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.Another rock and roll singer, Roy Orbison, from Wink, Texas, also made waves in the 1950s.He was followed by Buddy Knox, Bobby Fuller, and Dallas rockabilly stars Gene Summers, Johnny Carroll, and Ronnie Dawson.Freddie King, born in Gilmer, was active from the 1950s to the mid-1970s.
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.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.His 1978 album The Gambler remains one of the most famous country albums ever released, having sold a reported 35 million copies worldwide.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.Despite his huge success he has yet to be inducted into either the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame or the national Country Music Hall of Fame.