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Welcome Home ~ To Texas!

Texas? Why not Texas? Texas is the home of Scott Joplin, T-Bone Walker, Freddie King, Big Walter, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Buddy Holly and more. Robert Johnson recorded in Houston. Texas has been in the forefront of American music since the turn of the last century.

Texas is unique in that it is so big that it's almost its own country. It was also an extremely repressed place during that time of social upheaval. Yet it was pocketed by areas such as Austin, the "Berkeley of the West," with its giant university. That combination of repression / youth culture & education was a powder keg for revolution.

Then the Beatles and Dylan hit. Texas pop bands began attempting to combine "serious", Dylan-type, lyrics with rocking, Beatles-type, music. A Dylan concert, on September 24, 1965 at the Austin Municipal Auditorium was attended by a "who's who" of future Austin psychedelic rockers including Tommy Hall, Roky Erickson & Powell St. John. This was when Dylan was touring with his electric band. Dylan himself said later that the Austin crowd "got it."

Austin was a special case in that at the university the effects of LSD were being studied. It was later shown that these studies were funded by the CIA. Future Austin psychedelic rockers were paid minimum wage to be dosed with LSD and observed. Pretty soon the LSD began making its way out of the lab and onto the street. People began eating peyote cactus too. Philosophers such as G.I. Gurdjieff and P.D. Ouspensky began to be read and discussed. The world's first psychedelic bands were a synthesis of these elements and influences.

Youth cultures, with corresponding music, developed in places like Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Beaumont. Recording labels, like International Artists and Sonobeat, began to capitalize upon the music. The records made their way to places like San Francisco and England. Around the same time, a scene was emerging in San Francisco. The Fillmore Auditorium was run by Bill Graham and the Avalon Ballroom by the Family Dog; headed by Chet Helms. Graham began making bands sign a "non-compete" contract to play the Fillmore. This meant that they couldn't play the Avalon. An Austin expatriate himself, Chet Helms began booking Austin bands, like the 13th Floor Elevators, at the Avalon in the Summer and Fall of 1966. Their influence was profound.

Texas Authorities soon got wise to what was going on and clamped down on it. Danny Thomas, Drummer for the 'Elevators, once said that by the end of 1968 everybody was in jail, a mental hospital or had run to California. It was in California that the media got hold of psychedelic music and it broke nationally. But Texas was there first.

C'mon back soon as we continue to add new features to the Ranch. Look for discographies, more pictures, Texas Radio! and more, more, more!


The Ranch wishes to acknowledge and thank George Kinney for his special support, mentoring and aid. George was a founder and member of the legendary Golden Dawn and is today still stunning audiences with his wonderful music. Please visit an outstanding Texas music artist. Thank you




The ArtistsMusic HallLinksGeorge Kinney & The Golden Dawn


(c) www.texaspsychranch.com 2006