West Texas Music Hall of Fame to open

By: 
JOSEPH GRANT
Lead Staff Reporter

Exclusive- The dream that is the West Texas Music Hall of Fame is becoming a Sweetwater reality. The proposed opening is this weekend on Saturday, January 6 according to Sid Holmes, Director of the Hall of Fame. The opening has been a long time coming.
“We’re about through with hanging  memorabilia on the walls with maybe eight or so to go. How lucky we were concerning most of  the walls and the material behind the paint. We had few problems with the anchors not holding. It was too hot this summer to finish up, plus it’s about 400 miles round trip from Ft. Worth. We had planned an Elvis Christmas for a few family and friends but the cold moved in canceled it. We can always do an Elvis thing later.”
West Texas is the perfect place for a country music and rockabilly hall of fame. Many iconic performers came through these parts early in their career, playing the flat-bed truck circuit at county fairs if there was no stage. If they were lucky, there was a stage and if they were luckier, they had a high school auditorium or a theatre in which to perform, such as the Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium. Elvis played the Sweetwater Auditorium twice in 1955 on his rise to stardom. There is an unsubstantiated rumor that the then Hillbilly Cat and Future King of Rock and Roll even played Sweetwater High School.
Many have no clue what rich musical history Sweetwater has to offer or that not only Elvis appeared here, but icons such as Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and many other famous artists as well.
The Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium still owns the piano that was played by Elvis and Jerry Lee while they performed there.
But it is not just the “sung” heroes, as it were, but the unsung heroes, literally. These are the tireless back-up musicians, singers and session men and songwriters who are finally being allowed to take their bow at the Hall of Fame. There will be some names that won’t be as familiar as a Buddy, a Roy, a Carl, an Ernest, a Tanya, a Jimmy, a J.D., a Willie and so on. That sort of attention to detail is what makes this Hall a treasure as while it focuses on the known, it also turns a much overdue spotlight on those who star shone as bright as anyone else’s in the Lone Star State, if only not as enduring. One can acquaint themselves with songwriters who wrote classic songs that changed lives but remained in the background, until now.
Most of the performers in the West Texas area played the Western Texas circuit and arrived by train and stayed in one of the many hotels. The same was true with Sweetwater. Each experience has a story to tell. This is where the West Texas Music Hall of Fame comes in to educate young and old alike.
See more in print or online edition.

Category: