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This Week In Texas Music History: Goebel Reeves

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 a legislator’s son who lived the life of a traveling troubadour.

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 podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KXT’s The Paul Slavens Show, heard Sunday night’s at 8.

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Goebel Reeves was born on Oct. 9, 1899, in Sherman. His father was a state legislator, so Reeves and his family relocated to Austin. His mother taught him to sing and play guitar, trumpet and piano. After serving as a bugler on the front lines during World War I, Reeves returned home and became a wandering troubadour. He influenced both country star Jimmie Rodgers and legendary folksinger Woody Guthrie, who recorded Reeves’s best-known song, “Hobo’s Lullaby.”

Goebel Reeves recorded as the “Texas Drifter.” True to his nickname, he performed for years all across North America before dying in California in 1959.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll recall a wrestling promoter who started a Texas musical institution.