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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Moments in Texas History ~ 1.4.2012

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Texas radio station sets country music standard
January 04, 1923
On this day in 1923, radio station WBAP in Fort Worth established the basic format for country music variety show broadcasting (a format subsequently taken over by Nashville's "Grand Ole Opry" and Chicago's "National Barn Dance") with a program that featured a fiddler, a square-dance caller, and Confederate veteran Capt. M. J. Bonner. The familiar mélange of wisecracks, music both lugubrious and jolly, and country costumes became immensely popular all across the nation. WBAP, established by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram under Amon G. Carter in 1922, was looking for its programing forte. Under call letters derived from the words "We Bring A Program," the station was an innovator in Texas radio. In addition to its "hayride" program, it featured the Light Crust Doughboys, legendary fiddler Eck Robertson, crossover musician Al Stricklin (who began as a jazz pianist and joined the Bob Wills Fiddle Band), and other country stars. But it also had its own "serious" studio orchestra in which such musicians as Don Gillis played. WBAP and the other leading Texas radio stations broke the ground in the 1920s and 1930s for a flourishing music industry.

Landscape artist Ida Weisselberg Hadra born in Castroville
January 04, 1861
On this date in 1861, German immigrants Gustav Frederick and Anna (von Groos) Weisselberg celebrated the birth of a daughter, Ida, in Castroville, Texas. The family later moved to Austin, where Ida had opportunities to study with landscape artist Hermann Lungkwitz and portrait artist Ella Moss Duval. Under their tutelage the young painter demonstrated promising talent, especially for landscape studies. In 1882, she married physician Berthold Ernest Hadra and the couple moved to San Antonio, where Ida continued her studies with Mrs. Duval and painted several scenes of San Antonio of historical interest. Three years later Ida Weisselberg Hadra died of peritonitis on November 4, 1885.

Versatile writer dies
January 04, 1992
On this day in 1992, author Elithe Kirkland died. Born Lena Elithe Hamilton near Coleman, Texas, in 1907, she had a remarkable career as a reporter, radio scriptwriter, and novelist. She achieved her first publication while still an undergraduate at North Texas State Teachers College when she wrote a series of features for the Dallas Morning News. Her other publishing credits included articles for Farm and Ranch, Southwest Review, Texas Weekly, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. During the 1940s she worked as script editor for Radio House at the University of Texas and penned more than 500 dramatic documentaries for state and national radio audiences. After her marriage to physician Roy DeFoe Kirkland in 1947, Elithe Kirkland devoted her time to writing. Her novel Love Is a Wild Assault (1959), based on the life of Harriet Potter Ames, became enormously successful and was translated into several languages. Historian and writer A. C. Greene included the work in his Fifty Best Books of Texas in 1982. Kirkland moved to Wimberley in 1985, and in 1987 she was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.

Black cowboy Bose Ikard dies
January 04, 1929
On this day in 1929, Bose Ikard died in Austin. Ikard, born a slave in Mississippi in 1843, became one of the most famous black frontiersmen and trail drivers in Texas. The Civil War left Bose a free man, and in 1866 he went to work for Oliver Loving as a trail driver. After Loving's death, Ikard continued in the service of Loving's partner, Charles Goodnight. The two men became lifelong friends. Goodnight later commented that he trusted Bose Ikard "farther than any living man. He was my detective, banker, and everything else in Colorado, New Mexico, and the other wild country I was in." In 1869, after settling in Weatherford, Ikard participated in a running battle with Quanah Parker's Comanche band, riding alongside his former master, Milton Ikard. Goodnight visited Bose in Weatherford whenever the opportunity arose and gave him presents of money. After Ikard's death, Goodnight bought a granite marker and wrote an epitaph for his old friend: "Bose Ikard served with me four years on the Goodnight-Loving Trail, never shirked a duty or disobeyed an order, rode with me in many stampedes, participated in three engagements with Comanches, splendid behavior."

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