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 recall a wrestling promoter who started a Texas musical institution.
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 podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KXT’s The Paul Slavens Show, heard Sunday night’s at 8.
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On Oct. 16, 1948, the Big D Jamboree first aired on Dallas radio station KRLD. The brainchild of wrestling promoter Ed McLemore, the Big D Jamboree was broadcast live from a cavernous venue called the Sportatorium, which also hosted sporting events. Throughout the 1950s, the Big D Jamboree became one of the most popular radio shows in the nation, featuring such artists as Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Wanda Jackson, and Carl Perkins.
Despite its tremendous popularity, the Big D Jamboree began losing its audience to television during the 1960s. The show finally ended in 1966, and the massive Sportatorium was completely demolished in 2003.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll celebrate a pioneering woman in country music.