Joe Nick Patoski's Profile Photo

Former senior editor Joe Nick Patoski has been writing about Texas and Texans for five decades. He is the author and coauthor of biographies of Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Selena, and the Dallas Cowboys, and he wrote the texts for various coffee-table books on the Texas mountains, the Texas coast, and Big Bend National Park.

One of his more recent titles is Austin to ATX: The Hippies, Pickers, Slackers, and Geeks Who Transformed the Capital of Texas, published in 2019. His 2020 book, The Ballad of Robert Ealey and His Five Careless Lovers, is an oral history of the seminal blues band Patoski grew up with in Fort Worth in the early 1970s. He has also written Generations on the Land, published by Texas A&M University Press, and Texas High School Football: More Than the Game, a catalog of an exhibit he curated for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in 2011, and has contributed essays to the books Homegrown, Conjunto, and My Soul Looks Back in Wonder.

A staff writer for Texas Monthly for eighteen years and a onetime reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, Patoski currently serves as a writer-at-large for Texas Highways and hosts The Texas Music Hour of Power on Marfa Public Radio and Wimberley Valley Radio.

He directed the documentary film Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove about the musician Doug Sahm in 2015.

He lives in the Texas Hill Country near Wimberley.

340 Articles

December 1, 1989

Irreconcilable Differences

An airport spat rekindles the Dallas-Fort Worth feud; South Plains farmers cotton to a colorful high-fiber crop; Houston artists collaborate to wish everyone Feliz Navidad.

September 30, 1989

Animal Fights

The Animal Liberation Front terrorizes Texas Tech: RVs lumber through the Big Bend drug net; eclectic eats served to a boogie beat in the Hill Country.

August 31, 1989

Whose Texas Rangers are They Anyhow?

Dallas’ grandstanding irks Arlington; writers jockey for position in the Matamoros book derby; A&M’s bluebonnets show their not-so-true colors; San Antonio goes loco over Lico Lico.

March 1, 1989

Captain Homeless

Austin’s homeless find a home sweet home on the lake; Fort Worth’s impresario of white gospel puts on a no-sweat show; Dallas’ Comet crashes; and Houston’s Orange Show marks a decade of—well, orange.

February 1, 1989

Blithe Spirit

It took a bit of coaxing, but when R. T. Williams finally sat down at the piano again, the Grey Ghost came back to life.

February 1, 1989

Chip Ahoy

A new gambling-cruise-ship enterprise out of Port Isabel makes it possible to spend an evening in a casino while going nowhere in the Gulf.

Travel & Outdoors|
January 1, 1989

Making Waves

It’s cold and rainy; your stress level has reached an all-time high; your roof has sprung a leak. But you don’t have to sit still for this. Escape to the Bay Islands of Honduras.

November 1, 1988

Mojo Madness

The Permian Panthers provide the best entertainment between Dallas and El Paso, and nobody enjoys the show more than Jerry Swindall.

August 31, 1988

Texas Monthly Reporter

Channel 5 in Fort Worth hits forty; Elvis fever hits Waco; a would-be DA hits a snag in Raymondville; and Hangs Book is a hit with fishermen.

August 1, 1988

The Big Squeezy

Get hip to zydeco, the born-on-the-bayou sound with the accordion accent. Ready for it red hot? Check out a Saturday-night church dance in Houston.

September 1, 1987


Three shark attacks on the Texas coast this summer are making swimmers edgy and chambers of commerce ask one question: what’s going on out there?

November 1, 1986

Texas Monthly Reporter

Will the beaches of Boca Chica become sand traps? Will hard-core punkers perform on Dallas’ favorite kiddie show. Peppermint Place? Will Texas Republicans shell out for their Great Hispanic Hope.

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