Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman introduces us to a singing schoolteacher whose hit song landed him in the national spotlight.
You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Sunday at precisely 6:04 p.m. on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you. And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KXT’s The Paul Slavens Show, heard Sunday night’s at 8.
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Arlie Duff was born March 28, 1924, in Jack’s Branch, Texas. After serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II, Duff earned a Masters degree in education. While teaching school, he dabbled in songwriting and performed locally throughout East Texas. In 1953, Duff wrote a song that earned him national fame and appearances on the Louisiana Hayride and the Grand Ole Opry.
Arlie Duff’s “Y’all Come” became the theme song for KNUZ-TV’s Houston Hometown Jamboree during the mid-1950s. The rousing number also has been recorded by Bing Crosby, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton and many others.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a West Texas wild man who contributed to both 1950s rockabilly and 1970s pop.