10-and-a-Half Frightening Facts About the Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Originally aired: Oct. 31, 2016. Texas is number one in a great many things: oil, ranching, rodeo, cotton. But you may be surprised to know that we are also number one in horror. That’s right, our very own charming little low-budget film, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, is considered by many critics to be the best…

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Wit And Wisdom From T. Boone Pickens

By W.F. Strong Even before I knew much about T. Boone Pickens, I loved his name. Has there ever been a better name for an oil man than T. Boone Pickens? It’s just right as rain. And the man behind the name was so perfect for it that it disproved Shakespeare’s claim that any other…

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Texas Standard: September 19, 2019

Life threatening conditions in parts of Southeast Texas as a tropical depression named Imelda moves inland and takes its toll. Water rescues underway as the first named storm since Harvey hits the Houston region. We’ll have details. Also, accusations of rising crime rates feeding into a big city mayoral contest in Texas. And, new smartphones…

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How Ingersoll, Texas Lost Its Name

Go east of Dallas on Interstate 30 until you reach Highway 67 near Mt. Vernon. Take that on east and about 30 minutes before you reach Texarkana, you’ll arrive in a little town of about 1,000 people named Ingersoll. Well, it was called Ingersoll when it was founded around 1875. But the name was unofficially…

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Pat Metheny

Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about the life and work of jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny.

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Remembering The Summers Of My Youth

Now that we’re in the dog days of summer, I’ve been thinking about the long summers of my youth. We had longer summers then. It’s not just an idealized memory. Schools would dismiss us in late May and we wouldn’t return until September 2nd or so, generally the day following Labor Day. What I remember…

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Teddy Roosevelt’s Texas Campaign

By W. F. Strong The Menger Hotel in San Antonio may boast of hosting more U.S. Presidents than any other hotel in Texas. George H. W. Bush stayed there. Clinton stayed there, as did Reagan. Nixon stayed there. So did Truman and Taft and McKinley. Even Ulysses S. Grant slept there. The most important name…

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Remembering ‘Beneficent Genius’ Bill Wittliff

When I hear the great musical theme of Lonesome Dove, I am immediately grateful to Bill Wittliff because I know we wouldn’t have the deeply treasured miniseries if not for him. We would have Larry McMurtry’s novel for sure, but we would not have Wittliff’s equally brilliant adaptation of that masterwork if not for his…

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Gene Ammons

Eugene “Jug” Ammons AKA “The Boss” was a tenor saxophonist known for his bold, R&B-soul sound. His vast discography as a bandleader and occasional sideman stretch from the 1950s to the 1970s. In this episode of Liner Notes, Rabbi Neil Blumofe discusses the legacy of Gene Ammons.

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King Pleasure

Clarence “King Pleasure” Beeks was a fronting vocalist and early innovator of the “vocalese” style, whose discography spanned two decades in the mid twentieth century. In this edition of Liner Notes, jazz historian and Rabbi Neil Blumofe discusses the career and influence of King Pleasure.

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What’s In A Name – The Rio Grande Valley

When some people first arrive in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas they often ask, “Where are the mountains?” It’s natural. Generally a valley is between mountains or at least hills. But the Rio Grande Valley is most accurately a delta region, as level as Lubbock. The highest roadway point is the 80-foot summit…

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The Mystery Of The Osage Murders

One of the best books I’ve read this year is “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.” I was late to this literary party. This nonfiction work has been a super-bestseller for well over a year now. It has been on the Paperback Nonfiction bestseller list for 49…

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Haunting & Ghosts in Literature, Theatre & Poetry

[Recorded on Election Night of the 2018 midterms] KUT’s Rebecca McInroy joins playwright Kirk Lynn and Poet Roger Reeves, to talk about the subversive histories ghosts allow us to remember and how they do so much more than give us a scare.

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The Luckiest Letter in Texas

This is the story of what was luckiest letter ever mailed in Texas. It took about six months to reach its destination, which was Louisiana. But to say it was mailed is a bit of a stretch. It was handed to some people to be given to others and it bounced around a while, sat…

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The Last Man On Rainey Street

The families who once lived on Rainey Street all left. One man is still there.

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Melba Liston

Melba Liston was a master arranger and a trombonist with an incredible but often overlooked talent. On this episode of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe discusses life and legacy. Music: Melba Liston – “Insomnia” [1959] Dizzy Gillespie – “Annie’s Dance” [1957] Randy Weston – “Caban Bamboo Highlife” [1963] Melba Liston – “Very…

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Who Were The Streets In This North Austin Neighborhood Named After?

Who were Miranda, Esther, Lisa and Rufus?

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D.H. Snyder – Cattleman And Philanthropist

At Christmas time each year I like to tell the story about a great gift given to Texas. My favorite Christmas stories of this kind concern seeds planted long ago that are still producing abundant harvests today. You may not know the name D.H. Snyder, but you will certainly recognize his influences on Texas history….

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Texas Standard: December 7, 2018

Over a 10 year period, 90 deaths, 32 hundred incidents of abuse and neglect statewide: Alarming findings about the safety of Texas day care centers in a year long investigation by the Austin American Statesman: one that has led to a legal battle with state officials. We’ll hear from the investigative team behind the report….

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Texas Standard: November 19, 2018

Texas may be losing its hold in the US House, but it may play an outsized role in who the next speaker will be. That story and more today on the Texas Standard. Will Nancy Pelosi remain Speaker of the House? Why Texas democrats in congress are a house divided, and what that means for…

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