Dallas Almanac

This Weird Place

Gardeners beware: Dallas’ alkaline-rich soil means acid-loving plants such as azaleas, gardenias, camellias, and dogwoods won’t grow unless you replace or modify the soil with compost. “You can’t just plop them in our alkaline soil.” says Tyson Woods, sales manager at Lambert Gardens. “You’ve got to plant them in an acid-based soil.” A second word of warning: This is the month to prune fruit and nul trees, evergreens, and bush roses. Avoid, however, pruning live oaks and red oaks between February and June; otherwise, you II am the risk of “oak wilt,” a fungal disease that will wipe them out.



Did You Know?

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh told Dallas’ leaders to “keep your airport: it will place you among the commercial leaders of the world.’’

An average of 160,000 travelers pass through Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport each day. The airport ranks third in the world in number of passengers.

With more than 3.6 million people attending 3,600 conventions each year, Dallas is among the top convention and meeting destinations in the U.S

Visitors infuse $4.6 billion a year into the Dallas-area economy.



Twenty Years Ago in D

The February l979 coverstory of D-“Own a Piece of the Rockies: How Dallasites are Cashing in on Colorado”-took a look at the Bass brothers. Not the better-known zillionaire Basses of Fort Worth, but Dick and Harry Bass Jr., who were instrumental in making Vail, Colo.,apopulargetaway for Dallasites.. .News of American Airlines moving its national headquarters to D/FW exacerbated the long-standing rivalry between Dallas and Fort Worth when NBC anchorman John Chancellor reported that the company would be relocating to Dallas. A Fort Worth City Councilman was so peeved he placed a long-distance call to Chancellor while he was still on the air. The councilman wanted a retraction, but his call never made it to the anchor desk… The27-year-old Robert Decherd, heir apparent at The Dallas Morning News, showed the first sign of his ascent to the top of A.H. Belo Corp., parent company of the News, when he left the newsroom fora far cushier executive suite.

Yesterday: The Man Who Changed Music

Dallas native T-Bone Walker transformed the blues forever.





Aaron Thibeaux “T-Bone”Walk-er was a child when his family moved to the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, just west of the Trinity River. He was immersed in the blues at Holy Ghost Church in the river-bottom ghetto. And he was influenced by blues legend Blind Lemon Jefferson, a friend of the family, whom Walker led from one Deep Ellum juke joint to another. From strumming on a Prince Albert tobacco can. Walker graduated to the guitar, and in 1929, as “Oak Cliff T-Bone” (a phonetic takeoff on his middle name), he recorded ’Trinity RiverBlues,” which contained this lament on life in the RARE CUT: T-Bone

flood plain:

That dirty Trinity River sure has done me wrong

It came in my window and doors and now ail my things are gone

Trinity River Blues keeps me bothered all the time

I lost all my clothes.. .believe I’m gonna lose my mind.

Walker earned a spot with Coley Jones’ Dallas String Band and was picked up during the throes of the Depression by Les Hite, who led one of the most popular West Coast bands of the day. After a few years on the road. Walker settled in the Watts section of Los Angeles and struck out on his own in 1939.

That’s when it happened. Walker came up with the idea of adding the electric guitar an obscure instrument at the time, to the startdard jazz combo of sax, bass, and piano, transforming traditional blues into what would become known as rhythm and blues. His innovative techniques-harmonic chording, jazz-influenced runs, single-note crescendos at the treble end of the scale-profoundly influenced guitarists from B.B. King to Stevie Ray Vaughan, In Texas Rhythm Texas Rhyme, author Larry Willoughby calls Walker “the most important and influential musician in me history of rhythm and blues, and perhaps in the history of all its derivative styles, including rock ’n’ roll.”

Ironically, now many music buffs who were weaned on the electric guitar have never heard of T-Bone Walker. He died in Los Angeles in 1975.

-Tom Peeler

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