Texas now and then

This week in the Hill Country

Esther’s Follies, Beach Blanket on the Beltway, Thu. Feb 18 – Sat. Feb 20esthers-follies

Austin’s premier comedy revue, down on Sixth St. 

Astronomy on Tap, The North Door, Tue. Feb 16

Monthly Astronomy talks in the pub in Austin, TX. Held on the third Tuesday of every month at The North Door at 7.30 p.m. Organized by professional astronomers Dr. Jeffrey Silverman (@J_M_Silverman) and Dr. Rachael Livermore (@rhaegal). Each FREE event features accessible, engaging science presentations on topics ranging from planets to black holes to the beginning of the Universe.

Yesterday’s news

1894    King Wallis Vidor, the film director, was born in Galveston. His father was a lumber producer and merchant with the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company, which had headquarters in Galveston and owned land, mills, and lumber railroads in East Texas. The towns of Vidor and Milvid were named for him.

the-big-paradeVidor began his career in the cinema as a teenage movie projectionist at a local Galveston theater. He made an amateur movie about the Galveston hurricane of 1900 and opened his first movie company, Hotex, in Houston in 1915. Vidor struck out for Hollywood with his bride, Florence Arto, in 1915 at the age of twenty-one. His career spanned the earliest days of silent filmmaking to the “Golden Age” of Hollywood, marked by the spectacular cinematic productions of David O. Selznick, with whom Vidor made Duel in the Sun (1946). Throughout his long Hollywood career, Vidor’s Texas roots remained apparent. He considered himself a southerner and made films that championed the poor and exposed racism and the horrors of war, yet also captured the adventures and action of a lively West. Among the many films to his credit are The Big Parade(1925), Billy the Kid (1930), Our Daily Bread (1934), The Texas Rangers (1936), Northwest Passage (1940), and The Fountainhead (1951).

 

 

1953    William Leslie “Bill” Maddox, drummer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, was born to Rayelectromagnets and Trudy Maddox in Abilene, Texas. He primarily played drums but was also proficient on guitar and piano, and was a fine vocalist and songwriter. He and friends moved to Austin in 1971, where he played in various bands: the Electromagnets, The Eric Johnson Group, and Project Terror. Bill then joined AA and got sober. He left the music scene and went to work as one of the first ten employees of PCs Limited, which later became Dell Computer Corporation. Stock in that successful company enabled him to return to music. In the mid-1990s he and Eric Johnson formed another band together, Alien Love Child, with Chris Maresh playing bass. This group also had a huge cult following and was more successful than the Electromagnets. Maddox won the 2001–02 Austin Music Award for best drummer. He continued to work with Johnson and played drums in another band, the Fabulous Chevelles, until his untimely death on December 27, 2010.

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