Gary P. Nunn - icon of Texas music
By Mary Allyce Special to the Courier
Singer-songwriter Gary P. Nunn was born in Oklahoma in 1945, but "got to Texas as soon as he could" by moving to Brownfield, Texas as a sixth grader. For over 40 years, he's been known as an icon of Texas music.
Being internationally acclaimed for bringing Texas music to the world also makes him an ideal candidate for the Texas Heroes Hall of Fame, awarded during the Frontier Times Museum's celebration of the National Day of The American Cowboy, Saturday, July 27. The ceremony begins at high noon on the grounds of the museum, 510 13th Street, where activities start at 10 am and continue throughout the afternoon.
As a pharmacy major at University of Texas Austin, Nunn was already playing with a Texas rock band, The Sparkles. By the '70s, he and the Lost Gonzo Band were backing Jerry Jeff Walker.
Considered a founding father of Austin's progressive country music movement in the 1970s, Nunn can legitimately lay claim to helping change the face of popular music.
That fearlessly independent spirit continues to drive his musical career and his independent record label and song publishing companies. One of his best known songs, "London Homesick Blues" - "I want to go home with the armadillo ..." - served as the theme song for the PBS show, Austin City Limits for almost 30 years. It's just one of many reasons his music is known worldwide.
Along with several gold and platinum records, Nunn has also amassed an impressive list of other recognitions. In 1995, he was added to the West Texas Walk of Fame in Lubbock. In 1990, he received an Award of Appreciation by the SAT Chapter of the Texas Music Association, joining artists like ZZ Top and Moe Bandy.
The Texas Department of Commerce and Tourism listed him as a "Lone Star Great," a designation created to recognize leaders in the fields of art, athletics and music. In 1985, Governor Mark White named him "Official Ambassador to the World" and in 2004, Nunn was inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame.
Although he's logged over 40 years in the business, Nunn continues to play almost every weekend all over Texas and beyond. The frequent gigs have not dimmed his enthusiasm for his craft. "I'm still going strong and doing better than ever," Nunn declared and audiences agree.
One such performance will take place Friday, July 26, when Nunn takes the stage at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar as part of the National Day of the American Cowboy celebration. The good times continue on Saturday, July 27, at the museum during the day and at Mansfield Park on Highway 16 North later that night.
When they're not on the road, Nunn and his wife, Ruth, who also doubles as his manager, enjoy ranch life in the Texas Hill Country.