Best of Houston® 2021

Best Of Houston® 2021: Best Hold Music

With stirring strings and pounding drums, the mayor's pre-press conference hold music is our fave of the year.
With stirring strings and pounding drums, the mayor's pre-press conference hold music is our fave of the year. Screenshot
Best Hold Music: Office of the Mayor of Houston

Since the pandemic hit early last year, it’s often felt like life as we Houstonians knew it has been on hold. And quite literally, many of us have found ourselves stuck “on hold” in more than a few brand new COVID-induced situations, from anxiously waiting for an answer on coronavirus testing hotlines to being stuck in telephonic limbo with vaccine providers and twiddling our thumbs in the minutes before local officials give their latest pandemic updates.

As is custom when an entity you’re trying to get information or assistance from keeps you waiting on the phone or on an online livestream, all of these holds have come with hold music of some sort. Most of these tunes have trended toward forgettable, but one bit of hold music from the past 18 months stands above the rest: the thrilling little ditty that plays on loop before press conferences from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Turner_Hold_Music_Sample.mp3

Turner’s hold tune has it all — pounding drums, swelling strings and curt bleats of brass that convey pure electric gravitas. In the style of a 10 o’clock newscast lead-in song, the mayor’s hold music makes you feel like you’re where the action is, like you’re about to be clued in to some Very Important Information and 30-45 minutes of Must See TV.

While we at the Houston Press often felt a bit nervous about what potentially foreboding pandemic news Turner was about to unveil before each of his COVID-19 pressers this past year-plus, we always got a kick out of those few minutes of hold music as we awaited his latest update. During a period of time full of brain fog, stress and plenty of things we’d soon like to forget, Turner’s catchy hold music is something we’ll be sure to remember even once this pandemic is finally behind us.

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Schaefer Edwards is a staff writer at the Houston Press who covers local and regional news. A lifelong Texan and adopted Houstonian, he loves NBA basketball and devouring Tex-Mex while his cat watches in envy.
Contact: Schaefer Edwards