Celebrating with a list of the top people and things I love in Texas. Consider this Texas Exceptionalism.

1. We moved to Austin to be near Henry, our first grandchild. He tops the list. Take no offense daughter, Mother-in-law, sister or brother and his wife.

2.  Favorite Texas author: His grandfather broke horses and his father raised cattle. Hailing from Archer City, Texas, Larry McMurtry tops the list.

3. Favorite Magazine: Texas Monthly. And happy 50th anniversary to Dan Goodgame and his team of talented writers.

4. Favorite Texas TV Personality: Bob Philipps of Texas Country Reporter, also celebrating their 50th year.

5. Texas team I love the most: Texas Aggies. Steeped in tradition, loyalty and patriotism, I’m proud to be in the Class of ’78.

6. Texas based podcast I love most: Legends. Here’s a recent program with Austin based Chris

Searles…favorite Texas drummer.


7. Texas Dancehall I Love: Tie: Mercer Dance Hall (Dripping Springs). Nice dance floor and owner. Equal love goes to Gruene Dance Hall. Hear this interview with Nick Dotin of Mercer.


8. Favorite Texas Guitarist:  Casper Rawls, performing every Thursday at Austin’s Continental Club. visit www.casperrawls.com

9. Texas BBQ Joint: I love burnt ends of brisket. Stiles Switch, Austin, Texas burns them perfectly. www.stilesswitchbbq.com

10. Favorite church in Texas: Can’t express enough love to Gateway and their teaching ministers, especially Eric Bryant, Senior Pastor at Gateway South. visit www.gateway.com

11. Favorite Texas Treat: love Aggie owned company- Bluebell Ice Cream, homemade vanilla.

12. Favorite Texan: goes to my wife Carla, honoring the love of my life for the 44th time this Valentine’s Day. You have turned out to be an incredible Grandmother. Way to go Cha Cha.

 Be grateful for all you love.    Rick



Notes of Significance

In order to prepare for two interviews this past week, we devoted our music research time to Linda Ronstadt. You will enjoy our conversations with the Linda Ronstadt’s tribute band The Works. Riffing about Linda! Linda! show is Cathie Gilbert, lead singer and a dead ringer for Linda. Prodigy pianist David “Lightning” Robison is a great storyteller and adds color to this interview.

So, we are listening to Linda all week long. You’re No Good, Silver Threads and Golden Needles, Blue Bayou, her classic work with The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, smart collaboration with Aaron Neville, and her memorable mariachi era.  It’s really a soundtrack for our lives.

Our love for Linda started in 1976 when she was in concert at Texas A&M performing at the old rodeo arena we called G.Rollie White.  I think 70% of the dorm rooms had her poster nailed to the wall. Listen to her music today, and let it wash over you. We think you can hear the influence of all of her love entanglements with the likes of George Lucas, J.D. Souther, Albert Brooks, Governor Jerry Brown, and yes, Jim Carrey.

Enjoy this: https://www.spreaker.com/user/4383588/linda-ronstadt-tribute-band

This past Friday, one of the greatest crooners of all time, Tony Bennett, left us. Anthony Dominick Benedetto, known professionally as Tony Bennett, was born on August 3, 1926, in Astoria, Queens, New York City. He grew up in a working-class Italian-American family, and from a young age, he showed a passion for singing. Tony’s family was supportive of his talent, and he began performing at local venues and gathering a small following in his teenage years.

In 1949, Tony Bennett got his big break when he was discovered by Pearl Bailey while singing at a nightclub in Greenwich Village. This led to an introduction to Bob Hope, who invited him to perform with him on tour. Soon after, Bennett signed a recording contract with Columbia Records. As a matter of fact, Mr. Hope actually gave Tony his stage name.

In the early 1950s, Tony Bennett’s career began to take off with the release of several successful songs, including “Because of You” and “Rags to Riches.” His smooth, velvety voice and unique phrasing made him stand out as a distinctive vocalist. His signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” released in 1962, became an iconic anthem for the city and one of his most beloved hits.

Our personal favorite TB songs included Fly Me to the Moon and That’s Why the Lady’s a Tramp. While you may think of Sinatra with these two tunes, it was Frankie, himself, that named Tony as the top singer of his day.

Honored at the White House by JFK in 1962 and Clinton in 1996, Tony won 20 Grammy’s and virtually every award. In his own  humble and humorous way, Tony said that “when you copy one artist’s style, you are a thief. When you copy many singers, that’s research!”

Of significance, Tony could still remember lyrics to most of his songs until the sweet end of his life. He sang Because of You to his wife, just two days before he passed. Nothing, including Alzheimer’s, could wipe out the memory of the lyrics. Nothing!

Book I’m Reading: You might like this book on the science of the art and science of what we eat. We recommend Tasty by Pulitzer Prize author John McQuaid. My big takeaway is that we should help our grandkids develop diverse taste between the ages of two and three.

Startling Quote I’m Pondering: “I didn’t know why I couldn’t sing – all I knew was that it was muscular or mechanical. Then, when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I was finally given the reason. I now understand that no one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try. And in my case, I can’t sing a note.” Linda Ronstadt

Have a good week and share your gifts this week with others.    Rick

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