Conference brings performer, writers together

A Texas music icon, two noted authors, and a local entrepreneur will take part in a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 15, at the Museum of Art at Midwestern State University to kick off the American Studies Association of Texas yearly conference.

Singer-songwriter Jimmie Dale Gilmore, authors Jan Reid and Kathleen Hudson, and music producer Abby Abernathy, the founder of the Late Week Lazy Boy Supper Club in Archer City, will discuss Texas music and its importance in culture.

As a bonus, Gilmore will perform his music at 7 p.m. Friday, November 16, at the Museum of Art at MSU. Admission for both events is free.

Greg Giddings, MSU Assistant Professor of English and vice president of the American Studies Association of Texas, will moderate the discussion. Giddings said that he chose the panelists because they each represented different aspects of Texas music. Gilmore, a solo artist and a member of the Flatlanders with Butch Hancock and Joe Ely, is considered by many a pioneer of the alt-country movement. Author Jan Reid, a native Wichitan and writer-at-large for Texas Monthly, wrote the book, The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, a book that Giddings said is now considered a classic on Texas music. After years of being out of print, the book has recently been updated and is in print again. Reid also has written other articles about Texas musicians and personalities, including the book Texas Tornado: The Times & Music of Doug Sahm.

Abernathy has worked with music acts as a producer, and Hudson has written about and studied Texas music extensively. She is the author of Women in Texas Music; Stories and Songs and Telling Stories, Writing Songs: An Album of Texas Songwriters.

Perkins-Prothro Distinguished Professor of English Jim Hoggard will deliver the keynote address for the conference at noon Friday. Hoggard is a past president of the Texas Institute of Letters and has won numerous awards for his books, poetry, and translations.

Books by Reid, Hudson, and Hoggard are available at the MSU Bookstore.

The event is sponsored by the American Studies Association of Texas and MSU's Speakers and Issues Series. The American Studies Association of Texas is the regional affiliate of the American Studies Association, a group dedicated to all areas of American studies. For more information, call Giddings at (940) 397-4476.