2000 National Heritage Award
Country music is one of the most popular and commercially successful forms of music
in the world. Ironically, it is this same commercial success and intense marketing
spotlight on the contemporary that has obscured the music's roots in the small towns
and rural regions of the American heartland. Cowboy song, popularized on the silver
screen in the 1930s and 1940s, and Texan country swing modeled after Bob Wills and
the Texas Playboys were two essential ingredients in the evolution of country music.
1997 Indie Award
For the album Texas Top Hand
Best Performing Band
When the smoke is cleared and the lights fade, there are still over 50
categories honored within, and the sum of their works and accomplishments is
nothing short of staggering. It might be a bit unctuous to focus on them analytically,
but these 50+ categories represent more than what we hear today; they represent what
we will hear tomorrow.
Band of the Year
In 1996, The Austin Chronicle's music poll drew a record number of ballot entries --
due in no small part to the Chronicle's website. Voting was up about 20% while stuffing
was proportionately down, possibly because Retarted Elf broke up, suggests the ornery
Poll Answer Lady.
Don Plays the Opry! (1999 & 2001)
Don Walser cried the day the Grand Ole Opry asked him if he'd like to perform on its
weekend broadcast. It's the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, he says, albeit one he
put on hold for four decades. As a young man, Walser sacrificed his musical ambitions
so that he could promise his wife and children a comfortable living. Now retired
from the Texas National Guard, where he worked for 39 years, Walser has been stunning
listeners with his acrobatic tenor and his joyful spirit since he started performing
music full-time in 1994.