Portrait of Kathy Valentine

To Whom It May Concern:

It would be one of the great honors of my life to hold the title of Texas State Musician. Having been a musician, songwriter and entertainer for 48 years, I have stated in interviews for the entirety of my career that if not for my native Texas upbringing, I am quite sure I wouldn’t have followed this calling that has brought me unimaginable success. 

My musical DNA is completely infused with Texas music—it comprises much of the soundtrack of my youth. The Vaughan brothers, Stevie Ray and Jimmie, gave me support and encouragement. Eric Johnson sat me down and showed me guitar technique. Doug Sahm gave me my first professional stage appearance, inviting me to sit-in with his band in 1976 at the Rome Inn. Antones, Soap Creek Saloon, and the Armadillo World Headquarters were my stomping grounds as a teenager. From Jimmy Reed to Bob Wills, from Buddy Holly to Roky Erickson, I felt wrapped in the fabric of Texas music, even while searching other cities for inspiration and opportunity. I taught my short-lived London band ZZ Top songs and returned from England armed with a new sound. In 1978, I started the Violators, the very first new wave/punk band in Austin. We launched a vibrant and celebrated scene that lasted well into the 1980’s.  I could not leave Texas behind after moving to Los Angeles in search of fame and fortune either: my first band to sign a record deal was The Textones. And when the Go-Go’s—the band that enabled me to make music history—began to work less, I started the Bluebonnets. I moved this band to Austin 13 years ago and we still maintain a presence in the music landscape. 

These quotes from “All I Ever Wanted –A Rock n Roll Memoir,” released by the University of Texas Press, describe some of the impact that growing up in Austin, Texas had on my musical life.

All I Ever Wanted Cover
From "All I Ever Wanted" on Austin
From “All I Ever Wanted” on Austin
From "All I Ever Wanted" on learning guitar
From “All I Ever Wanted” on learning guitar
From "All I Ever Wanted" on first sitting in at the Rome Inn
From “All I Ever Wanted” on first sitting in at the Rome Inn

Kathy Valentine musical achievements:

  • A member of the history-making Go-Go’s—the first and only all-female band that had a number one record. The Go-Go’s have been cited by countless artists, publications and music writers as one of the most influential bands of the 1980’s.
  • Wrote many of the Go-Go’s hit singles including “Vacation,” “Head Over Heels” and “The Whole World Lost its Head” and Can’t Stop the World” featured on Go-Go’s debut album, one of only 24 debut albums in rock history to go to number one.
  • Nominated for a Grammy as best new band with the Go-Go’s.
  • Solo record “Light Years” received high reviews in several renowned music publications
  • Inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 2015
  • Composer of songs featured in Broadway musical “Head Over Heels” in 2018
  • Penned acclaimed memoir “All I Ever Wanted: A Rock n’ Roll Memoir in 2020, along with innovative solo soundtrack
  • Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech

Charity and Activism (Recent)

  • 2022 Ambassador for “A Chance to Rock” providing instruments and lessons to children in foster care.
A Chance to Rock PSA
  • MC for annual fundraiser for the Texas Campaign for the Environment
  • Performed for St David’s Foundation Annual Gala
  • Featured performer on “Walk With Me Austin” to benefit Health Alliance for Austin Musicians
  • Featured performer on “Sweet Dreams” to benefit The Miraculous Love Kids supporting Afghani Girls efforts to learn guitar and partner with Western musicians
  • Featured performer on 2020 HOME Benefit (Housing Opportunities for Musicians and Entertainers)
  • Featured Performer for virtual 2020 Library Foundation Gala 
  • Has contributed services to HAAM and SIMS 

Texas-centric Press 

Houston Chronicle

Houston Press

Austin American Statesman

Austin Music Hall of Fame

Texas Observer

Texas Monthly

Austin Chronicle Cover

Austin Monthly

Austin Monthly