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This Week in Texas Music History: Joe Patek

by Stephen Becker 22 Oct 2010 2:43 PM

This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll remember an immigrant’s son who helped popularize an unofficial state anthem.


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 remembers an immigrant’s son who helped popularize an unofficial state anthem.

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 KXT’s The Paul Slavens Show, heard Sunday night’s at 8.

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On Oct. 24, 1987, Czech bandleader Joe Patek died in Victoria, Texas. Born in Shiner, Texas, on Sept. 14, 1907, Joe took over the Patek family band, which his immigrant father had started in 1920. The Patek Orchestra, as Joe dubbed it, was one of the state’s most successful and long-lasting Czech musical groups. The band’s most popular tune, “The Shiner Song,” is sung in Czech, but it celebrates the local culture of Shiner and other Texas-Czech communities. Many Czech Texans still consider “The Shiner Song” to be the unofficial anthem of the Texas-Czech community.