While most guys are notorious for forgetting anniversaries, Crossroads area country and western musician Jody Nix doesn't have that problem. In his case, he has thousands of local residents and music lovers all over the country to remind him.
Nix — along with his band, the West Texas Cowboys — are poised to celebrate 66 years of what has become a lengthy and distinguished time the Nix family has carried the torch for traditional country and western music with a anniversary celebration Saturday, Nov. 10, at the family's landmark venue, the Stampede.
“The tradition started with my dad, Hoyle, and my uncle, Ben, right here in Big Spring on Nov. 11, 1946,” said Nix. “They both had long careers and left a legacy and trail of music I've kept alive, and I plan to keep alive as long as I can.
“This has been a really big event for us the last several years. I started doing this in November of 1996 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of when this all started, and we've just kept it going through the years. We had several reunions of the former West Texas Cowboys, and it finally got to where so many of them had gotten older and couldn't come anymore, so we had to let that go. But we've asked Bobby (Flores) to join us and keep the tradition alive, and it's gone pretty well.”
The show — which will feature past and present members of the band — along with Flores and the Yellow Rose Band, has become a Howard County mainstay.
Admission is $20 per person, and while tickets will be available at the door, Nix said reservations for the celebration tend to go quickly.
“They come from all over the place to see this show, and we're more than appreciative of that fact,” said Nix. “My favorite part is the nostalgia. Remembering how all of this started and where it's come to today. We've kept a tradition alive all these years, and people have supported us. And it honors the men that started the whole thing.”
Hoyle and Ben Nix shared a long career in the music business, according to Jody, starting out at at place called Yell's Inn on the west side of Big Spring, owned by a family friend, Elliot Yell.
As the band grew more popular and began playing other towns — including the likes of Stanton, where the Stanton Stomp was held on Wednesday and Saturday nights, as well as Brownfield, San Angelo, Sweetwater, Abilene, Snyder, Colorado City and all points in between — they built the Stampede in 1954, which would go on to become a family legacy and a West Texas landmark.
“Hoyle wrote 'Big Balls In Cowtown' and recorded it the first time in 1949 on Talent Records out of Dallas Texas,” Jody Nix said. “It has been recorded numerous times by big name entertainers such as Mel Tillis, Asleep At The Wheel and George Strait. The West Texas Cowboys will long be remembered as one of the finest dance bands ever to play anywhere in West Texas and they had a following like no other. They also worked with the great Bob Wills many times at the Stampede and many other places in the area.”
Jody has been in the music business for more than 50 years, starting professionally at the tender age of 8 with his father, playing drums five nights a week all over West Texas. At age 11, he began playing the fiddle, and at 16 he began singing with the band.
Flores, who has preformed at several Nix anniversary shows, is a Grammy Award-winning artist who has performed with Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush and Doug Sahm, showcasing his talents on the guitar, fiddle and voice.
The doors are set to open at 8 p.m. and the show expected to last from 9 p.m. until around 1 a.m. at the Stampede — located just off FM 700 on Texas Highway 350.
For more information — or to make reservations — contact Nix at 267-2060.