The Best Texas Songs of All Time: #79-60

Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs

Best Texas songs, #100-80

Best Texas songs, #59-40

The Spotify playlist for songs #79-60

79. Lift to Experience, "Falling From Cloud 9" From one of the best albums of any North Texas act in recent history, "Falling From Cloud 9" is one of the more accessible songs on 2001's The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads. It's probably the one that caught my ear when I first saw the band perform at Trees in 1999. "Put your dreams in a bottle, smash it to the ground / Slip off your slippers, and dance all around / It's just blood." - Daniel Hopkins

78. Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, "Wooly Bully" Dallas' own Domingo "Sam "Zamudio took his alter ego to chart success with a song based on his cat. A novelty? Perhaps, but it's still a pretty sweet twist on your standard blues song. And that organ line owns the whole thing. - Audra Schroeder

77. Kris Kristofferson, "Me and Bobby McGee" A song sung by many (Roger Miller, Janis Joplin), but penned by the Brownsville native, who went on to have a successful career of his own, including a stint with the Highwaymen (Willie, Waylon, Johnny Cash). - Audra Schroeder

76. Destiny's Child, "Bills, Bills, Bills" Like many songs produced by Kevin Briggs, "Bills" featured harpsichord over an R&B rhythm and the then-quartet Destiny's Child passing lyrics to each other. Those lyrics introduced an empowerment theme Destiny's Child would cover again in "Independent Women" and "Survivor." - Shahryar Rizvi

75. Patty Griffin, "Moses" Griffin has been exploring her gospel side and teaming with Robert Plant and his Band of Joy in recent years. The acoustically-powered "Moses," from her 1996 album Living With Ghosts, is remarkable for the way in which she blends the Biblical feats of Moses with people who find love "with their wine and beer." - Kelly Dearmore

74. Centro-matic, "Fidgeting Wildly" "Fidgeting Wildly," from their Redo the Stacks album, blends a fantastic hook with that signature Will Johnson timbre. An ode to your own devices, he sings, "You're trapped in your room, and you're the only audience." Narcissism has never sounded so good. - Deb Doing Dallas

73. The Hochimen, "God Was A Flower" Reggie Rueffer's musical genius encompasses Ray Price (with whom he toured as a teenager), Mahler (whom he studied as an SMU orchestral student) and XTC (whose influence he copped while playing in Deep Ellum dumps). He made his most personal statements with the Hochimen, on whose debut album, Totenlieder, he wrestled with his lapsed Methodist's existential anguish. - Ken Shimamoto

72. Meat Loaf, "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" "Paradise" lives on as its own mini-rock opera: Boy meets girl, boy makes out with girl, boy presents overly-wrought baseball metaphor about going all the way, girl turns boy's desires into a forced confession of eternal love, both are miserable ever after. - Deb Doing Dallas

71. Terry Allen, "Amarillo Highway" Lubbock's Terry Allen has received minimal fanfare and acclaim over the years, making his remarkably personable bar-band aesthetic all the more potent. Armed with a buoyant piano hook and Allen's pronounced vocal twang, it's easy to see why Robert Earl Keen would pay homage with a cover. - Zach Hale

70. Deep Blue Something, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Four years after the Denton band's formation, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1995. And while this is as good as it ever got for Deep Blue Something, we're pretty sure they made a few bucks off royalties. - Catherine Downes


69. The Relatives, "Don't Let Me Fall" This Dallas gospel group saw a renewed interest in their music over the last two or three years, thanks to Austin's Heavy Light Records, and this was the song that resurrected them after nearly two decades. - Audra Schroeder

68. Townes Van Zandt, "Marie" Where Hank Williams conjured loneliness, Townes brought feelings of despair on all who listened closely. I heard this song for the first time while watching his documentary Be Here To Love Me. I chose it not because it's a great song, but because it's the saddest song I've ever heard. - Daniel Hopkins

67. UGK, "Pocket Full of Stones" When Pimp C was in junior high running B-side dub mixes in Port Arthur, his stepfather gave him advice that would alter the course of his life. He said, "That music you're making is noise. Try to put some music into it. I bet if you can put some music in that you can dominate and you can get rich, know what I mean?" Although Pimp C's stepfather died on the day UGK received the master for "Pocket Full of Stones," the single opened doors for the Texas rap legends, sparking their storied careers. - Austin Staubus

66. ZZ Top, "Just Got Paid" Before the stupid beards, the stupid keyboards, and Eliminator, the little band from Texas were swaggering blues-rock badasses. The mean guitar riff really sells that feeling of a fresh paycheck. Too bad their own got so big they forgot their synth-free roots. - Jesse Hughey


65. Blind Willie Johnson, "John the Revelator" Many have covered this tune, but none matched the Biblical passion and fury, nor Johnson's otherworldly growl. Nick Cave came the closest. - Audra Schroeder

64. The D.O.C., "It's Funky Enough" Dallas native D.O.C. was a co-writer and guest MC for N.W.A., and this 1989 track, with a funkier-than-necessary beat by Dr. Dre, shows he was more than capable of supporting a solo career. Sadly, a car wreck crushed his larynx, badly damaging his vocal chords, and while he continued to write, his career as a performer all but ended. - Jesse Hughey


63. Slobberbone, "Barrel Chested" The huge riff is lifted straight off an AC/DC album and all the amps are set at 11. I loved each and every Slobberbone song, but with "Barrel Chested," Brent Best may have never had a finer moment. - Darryl Smyers

62. Gary P. Nunn, "London Homesick Blues" Willie Nelson might be Texas' musical gift to the world, but Gary P. Nunn is the present we decided to keep for ourselves. It's not that he hasn't made an impact well beyond the Red River, it's just that he's stayed close spiritually while perfecting a model he helped design. - Kelly Dearmore

61. Erykah Badu, "Tyrone" Thanks to this full-on old-school groove becoming a favorite for bands to cover, most notably My Morning Jacket, it continues to be a living, breathing classic. - Kelly Dearmore

60. James McMurtry, "Levelland" Simplicity is profound in the right hands, and when McMurtry sings about a West Texas mother who "hasn't seen the sky since they put the satellite dish in," the question of what progress is worth is posed in a beautifully frank manner. - Kelly Dearmore

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