The Music History of Lubbock, TX

Musical artist plays guitar on stage

Lubbock, TX has a long history of producing ground-breaking music acts, from those that get local toes tapping to artists who have dominated the world stage in every genre from opera to rock. Explore the impact of Lubbock musicians on the cultural world and learn about a hometown hero taken too soon.

Music History Timeline

From the early days of Texas, music has been an integral part of the area’s culture. Check out the highlights:

  • Early church choirs and raucous ragtime bands delighted audiences in the late 19th and early 20th century.
  • Starting in the 1950’s, the music of Texas began to take hold of the national consciousness. During this time, crooners like Johnny Horton, Lloyd Maines, and Joe Ely refined and popularized the “Lubbock Sound.”
  • The “Lubbock Sound” combined traditional country twang with an upbeat, rockabilly twist unlike anything else on the airwaves.
  • The popularity of this music propelled the careers of singers like Mac Davis of Lubbock and Tanya Tucker of nearby Seminole.

However, it was a hometown boy who would really put Lubbock on the map with a unique sound all his own.

Buddy Holly and His Legacy

Buddy Holly was born in Lubbock in 1936 to a music-loving family that inspired him to create and perform tunes of his own. As a young man, Holly gained notoriety first in Texas then around the world for his unique “stuttering vocals” and upbeat style, as well as his signature look.

Holly’s career in music spanned just four years, but he left behind enough material to release new music for a decade after his death, influencing an entire generation of musicians that would never have the chance to hear him perform live:

  • Mick Jagger
  • Bob Dylan
  • Don McLean
  • Elton John

This continuing tradition cemented his legacy and secured his place in the hearts of Lubbock residents.

Museums and Nightlife

In addition to the Buddy Holly Center, organizations such as the Western Heritage Museum in Hobbs (check out the great parks around town if you visit) celebrate the music, art, and culture of the area. But that isn’t all. Lubbock is also home to a thriving nightlife that brings world-renowned artists like Blake Shelton to the stage and puts the culture of West Texas on full display every night.

There is so much more to Lubbock’s music scene than we can list here. To learn more, visit Lubbock’s own travel website. For recommendations, contact us to explore the rich musical history of Texas on your own.

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