33. Guy Clark, "Dublin Blues"This somber but sweet tale grows even more heartfelt when Clark sings about missing the Mad Dog margaritas of Austin's Texas Chili Parlor. Because let's face it, those things are terrible. Kelly Dearmore

32. Sir Douglas Quintet, "At the Crossroads"A pure product of San Antonio who managed to embody its country, R&B and Tejano traditions, Doug Sahm penned this absent lover's lament from a drug fugitive's exile in the more freak-friendly Bay Area, but left no doubt where his heart still resided. Ken Shimamoto

31. Daniel Johnston, "True Love Will Find You In the End"Despite the flashes of popularity, curiosityand heartbreak that have sprung up around Johnson in the last two decades, his songs have always remained pure, unconcerned with fads or the passing of time, forever obsessed with monsters and love. Audra Schroeder

Illustration by Jonathon Kimbrell/Napkin Art Studios
Illustration by Jonathon Kimbrell/Napkin Art Studios

30. 13th Floor Elevators, "Slip Inside This House""You're Gonna Miss Me" is usually the go-to when talking about the Houston psychedelic group, but this track, from 1967's sophomore LP Easter Everywhere, shows how they could also nail a long-form song. Audra Schroeder

29. Jimmie Dale Gilmore, "Dallas"Perhaps we're a little biased on this one, since the blog gets its name from it, but the line "Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eye/A steel and concrete soul with a warm-hearted love disguise" seems eerily prescient. Audra Schroeder

28. Ornette Coleman, "Lonely Woman"The prophetically titled The Shape of Jazz to Come would manifest its shapelessness with avant-garde improvisation and arrangements that were completely devoid of orthodoxy or structure. "Lonely Woman" is the album's standout, and one of the greatest examples of how unpredictable melody can be just as powerful as harmony. Zach Hale

27. Buddy Holly, "Everyday"Like all of Holly's best, the song is remarkably simple, yet it exudes a profoundly earnest and deceptively bold song craft. Zach Hale

26. Albert Collins, "Frostbite"Remember that scene in Adventures In Babysitting, where the singer of a blues band tells Elizabeth Shue, "Nobody leaves this stage without singing the blues"? The "Master of the Telecaster" lived on the stage. Audra Schroeder

25. Townes Van Zandt, "Pancho and Lefty">Written right here in Dallas, this song is as moving as it is ambivalent. Did Lefty sell Pancho out? Did the federales really just pity him and let him go? Were they the same person, or Pancho just the fantasy of a washed-up obscure blues singer? Even the late Van Zandt himself wasn't sure, to hear him tell it, but a it's beautiful ballad nonetheless. Jesse Hughey

24. T-Bone Walker, "Trinity River Blues">This 1929 cut from Dallas' own Aaron "T-Bone" Walker, back when he was known as Oak Cliff T-Bone, was the original Texas flood. Audra Schroeder

23. Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, "New San Antonio Rose"Somewhere between jazz, country and swing stood Bob Wills, whose music is still a staple of dancehalls and honky-tonks across Texas. Audra Schroeder

22. Willie Nelson, "Can I Sleep in Your Arms"It really doesn't get much more stupendous, minimalist or beautiful than Willie Nelson's ballads. The scene paints itself as soon as you hit play: a tequila hangover; snug, dirty boots on your feet; and the smell of a cowboy hat over your face. Nick Rallo

21. Blaze Foley, "If I Could Only Fly"Please consult Duct Tape Messiah, Kevin Triplett's documentary on the Austin singer-songwriter, for proof of Foley's tempered genius. That he and Townes Van Zandt were buddies comes as no surprise; their lives were parallel in the most heartbreaking way. Audra Schroeder

20. Sir Douglas Quintet, "Mendocino"That swirling organ line alone is enough to secure a spot on this list, but this 1968 single was the Quintet dressed in their San Antonio best. Audra Schroeder

19. Billy Preston, "Nothing From Nothing"Houston pianist Billy Preston got to hang around some decent talent (The Beatles, The Stones), but his solo material went in another direction altogether. This is his most well-known hit, but check out "Space Race" as well. Audra Schroeder

18. Ray Wylie Hubbard, "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother"One of the most poignant of tales bringing hippies and rednecks together. Buddy Jerry Jeff Walker then went on to record the song in 1973. Audra Schroeder

17. Janis Joplin, "Piece of My Heart"Joplin doesn't just sing a song, she muscles all of the longing, flirting and humor out of a melody and heaves it at you. If you have ever questioned her vocal delivery, consider how she makes giving away her broken heart sound inevitable but downright fun. Plus, that chorus is history-making. Deb Doing Dallas

16. Cindy Walker, "You Don't Know Me"If the shy boys and girls of the world ever acknowledge their secret society, Walker's 1956 hit "You Don't Know Me" (co-written with Eddy Arnold) should be the theme song. Doug Davis

15. Buddy Holly, "That'll Be the Day"The lyric — both lovestruck and vaguely threatening in a passive-aggressive way — captures the panicky feel when one half of a couple doesn't want a relationship to end, over an incongruously upbeat melody. Add to that a great guitar solo, vocal harmonies, a runtime of just a bit over two minutes and you've got the formula for countless rock gems to follow. Jesse Hughey

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My Voice Nation Help
3 comments
circlebs
circlebs

Quit it ! Your  so called "Best" ain't good enough. Just give up.

engmofo
engmofo

errrrrrm Loco Gringo's,yeah yeah yeah,Bobgoblin ,Flamin Hellcats ,roller,Poor Dumb Bastards....ETC...........Big Boys at # 50 wtf

engmofo
engmofo

Oh & Speedealer ,Horton ...................

 
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