Country Music

Urban Cowboy Turns 35

May 14, 2015 By John Spong

It was part musical, part dance movie, and part love story, and in June 1980 it unleashed an unprecedented fervor for country music, Western wear, and, yes, mechanical bulls. More than three decades later, the film’s stars (including John Travolta, Debra Winger, Mickey Gilley, and Johnny Lee) and many Gilley’s regulars recall the movie that made America fall in love with Texas.

The Last Ride of King George

May 16, 2014 By John Spong

After a career that’s spanned more than thirty years, George Strait is wrapping up his 48-stop farewell tour this month. For those of us whose lives he has captured so inimitably in song, country music will never be the same.

Sweethearts of the Radio

Dec 10, 2013 By Andy Langer

How the Eli Young Band cracked the code of the country music business and became one of Texas’s most successful exports.

Chicks in the Wilderness

Mar 11, 2013 By John Spong

Ten years after their remarkable fall from grace, no one is quite sure why the onetime Nashville darlings tumbled so far—and never got back up.

The Red Hooded Stranger

Jan 21, 2013 By Michael Hall

Is Willie Nelson Santa Claus? We asked him that, and a few other things—like what it's like to get busted and get along with Pat Robertson and Snoop Dogg.

That ’70s Show

Jan 21, 2013 By John Spong

Forty years ago, Willie, Waylon, Jerry Jeff, and a whole host of Texas misfits grew their hair long, snubbed Nashville, and brought the hippies and rednecks together. The birth of outlaw country changed country music forever.

Pitch Perfect

Jan 20, 2013 By John Spong

What’s the secret to writing a great country song? Which comes first, music or lyrics? Looking to answer these and other questions, we gathered a group of singer-songwriters—Guy Clark, Robert Earl Keen, Sonny Throckmorton, Patty Griffin, and Jack Ingram—set out a couple guitars, and let the tape roll.