This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll celebrate Christmas in June.
On June 19, 1890, “The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball” first appeared in an Anson, Texas, newspaper. William Chittenden wrote the poem in celebration of the country dances long held at the local Star Hotel, which had recently burned down. Folklorist Gordon Graham set the poem to music and first performed it at the Anson Christmas Ball in 1946. The song was so popular that it became the event’s unofficial anthem. In 1985, Michael Martin Murphey recorded his rendition of “The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball.”
Michael Martin Murphey continues to host The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball every December in Anson. In 2010, the Texas Historical Commission designated Pioneer Hall, where the event takes place, a state historic site.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a band leader whose Latin swing made the governor dance.