The Dallas Music Scene: 1920s-1960s

by Alan Govenar and Jay Brakefield

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Details: 128 pages, Softcover, ISBN: 9781467131513, Publisher: Arcadia Publishing Format: 6.4 x 9.1 x 0.3 in.

For much of the 20th century, Dallas was home to a wide range of vital popular music. By the 1920s, the streets, dance halls, and vaudeville houses of Deep Ellum rang with blues and jazz. Blind Lemon Jefferson was discovered singing the blues on the streets of Deep Ellum but never recorded in Dallas. Beginning in the 1930s, however, artists from Western swing pioneer Bob Wills to blues legend Robert Johnson recorded in a three-story zigzag moderne building at 508 Park Avenue. And from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s, a wrestling arena called the Sportatorium was home to a Saturday night country and rock-and-roll extravaganza called the Big “D” Jamboree.