THE BROKEN SPOKE LEGEND
In 1964, James White pondered what to do with his life after his Army stint. He loved country music as a kid and remembered the old Dessau Hall (with a tree growing in the middle of the dance floor), the Moosehead Tavern in Oak Hill and the Barn on North Lamar. James saw a need that he could fill.
He liked a radio show called "Broken Arrow", liked wagon wheels and so the "Broken Spoke was named. On September 26, 1964 building started and on November 10 the "Broken Spoke" opened with 300 people there to see that it got off to a good start.
By 1966 James was able to book his childhood hero, Bob Wills while other big names followed: Ernest Tubbs, Roy Acuff, Hank Thompson, Tex Ritter, Ray Price, Kitty Wells, Grandpa Jones, Willie Nelson and George Strait. While these stars have all moved on, Willie still stops in for chicken fried steak.
James has displayed talent as a song writer and singer. The "Broken Spoke Legend" song which he wrote is on the Alvin Crow album "Pure country". His love for Country Music has graduated from singing in the shower and writing songs while driving down the road in his pick-up truck, to forming the Broken Spoke Company with Alvin Crowe, and to singing at the Spoke with many of the talented performers who have graced the Broken Spoke stage. He's been privileged to sing with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Sons of the Pioneers just for starters, but he sings weekly with all the regular multi talented bands which play at the Broken Spoke.
As part of the celebration of their 25th anniversary which was 10 years ago, the Spoke set aside a room for memorabilia called "The Tourist Trap Room" with photos, hats and other items related to Country music. The Broken Spoke is a Texas treasure and an Austin tradtion appreciated around the world and has been featured many times on Austin City Limits, a famous TV show on PBS. The Spoke has some of Austin's very best local talent such as Alvin Crow, Gary P. Nunn, Sam and Son, better known as The Geezinslaw Brothers, Don Walser, Jerry Jeff Walker, The Derailers, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Chris Wall, and Dale Watson just to name a few. James likes to pride himself on continually booking the best acts that represent the true music that is live Country band music. Some of his new acts which y'all shouldn't miss are Cowjazz, James Hand, Chaparral with Jeff Hughes, and Ed Burleson.
When you walk underneath that big old oak tree out front, you throw that front door open on this red rustic old building, you're at the Broken Spoke, the last of the true Texas dancehalls.
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