following day, so he could not resist the opportunity to entertain the rapt crowd.


This is backstage video shot by Pearly Oglesby, wife of author and host Christopher Oglesby. Swinney did not originally plan to sing the "Johnson Grass" song but it was requested from audience. Note the author's head bowing is disbelief when Swinney begins his monologue introducing the song. God Bless Cary Swinney!


video courtesy of Andy Eppler, via YouTube

Andy Eppler was the first artist to perform at the Lubbock All-Stars Reunion on September 7.


Go to Page 2 - more vintage and new video by favorite Lubbock musicians OR

Go to Lubbock Music Showcase - SxSW 2009

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Chris Oglesby
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