College Station takes its place among Texas music hubs with music-friendly city designation

By Casey Barone, Event Coordinator, Economic Development & Tourism

For decades, College Station has been a productive breeding ground and showplace for prominent musicians.

Of course, nearly everyone is familiar with how music legends Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett met here in 1976 and began performing and writing songs together to launch their stellar careers. Keen and Lovett are among the many performers who honed their skills and jumpstarted successful careers in our community, including favorites such as Roger Creager, Max Stalling, Rick Trevino, Dub Miller, Clayton Gardner, and Jamie Lin Wilson.

In addition, each spring, the City of College Station’s popular Starlight Music Series serves as a fertile breeding ground for rising artists.

On Thursday, College Station takes its place alongside other Texas music hubs with an official Texas Music Friendly City designation. Representatives from the Governor’s Texas Music Office will present the certification to Visit College Station at 6:30 p.m. at The Tap.

The free celebration features entertaining performances from some talented area standouts:

  • Singer-songwriter Joey McGee’s Americana genre ranges from blues to country to rock and roll.
  • The JMG House Band showcases its talents with R&B singer-songwriter Diamond Roberson.
  • Headliner Rich O’Toole grew up in Houston, played his first gig at The Tap in 2004, and is thrilled to return for this unique celebration.

The Texas Music Friendly program was created in 2016 to foster music industry development and inspire musicians in Texas communities. The City of College Station worked for many months to complete the rigorous certification requirements.

“Congratulations to the City of College Station on earning the Music Friendly Texas Certified Community designation,” Gov. Greg Abbott said. “Music is key to the Texas brand and is deeply rooted in the cultural traditions of our great state. Music Friendly Texas Communities, certified by the Texas Music Office, work hard to attract and develop the local music industry to boost job creation and economic growth.”

Other musicians with College Station ties include:

  • Christian artist and Grammy Award winner Chris Tomlin is a 1994 A&M graduate who has sold over seven million records.
  • As a Texas A&M student, Jason Castro became a fan favorite on American Idol in 2008 and eventually placed fourth. He released an album in 2010.
  • William Clark Green grew up in College Station and has released six albums (two live) since 2008.
  • Kyle Hutton fell in love with writing and singing songs while attending A&M and has worked with and managed various artists. He’s also the founder and host of Real Life Real Music.
  • Drummer Miles Stone of the Cody Johnson Band is an A&M graduate.
  • Pat Green fiddler Brendon Anthony, a College Station native and A&M graduate, is the director of the Texas Music Office.
  • College Station fiddler and songwriter Wes Barlow has played with the Randy Rogers Band and others.

“I was raised in College Station and learned how to play guitar at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and had my first gig at Zapatos on Northgate,” William Clark Green said. “I would not have had the inspiration if it wasn’t for the Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater concert series, seeing Pat Green, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jerry Jeff Walker, and many more. It gave me the ‘want to’ to pursue music.”

Through the years, College Station has also hosted live performances by legends such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, and many others. And Nelson’s second Fourth of July Picnic was famously held at the former Texas World Speedway in 1974.   

We love being a Music Friendly Community!

About the Blogger

Casey Barone is in her first year as events coordinator with the Economic Development and Tourism Department.

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