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According to the Handbook of Texas, "The first Texas community singing using the seven shape note tradition reportedly occurred in the latter part of December 1879. Gospel singer and pianist Arizona Dranes was from Sherman.

Ragtime composer Scott Joplin was born in 1868 near Texarkana, and later became famous playing music halls in Missouri.

The Southwest Texas Sacred Harp Convention was organized in 1900. Convention gospel music and community singings still occur in a number of Texas towns, including Mineral Wells, Brownfield, Jacksonville, Seymour, and Stephenville.

Sacred Harp and other books in four shape notation were the forerunners of seven shape note gospel music. Showalter Company of Dalton, Georgia – including company founder A. Showalter – ventured west to Giddings in East Texas and conducted a rural music school that lasted for several weeks." Texas has been home to several gospel music convention publishers, including the National Music Company, Stamps-Baxter Music and Printing Company (founded in 1924 by V. Gospel singer, songwriter, and musician Washington Phillips was from Freestone County.

Also from the Houston area are Clint Black (grew up in Memorial), Robert Earl Keen (Sharpstown), and Lyle Lovett (grew up near Klein).

Modern musicians like George Strait, from the San Antonio area, continue to carry on the tradition of country music in Texas.

The blues originated in the Mississippi Delta and had spread to Texas by the beginning of the 20th century.

African-American workers at lumber camps and oilfields loved the music, and avidly attended local performances.

Southern soul singer Joe Tex was born in Rogers, Texas.

The 1960s witnessed such greats as Janis Joplin, from Port Arthur; she is ranked #46 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The psychedelic rock movement of the 1960s and 1970s has deep roots in Texas.

Tex Ritter and Jim Reeves both grew up in Panola County in East Texas. Kenny Rogers, from Houston, has a career spanning more than 50 years.

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