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 meets a former railroad worker who helped launch the careers of some of the biggest names in country music.
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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Harold W. “Pappy” Daily was born Feb. 8, 1902, in Yoakum, Texas. In 1933, Daily lost his job at the Southern Pacific Railroad, so he opened his own jukebox distribution company, which piqued his interest in the recording industry. In 1952, Pappy Daily and his business partner Jack Starnes founded the Starday record label, which helped launch the careers of such young Texas artists as as George Jones, Roger Miller and the Big Bopper. Soon, Pappy Daily started his own label, D Records, which made some of the very first recordings of future country superstars Willie Nelson and George Strait.