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 honors a pioneering songwriter who got off to an electrifying start in the music business.
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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Ted Daffan was born in Beauregard Parish, La., on Sept. 21, 1912, but he grew up in Houston. Daffan was fascinated with electronics, so he opened his own radio repair shop and began to experiment with electrifying musical instruments. He played in several western swing bands during the 1930s and later switched to honky tonk following World War II. Daffan also was a successful songwriter, penning such classic hits as “Born to Lose.” Ted Daffan wrote several other popular songs and performed with some of the biggest names in country music, including Floyd Tillman, Moon Mullican and Hank Snow.