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 in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a small record label that had a big impact on Texas music.
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 Dec. 28, 1953, Sarg Records of Luling, Texas, made its first recording, “Korean Love Song,” by country singer Neal Merritt. World War II veteran Charlie Fitch started Sarg Records as a way to supply recordings for his jukebox business. Sarg Records went on to record numerous Texas artists from a variety of ethnic genres. It also released some of the earliest recordings of Willie Nelson and a young Doug Sahm.
Although Sarg Records never earned much money, it helped document and preserve a broad range of musical styles found in Texas by recording dozens of German, Czech, Tejano, country, R&B and rockabilly artists from throughout the Lone Star State.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll hear how the “Queen of the Accordion” took charge of her Houston realm.