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 some musicians who really knew how to honk their horns.
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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On May 31, 1940, Count Basie and His Orchestra recorded the song “Super Chief” for Okeh Records. Tenor saxophonist Buddy Tate, from Sherman, has remarked that this was his all-time favorite recording session with Basie. The bluesy, honking sound that marks Tate’s signature solo actually can be traced back to Count Basie’s previous tenor saxophonist, Herschel Evans. Evans, who was from Denton, played with Basie from 1934 to 1939.
Herschel Evans and Buddy Tate brought a unique sound to American jazz and had a profound impact on many other horn players, including legendary saxophonist Lester Young.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll visit the epicenter of Houston’s “Summer of Love.”