…………..we went to Luckenbach Texas with Waylon and Willie and the Boys”. Luckenbach is a Texas ghost town that has been turned into an important music and festival venue. But who can forget Waylon Jennings’ 1977 hit song, Luckenbach Texas, (Back to the Basics of Love). It charted #1 on the country charts for 4 weeks in 1977 and reached #25 on the pop charts at the same time.
Waylon Jennings was an American country music artist born in 1937 in Littlefield Texas. He was married to Jessie Colter who’s most famous song was the 1975 hit single “I’m Not Lisa”. Jennings is one of the founders of the “outlaw country” movement of the seventies along with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, David Alan Coe and Hank Williams Jr. The sub-genre was founded as a path to creative freedom, outside of the Nashville establishment.
Let’s do some pronunciation help here as things are not usually pronounced as they seem in Texas. You would think Luck-in-back but no in Texas it is pronounced Luke -en-bock.
Luckenbach is located 11 miles from Fredericksburg. Established in 1849 it is named for Jacob Luckenbach a German nobleman who helped settle the area.
The oldest remaining building is the post office/saloon thought to have been built about 1886. The town was first know as Grape Creek a faulty translation of Gap Creek which is literally what Luckenbach means in German.
The population of Luckenbach topped out at 492 in 1904 but it was largely a ghost town by the 1960’s. With a population of 3 the town was put up for sale in a newspaper advertisement and was bought for 30,000 dollars by Hondo Crouch, a prominent local rancher, and his partners one of whom was Guich Koock an actor known for his work in Steven Spielberg’s first movie “Sugarland Express”. In 1977 Koock landed the part of Deputy Harvey Puckett in the TV sitcom “Carter Country” (ABC 1977-1979). Koock also had some small supporting roles on “Laverne and Shirley”, and Walker, Texas Ranger….(there’s that TV show again…….
The post office was closed, and the area given a Fredericksburg address. Crouch and his group continued to operate a bar and souvenir shop and opened a dance hall.
The dance hall. Some big names have played here including George Strait, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Willie Nelson. In fact, Wille Nelson has held several of his annual Fourth of July picnics here over the years.
Today as you pass through the souvenir shop and down a couple of steps you are in the bar which is still in operation. Most days someone is there playing live music.
But beware it’s cash only!
we decide to drink a couple Shiner Bocks and listen for a while. The music was very good.
What, you may ask, is a Shiner Bock. Only the favorite beer in Texas brewed at Shiner Texas by the Spoetzl Brewery and now distributed nationwide.
The Spoetzl Brewing Company was founded in 1909 in Shiner Texas as the Shiner Brewing Association, by German and Czech immigrants who couldn’t find their favorite type of beer, German Lenten Bock in Texas. Lenten Bock was originally only available in the spring and was drank by Monks for nourishment during the Lenten fasting season. Today Spoetzl is owned by the Gambrinus Company of San Antonio Texas and is one of the oldest continually operated breweries in the country.
We walked around the grounds for a while looking at all the unique stuff.
Luckenbach is a very unique place. Not only is there a dance hall but also a small campground with several community fire pits. At Luckenbach “everybody is somebody” and community and fellowship is encouraged in all they do. Glad we came.