If you ask the typical person from the Hub City who a famous musician is from Lubbock they’ll likely tell you Buddy Holly.
But, the unique culture and influence of Holly has also inspired other musicians to pursue their dreams and leave a lasting mark on the music industry.
There’s still no question that Buddy Holly is and always will be the son of Lubbock.
He not only changed rock and roll, he also led a music revolution in the South Plains putting Lubbock at the forefront of the industry.
“Texas Monthly Magazine last year specifically said that Lubbock, Texas was the heartbeat of Texas music. That it was kind of the core of it, the center of it and I believe that,” said Scott Faris, Owner and producer at Amusement Park Recording Studio.
Another person that got us here is Littlefield native Waylon Jennings.
“He grew up here and had his big start with Buddy Holly and playing bass with Buddy. Then when he comes back he takes a little bit of hiatus from music but gets back into it in the 60’s and starts doing his own records,” said Dr. Curtis Peoples, Associate Archivist at Texas Tech’s Crossroads Archive.
His own records and style spurred the outlaw country movement with famous hits like ‘Luckenbach, Texas’ and ‘Mammas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.’
“He is truthfully one of the most important country artists of all time,” Faris said.
His work not only won him several Grammys and country music awards, it also led the way for other artists like Willie Nelson.
While some made it “big” in Lubbock, others like Jimmy Dean weren’t so lucky.
“He had to leave the area to kind of go out and make it in the entertainment industry,” Peoples said.
It was during Jennings’ leave from music that Dean became not only a leading role in music, but also a big presence on the silver screen.
One of his biggest roles was Willard Whyte in the James Bond movie ‘Diamonds are Forever.’
Another musician from the Hub City is Mac Davis.
“He was one of those outlaws I think had a love hate relationship for a while with Lubbock in the rear view mirror,” Faris said.
Davis hit it big after moving to Georgia. He not only won awards for his music but became one of the most important song writers for Elvis Presley writing songs like ‘In the Ghetto’ and ‘A Little Less Conversation.’
Eventually though, coming back and touching his roots.
“He really loves this town now. He was a trailblazer and just a phenomenal song writer and musician,” Faris said.
But, the Lubbock music legacy by no means stops there.
Natalie Maines is a name known internationally for her role in country music.
“When she joined the Dixie Chicks it just exploded. She was kind of the gasoline that lit that fire and just a very very forceful woman who took the music industry by storm,” explained Faris.
A big chunk of her success came from a foundation laid by her father Lloyd Maines. A foundation that in 2007 won Maines a Grammy award for her song ‘Not Ready to Make Nice.’
Maines is still producing music and touring internationally.
And another name still climbing the ladder of fame is Josh Abbott.
“He went out and took the Texas country music scene by storm and he just went out and did it and now he’s one of the biggest acts in Texas and becoming one of the biggest acts in the country,” said Faris.
It was while studying communications at Texas Tech that Abbot began playing at the ‘Blue Light’ in Lubbock.
“Where Jimmy Dean and Mac Davis had to leave to make it, Josh was able to come up here in Lubbock playing at the local places in the region,” said Faris.
While these five artists are a good sampling of talent from the South Plains, it barely scratches the surface of great musicians from the South Plains.
“To be truthful there’s something in the water right now and people are taking notice of what’s happening in this town,” said Faris.
“If you can make it in Lubbock you make it just about anywhere,” Peoples said.