Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »

GULF COAST MUSIC HALL OF FAME

Jennifer Cobb

GULF COAST MUSIC HALL OF FAME. The Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame is a permanent exhibit of the Museum of the Gulf Coast. The museum opened in 1994 and is located at 700 Procter Street in Port Arthur, Texas. The hall of fame features more than sixty artists from the Gulf Coast region, such as Janis Joplin, Marcia Ball, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Edgar and Johnny Winter, Harry Choates, Clifton Chenier, George Jones, Tex Ritter, and ZZ Top. The museum also showcases the many genres that flourish along the Gulf Coast, including Cajun, zydeco, swamp pop, country, western swing, jazz, blues, soul, and rock-and-roll.

The 39,000-square-foot Museum of the Gulf Coast is designed to tell the story of the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast region through both conventional and unconventional methods. The museum shows the integration of the Gulf Coast region into the larger national and international community through its many exhibits, including the Music Hall of Fame. In addition to its permanent and rotating exhibits, the two-story museum also houses an orientation theater and a gift shop for visitors.

The Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame is one of the seven permanent exhibits at the museum. For induction into the hall of fame, a musician must meet specific criteria that include having direct ties to the Gulf Coast region, achieving national success either with a group or as a solo artist, and exemplifying the Gulf Coast’s musical heritage. Of the entertainers featured in the hall of fame, the late Janis Joplin is one of the best-known. Probably the most prominent female rock-and-roll artist to come from Texas, Joplin, a Port Arthur native, possessed a powerful voice and commanding stage presence which quickly gained her fame and helped popularize the new psychedelic rock genre. Through artwork, memorabilia, and a wide array of photographs, the museum’s Joplin exhibit paints a vivid portrait of the singer’s life and career. Other Port Arthur music celebrities are celebrated at the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame. J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Tex Ritter, two East Texas natives who made it big in music, represent the broad variety of musical styles found in the Gulf Coast region.

Along with its exhibits, the Museum of the Gulf Coast hosts an annual Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame Show every January. Formerly known as the Janis Joplin Birthday Bash, the event pays tribute to the Port Arthur native through a series of concerts and also serves as an induction ceremony for the Music Hall of Fame. The Museum of the Gulf Coast and its Music Hall of Fame are administered by the Port Arthur Historical Society (PAHS), in partnership with Lamar College and the city of Port Arthur. Leading figures in the museum’s operation include its director, archivist, and PAHS president. The museum and hall of fame are open seven days a week.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Gary Hartman, The History of Texas Music (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008). Museum of the Gulf Coast (http://www.museumofthegulfcoast.org/), accessed November 3, 2015. Jerome Pohlen, Oddball Texas: A Guide to Some Really Strange Places (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2006).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Jennifer Cobb, "GULF COAST MUSIC HALL OF FAME," accessed October 14, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lbg03.

Uploaded on August 7, 2014. Modified on November 3, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...