The Dallas String Band
The music of the Dallas String Band has been called pre-blues as well as proto-blues. The group has been referred to as the only black string band in history and an early Texas country band, sometimes in the same paragraph, often after being credited with erasing all color lines in American musical history. Enough lies are told about the group to resemble another great cover-up in Dallas history, the one with the grassy knoll and the book depository. Left behind as key evidence are the dozen recordings the group made for Columbia beginning in the late '20s, as well as the solo activities of three key members.
The auxiliary membership of the group is where the action really is in terms of impressive history, as the names of both Blind Lemon Jefferson and T-Bone Walker can be dropped. Although neither of these artists show up anywhere near a Dallas String Band recording, the group's place in Texas blues history is as secure as the crown jewels. And the mighty state of Texas takes its blues history seriously, perhaps as seriously as the Brits take their royalty's sparkling goodies. Texas blues fans will be happy to brag that independent studios and labels in Dallas were busy recording blues before anyone ever heard of the Delta or Chicago. Flashing back through Dallas blues history, one runs into the Dallas String Band before the year 1927 is out. In 1929, the year Blind Lemon Jefferson died and was buried in Wortham, TX, the Dallas String Band was still cutting records in their hometown.