Houston Music

Which Other Local Musical Landmarks Deserve Historical Markers?

Monday's announcement that the Texas Historical Commission has approved Eric Davis' proposal for an official state historical marker honoring Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins is wonderful news, but it's also only the tip of the iceberg. Plenty of other spots around town, it could be argued, deserve similar recognition. Rocks Off came up with a short list - they're all pretty obvious, but it's a good way to start the conversation. Help us out by leaving your choices in the comments.

1. SugarHill Studios (5626 Brock): Duh. "The Abbey Road of the South" down off Produce Row has seen everyone from Beyonce and Janis Joplin to Selena and the Rolling Stones sign its guestbook - including, when SugarHill was still known as Gold Star Studios, Hopkins himself.

2. Jones Studio (1513 Blair): Where Archie Bell & the Drells recorded timeless Houston anthem "Tighten Up." Jones Studio has since become Jones Tape Duplication and moved out to Cypress, but this spot in the Heights - now condos, of course - is where Bell put those fateful words "Hi Everybody! We're Archie Bell & the Drells from Houston, Texas, and we dance just as good as we walk!" to tape.

3. Duke/Peacock building (2809 Erastus): Another no-brainer. This Fifth Ward structure was the seat of Duke/Peacock owner Don Robey's empire and the original recording site of songs like "Hound Dog" and "Texas Flood." After it was the Bronze Peacock nightclub, that is, a sit-down supper establishment that hosted the likes of Louis Jordan, Ruth Brown and T-Bone Walker.

4. Love Street Light Circus (1019 Commerce): The top floor of the International Coffee Building was psych central in the late '60s: The Red Krayola, Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Bubble Puppy, Fever Tree, and a lil' ol' band called ZZ Top that played its first show under that name in July 1969. Far out, man.

5. Screwed Up Records & Tapes (7717 Cullen Blvd.): Might be a tough sell to the historical commission due to syrup's, you know, illegality (not to mention its high mortality rate), but as the spot where DJ Screw literally took hip-hop apart and remade it in Houston's draped-up, dripped out image, its historical importance is undeniable.

Your turn...

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray