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This Week in Texas Music History: Prince Albert Hunt

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 meet the crown prince of Dallas fiddlers.

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 March 28, 1928, Prince Albert Hunt first recorded in San Antonio. Born in Terrell, Texas, in 1896, Hunt had become one of the most prominent fiddlers in Dallas by the 1920s. His innovative style combined old-time country breakdowns with blues and jazz. Between his 1928 San Antonio session and another in Dallas in 1929, Hunt and his band recorded only nine tracks. However, they helped pave the way for the emergence of Western swing in Texas during the 1930s.

Prince Albert Hunt had developed his bluesy style in the Dallas neighborhood of Deep Ellum. It was also there that he met his demise, when a jealous husband shot Hunt at a dance on March 21, 1931.