Houston Music

Soul City: Talent Scouts Lola Anne Cullum And Lela Macy

Black History Month is always a great time to recall some of Houston's greatest musical innovators and leaders. Rocks Off will highlight some of them during the remainder of February.

At a local blues jam recently, Rocks Off was accosted by an irate informal media critic who wanted to know when we members of the working music press were going to have balls enough to tell the world rock and roll began in Houston. She was one of those passionate people you meet out and about in the course of everyday rat-killing - an avid supporter of the music scene, and no less annoying for that fact.   Ironically, shortly thereafter, we became intrigued by two virtually unknown Houston women who helped shape the emerging face of rock and roll and rhythm and blues music. The first, Lola Anne Cullum, discovered not only boogie-woogie piano giant Amos Milburn, one of the fathers of rock and roll, but later also took Lightnin' Hopkins under her wing.

On the other hand, Lela Macy of Macy's Recordings was a Houston woman who, somewhat inadvertently, got in on the ground floor of zydeco, a hybrid style that coalesced in and around Houston and was first recorded here.

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