News and Features

Friday Morning Roundup

IN SEARCH OF A SYMPHONY: In honor of Fourth of July weekend, our friends at the NPR mothership are trying to identify the great American symphony. And in the process, they’re exploring what exactly gives a piece of music its American-ness. Among the other questions being pondered: “Is the music still viable? Who writes symphonies in America these days? And who hears them? What relevance do they have in the American artistic landscape?” You can listen to some potential candidates and weigh in at

STATE SONGS: Continuing the Fourth of July theme, Esquire has compiled its list of the Best Songs About States. Each state gets a top pick, plus a few honorable mentions. So which tunes, you may ask, best represent Texas? Topping the list is Lyle Lovett’s “That’s Right (You’re Not from Texas),” from his 1996 album The Road to Ensenada. Also making the cut: George Strait’s  “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Screw You, We’re from Texas” and ZZ Top’s “La Grange.” Any glaring omissions? “Texas Flood” anyone? “Luckenbach, Texas,” perhaps?

QUOTABLE: “Quite justifiably, it has come to be recognized as America’s finest opera house.”

Opera magazine editor and critic John Allison, writing about the Winspear Opera House in his review of The Dallas Opera’s The Aspern Papers in the July issue. The review’s not on the website, so you’ll just have to trust us on this one.

  • Robert Swann

    While a bit older than the Texas songs you name, Gene Autry’s version (1942) of “Deep in the Heart of Texas” qualifies as a glaring omission. Ignore altered lyrics in which “the dogies bawl, and bawl and bawl.” In Autry’s version, the dogies bawl, “and say ‘You All.'” Some of my friends think that should be “Y’all,” but listen to the cowboy singer from Tioga, Texas. Besides, “You All” fits the meter of the verse.

    If there are other native Texans (or loyal newcomers) out there who feel that “Deep in the Heart of Texas” should replace “Texas, Our Texas” as State Song, please visit

    According to the Austin Chronicle, “Deep in the Heart of Texas” has been recorded by “Bing Crosby, Bob Wills, Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Duane Eddy, Ray Charles, George Strait, and countless others.” I can’t find a recording by Ella Fitzgerald. Maybe they have it confused with “Deep in the Heart of the South.”

    The stodgy and jingoistic “Texas, Our Texas” has been recorded by . . . hmm . . . was that a coyote just wailed?