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This Week in Texas Music History: Dolores Fariss

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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Dolores Fariss was born Dolores Hanson on April 18, 1912, in Hutto, Texas. She began her musical career playing piano in her father’s polka band. In 1931, Dolores married Lee Fariss, and in the 1940s the two formed a group called Dolores and the Bluebonnet Boys. They became one of the best-known country dance bands in the Austin area and performed regularly at the legendary Skyline Club. Dolores Fariss led the band and composed many of their most popular songs, including “Austin Waltz” and “The Fiesta Waltz.” The group also recorded with such local music icons as Kenneth Threadgill.

Dolores and Lee Fariss stopped playing professionally in 1955. Dolores worked as a dietician in the Del Valle school system near Austin until the 1970s. She died in 1993.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet “the other Z.Z.” of Texas blues.