Most Texas towns have a local hero or two, someone that everyone knows and looks up to. Sometimes that person is an elected official, or maybe it’s the owner of an important business or even a big celebrity.
In Lockney, it’s the piano teacher.
Lucy Dean Record has taught more than two thousand people in town how to play the piano. Two thousand students sounds like a lot, but consider this: that is more than the population of Lockney by a couple hundred people. But, then again, Lucy has been teaching for more than seventy years.
You would think that a piano teacher who has taught that many students would sit back and rest on her laurels, taking pride in the number of people she has tutored over the years. But Lucy wasn’t satisfied with just sitting around between sessions, especially after she got a call from country legend Ray Price asking her to sit in for his sick piano player. That started a trip down a musical road that wound up landing Lucy in several western swing halls of fame and had her touring Texas with her band.
The day we visited Lucy in 2017, I stood over the back of her upright piano throwing out song titles to see if this musical legend could be stumped. She could not, and she even knew a somewhat rare gospel number that was sung at my dad’s funeral back in 1997.
Lucy Dean Record will turn 98 this year, and Texas Monthly’s Christian Wallace recently spoke with her at the fiftieth annual Bob Wills Day festival in Turkey. She continues to tour Texas, teach piano students, and make people happy.