Texas now and then

This week in the Hill Country

 

TEXAS ARTIST SERIES: MARSHALL FORD SWING BANDmarshall-ford-swing-band

1800 N. Congress Avenue; August 9, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Price: FREE

Experience an evening celebrating the history of western swing with a modern twist through performance and conversation with the Marshall Ford Swing Band. This lineup of musicians from the Texas Hill Country combine traditional western swing with jazz and Texas blues.

DIRTY RIVER BOYS

Gruene Hall, New Braunfels; Sat. Aug 13, 9:00pm, $15.00

Playing upwards of 200 dates a year, giving heartfelt, unrestrained performances, and winning over a loyal audience show-by-show, The Dirty River Boys have notched a number of significant milestones, opening for legend Willie Nelson several times and selling out the famed Gruene Hall.

Yesterday’s News

LaSalle landing at Matagorda Bay.

1688    The expedition of Captains Martín de Rivas and Andrés de Pez y Malzárraga left Veracruz to search for the colony of Sieur de La Salle, following confused testimony from a Frenchman found living among the Coahuiltecans. They explored the coast and sailed up the Río de las Palmas, encountering many villages of indigenous people. They sailed back to the Gulf of Mexico and travelled up the Rio Grande. The two canoes, each with nine armed men, explored up the river for “36 leagues,” the first known instance of Europeans sailing on the river. Indians shot arrows at them; they responded with a musket blast. Then they went back to the gulf and sailed around Matagorda Bay, where they scrabbled with the Karankawas. They eventually gave up and went back to Veracruz.

1935    Soul singer Joseph Arrington, better known as Joe Tex, was born at Rogers, Texas. During his junior year of high school Arrington entered a talent search at a Houston nightclub. He took first prize over such performers as Johnny Nash, Hubert Laws, and Acquilla Cartwright. He performed a skit called “It’s in the Book” and won $300 and a week’s stay at the Hotel Teresa in Harlem. There Arrington performed at the Apollo Theater. During a four-week period he won the Amateur Night competition four times. After graduating from high school in 1955, he returned to New York City to pursue a music career. While working odd jobs, including caretaking at a Jewish cemetery, he met talent scout Arthur Prysock who paved the way for him to meet record-company executive Henry Glover and get his first record contract with King Records. The biggest hits of Joe Tex included “Hold On To What You Got,” “Papa Was Too,” “Skinny Legs and All,” and South Country, an album of country songs; his biggest seller was “I Gotcha,” which went platinum (made 1,000,000 sales) in 1971. Arrington died on August 12, 1982, of heart failure at his home in Navasota. He was survived by his wife, Belilah, and six children.

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