When Dallas Rocked

In the 1970’s the Metroplex was one of the most important music markets in the country (yes, more important than Austin). This YouTube video has been turned into a full-length documentary. Today’s letter is for the man behind this ongoing project, Kirby Warnock. 

Dear Kirby Warnock,

I think that most kids have a certain fascination with their parent’s era because, in a lot of ways, it affects the person you become. Being that my dad grew up in the 1970’s here in Dallas and was a Zoo Freak to the core, I was raised on Outlaw Music and hearing about Neil Young concerts at The Electric Ballroom. On top of that, my grandfather worked in the record industry in Dallas (Pickwick Records). So I’ve always felt some attachment to the music scene that your documentary chronicles although I’m one and two generations removed. Last month I attended your screening of When Dallas Rocked at the Kessler Theatre and brought the whole family.

What you say at the end about Austin absorbing Dallas’ music history really hit home for me. Having recently moved back to Dallas from Austin, I can see both sides to the story you tell. Austin is an incredible city for music and they make a concerted effort to celebrate the talent that’s cultivated there (Shakey Graves Day). As you mentioned, Dallas celebrates it’s business leaders, which is of course worthy of recognition, but being a successful business person shouldn’t be the only measure of success here.

I want my generation (and subsequent ones) to know about our city’s musical heritage. Deep Ellum is in the midst of a renaissance and the time seems ripe to build awareness/funding for some sort of statue, memorial, ANYTHING celebrating the blues musicians who developed and played here.  I’m a huge fan of the blues and somehow had never even heard of Freddie King until I saw When Dallas Rocked. It’s not fair to the artist’s legacy or Dallasites who want and need a musical heritage to celebrate.

But you know all of this already.

I want to make something happen. Have you considered a crowdsourcing project through KickStarter or IndieGoGo to fund these projects? If you could pick the perfect place to memorialize Freddie King where would it be? What about Stevie Ray?

Hope the doc makes SXSW and I appreciate your time.




Hayden, Thanks for your kind note. I have been approached by dozens of people to spearhead a movement to get SOME kind of memorial erected for Freddy King and the Vaughan Brothers. I am looking at options, but am just boxed in by those two things, time and money. I have a full-time day job, so it makes it difficult, but please be aware that we are hoping to do something in the coming months. It’s Dallas’ own fault that we have failed to celebrate our rich music heritage. All that we need to do is make it happen. Appreciate you! As ever, KW

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