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 looks at the the country’s longest continuously-running singer-songwriter festival.
You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Friday on KXT and Saturday 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 KERA radio’s 90.1 at Night.
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The Kerrville Folk Festival, which runs from May 27 to June 13 is the country’s longest continuously-running singer-songwriter festival. Music producer Rod Kennedy launched the annual event in 1972. Despite occasional bad weather and financial difficulties, the Kerville Folk Festival has flourished over the past 38 years, hosting a remarkable array of musicians, including Willie Nelson, Flaco Jiménez, and Peter, Paul, & Mary. Several younger artists also received some of their first national exposure at Kerrville, including Lyle Lovett, the Dixie Chicks, Townes Van Zandt and Robert Earl Keen. In 2003, Rod Kennedy retired as producer, and his long-time assistant, Dalis Allen, took over. Under her leadership, the festival continues to grow and attract the finest singer-songwriters from around the world.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll honor a musician who is known by many as “the dancing cowboy.”