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Texas State Music

Western Swing Adopted: June 17, 2011

Western swing became the official state music of Texas when Governor Rick Perry signed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 35 on June 17, 2011.

S.C.R. No. 35


WHEREAS, The State of Texas has traditionally recognized a variety of official state symbols as tangible representations of the proud spirit and heritage of our state; and

WHEREAS, In the field of music, Texas has nurtured important developments in a variety of genres, but of the many styles that have thrived here, one is particularly emblematic of our state's unique character: western swing; and

WHEREAS, A lively sound that has enjoyed enduring popularity over the course of nearly a century, western swing reflects the ethnic diversity of Texas by encompassing many of the musical traditions that were introduced to the state by the groups that settled here; and

WHEREAS, The genre, also known by the fitting name of Texas swing, traces its origins to the 1920s and is rooted in the fiddle music of Anglo, Irish, and Scottish immigrants; it borrows heavily from many other sources, however, including such African American influences as blues and jazz, the Hispanic genres of conjunto and mariachi, and the polkas, waltzes, and schottisches brought to Texas by German and Czech settlers; and

WHEREAS, Though western swing has become popular throughout the Southwest and beyond, its origins are firmly tied to the Lone Star State; growing out of the music that was played in the state's small-town dance halls, the style became better known through the work of Texans Milton Brown and Bob Wills, two of the most famous and influential swing artists of all time; these pioneers formed the Light Crust Doughboys in the Fort Worth area in the early 1930s and then went on to even greater fame while leading individual bands of their own; and

WHEREAS, A key to the appeal of this spirited music is its exceptional ability to get people dancing; this quality, too, is evocative of Texas, a state in which dance halls have historically been central to the social life of its communities; today, the foot-tapping tempo of western swing continues to be heard all across our state, with countless Texans repeating the time-honored steps that have been kicking up sawdust on Texas dance floors for generations; and

WHEREAS, Born and bred in Texas, western swing is a musical melting pot that represents the diverse groups that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of our state and the distinctive way of life that has flourished here, and it is indeed a fitting symbol for the rich cultural heritage that is shared by all Texans; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 82nd Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate western swing as the official State Music of Texas.


The State of Texas. Texas State Legislature. Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 35. Austin: The State of Texas, 2011. Web.
The State of Texas. Texas Legislature Online. Texas Statutes. Austin: The State of Texas, 2012. Web.

Additional Information

A Short History of Western Swing: Pencil Stubs Online.

Western Swing Music: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

MILTON BROWN AND HIS MUSICAL BROWNIES: Texas State Historical Association: The Handbook of Texas Online.

LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS: Texas State Historical Association: The Handbook of Texas Online.

Western Swing On 78: MP3s available for download from collections of western swing 78s and Radio Transcriptions donated by a small group of devoted collectors.

Western Swing Music: Home page for western swing music and information by Stompin’ Steve Hathaway, host of the weekly radio program "The Cupertino Barndance," WKUP Radio, Cupertino, California.

Last.FM: Listen to Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies Radio, featuring artists like Patsy Montana & The Prairie Ramblers, The Tune Wranglers, The Whitstein Brothers, Bill Boyd & His Cowboy Ramblers and more…

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Texas state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.

Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing
Milton Brown
and the Founding
of Western Swing

Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing, by Cary Ginell. 374 pages. Publisher: University of Illinois Press; First Edition edition (September 1, 1994) Milton Brown And The Founding Of Western Swing appeared quite some time ago but deserves ongoing mention as a very special, unique guide essential for understanding the history of that brand of American music termed 'western swing'. Brown and his band predated Bob Wills' first band by a year and began a blend of country music, jazz and blues which took hold during the Depression. Enjoy a coverage which blends biographical sketches with a history of the style's development and growth. -- Midwest Book Review.

"Milton Brown is one of the great unsung heroes of American music; and one of the true fathers of western swing. Ginell's biography offers a wealth of new information on Brown and his times and paints a marvelously detailed portrait of the rich Texas music scene of the Depression era." -- Charles K. Wolfe, Middle Tennessee State University

Winner of the ARSC Award for Best Research in Recorded Country Music, 1995. Recipient of Honorable Mention for the Belmont Award for the Best Book on Country Music, 1994.

The Complete Recordings of the Father of Western Swing 1932-1937

The Complete Recordings of the Father of Western Swing 1932-1937, Milton Brown. Audio CD (January 23, 1996) Number of Discs: 5 Format: Box set. Label: Texas Rose

Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies are not exactly household names, except perhaps among a few old-timers in Texas and Oklahoma who remember dancing to their music in the 1930s.

This music moves along with all the momentum and spontaneity of a dancehall set. Knocking off one first take after another, the Brownies kept their interest up by following fast hoe-downs with strutting jazz tunes, sentimental ballads with adults-only blues and boogie, making for captivating listening on CD.

Western Swing Chronicles, Vol. 1

Western Swing Chronicles, Vol. 1, Audio CD (August 21, 2001) Number of Discs: 1 Format: Original recording remastered Label: Origin Jazz Library

Fort Worth Doughboys *** Milton Brown & his Musical Brownies

Western Swing Chronicles, Vol. 2

Western Swing Chronicles, Vol. 2, Audio CD (August 13, 2002) Number of Discs: 1 Format: Original recording remastered Label: Origin Jazz Library

Leon Chappelear *** The Lone Star Cowboys *** Leon's Lone Star Cowboys *** Jimmie Davis

Western Swing Chronicles, Vol. 3

Western Swing Chronicles, Vol. 3, Audio CD (March 23, 2004) Number of Discs: 1 Format: Original recording remastered Label: Origin Jazz Library

Ocie Stockard and the Wonderers featuring the legendary Harry Palmer.

Western Swing Chronicles, Vol. 4: 1933-1938

Western Swing Chronicles, Vol. 4: 1933-1938, Audio CD (May 17, 2005) Number of Discs: 1 Format: Original recording remastered Label: Origin Jazz Library

The Bar-X Cowboys *** W. Lee O'Daniel & his Light Crust Doughboys *** W. Lee O'Daniel & his Hillbilly Boys *** Carroll Hubbard

Discography of Western Swing and Hot String Bands, 1928-1942
Discography of
Western Swing Bands

Gary Ginell
Kevin Coffey

Discography of Western Swing and Hot String Bands, 1928-1942, by Gary Ginell and Kevin Coffey. 288 pages. Publisher: Greenwood (June 30, 2001) Traces the development of a significant and underexamined American musical genre, offering a comprehensive listing of recordings by both groups and individuals.

The result of years of research by its authors, this discography strives to identify and trace the recorded development of the musical style now known as western swing from its early years through World War II. The style developed from the Texas string band tradition, growing from a fiddle and guitar duo into full swing band groups, and along the way, it drew from and absorbed a variety of other musical styles, thus making it one of the most diverse genres in American music. Until now, studies have been limited to a few book-length biographies, but through exhaustive research and interviews, Ginell and Coffey have provided the most complete and comprehensive listing of pre-War western swing and hot string band recordings to date.