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This Week in Texas Music History: Thanksgiving Day Jam

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 Thanksgiving Day jam session that made Austin music fans very grateful.

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 Nov. 23, 1972, an impromptu jam session took place at Austin’s Armadillo World Headquarters, featuring both local and national artists. Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead had performed the night before at Austin’s Municipal Auditorium. When Garcia mentioned that he’d like to someday play at the Armadillo, the club’s owner, Eddie Wilson, hastily arranged to have Garcia perform the following afternoon. Word quickly spread about the show, and when Garcia and band mate Phil Lesh took the stage, they were joined not only by Texas icon Doug Sahm, but also by Leon Russell and members of the 13th Floor Elevators, Shiva’s Headband and Greezy Wheels.

Jerry Garcia, Doug Sahm and the other musicians served up a Thanksgiving buffet of rock, country and blues that left the Armadillo audience quite grateful indeed.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a man who marched to the beat of a very different drum.