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Everyday Music

Exploring Sounds and Cultures

Alan Govenar; Online teaching resources by Paddy Bowman

Publication Year: 2012

Native American drumming and chant; Czech and German polka; country fiddling; African American spirituals, blues and jazz; cowboy songs; Mexican corridos; zydeco; and the sounds of a Cambodian New Year’s celebration — all are part of the amazing cultural patchwork of traditional music in Texas. In Everyday Music, author and researcher Alan Govenar brings readers face-to-face with the stories and memories of people who are as varied as the traditions they carry on.? In 1986, Alan Govenar traveled more than 35,000 miles around Texas, interviewing, recording, and photographing the vast cultural landscape of the state. In Everyday Music, he compares his experiences then with his attempts to reconnect with the people and traditions that he had originally documented. ?Stopping at gas stations, restaurants, or street-corner groceries in small towns and inner-city neighborhoods, Govenar asked local residents about local music and musicians. What he found on his road trip around the state—and what he shares in the pages of this book — are the time-honored songs, tunes, and musical instruments that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Govenar invites you to accompany him on his journey — one that will forever change the way you look at the traditional music that is such an important part of our everyday lives.? Everyday Music is accompanied by a special online resource (www.everydaymusiconline.org) with video clips, recorded interviews, and performances. The site also features special resources for teachers who want to bring this rich cultural experience into their classrooms and for general readers who simply want to know more.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Cover, Title Page, Copyright

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p. vii

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pp. 1-8

ON US HIGHWAY 175 south of Dallas, thunderheads push across hazy sky, darkening the landscape with heavy shadows. The air is hot and sticky. Huge drops of rain spatter in a staccato beat on the hood of my car, fogging the interior glass so quickly...

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Julius Vita: Czech Accordion, Seymour

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pp. 9-17

Inside Wicker Feed Store on the south side of the Baylor County Courthouse Square in Seymour during the second week of July, conversation centers on family, livestock, and the Old Settlers Reunion and Rodeo, the oldest event of its kind in Texas. Started by a retired cowboy named Jeff Scott...

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John Burrus: Cowboy Songs and Country Hymns, Stephenville

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pp. 18-29

In the riding arena behind his Depression-era stone house on the outskirts of Stephenville, John Burrus tugs on the reins of the chestnut quarter horse he is training. He turns to the right, then lopes in a circle and moves to the left. “Some horses don’t know...

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Osceola Mays: Spirituals and Poems, Dallas

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pp. 30-39

At the Good Street and Good Haven Community Center in South Dallas, Verna Raven leads a group of children in the hand-clapping game “Miss Mary Mack.” When they finish, everyone is giggling; some are repeating the first verse...

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Howard Dee “Wes” Westmoreland III: Fiddling, Gustine

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pp. 40-50

At the Westmoreland reunion on the banks of the South Leon River near the West Texas town of Gustine (population 457) in Comanche County, fiddle music sets the tone of celebration. Around noon family members begin to arrive in pick-up trucks and cars. Everyone brings...

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Miguel Pedraza: Tigua Drumming and Chanting, El Paso

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pp. 51-61

The early morning sun shimmers through the jagged fibers and fleshy leaves of the lechugilla plants scattered in clumps across the Chihuahuan desert about fourteen miles southeast of downtown El Paso. The air is cool and dry and the sky turquoise blue as I turn onto...

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Alexander H. Moore: Barrelhouse Blues, Dallas

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pp. 62-72

On Tuesday afternoon at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in South Dallas, Alex Moore holds court. A group of elderly African American men gathers around him, laughing loudly at his stories and jokes, before they move into the activity room to play dominoes. Four of the men sit...

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W. W. Trammell: Guitar Maker and Musician, Lone Star

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pp. 73-82

When I stop for gas in Lone Star about six miles south of Daingerfield on US Highway 259, deep in the Piney Woods of Northeast Texas, a white-haired man chewing tobacco exits his small storefront wearing a red and white ball cap with the brim flipped up. As I roll down..

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Lydia Mendoza: Boleros, Corridos, and Rancheras, Houston

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pp. 83-95

At the 1986 Dallas Folk Festival, Lydia Mendoza takes the stage with grace. In her frilly white dress trimmed in red, a theatrical adaptation of the traditional Adelita costume, she is indeed La Alondra de la Frontera (The Meadowlark of the Border...

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The Original Oompah Band: German Dance Music, Tivydale

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pp. 96-106

By Labor Day the ground cover in the rolling Hill Country of Central Texas has turned a golden brown. Even the live oaks, juniper, and cedar trees have a tawny hue. The farmers tending their wheat, oat, and hay fields hope for rain after a more than a month of blistering heat and...

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John Henry “Bones” Nobles: Bones Percussion, Beaumont

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pp. 107-116

In the living room of his white clapboard house in Beaumont, John Henry Nobles is light on his feet, moving from foot to foot in a shuffle or tap step. He is pleased to meet me after talking to me three times on the telephone earlier in the evening. I’d never been to Beaumont before...

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Yani Rose Keo: Cambodian Music and Dance, Houston

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pp. 117-128

Hundreds of people crowd into the Cambodian New Year’s celebration at J. B.’s Entertainment Center at 3730 Scott Street in Houston’s Third Ward. Nationally known for the blues and jazz artists who have performed there, J. B.’s is an unlikely place for the Cambodian community to gather...

Appendix: Traditional Music in Texas Radio Series

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pp. 129-130


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p. 131

For Further Reading, Listening, and Viewing

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pp. 133-136


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pp. 137-142

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781603447560
E-ISBN-10: 1603447563
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603445283
Print-ISBN-10: 1603445285

Page Count: 148
Illustrations: 134 color, 37 b&w photos. Map. Appendix. Bib. Index.
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 821726173
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Everyday Music

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Subject Headings

  • Folk music -- Texas -- History and criticism.
  • Folk musicians -- Texas -- Biography.
  • Folk musicians -- Texas -- Interviews.
  • Texas -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
  • Texas -- Social life and customs -- 21st century.
  • Texas -- Biography.
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