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 accordion player who squeezed a lot of music into one lifetime.
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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Lee Roy Matocha died on July 12, 2003. Nicknamed the “Fayetteville Flash,” Matocha was born on Aug.2, 1932, in Plum, Texas. He began playing accordion professionally at the age of 14. In 1964, he formed the Lee Roy Matocha Orchestra, which became one of the most popular Czech bands in Texas.
Lee Roy Matocha made dozens of recordings. He also hosted numerous programs in both Czech and English that were broadcast to Czech communities throughout Central and East Texas. Because of his lifelong dedication to promoting Czech music, he won the Texas Polka Music Lifetime Achievement Award, not once, but twice.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a singer who had a minty fresh moniker.